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Balfour+Manson double success at Scottish Legal Awards

Chairman Elaine Motion was named as the Scott+Co Chairman of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards, while the firm also won Litigation Team of the Year.

Ann Logan, a member of the firm’s Senior Management Team, said: “This is brilliant news for the firm and all of our colleagues. Everyone is delighted that our excellent litigation team has been recognised – and that Elaine has been rewarded for both her leadership and legal brilliance.

“It is a privilege to have such a ground-breaking lawyer as Elaine – and such a depth of talent – in the firm. Balfour and Manson is a significant player in the Scottish legal scene, and well beyond, and we will continue to encourage all our teams to strive for excellence and to deliver the very best results for our clients.”

The judges’ citation for Chairman of the Year described Elaine Motion as “a long-serving and highly regarded leader who has steered a new management team during a period when the firm has been instructed in a series of high-profile and ground-breaking constitutional cases.”

The award covered the period when Elaine was the lead solicitor in the prorogation case, when the UK Supreme Court ruled that Boris Johnson’s Government had acted unlawfully in its lengthy suspension of Parliament during the height of the Brexit controversy in 2019. The awards’ ceremony was due to take place in March 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the prizes were awarded virtually last night.

Chairman of the judging panel Shonaig Macpherson said: “This is recognition of Elaine’s leadership of the firm, but also the key role she has played in a series of cases, culminating in the appeal to the Supreme Court on the prorogation of the House of Commons.”

After receiving her award, Elaine spoke to Des Clarke, who hosted the event virtually. She said: “I am so touched. We have a fantastic team on all levels and I would like to thank one person in particular, Margaret Peet, our HR Director. Without her, I could not have done the management side of things as well as the law.”

On the Litigation Team award, she said: “Balfour and Manson lives and breathes litigation and I know how much this will mean not just to the litigation team, but to everyone across the firm. The boost to everyone is fantastic.

“We’re drinking champagne at home tonight, but when we can get together to celebrate, there will be one hell of a party.”

Elaine, who was Executive Chairman at the time of the judging, said earlier: “2019 was a very special year for both me and the firm and I’m delighted to accepted the award on behalf of everyone who fought the prorogation case – and the Article 50 case before it – and all of my Balfour and Manson colleagues, including our superb new leadership team.” Elaine was also nominated in the Lawyer of the Year category.

David Short, Head of Litigation, said: “This is amazing news for the firm. The judges highlighted our strength in aviation law, but the firm is strong across a wide range of litigation and the whole team has played an enormous part in winning this award.”

In January 2020, Elaine Motion handed over the executive responsibilities of the firm to a new three-strong Senior Management Team of Alan Gilfillan, Robert Holland and Ann Logan – but remains as Chairman of the firm.