While Bill Thorsness was still in law school, he took an internship at a mid-sized firm in Chicago, where he met Martin Lillig, who at the time was a new associate for the firm only a few years out of law school. Little did they know then that they would work together for close to five decades, including 40 years together as co-founders of Lillig & Thorsness, Ltd in Oak Brook, which has become one of the most highly regarded law firms in the Western Suburbs. The firm has grown from three lawyers in 1978 to more than 15 today—and still growing.
The two became great friends, and Thorsness says Lillig, who he calls Marty, has been a great mentor. “Marty is what I’d refer to as a lawyer’s lawyer. He was not somebody who was interested in making money; he wanted to help people,” Thorsness says.
“He’s very much responsible for me being the capable lawyer I am today. Friendship in a law practice is very valuable. I don’t think I’d be practicing law if I wasn’t practicing with people I respect,” Thorsness adds.
Together, Lillig and Thorsness created a strong foundation for their practice, which has added a number of exceptional younger attorneys poised to continue the firm’s tradition of excellence for years to come. The future at Lillig & Thorsness has as much potential for future success as it’s had in the past because of the philosophies and approach to client service created by its founders and passed on to the firm’s next generation of attorneys.
At its founding, the firm focused mostly on corporate and business transactions, estate planning and probate, and savings and loans. But each new client quickly became a happy client, which then creates repeat clients and referrals, and the firm grew over time to fill all the gaps of legal services their clients needed.
Today, Lillig & Thorsness covers almost every area of legal discipline including business law, estate and estate tax planning, complex litigation, commercial real estate, family law, and more. As a result of their commitment to excellence, the firm’s attorneys have been called on to handle business transactions and trials in multiple jurisdictions across the country.
It’s been a 40-year track record of success for the firm, and the goal is to continue that even as its client list grows. “When it comes to your clients, you have to care about their problems. You have to want to help people to end up having a successful law practice,” Thorsness says.
“And it holds true for our firm—when you care about people, they will know it, and they will continue to come back.”
Lillig & Thornsess Ltd. is located at 1900 Spring Road, Suite 200, in Oak Brook, 630-571-1900, lilliglaw.com.