David Scott O.C., Q.C.

In Memoriam

In honour of David W. Scott O.C., Q.C.

It is with great sadness that BLG announces the passing of national co-chair and senior counsel David Scott, O.C., Q.C., on March 21 at the age of 83 after a brief and courageous battle with lupus and respiratory complications.

Admitted to the bar in 1962 and appointed Queen’s Counsel 14 years later, Mr. Scott became one of Canada’s most distinguished and preeminent trial and appellate lawyers, handling cases in criminal law, intellectual property, administrative law, complex commercial matters, and appearing wherever an extraordinary advocate was needed. Although he represented Prime Ministers and heads of multinational companies on matters of significant importance, he was a tireless champion of access to justice. He was co-founder of Pro Bono Law Ontario and served as its Chair for several years. Most recently, he fought passionately for sustainable funding for PBLO’s Law Help Centres to ensure that all people have a voice within the legal system. In recognition of his contribution to the cause of advancing pro bono legal services, he received the Lexpert Lifetime Achievement Award in Pro Bono in 2010. The Ontario Bar Association’s annual award for outstanding contributions to the cause of pro bono legal services is named in his honour.

His career included innumerable awards, recognitions and special appointments spanning the legal, academic and professional sectors, including the University of Calgary Law School’s Milvain Chair in Advocacy in 1988 and the University of Saskatchewan College of Law’s inaugural Silas Hylak Chair in Advocacy in 2010.

In 1984, he was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and was its first Canadian president in 2003-2004. In 1996, he was appointed by the Minister of Justice as the Chair of the Triennial Review Commission established under the Judges Act of Canada. In 1999, he received The Advocates' Society Medal, the Carlton Medal in 2003, and in 2011, Mr. Scott was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Scott will be remembered for his dedication to his community and philanthropic spirit. He generously shared his time and counsel with a myriad of organizations, from the National Action Committee on Access to Justice to Concordia University. He was a member of many boards of directors, including the Ottawa Heart Institute, the Canadian Stroke Network and Operation Come Home. He was past director of the United Way, the John Howard Society, CARE Canada and the Ottawa General Hospital.

David will be deeply missed by everyone at BLG. We wish to express our deepest sympathies to his wife Alison and their children Blair, Sheila, Tony and Sandy, and to his partners and many friends.