Firm / Organisation

Balfour+Manson LLP

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Number of partners: 23
Number of associates: 18
Number of qualified assistants: 3
Number of paralegals: 17
Number of trainees: 8
Number of consultants: 1

As one of Scotland’s longest-established legal practices Balfour+Manson LLP is a highly regarded firm of solicitors with offices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. With a focus on the individual it delivers services in the areas of litigation, commercial, charities, private client and property work.

The firm has a distinguished track record since its inception in 1888 and combines the best of traditional values with a modern, forward-thinking attitude. Clients range from individuals, families and charities through to local government bodies and businesses. Members of the firm also act as agents on behalf of solicitors in litigation and other matters.


The firm’s litigation team is at the core of the business and is among the largest in Scotland, with an exceptional breadth and depth of experience across the litigation field. Work ranges from routine Sheriff Court actions, through to novel, complex and high value cases in the Court of Session, the UK Supreme Court and cases before specialised tribunals and bodies. The firm has four solicitor advocates: Robert Holland, Alastair Milne, Elaine Motion and Fiona Muirs.
As well as experience handling over 20 air crashes worldwide the team is also renowned for its expertise in personal injury and medical negligence claims, with particular experience of cerebral palsy and birth cases. The team handles the most complex of cases, including the law changing Supreme Court case, Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11. Partners David Short, David McIntosh and Iain Nicol are accredited specialists in personal injury law. Iain Nicol is also an accredited specialist in Professional Negligence. Partner Ann Logan is accredited in medical negligence law by the Law Society of Scotland. David Short was the first APIL accredited occupational diseases speclialist and asbestos disease specialist in Scotland.
The team has extensive experience in administrative, public and human rights law and carry out a lot of judicial reviews as well as professional disciplinary and regulation work. Elaine Motion, Alastair Milne and Fiona Muirs are accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as specialists in Regulation of Professional Conduct Law. Elaine Motion represented the Christian Institute and six other petitioners who successfully challenged the Scottish Government in relation to the Named Person Scheme as well as securing the European Supreme court ruling confirming that the UK can revoke the Brexit process without the say-so of other EU states. In addition, the team offers very significant experience across the commercial and civil litigation field including contractual and property disputes and professional negligence claims, as well as employment law, real estate and debt recovery.
The hugely experienced family law team provide advice in all areas of family law. Shona Smith, Alastair Milne, Kirsten Knight, Anne McTaggart, Linda Walker and Iain Thomson are accredited as specialists in family law by the Law Society of Scotland. The team offers services including traditional negotiation, litigation, mediation, collaborative practice and arbitration.
With a strong focus on contentious employment matters, including claimant and respondent work the employment team advises on TUPE matters and employment cases with personal injury aspects. The team specialises in executive departures and settlement agreements.
Private Client:The well-resourced private client team advises on all areas of succession planning including the preparation of wills, inheritance tax mitigation and incapacity planning. The team is highly experienced in executry and trust administration including cross border matters with a support from accountants in their in house tax compliance team. They are also particularly noted for the advice they give to those who are in receipt of personal injury awards. The firm also has a unique client welfare team that specialises in providing a range of services and advice to elderly, disabled or vulnerable clients.
The department also has a property team offering a one-stop service for those involved in the residential property market, including advice on the purchase and sale of properties as well as leases. A full estate agency service is offered.
Commercial: The commercial team offers advice on most areas of commercial practice. It has notable experience in all commercial property matters, whether leasing, buying, property investment or lending. For those starting in business, companies are incorporated and company secretarial services are provided. Partnership agreements are prepared and interpreted. Services are offered in relation to professional appointments and licensing.
Charities: The charities and not-for-profit team is one of Scotland’s leading teams providing services to this sector, including the setting up and operation of a charity, contracts, property and employment law.

Sole Scottish member of the PARLEX Group of European Lawyers. The family team are regularly instructed in cases with an international element. The firm also has long established contacts with US attorneys in the litigation field.

Private Client: 30%
Commercial/Commercial Property: 10%

Chairman: Elaine Motion
Litigation: David Short
Human Rights/Administrative Law: Elaine Motion
Discipline/Regulation: Elaine Motion
Employment: Robert Holland
Family: Shona Smith
Private Client: Shona Brown
Residential Property: Ken Robertson, Amy McKay
Commercial: Hugh Angus
Charities: Alan Gilfillan

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