Travers Smith senior partner to step down

Kathleen Russ to remain at London firm as a consultant after stepping down in June
A headshot of Kathleen Russ

Kathleen Russ Photo courtesy of Travers Smith

Kathleen Russ is to step down as senior partner of London law firm Travers Smith next month following a period of leave for exceptional family reasons.

Russ, who was re-elected for a second term as senior partner last November, will return to the role on a part-time basis next week and will share responsibilities with Siân Keall, who has served as acting senior partner since January. 

Travers said Russ will stand down as senior partner 30 June but will remain at the firm as a consultant, focusing on areas including ESG and D&I.  

Meantime Keall will continue as acting senior partner and as chair of Travers’ of partnership board, which Russ previously helmed, until the autumn, when the firm will hold elections for the next senior partner. 

A Travers spokesperson said the partnership board recognised the significant contribution Russ had made to the firm over more than 20 years, adding they were “delighted” she would be staying on as a consultant. 

Russ has been a tax partner at Travers since 2001 and led the tax team for almost a decade from 2007, during which time she built the practice into a key business area for the firm. She took over as managing partner in 2019 from veteran leader Chris Hale and was due to begin her second term in July.

Keall is also a Travers veteran, having joined in 1994. She is a partner in the firm’s employment team and is also a member of its D&I board. 

Travers’ managing partner, Edmund Reed, commented: "We are delighted to welcome Kath back after her leave of absence for exceptional family reasons and the inevitable impact of those circumstances on Kath. 

“We prioritise the wellbeing of our people ahead of anything else, and enabling Kath to share the responsibilities of the Senior Partner role with Siân will allow her to balance her personal situation at home with the time-pressures that can come from performing the Senior Partner role, at a leading city law firm."

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