Five minutes with CooneyLeesMorgan solicitor Cameron Russell.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
After having badly injuring my back whilst snowboarding when I was 16 it became apparent that being a pro snowboarder was off the cards. Once that was off the cards the choice was between being a farmer or heading off to Law School – I chose the latter as I felt that I would make more impact and the thought of 5 years at Otago University was a very attractive proposal.
How long have you worked at CooneyLeesMorgan and what brought you to this position?
I have worked at CLM for 2.5 years in total. I did an initial 2 year stint before heading up to the big smoke then overseas. Whilst away, I kept in touch with the team and, when it came time to return home to the bay, there was never a question as to where I wanted to work.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
Acting for the offshore purchasers when they purchased the Crafar farms. There were so many twists and turns and it was in the media spotlight the whole time.
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Obama - I reckon he would have plenty to say. Dr. Suess – he would be a real trip to talk to and Nelson Mandela - because he achieved so much in his life.
You’re based in Tauranga – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
I am a fan of the Phoenix in Tauranga or, if I am heading over to the Mount then Mount Brewing Co is my place of choice.
What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
Recognising what you do not know is more important than demonstrating what you do know.
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Outside of work I am a very outdoors type of person I am always keen to give anything a go that gets the adrenalin pumping. I am keen on hunting, fishing, mountain biking, snowboarding, running, golf etc.
In addition to these hobbies I am extremely interested in the property market and have a number of rental properties that seem to take up a fair bit of my time.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
a property developer.
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2016?
Secuirty of information. With our greater reliance on technology and all information being stored “in the cloud” it is no more important than ever that our digital security protocols are up to spec. The recent Panama papers leak brought this issue back to the floor.
If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Play golf with Obama.
What do you love about your job?
Helping others achieve things that they may not otherwise be able to do achieve. I also really enjoy teaching others.
What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Other than going back to offices (we are open plan) there is nothing that I would change.