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Shona Brown assumed Partner

ONE of Scotland’s longest-established legal firms has appointed a new Partner who will head up its unique Client Welfare team.
Private client specialist Shona Brown is promoted from Associate at Balfour+Manson, the seventh female member of the 18-strong partnership, headed up by Chairman Elaine Motion.
Shona, a former dentist, will head up the Client Welfare team which includes Associate Jillian Barnes and Client Welfare Managers Jo Downie and Fiona Shand in the specialist unit, which has carved out a unique niche in Scottish law.
“Balfour+Manson recognized over two decades ago that the lines between legal advice and looking after a client’s welfare needs were blurred,” said Shona, a mother of three sons including Scottish rugby international Tom Brown.
“Rather than having to bring in outside specialists when those needs go beyond the law, we can do it all as Jo and Fiona are an integral part of our team – with over 20 years of experience in this field between them. Jo has had a very interesting career in nursing and in the auction business and she can bring in experts to ensure nothing of value is missed in house clearances.” Last year. she found “what looked like an old piece of folded brown paper” in a client’s attic, her instinct and experience led her to have it checked by an expert, which turned out to be an antique map which went on to sell for £175,000 at auction.
Fiona Shand has a background in social work and experience in helping clients claim the appropriate benefits.
“We can provide a holistic service tailored to each client,” Shona explained. “With an ageing population, this kind of work is increasingly important – because family and friends are sometimes unable to provide the support older and more vulnerable people need.
“We can put financial and legal plans in place which allow clients to express their wishes for future care, knowing that Jo and Fiona will ensure they are safe, supported and well cared-for. It’s about understanding the enormous value of the work they do, and supporting that.”
Shona is a full member of STEP, the Society for Trusts and Estates Practitioners and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and has a particular interest in issues around capacity, guardianship and powers of attorney, as well as significant experience in trusts, wills and succession planning.
Balfour+Manson is working towards becoming Scotland’s first dementia-friendly law firm to reflect its growing expertise in this area. The firm has also supported TV presenter Sally Magnusson’s new charity Playlist for Life from the outset, Jo Downie is an Associate of the charity, which encourages families and carers to create a playlist of personally meaningful music on an iPod for a loved one. www.playlistforlife.org.uk
Elaine Motion said: “We are delighted to welcome Shona to the partnership. The Client Welfare team is absolutely central to the ethos of the firm and what we are about – and I know that she will provide tremendous leadership and work closely with her colleagues to continue providing an exceptional and unique service to our clients.”