David Wallace Russell celebrates 60th anniversary
Blake Lapthorn's current Chairman and Senior Partner, Stephen Murfitt, reflects on the amazing lifetime's service that colleague and mentor David Russell has given to the firm:
"September 2013 marks an important, if not historic, landmark in the history of Blake Lapthorn; David Russell completes 60 years' service with the firm. It has not happened before and is unlikely to occur in the future.
David took his 'A' levels at an early age, and having decided not to go to university, joined the firm [then Blake Lapthorn Roberts and Rea] at the age of 17 years. David had the opportunity to join a London firm, but fortunately for us, decided housing was more affordable in the South than in London. David joined the firm when there were just four partners!
David took his solicitors' finals and was awarded a prize. This early promise soon took the form of a sustained and exceptional contribution made over his entire time with the firm which continues today.
Space does not permit a proper appraisal of the many and varied aspects of David's contribution to the firm. But, there are two aspects which stand out and which should be mentioned:
David put his considerable intellect into building a substantial client base. He attracted clients from every aspect of his life. David remains a past master in knowing how to manage clients, and then to grow and keep a very loyal client base. He has shared these talents with junior members of the firm, encouraging them to be involved within the community, and to be recognised for particular skills. David exercised quite exceptional leadership skills in days when the firm did not have such a recognised management structure. He was the Senior Partner and Managing Partner for a period of 17 years, leading and encouraging numerous projects. He was responsible, with others, for taking the firm from a high street firm to a regional and national firm. New Kings Court and then Harbour Court were very much his ideas. He laid the foundations which others have built upon.
60 years' service is indeed a magnificent achievement. It is more so when such a contribution can still today be seen today as part of the fabric of the firm and so many of us are beneficiaries."