About

About Us

Attorney Charles “Charlie” Rankin and Attorney James “Jamie” Sultan founded our boutique criminal defense firm on June 1, 1986.  They had graduated from Harvard Law School in the same class (1980) and worked together as associates at the small criminal and constitutional litigation firm of Silverglate & Gertner.  After each subsequently enjoyed a successful tour in private solo practice, the two reunited to join forces as Rankin & Sultan.

Rankin & Sultan quickly developed a reputation for providing highly sophisticated and effective criminal defense at both the trial and appellate levels.  Today, Rankin & Sultan is at the forefront of the field, having forged some of the most significant advances in criminal justice in Massachusetts over the past two decades.  Our attorneys practice regularly in state and federal trial courts throughout Massachusetts.  We also practice regularly in state and federal appellate courts in Massachusetts and in other jurisdictions.  The firm is one of very few Boston criminal firms listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

We have been recognized by US News and World Report as one of the best law firms in Boston for non-white-collar and white-collar criminal defense. We have also been named by that publication as one of the best law firms in the United States for appellate advocacy. Both Charlie Rankin and Jamie Sultan have been individually recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Massachusetts Super Lawyers for both non-white-collar and white-collar criminal defense. Both Charlie and Jamie have also received an AB rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest available rating.  Cathy Hinton has been recognized as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly and as a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer.” Kerry Haberlin has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. We are well-known and well-respected by our colleagues and adversaries alike.

Our Approach

As a small firm, Rankin & Sultan provides personal service tailored to the particular needs of each and every client. We have the toughness and energy to take a case to trial, as well as the flexibility to negotiate a favorable result in appropriate cases.

Our overall goal is to provide top quality legal representation and individual attention to our clients in a cost-efficient manner. We consider the best interests of the client to be paramount. After carefully listening to our client’s goals and concerns, we take time to explore and explain alternative approaches so informed decisions can be reached.

We provide comprehensive representation on broadly or narrowly focused areas to help address current problems and avoid potentially adverse consequences. We thoroughly analyze each situation to find sound solutions, often employing creative and innovative approaches to achieve the optimum result. We are proud of our high standards and proven track record.

Our History

Charlie Rankin and Jamie Sultan founded the firm on June 1, 1986. They had graduated from Harvard Law School in the same class (1980) and worked together as associates at the small criminal and constitutional litigation firm of Silverglate & Gertner. After each subsequently enjoyed a successful tour in private solo practice, the two reunited to join forces as Rankin & Sultan.

The partnership was inspired by a mutual passion for litigating criminal and constitutional issues. Charlie and Jamie believe that people facing the awesome power of government and the enormous pitfalls of the criminal justice system are in grave peril and must have an advocate with tremendous zeal to fight for them. So Rankin & Sultan was born—to even the playing field; to safeguard liberty, property, and sometimes life; and to champion fundamental principles of justice, equity, and human dignity.

Rankin & Sultan quickly developed a reputation for providing painstakingly diligent, thoroughly sophisticated, and extremely effective legal counsel. Both Charlie and Jamie have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1991, and the firm is one of very few Boston criminal firms listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers which “lists only the most distinguished law practices—those that have achieved the…highest levels of legal ability…[and] adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.” Today, Rankin & Sultan is at the forefront of the field, having forged some of the most significant advances in criminal justice in Massachusetts over the past three decades. Charlie and Jamie are routinely called upon to speak, teach, and counsel others, from law students to accomplished practitioners.

Though neither Charlie nor Jamie aspires to manage a large firm, increasing demand for their services has led them to grow. Catherine Hinton, who joined the firm in 1996, became a partner in 2002. Kerry Haberlin joined the team in 2008, and became a Senior Associate in 2014.

All four attorneys share a deep personal commitment to top quality work and compassion for every client. The firm maintains a well-organized, tightly-knit, and efficient managerial style.