Legal Publication names Cowan among ‘Leaders in the Law’

Plunkett Cooney partner Dennis G. Cowan was recently nominated as a member of the Class of 2020 “Leaders in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly (MLW), an industry publication serving the state’s legal community.

Cowan and the 29 other honorees were selected for, among other things, their significant contributions to the practice of law in Michigan, their expertise and their leadership in improving the state’s justice system, as well as seeking improvements to the legal and local communities and setting an example for other lawyers.

The 12th Annual Leaders in the Law awards ceremony will be held virtually on Aug. 3 starting at 6 p.m. The “Lawyer of the Year,” as selected by a vote of the class, will be announced during the COVID-compliant online event. All of the 2020 honorees will also be profiled in a special section of the MLW issue that will be distributed beforehand.

A Co-leader of the firm’s Governmental Affairs and Business Planning & Transactions practice groups, Cowan has the distinction of having previously served as President & CEO of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest full-service law firms.

Currently, Cowan focuses his legal practice on obtaining governmental approvals for clients at the local, county and state levels. He has particular experience advocating on behalf of clients who are seeking zoning, site plan and other land use approvals. Cowan also represents clients before state administrative boards, as well as with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

Additional areas of his expertise include banking law, business law and transactions and cannabis law.

A 1984 magna cum laude graduate of the Detroit College of Law, now known as the Michigan State University College of Law, Cowan has been involved in some of the state’s largest and most significant business deals, including a bid to build a Detroit casino, securing approvals for multi-million-dollar developments in suburban communities, and assisting with the financing package that helped make the city of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” bankruptcy possible in 2014.

Cowan, who received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts/Boston in 1978, is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association; the Real Property Law, Corporation and Business Law, and Public Corporations Law sections of the State Bar of Michigan; and the State and Local Government Section of the American Bar Association.

During his more than 30 years of practice, Cowan served 14 years as a member of the Royal Oak City Commission. After six years as a City Commissioner, he was elected and served four consecutive two-year terms as Royal Oak Mayor. As a result of his extensive experience as a public official, Cowan offers a unique perspective to advising clients on legal issues related to all levels of government.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 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.

For more information about Dennis Cowan’s selection as a 2020 Leader in the Law, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or via email at jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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Cowan elected Plunkett Cooney’s new President & CEO

Cowan elected Plunkett Cooney’s new President & CEO

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Sept.16, 2015 – The shareholders of Plunkett Cooney – one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms – have elected their colleague, attorney Dennis G. Cowan, as the firm’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

Cowan, an accomplished business and government affairs attorney in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, will begin his three-year term on Jan. 1, 2016. He will succeed Plunkett Cooney’s longtime President & CEO, Henry B. Cooney, who has served in the role since 1998.

“I’m honored that my partners have placed their confidence in me to lead the firm,” said Cowan, who previously served in firm management as Business Law Department Leader. “Today’s legal environment is a challenging one, and I look forward to continuing the firm’s strategic focus on obtaining the right result for our clients in every engagement we undertake.”

The election of Cowan as the firm’s new managing partner is part of a firm succession plan. Cooney, who is required by firm governance rules to step down from leadership at age 65, would not be eligible to complete another three-year term had he run for reelection. Cooney will remain a partner of the firm and will transition his role with the firm over the next year.

Cowan is a member of the firm’s Real Estate/Transactional and Governmental Affairs practice groups, where he specializes in assisting clients with real estate projects that involve approvals at the local, county and state levels. He also has extensive expertise representing clients before county and state boards and the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

Cowan’s practice has been wide ranging and includes such noteworthy accomplishments as representing foundation clients in the Detroit bankruptcy “Grand Bargain” transaction, serving the City of Pontiac as lead counsel while under the supervision of a state-appointed emergency financial manager, and successfully completing numerous multi-million-dollar development projects in the metropolitan Detroit region.

Cowan also has the distinction of having previously served 14 years as an elected member of the Royal Oak City Commission, including four two-year terms as Mayor from 1993 to 2001. In addition, he has been appointed by former Michigan Gov. John Engler and Gov. Rick Snyder to several state boards and committees.

A 1984 graduate of the Detroit College of Law, Cowan said Plunkett Cooney’s three-state footprint provides the firm with a distinctive service advantage.

“Our depth and breadth of experience in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio gives us the ability to assign matters to attorneys who have extensive knowledge of the local courts and industries,” Cowan said. “Whether in the boardroom or the courtroom, our Plunkett Cooney team delivers value to clients by helping them achieve their strategic objectives.”

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm, which provides a range of transactional and litigation services, has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. Fortune magazine has also named Plunkett Cooney among the top commercial firms in the United States.

For more information about the election of Dennis G. Cowan as Plunkett Cooney’s new President & CEO, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.