We are regarded as one of the leading firms in Scotland in relation to public law, judicial review and human rights. Consistently, we are ranked highly by legal directories. We are the only law firm ranked Band 1 for Civil Liberties and Human Rights in Scotland by Chambers and Partners 2022.
Our team is "incredibly efficient, down-to-earth, practical and professional" Chambers and Partners 2018 (Administrative and Public Law).
Our team consists of leading practitioners with extensive expertise in a range of public law matters, including judicial review and human rights. We have experience of advising on a wide variety of novel, complex and high profile cases.
Elaine Motion represents a group of MPs, MSPs and MEPs in a judicial review in which the Inner House of the Court of Session unanimously ruled in favour of referring the question of revocability of Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This is the most significant legal development in relation to Brexit since the High Court ruled that the UK Parliament had to legislate before the UK Government could invoke Article 50.
Responding to judicial reviews of regulatory decisions
Sindi Mules acted for a non-ministerial UK Government department to successfully respond to a judicial review of the department’s decision not to grant accreditation in relation to a station for renewable energy.
Following the 2015 UK Parliamentary Election result, Fiona Muirs acted for the petitioners in the first Election Court case in Scotland for half a century which sought to have the election result for Orkney and Shetland declared void.
Sindi Mules acted for an environmental organisation to intervene in Court of Session proceedings to review acts and decisions of the Scottish Government in relation to fracking. By intervening, the environmental organisation was able to make representations to the court in relation to the Scottish Government’s obligations under international, EU, UK and Scots law, as well as the environmental impacts of fracking.
We acted for a charity who successfully challenged the Scottish Government’s Named Person Scheme, part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 in the UK Supreme Court. It was challenged on the basis that the scheme was not compatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for private and family life). The judgment was highly significant as successful challenges to legislation are rare.
Sindi Mules acted for a Union to intervene in UK Supreme Court proceedings challenging the lawfulness of the introduction of fees payable by claimants in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The Supreme Court ruled that in introducing the fees the UK Government acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally and it quashed the order bringing them into force.
We acted for an environmental group in a crowdfunded legal challenge to a raven-culling licence granted in Perthshire. The licence was voluntarily suspended after a review concluded that it was not scientifically robust.
Funding + costs
Balfour+Manson can advise on a range of funding options that can be tailored to your situation, including legal aid and crowd funding, as well as advising on applications for protective expenses orders. We can offer a fixed fee for an initial appointment.
We find ourselves at a crucial juncture in the development of environmental law. Last month, the Met Office recorded a temperature over 40 degrees for the first time in the UK.
Elaine Motion, one of Scotland’s leading constitutional lawyers, has joined a new body designed to raise the standard of democratic debate in the United Kingdom.
Efforts are under way to overhaul the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). The UK Government says this will restore "common sense" to the application of law in the UK.