Dean of Illinois Municipal Law Finds New Home

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Byline: Bob Susnjara Daily Herald Staff Writer

With the addition of just one veteran municipal attorney, a national law firm now possesses what's believed to be the largest portfolio of suburban governments in the area.

Jack Siegel, an attorney for 52 years who's been dubbed the "Dean of Illinois Municipal Law," joined the Chicago office of Holland & Knight firm last week, walking in with three major suburbs and a small village in his briefcase.

Arlington Heights, Evanston and Schaumburg have entered Holland & Knight's stable of 18 towns in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties. Riverwoods was the other municipality Siegel brought to Holland & Knight.

Holland & Knight's executive partner in its Chicago office, Steven Elrod, said Siegel's addition cements its dominance in local government representation. Siegel had been with Altheimer & Gray, which is dissolving.

"We want for (Siegel) to be as active as he desires," Elrod said. "He's one of the most genuine men I've ever met."

Siegel, 77, of Wilmette, said he doesn't plan to slow down anytime soon. He said his main role will be to focus on Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Riverwoods and Evanston.

Holland & Knight's attention to municipal law is what prompted Siegel to pick that firm over others he could have joined.

"I've litigated with them and against them," Siegel said. "And frankly, there are not too many firms that do this sort of (municipal law) thing."

Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Rolek is the other major municipal law player in the Chicago area. Ancel Glink is just behind Holland & Knight with about 15 suburban governments on its client list, although it has at least 27 suburban park districts.

When it comes to snagging suburban governments, Ancel Glink President Stewart Diamond said his firm has advantages over Holland & Knight, which has offices around the country and 1,250 attorneys involved in 100 areas of law. …