June 05, 2014

American Bar Association Names Venable's Matthew Journy as Its 2014 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer of the Year in Its Young Attorney Category

3 min

Washington, DC (June 5, 2014) — The Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Business Law has named Matthew Journy of the Venable LLP law firm as its 2014 Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer of the Year in the Young Attorney category. This honor is awarded annually by the ABA's Business Law Section to attorneys who have made outstanding contributions to the nonprofit sector or the development of nonprofit law.

Matt is a senior associate in the nonprofit practice in Venable’s Washington, DC office. In his practice, Matt counsels public charities, foundations, trade and professional associations, and other nonprofits on a variety of tax, governance and related matters, including tax planning, tax-exemption applications, IRS audits, appeals and tax litigation, joint ventures, unrelated business income tax, lobbying and political activity, and subsidiary and affiliate relations, among other issues.

A significant portion of Matt's practice involves the representation of nonprofits in tax disputes with the IRS; he has represented clients many times in both the IRS examination stage and the administrative appeals process. If the tax controversy is not resolved administratively, on numerous occasions, Matt has represented clients in litigation in U.S. Tax Court and in U.S. District Court. Matt's track record of success in this area is notable.

Throughout his nine-year legal career, Matt has been exclusively devoted to serving the nonprofit community, first at the TEGE Division of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, then in the national nonprofit practice at the accounting firm of Ernst & Young, and, for the last six years, in Venable’s nonprofit practice.

In that time, Matt has made many significant contributions as a nonprofit tax advocate and advisor to a wide array of nonprofit organizations. He has developed and successfully implemented groundbreaking new legal theories and arguments to successfully resolve protracted IRS audits and tax litigation involving tax-exempt organizations.

In 2010, the IRS published the results of its examinations (audits) of tax-exempt credit counseling organizations to that time. According to the report, the IRS had examined 395 organizations, issuing only 23 "no-change" letters, meaning less than 6 percent of all credit counseling examinations had resulted in no-change letters. At that time, Matt had represented 16 credit counseling organizations in IRS examinations, each of which had received a no-change letter. In addition, he pioneered the use of Internal Revenue Code Section 7428 in resolving tax-exempt status controversies, and has done so successfully on numerous occasions.

Jeff Tenenbaum, chair of Venable’s nonprofit practice and, himself, a 2006 winner of the ABA Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer of the Year Award, said, “We congratulate Matt for this hard-earned and well-deserved honor. Matt has been instrumental in helping to take our nonprofit tax controversy practice to a whole new level of success and accomplishment. His passion, drive, creativity, bold thinking, and deep knowledge of nonprofit tax law make him an invaluable member of our team. We could not be more pleased or proud that the ABA has recognized what we have known all along.”

Matt is a frequent author, speaker and commentator on nonprofit tax law issues, and has been recognized by Legal 500.

Venable has one of the nation’s leading nonprofit law practices, and has been consistently ranked for years as one of the country's most distinguished and accomplished practices in the field.   


Note: Venable is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm serving clients globally. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs around the globe.