The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
What was your first-ever job? Working for a vending machine company during summer vacations.
What was your worst experience as a trainee?
I was left a voicemail from a partner at 10pm on a Sunday night after returning from holiday saying I had to be in New York at a closing the next morning. Unfortunately I didn’t get the voicemail until the next morning. You can imagine how I felt.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The office manager’s office.
What time do you usually leave the office?
Between 8pm and 9pm.
What do you do at weekends?
Coach youth ice-hockey in Guildford.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Le Gavroche in London.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
A history professor.
What’s your favourite film?
What was the first record you ever bought?
Hot Rocks by the Rolling Stones.
Who’s your hero and why?
Ken Dryden - Canadian MP, author, lawyer and one of the greatest ice-hockey netminders in the game.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The interesting matters I work on and the people I work with.
What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The hours and the travel.
What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not spending enough time on a pitch and losing the mandate. I learnt not to leave anything to chance.
What car do you drive?
Mercedes ML 280 CDI.
What book are you currently reading?
D-Day by Antony Beevor.
What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
My iPod and an air-conditioner.
What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Two consecutive all-nighters.
What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
The restructuring of Cordiant in 2003. It turned from a restructuring into a hostile acquisition and was a fantastic result for our clients.
What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
The Goodwin Hotel in Hartford, Connecticut. It was 500 yards from our office and snowing and raining in November.
If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Michael Douglas, because he looks good in braces.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
I enjoy tropical weather; I worked in Washington DC for a US senate committee; I’ve coached England national youth ice-hockey teams of different age groups.
Name: Barry Russell
Firm: Bingham McCutchen
Title: Partner and head of the London finance group
Lives: Woking, Surrey
1985: BA, Le Moyne College
1988: Juris Doctor, University of Connecticut School of Law
1988-91: Associate, Day Berry & Howard, Connecticut
1991-96: Associate and counsel, Hebb & Gitlin, Connecticut
1996-99: Partner, Hebb & Gitlin, Connecticut and London