2017 Forty Attorneys Under 40 Presentation

Matthew J. Byrne
Matthew J. Byrne
Odelson & Sterk
▶Municipal, school, litigation, realestate and property tax
40 Under Class – 2017

Matthew Byrne has a knack for saving municipalities money, whether that means defending cities and villages against litigation or handling the legal nuances of combining and restructuring departments.

Not surprisingly, because of this Byrne has earned a large roster of municipal clients who rely on his legal skills. His clients’ loyalty has helped him build one of the busiest municipal law practices in the Chicago area.

Randy Keller, former mayor of the Village of Worth, worked closely with Byrne. During this time, Byrne defended the village against several property tax appeals by businesses and commercial establishments. This was important to the village, which relies on this property tax income to run its daily operations.

“Worth is a small suburban municipality that counts heavily on its sales and property taxes,” Keller said.“When taxes are appealed and the village loses revenue, municipal services suffer. When services suffer, the elected officials cannot provide the quality and quantity of fire, police, public works, recreation and other services our citizens expect and deserve. Matt was very crucial in my efforts in serving the village of Worth.”

Byrne has been equally as important to the Village of Merrionette Park. Dennis Magee, the mayor of the village,said that not only has Byrne helped his village defend itself against lawsuits,but he has also crafted ordinance and business incentive agreements designed to attract new business opportunities to Merrionette Park.

When the village’s Dominick’s grocery store closed, Byrne helped bring a new Jewel food store as a replacement.This, Magee said, was critical to the village’s sales-tax revenue and its budget.

“His knowledge, diligence and aggressive defense of our village have certainly saved us much needed money,” Magee said. “Getting to know many municipal lawyers has made me knowledgeable about Matt’s unique abilities. Very few attorneys do what he does in defense of governments.”

For the Village of Willow Springs,Byrne assisted with the drafting of an intergovernmental agreement consolidating emergency dispatch services.He also helped coordinate the consolidation of the village’s fire department.

Both moves resulted in significant savings for the village.

“Matt exemplifies what it means to be an exceptional attorney, going above and beyond simply performing his job duties,” said William Murray, the former village administrator with Willow Springs. “He always considers the best interests of his clients. When his clients are municipalities such as Willow Springs, this translates into consideration for the residents as well.”

When Byrne is not attending board meetings and assisting municipalities,he finds plenty of time to volunteer in his community. He is active in the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation,Epilepsy Foundation, St. Ignatius Law Society, the Old St. Mary’s Parish and St. Catherine of Alexander Parish.

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