As a member of the Real Estate, Development & Construction team, Russell brings extensive contact with the federal government to his legal guidance and counsel. He spent more than 30 years on Capitol Hill and working with federal agencies before joining the firm.
Russell served as general counsel for the Committee on Small Business for the U.S. House of Representatives from 2004 to 2011. His responsibilities included oversight of the Small Business Administration and other federal contract and procurement programs. He managed the committee’s investigations and program audits, prepared committee hearings, drafted bills and amendments, and assisted in rules committee and House floor debates. Russell was subcommittee staff director and counsel from 1984 to 1992. During that time, he led the procurement subcommittee, which had jurisdiction over billions of dollars of federal acquisitions. The subcommittee also reauthorized and expanded the Small Business Innovation Research Program, a $2 billion effort to nurture new technology and move it into private manufacturing and production.
From 1995 to 2004, Russell was assistant chief counsel for the Office of the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. During his tenure, he was responsible for preparing office positions on all legislative and regulatory tax policy issues, including regulatory challenges under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. He prepared comment letters on proposed administration policy statements and testimony for congressional hearings. Russell also participated in key national events, including the White House Conference on Small Business and the annual Securities and Exchange Commission’s Small Business Capital Formation Forum.
Russell came to Washington in 1978 as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri. In this role, he developed and implemented legislative strategy in issue areas, including tax, business, budget and financial services. He also coordinated the congressman’s oversight and involvement with federal business development programs, appropriations and procurement contracts in Missouri.
Russell also served as the chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who was later elected to the U.S. Senate, from 1993 to 1995. In this position, he managed a staff of 20, including her Washington and district offices.
Before his work with Congress, Russell was in private practice in Kansas City, Mo., and also with a law firm in Tulsa, Okla., from 1974 to 1978.