Firm celebrates anniversary with 100 Acts of Kindness

When newly minted attorney Frederick J. Ward received his license to practice law in Michigan 100 years ago on July 18, little did he know that the office he opened in downtown Detroit's Dime Building would become Plunkett Cooney, one of the largest and most accomplished law firms in the Midwest.

According to Plunkett Cooney's current President & CEO Henry B. Cooney, the firm's history of steady growth and success was built upon such core values as service, integrity, excellence and family. In this, the firm's centennial anniversary year, he added that the key to longevity in the legal industry is a singular focus on client service and results.

"Our attorneys and staff understand that they are in the relationship business. They also know that trust is something that is earned every day," said Cooney, the son of one of the firm's founding partners, William P. Cooney. "By staying true to our founding principles, I believe the firm is positioned to continue on as a leader in the legal industry for the next 100 years."

The theme of Plunkett Cooney's centennial celebration is "A Century of Distinctive Service," which focuses on its long-standing tradition of community involvement. Since Jan. 1, firm employees have been engaged in a campaign to complete 100 Acts of Kindness (AOKs).

Attorneys and staff are teaming up across the firm's 11 offices in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana to complete the 100 coordinated AOKs during the centennial. At the half-way point of the year, firm members have generated more than 80 AOK ideas and have completed more than 50 coordinated acts, which must involve two or more Plunketteers and their family members.

These AOK activities range from serving food at local soup kitchens, to raising funds for special education programs, to planting trees in area parks. The 100 Acts of Kindness campaign is coordinated by partners Ellen Bartman Jannette and Richard G. Szymczak of the firm's Bloomfield Hills and Flint offices, respectively.

"It has been really amazing to watch our attorneys and support staff come together and get behind this effort," said Jannette, who also chairs the firm's Women's Initiative Committee. "We are more than half way to our 100 AOK goal, and it has been a privilege to make a difference in the communities in which we work and live."

The firm is also planning two centennial events for its clients and employees. First up is a special employee gathering on Saturday, July 27, at the Detroit Historical Museum. Attorneys and staff will enjoy a strolling "taste of Detroit" dinner at the museum, which will feature displays about the firm's history alongside exhibits about the city's rich past.

A client reception is also scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC), one of the city's most venerable institutions.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney's 100 Acts of Kindness and centennial celebrations, contact the firm's Practice Development Manager John E. Cornwell at 248-901-4008 or

Published: Mon, Jul 22, 2013