Queenstown-based lawyer Scott Donaldson loves what some might describe at THE Stones, Manchester indie pop band The Stone Roses who triggered an almighty wave of media hype and public adulation when they released their self-titled debut album in 1989, with its 60s and dance influenced vibes and Jackson Pollock artwork. It caught the mood of the time with the techno scene of the late 80s making its way into the indie rock scene.
“There’s something about British music, but I can’t quite put my finger on why I love it,” Scott says.
The Stone Roses were part of the so-called Madchester scene coined by pop impresario Tony Wilson to promote his label bands, with others such as The Charlatans, James and The Happy Mondays lumped in, all of whom find favour with Scott as do other English acts like The Cure and The The and radio-friendly Americans Talking Heads.
Ten days away from absolutely everything
On the day he was doing this interview, 36-year-old Scott was jetting up to Auckland to spend ten days on a silent meditation retreat where he was due to spend 12 hours a day meditating.
“There’s no reading, or writing or listening to anything. I’ve done it before, you just live like a monk for ten days. It helps your clarity of mind so you can live a more purposeful life instead of being drawn into meaningless things. It’s about de-cluttering the mind and getting rid of the rubbish in there. It helps you with stressful situations and keeps you away from distractions and instead focus on the things that matter. I think it makes you a better listener, you don’t feel you have to talk so much so you can listen to what you’re being told by clients. It really helps me a lot in my work.”
Scott specialises in property, commercial and some civil litigation with AWS Legal in Queenstown having moved up from his home town of Invercargill.
He studied at Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted in Invercargill in 2013.
Scott says he was attracted to the law as he likes to deal with complicated situations and help people with their issues. He also says he was attracted by the writing aspect which he enjoys.
There was no history in his family of lawyers, with his mother a nurse and his father a school teacher. He has a sister Hannah who is a doctor and a brother James who is an engineer. Both his siblings now live in Queensland.
The pull of the crease
Scott plays cricket for Invercargill team Appleby CC which recently reached the final of the ILT Premier League 50-over competition.
He has organised two trans-Tasman series featuring New Zealand lawyers against their Australian counterparts with the Holroyd Cup at stake and is now organising the 2020 Lawyers’ World Cup to be held in Hamilton from 29 December to 9 January along with Waikato barrister Roddie Sim.
“We are expecting around 300 people in total including families, coaches and supporters, with 16 teams, including two representing New Zealand.” The teams will come from some of the top cricketing nations including England, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia, with some nations’ teams split into barristers and solicitors.
Scott helped form the New Zealand Lawyers’ Cricket Association to facilitate the trans-Tasman series and the Lawyers’ World Cup. It is looking for sponsors, players and volunteers who want to be involved. Anyone who can should call Scott on 03 441 0616 or email him at email@example.com.
Scott is a wicket-keeper and batsman who captained New Zealand in the two series against Australia. He comes from a family with a long tradition of involvement in the sport. His father and uncles were players and his grandmother, Emily Donaldson, was on the New Zealand women’s team in the late 1930s which toured Australia.
Emily – who was generally known as Betty – helped form the Collegiate women’s cricket team after the war and famously took seven wickets in consecutive balls in a club match. She was also a top netball player representing Southland and was thought to be good enough to be called-up by the national team, and also played basketball for the region.
“She was a pretty amazing person and very community orientated,” says Scott of his granny, who is far left, middle row in the photograph.
“Her sister was Jeff Wilson’s grandmother - he’s my second cousin. Jeff was also a member of the Appleby Cricket Club. Jeff’s brother and his dad and uncle were very good cricketers for Appleby.”
Scott studied law at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands for six months and while there he visited Germany, France and Italy. He has also flashed his passport in Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand.
The family has a bach in the Stewart Island so there are regular trips over the Foveaux Strait where he spends time going on long walks and looking for native fauna such as kiwi.