Awards & Recognition
January 24, 2014

Missouri Lawyers Weekly today honored Polsinelli Chairman Russ Welsh with its prestigious Law Firm Leader award at the newspaper’s annual awards luncheon in St. Louis at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark. Welsh is one of two firm executives in the state chosen for “demonstrating extraordinary vision, innovation and leadership during the year.” During his tenure as chairman, Polsinelli has grown to more than 700 attorneys in 18 cities nationwide.

“I am honored by the award, but our firm could not have achieved the success it has today without the efforts of our business-minded attorneys and hard-working staff,” Welsh said. “And above all, we thank our clients who have helped make us who we are today as a national firm.”

In 2013, Polsinelli continued its steady, strategic path of success by expanding into new markets and by adding 104 attorneys nationwide to meet clients’ needs. The firm currently has more than 700 attorneys in 18 cities including Atlanta were the firm opened an office on January 1, 2014. Polsinelli has been ranked by The American Lawyer magazine as the fastest-growing law firm in America over a five-year period.

“To grow strategically, you have to have a vision of what you want to accomplish, but you also need to understand the assets you have and take advantage of them to expand and differentiate yourself from your competition,” Welsh said. “We identified key practice areas where we could be particularly strong, focusing on finding practical solutions for clients in health care, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, energy and business litigation matters.”

Welsh became chairman of Polsinelli in 1998 when the firm had approximately 90 attorneys. Following a merger in 2009, and with the ongoing office growth, the firm now serves clients across a wide range of practice areas from offices throughout the United States and stretching from coast to coast. Last fall, the firm opened its national headquarters, Plaza Vista, on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City which turned an abandoned eyesore into a jewel on the Plaza’s west side. The American Institute of Architects of Kansas City (AIA KC) honored Welsh and the firm as the 2013 Architectural Advocate of the Year Award for “outstanding support of excellence in architecture and design.”

“Russ has proven himself to be a forward-thinking businessman, accomplished lawyer and the builder of a great law firm,” said Jim Polsinelli, who founded Polsinelli in 1972 with three attorneys. “He has taken our firm to a whole new level and still found time to be an outstanding community and civic leader.”

In addition to leading the firm 2013, Welsh also served as the chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and on the boards of the Community Blood Center and Starlight Theatre. He is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the Civic Council of Kansas City.

Welsh is past president of the Board of Trustees of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Mid-America Chapter. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and the Kansas City Area Development Council. He is a former Chairman of an American Bar Association Products Liability Sub-Committee.

Prior to his CEO responsibilities, Welsh chaired the firm’s Litigation Department. He also practiced as a trial attorney in the areas of product liability, business torts, trade secrets, commercial, and bankruptcy litigation.

This is the second time Welsh has been named Law Firm Leader by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. In 2011, the editorial board also chose him for the prestigious honor.

For more information contact Public Relations Manager Heather McMichael, 816-223-8780,

About Polsinelli

real challenges. real answers.SM Serving corporations, institutions, entrepreneurs, and individuals, our attorneys build enduring relationships by providing legal counsel informed by business insight to help clients achieve their objectives. This commitment to understanding our clients' businesses has helped us become the fastest growing law firm in the U.S. for the past five years, according to the leading legal business and law firm publication, The American Lawyer. Our more than 700 attorneys in 18 cities work with clients nationally to address the challenges of their roles in health care, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, energy and business litigation. The firm can be found online at Polsinelli PC. In California, Polsinelli LLP.