Herbert Smith owes a lot to David Willis. Had the London-based corporate partner not risked nuclear contamination the firm may not have secured Russia's leading tax lawyer Oleg Konnov and M&A specialist Alexi Roudiak (The Lawyer, 22 January).
Willis advised on the creation of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and is currently advising the Government on its nuclear clean-up programme. He was also a passenger on one of the BA aeroplanes grounded at Heathrow after fears they were contaminated with Polonium-210 - the radioactive substance used to poison former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
Commenting on his lucky escape, Willis said his trips to Russia probably exposed him to more radiation than during all the time he's been handling nuclear deals.