CLLA was founded by William C. Sprague. The first convention, which was held in Detroit, attracted 400 men and women, including lawyers, credit men, collection agents and list and directory publishers.

William C. Sprague

Founder, President, CLLA, 1895-96

Permanent headquarters established in Chicago. League adopts First Uniform Rate Schedule and Canons of Professional Ethics, which had been adopted by the American Bar Association in 1908.


Code of Ethics Established

The “League Bulletin of the Commercial Law League of America,” is published and later splinters to create the Commercial Law World magazine, that remains in print today.


Member Magazine Created

CLLA Mission & History

The CLLA, founded in 1895, is the nation’s oldest trusted legal network of attorneys, actively engaged in the field of commercial collections and bankruptcy.

The CLLA is not just an association, but a League of professionals continually striving to be the leader in providing legal, educational and professional services to the business and credit communities.

The CLLA connects its members through networking events, professional educational opportunities, legislative advocacy and specialized legal services.

The CLLA membership is comprised of national and international attorneys, from large and small firms, who handle commercial law, bankruptcy, insolvency, retail collections, construction law, fraud, and complex commercial litigation matters. Membership also includes collection agency members, law list publishers, commercial credit professionals, judges from nearly every state, accountants, trustees, turnaround managers and other credit and finance experts, and vendors.

The CLLA has long been associated with the representation of creditor interests and is known for seeking fair, equitable, and efficient administration of collection and bankruptcy cases for all parties-in-interest.

The CLLA is also a founding sponsor of the American Board of Certification (ABC), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the public and improving the quality of the bankruptcy and creditor’s rights law bars. The ABC has certified nearly 3,000 attorneys in consumer and business bankruptcy and creditors rights law nationwide.