Percy H. Russell, 69, a communications lawyer in Washington for many years, died Friday at George Washington University Hospital after a long illness.

Born in Washington, he was a graduate of Central High School where he had been president of his class. He then graduate from Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

Mr. Russell served for four years as clerk to the late Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo.

In 1936, Mr. Russell joined the Washington office of the Chicago-based law firm of Kirkland, Fleming, Green. Martin and Ellis. He later became head of the office. He retired in 1974.

Mr. Russell had been presidnet of the Federal Communications Bar Association and was active in the American and D.C. Bar associations.

He was a member of the National Alumni Council of Dartmouth College and of the executive board of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts.

He belonged to the Metropolitan Club. the Columbia, Kenwood and Farmington country clubs and Ocean Reef Club in the Florida Keys, where he had a winter home. He was a member of Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church.

Mr. Russell had served as a lieutenant commander with the Navy in World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Wilson, of the home in Washington: a son, Percy H. Jr., of Silver Spring; two daughters, Patricia Binnie, of Toronto, Ont., and Andrea Beaubien, of Ottawa: a stepdaughter, Barbara Dempster, of Ridgefield, Conn.: a stepson, William H. Fitz. of Sumner, Md.; a brother, William R. of Lake Worth, Flag two sisters. Mrs. Carl F. Myers of Clairmont, Fla., and Constance R. Rachlin, of Lake Barcroft, and 10 grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.