Senior members of the West Midlands business community have paid heartfelt tributes to one of Birmingham's best-known lawyers who died aged just 49.
Russell Orme, office managing partner for DLA Piper in Birmingham, passed away following a six month battle with cancer.
Mr Orme joined DLA Piper from Edge & Ellison over 15 years ago and was head of corporate before becoming office managing partner in May 2010.
Mark Beardmore, who succeeds Mr Orme as office managing partner of DLA Piper in Birmingham, said: “Russell will be deeply missed by all of his friends and colleagues at DLA Piper and by his clients and the many friends he had within the Birmingham business community.
“His dignity and courage over the past few months has been remarkable. Our thoughts are with his wife Jo and two sons, Matthew and Sam, and we will do all we can to support them at this difficult time.
“His impact on the lives of those that he knew has been immense and we will never forget him.”
Andrew Lancaster, president of Birmingham Law Society, also paid tribute to Mr Orme. He said: “I was saddened to hear of Russell’s untimely death.
"Although at the helm of DLA Birmingham for just two years, Russell joined the firm in 1997 and, alongside Chris Rawstron, took on what was then the city’s ‘Big Four’ law firms. Together they were responsible for turning DLA in to the force it is today. He will be sadly missed.”
As a corporate specialist, Mr Orme built strong relationships with many of the city’s dealmakers, accountants and financiers throughout his career, many of whom considered his as a friend as well as a peer.
Steve Hollis, regional chairman for the Midlands at KPMG, said: “When I returned to the Midlands a couple of years ago, one of my first calls was from Russell whom I had known and worked with in his Edge & Ellison days.
"Russell had just taken on the senior partner role at DLA in Birmingham and his enthusiasm for the challenge that lay ahead was infectious.
"It was an absolute delight to be in the company of a senior business leader who so relished his role.
"His death is a cruel blow not only for his family but for his firm and the wider business community; those who benefited from knowing Russell and particularly those who were under his pupilage are blessed. His memory will live on.