Cowan elected new president and CEO at Plunkett Cooney


The shareholders of Plunkett Cooney have elected 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 and 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.”