Press Releases


Cowan appointed to Royal Oak Township Financial Review Team


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently appointed Plunkett Cooney Partner Dennis G. Cowan to the financial review team to examine the finances of Royal Oak Township.

“I am honored to have been appointed by the governor to the financial review team,” said Cowan, who is member of the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. “I look forward to the challenge of turning around the township’s financial situation and helping officials stabilize the township’s finances for the future.”

Under Public Act 436 of 2012, the Local Fiscal Stability and Choice Act, the appointment of a review team is the second step in the process. Before this step is taken, the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board (ELB) must determine “probable financial stress” exists in a local unit of government following a preliminary review by the Michigan Department of Treasury. The ELB reached that conclusion for the township last month.

A member of Plunkett Cooney’s Real Estate and Environment/Energy/Resources practice groups, Cowan was nominated to the review team by Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Jase Bolger. Cowan focuses his practice primarily on assisting clients in obtaining governmental approvals at the local, county and state levels. He has particular expertise advocating on behalf of clients seeking zoning, site plan and other land use approvals. He also represents clients before state administrative boards and the Michigan Attorney General's office.

Cowan has extensive experience as a public official having served on the Royal Oak City Commission for 14 years, including four-consecutive terms as mayor. He is also a former chair of the Oakland County Republican Party (2004-2008).

A magna cum laude graduate of The Detroit College of Law, Cowan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts/Boston. He 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 Corporate, Banking and Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Under P.A. 436, a review team must report to the Governor within 60 days of its appointment, whether specific statutory conditions exist or are likely to occur, and must determine whether a financial emergency exists in the local government. A review team may request a 30-day extension. A review team’s report is also sent to the State Treasurer, officials of the local government, legislative leaders, and those legislators representing the local government.

Celebrating its centennial this year, Plunkett Cooney employs over 160 attorneys in nine Michigan cities and one each in Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading international directory of law firms, and is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in 2013. Plunkett Cooney has also received several awards naming the firm as a top place to work within the legal industry.

For more information on the governor’s appointments, click here. For more information about Plunkett Cooney partner Dennis G. Cowan’s appointment to the Royal Oak Township Financial Team, contact the firm’s Practice Development Manager John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or

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