Headhunter Scott highlights the importance of pursuing a career that you enjoy

Headhunter Scott highlights the importance of pursuing a career that you enjoy

Scott Lesner switched careers after initially training as a lawyer – and has never looked back.

Now a recruitment specialist, Scott (OE 1987-1992) has carved out a successful career, while raising a family and maintaining his longstanding enthusiasm for football, as both player and fan.

“I didn’t love being a lawyer (and I think it’s really important to enjoy what you do at work), so I switched to legal recruitment,” he explains.

Scott joined QE in the middle of Year 8 in 1987. “I had some magnificent teachers,” he says, mentioning especially Eric Houston (who retired as Second Master in 2010 and is a Foundation Governor), History teacher Mr Oulton and Dr John Marincowitz (who went on to become Headmaster in 1999, retiring in 2011). “I didn’t just learn from them academically, but I was also moulded by them as a young man. I’m very conscious of that and grateful for it.”

Notwithstanding the School’s focus on rugby, football, including his beloved Spurs, has always been Scott’s passion: “I travelled an hour to school on the 107 bus from Kenton with a group of friends – mostly it was also a fun, social time. Once, after a particularly heated north London derby between Spurs and Arsenal, we were a bit rowdy on the bus and got in trouble for it at School.”

Such rare instances aside, he made a positive impression in both the classroom and on the sports field. “I won a number of academic prizes – if I remember rightly, for History and Latin – and I was good at sport. Cricket was my strongest and I think I played once for the First XI.”

A member of Stapylton House in an era when Stapylton was on a winning streak, he was also a prefect: “I still have my tie in a memories box.”

After A-levels in 1992, Scott progressed straight to Nottingham University to read Law and was then sponsored through Law school, training with the firm that is now CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang. “I spent a further two years there as an energy lawyer, advising clients on electricity market liberalisation and power projects.”

In 2000, he took the plunge and made his move into legal recruitment, joining Deacon Search, a firm that had been established only the year before. After a spell with another legal recruiter from 2005-2009, he returned to Deacon Search and has been there ever since.

“I’ve spent the last 18 years advising partners moving between the major UK and US law firms and conducting headhunting assignments. The highlights are always the team moves, as clients really appreciate those and, to be candid, they’re the big fees! It’s a fascinating business, as, being people-centric, no two situations are the same.”

On its website, the firm salutes him as its ‘search oracle’, highlighting his ‘photographic memory for partner moves (and for football trivia)’.

Scott adds: “Our company is doing well. We’re continuing to grow and we’re hopeful that 2019 will bring some significant international expansion.”

He is married to Katy and has three children: Jake, aged 14, Jasmine,12, and nine-year-old Max. The family live in Elstree.

A volunteer contributor at the School’s Careers Convention during the autumn, Scott remains close friends with one of his QE contemporaries – Adam Sherling (OE 1985-1992) – and is in contact occasionally with others, mostly via LinkedIn. “Recently, I exchanged messages with Khairul and Hisham Hussain for the first time in years.”

His passion for football is undimmed. “I still play five-a-side. I’m a season ticket-holder at Spurs with my dad, my sons, my cousin and some friends. I also manage my youngest boy’s Sunday league team,” he says.