Travers Smith opts for 'stability and continuity' as it re-elects senior partner for second term

Kathleen Russ's second term will see her leading firm through to July 2025
A headshot of Kathleen Russ

Kathleen Russ Photo courtesy of Travers Smith

Top 35 UK firm Travers Smith has elected Kathleen Russ to a second term as senior partner, effective from July next year.

Russ was first elected in 2019, having previously been head of the firm’s tax department, where she has been a partner for more than two decades. She has also helped shape the firm’s business strategy as a member of its partnership board and co-chaired the firm’s international board, as well as chairing its diversity and inclusion board and the firm’s audit committee.

Russ said: “The last few years have thrown up a number of challenges no one could have anticipated, and as we move beyond the pandemic, but into increasingly uncertain economic times, it is more important than ever that we focus on investing in our future and our people.”

She added that the firm will be ramping up its focus on core practice areas, including international alternative asset management, cross-border M&A and global disputes and investigations work.

The firm said that over the past two years it has acted on more than 130 private and public M&A transactions and more than 160 private equity transactions while, during Russ’s tenure, it has grown its cross-practice asset management business by more than a third.

Edmund Reed, who took over from David Patient as the firm’s managing partner in July last year, said: “[Russ’s] re-election signals the stability and continuity of the firm’s leadership and the confidence of the partnership in the firm’s direction, particularly reassuring in the turbulent times we are all living through. I am excited to continue working closely on the ambitious projects and initiatives we have already embarked upon together.”

The firm promoted 11 to partnership in May – a record round – while it also appointed its first dedicated pro bono partner, with the pro bono practice tripling in size over the past two years. The pro bono practice has launched a number of initiatives, including the Domestic Abuse Response Alliance, which represents survivors of domestic abuse who are not eligible for legal aid and can’t afford private representation. The firm has also established a cross-practice ESG group that includes more than 50 lawyers and 15 partners from across the firm.

Revenues increased 5% during the past financial year to £195m, though profit per equity partner dropped slightly to £1.1m from £1.22m a year earlier.

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