Russ to step down as Travers Smith senior partner

Kathleen Russ has taken the decision to step down as senior partner of Travers Smith, following a leave of absence for ‘exceptional family reasons’.

Russ (pictured) will return to her role as senior partner in a part time capacity, sharing responsibilities with Siân Keall, who has been acting senior partner since January. Russ will stand down as a partner and senior partner on 30th June, after which she will remain as a consultant at Travers, focusing on areas of strategic importance such as ESG, D&I and client listening.

The firm will hold an election for a senior partner successor in the autumn, after the summer break. Keall will continue in the role of acting senior partner until the election.

Russ first took on the role of senior partner in July 2019, succeeding long term leader Chris Hale. She has been a tax partner at Travers since 2001, leading the tax team from July 2007 to January 2017. Russ was re-elected for a second term as senior partner in November 2022.

Keall is a partner in the firm’s employment department and a member of its diversity & inclusion board.

A spokesperson for Travers Smith said: ‘The partnership board recognises that Kathleen has made a significant contribution to Travers, and they are delighted that she will be continuing as a consultant.’

Edmund Reed, managing partner of Travers, said: ‘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 Keall 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.’

This article first appeared on Legal Business