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Elaine Motion honoured by profession at Law Awards of Scotland

We’re delighted to announce that our Executive Chairman, Elaine Motion, who led the successful challenge to Boris Johnson’s unlawful prorogation of Parliament, has been honoured for her role in the landmark case.

Mrs Motion, Executive Chairman of Balfour+Manson, won the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Law Awards of Scotland which took place on 27 November in Glasgow. Balfour+Manson also won the Litigation Team of the Year Award on the night.

The judges’ citation said Elaine Motion has had “a stellar career, doggedly pursuing public interest litigation that has not just changed the law on a number of occasions but changed the lives of many people in the process too”.

Elaine Motion, Aidan O’Neill and their team represented 78 petitioners and Jolyom Maugham QC who took the prorogation case all the way to the UK Supreme Court, where Lady Hale delivered her famous judgment on 24th September.

The Motion-O’Neill team had already been successful in the Wightman case, which went through 15 hearings all the way to the European Court of Justice – which ruled the UK could unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU without needing the consent of the other 27 member states.

Elaine Motion said: “I am greatly honoured to receive this award from the Scottish legal community. Working on these two huge constitutional cases, alongside so many dedicated, talented and committed people, was a great honour and privilege.

“I believed sincerely in what we were doing in both cases. Those two moments – when the European Court decision was confirmed and when Lady Hale read out the memorable and unanimous Supreme Court judgement – were extremely emotional and will stay with me forever.

“I am also delighted that our excellent litigation team won their award – well-deserved recognition for their brilliant work.”

Elaine Motion qualified as a Solicitor in the 1980s and practised in Edinburgh and New Zealand (as a Barrister and Solicitor) before returning to Scotland to work for Balfour+Manson in 1993.

She was promoted to Partner in 1997 and became the first female Chair of Balfour+Manson in 2014 – making her name for her expertise in public law, civil liberties, human rights and clinical negligence.