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Going the extra mile, and then some — meet partner David Scott

As a firm, we talk about going the extra mile for clients, but there’s one team member who’s taken that more literally than most: partner David Scott.

David’s been with the firm since 2003 and specialises in planning and licensing law, alongside general commercial property work.

And, outside of work too he’s pretty busy, from running around 60 races of at least marathon distance (so far) to channelling his love of hillwalking to help bring about a significant change in the law.

We caught up with him recently to find out more.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’ve served long stints with a number of organisations including the environmental charity, Aberdeen Forward, I’ve chaired the local branch of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, worked with the local church, and organised more Burns Suppers than I can count over the years.

However my mid-life crisis took the form of a new-found love of running, starting with 5k and 10k events, before building up to marathons and ultra-marathons.

I’ve now completed close to 60 races of marathon distance or longer, including the 238-mile Race Across Scotland in 2018. My latest adventure was a race which began in a small town called Meriden, in the centre of England. The objective was to get as far away as possible on foot in 24 hours, whilst wearing an orange jumpsuit.

It must have made for an interesting sight to see several hundred escapees all traversing the countryside in an effort to cover the most distance. Route planning was key, in terms of choosing the straightest roads, but starting at midnight was a killer in terms of tiredness, and I ended up napping on a bench in a random hotel at 5am. At just over 70 miles, I didn’t travel as far as I hoped, but it was still a good day out.

My love of running led me to set up a new running club, The Fit Like Joggers, in 2016, and this has grown into one of the biggest sporting clubs in the north east, with hundreds of participants taking part in 11 organised runs a week.

The club’s focus on inspiring beginner runners has led to a number of awards, including the Pride of Aberdeen Award for Sporting Achievement, and the recent Community Sports Project award at the Aberdeen Sports Awards.

What’s your proudest career moment?

From my early days in law, I was keen to engage with the wider legal community and joined the management committee of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen. After serving a number of years on the committee, I was asked to stand as president and ultimately became the youngest president in the society’s 450-year history.

At the recent annual dinner, I was awarded the prestigious title of Advocate of the Year, for combining legal work with community and charitable activities.

Tell us something surprising that people wouldn’t know about you

When I was at university, I wrote my dissertation on public access rights to land, comparing Scotland with other European countries.

I worked closely with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland to produce policy papers, and guidance, which initially went on to form an “access concordat” and was then used to lobby the Scottish Executive on land reform. This eventually resulted in the introduction of the “Right to Roam” in Scotland in 2003.

Little did I think that my love of hillwalking would go on to play a small role in such a significant change in the law.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My notarial motto is ‘Plus Est En Vous’, meaning “there is more in you”. I like to think we’re all capable of more than we believe. This is as true in our working life, and our friendships as it is in a sporting context. Don’t be afraid to push beyond your boundaries.

After all, all the best things happen outside your comfort zone.

Posted, 28 November 2019 Categories: Us