Detroit Regional Chamber > Member News > Former House Speaker Tom Leonard to launch Plunkett Cooney’s government relations group

Former House Speaker Tom Leonard to launch Plunkett Cooney’s government relations group

March 2, 2020
Former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Tom Leonard has joined Plunkett Cooney – one of the Midwest’s oldest and most accomplished law firms – as a partner and leader of the firm’s new Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Practice Group.

“I’m extremely pleased to welcome the former Speaker to our firm,” said Plunkett Cooney’s President & CEO Thomas P. Vincent. “Tom’s knowledge of the state’s political system and business community will be invaluable in helping our clients navigate legislative and regulatory issues and to create more effective business strategies.”

Plunkett Cooney’s new Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Practice Group will focus on policy development, strategic collaboration, building relationships and coalitions, legislative monitoring, and bill tracking. Leonard will lead a team of Plunkett Cooney attorneys in the East Lansing office who share his passion for public affairs, solving problems and tackling cutting edge issues. To better assist these efforts, the firm will be re-locating its East Lansing office to Lansing in the near future.

“Plunkett Cooney is one of the Midwest’s top law firms, and its reputation is second-to-none,” said Leonard. “This is a tremendous opportunity to lead a dedicated team and build out a top-notch government relations and regulatory practice focused on meaningful policy reforms and long-lasting solutions.

“As a legislator, business owner and now attorney at Plunkett Cooney, my focus has always remained the same – helping propel the State of Michigan toward becoming a Top 10 location for businesses and families. This is the right role at the right time to continue that work and continue to make a significant impact on our State’s future.”

Leonard served three terms in the House of Representatives. In his third and final term, his colleagues unanimously selected him to serve as Michigan’s 75th House Speaker. Prior to running for public office, Leonard served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan and as a prosecutor in Genesee County where he was assigned to the Special Crimes Division. Leonard graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2007 and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2004.

As a legislator, Leonard earned a reputation as a straight shooter who often worked across the aisle to solve complex problems. Reforming Michigan’s teacher pension fund, creating a bi-partisan task force to tackle Michigan’s broken mental health system, updating “Kevin’s Law,” ending driver’s responsibility fees, modernizing the State’s health insurance code, and re-writing the State’s preliminary exam law are just some of his signature achievements during his tenure.

In 2019, Leonard founded “MiStrategies, LLC, a public policy development and strategic collaboration firm that partnered with companies, associations, and industry advocates committed to making Michigan a “top-10 state.” The MiStrategies portfolio focused on public policy initiatives like insurance, criminal justice reform, mental health, transportation, infrastructure, tax policy, public safety, and education – all key building blocks for Michigan’s long-term success.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 140 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about former Michigan Speaker of the House of Representatives Tom Leonard joining Plunkett Cooney as leader of the Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Practice Group, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;