James K. Cowan Jr.

Jim Cowan portrait image

Jim is the Chairman of CowanPerry PC. His practice focuses on representing management in the full spectrum of labor & employment related issues confronted by employers in today’s workplace, handling complex business litigation matters and representing property owners and developers on land use issues, and commercial real estate projects. He represents a wide range of employers, business owners and developers in the region, ranging from high-tech start-ups to large manufacturers, and from local property owners to national developers.

He has over twenty years of trial experience representing employers in non-compete litigation, myriad types of business and partnership disputes, and the waterfront of employment-related litigation, including employee benefits and ERISA claims.

Over the course of his career, he has represented companies in federal and state courts across Virginia in commercial litigation and in the defense of wrongful discharge claims, including disability, age, family medical leave, sexual harassment, race, and gender under the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Family Medical Leave Act and Fair Labor Standards Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. §1981; and before the Virginia Supreme Court on appellate matters. Jim also represents employers before the NLRB, the EEOC and the Virginia Employment Commission. Additionally, he specializes in the preparation of affirmative action plans and responding to OFCCP and other Department of Labor audits.

Jim serves as General Counsel to the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, and is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the New River Valley Society for Human Resource Management and New River Land Trust. He is a frequent speaker and corporate trainer, and an active member of the Virginia State Bar. He has been recognized repeatedly over ten years by “The Best Lawyers in America”[since 2006 to present]; and as a Virginia “Super Lawyer”[Rising Star 2007-2009; and since 2010 to present].  Additionally, he has been named to Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite.”


Lorman Distinguished Faculty Member


540.443.2860 Blacksburg Direct
540.777.3460 Roanoke Direct
540.239.3810 Mobile



Washington & Lee University School of Law, JD, 1994
– Law Review, Notes and Comments Editor, 1993-94, Staff Writer, 1992-93; Omicron Delta Kappa
Towson University, BS, English, 1991, summa cum laude
– Omicron Delta Kappa


U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Virginia
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia