The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Balfour+Manson LLP

Work 01224 498080
Fax 01224 498081
Aberdeen, Edinburgh

Scotland: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP assists clients, including individuals and corporate entities, with various contractual, corporate and shareholder disputes. Gordon Deane and chairwoman Elaine Motion jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):Gordon Deane, Elaine Motion

Other key lawyers:David Flint; David McIntosh

Work highlights

  • Acted for a minority shareholder in a long-running shareholder dispute.
  • Acted for the NHS in Court of Session proceedings to claw back a substantial overpayment of a lump sum pension payment made to a retired doctor.

[back to top]

Scotland: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 4

Balfour+Manson LLP

Frequently working in conjunction with the firm's personal injury and human rights practice, Balfour+Manson LLP handles an array of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters; in the contentious space, the team is best known for its experience in claimant work concerning discrimination and unfair dismissal claims while also acting for respondants. Regular non-contentious instructions include GDPR and various HR matters. Robert Holland heads the team, which includes contentious employment law expert Sarah Shiels, who made partner in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Robert Holland

Other key lawyers:Sarah Shiels

Key Clients

Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA)

IWGB (Independent Workers Union)

Work highlights

  • Continues to represent Educational Institute of Scotland in employment tribunal claims; in 2018, the team successfully litigated a ten day unfair dismissal hearing for a teacher dismissed on the grounds of statutory bar.
  • Instructed by the British Airline Pilot Association to advise on the implications of GDPR and the new Data Protecon Act 2018 in relation to collective agreements on Flight Data Management which the Union has with individual commercial airlines.
  • Advising Cricket Scotland on issues relating to the players such as salaries, bonuses, commercial rights, funding and creating a pathway into retirement.

[back to top]

Scotland: Insurance

Medical negligence: pursuer
Medical negligence: pursuer - ranked: tier 1

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP’s exceptional team includes Ann Logan, who has more than 25 years’ experience in medical negligence litigation work across Scotland, England and Hong Kong, and Julie Clark-Spence, a APIL accredited senior litigator with over 11 years’ experience solely in clinical negligence. The team deals with the full spectrum of claims, with particular specialisms including high value cerebral palsy cases involving informed consent arguments. Delayed diagnosis of cancer, fatal claims and neurological negligence are other key areas of work.

Practice head(s):Ann Logan

Other key lawyers:Julie Clark-Spence; David McIntosh


'The firm is one of Scotland's leading medical negligence: pursuer practices, with unrivalled experience and expertise in this area.'

'Extremely thorough and very professional. The whole journey with Balfour+ Manson has been a positive one with no real weaknesses that I can recall.'

'David McIntosh is a very experienced litigator who constantly delivers first-class results and also has a very understanding and empathetic manner with clients.'

'Ann Logan is easy to talk to and very compassionate; reassuring me when needed, which was often, and advising me of my options. She is very professional; from details to timekeeping, everything was meticulous. On a lighter note, she also had a sense of humour I found refreshing.'

Work highlights

  • Representing the mother of a daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of birth injury in a claim against a local health board in Scotland.
Leading individuals

Ann Logan - Balfour+Manson LLP

[back to top]

Personal injury: pursuer
Personal injury: pursuer - ranked: tier 1

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP is consistently involved in complex cases, often involving multiple claimants or cross-border elements, in areas such as public liability, aviation and catastrophic road traffic accidents. APIL accredited fellow David Short, who heads the firm's litigation team, has a background in aviation and mesothelioma claims, while David S McIntosh handles a wide range of high-value claims relating to areas including workplace stress and traumatic brain injuries. Fatal claims arising from offshore accidents represent another key source of work for this specialist team.

Practice head(s):David Short

Other key lawyers:David McIntosh; Ann Logan; Julie Clark-Spence; Iain Nicol

Key Clients

Hugh James Solicitors

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Hugh James to represent a number of the firm's clients who are tea pickers in Kenya who sustained musculo-skeletal injuries during the course of their employment.
Leading individuals

David Short - Balfour+Manson LLP

[back to top]

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP act for pursuers in claims against their solicitors, accountants, co-workers and private companies. The firm also handles unusual multi-party disputes, claims arising from negligent tax advice and pension-related matters. Iain Nicol, who is accredited in professional negligence and personal injury, drafted the Professional Negligence Pre Action Protocol and recently, through representations to the Law Society, secured an increase in the fees payable under the protocol.

Practice head(s):David Flint

Other key lawyers:Iain Nicol

[back to top]

Scotland: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP 's team, which is led by Alan Gilfillan, an accredited expert in charity law, focuses primarily on advising religious institutions on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters including reincorporation, disciplinary procedures and data protection. The team also regularly provide charities with advice on safeguarding issues and GDPR compliance, as well as acting for individuals or bodies seeking to gain SCIO incorporation. Gilfillan previously spent time as a secondee at the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, adding to his knowledge of SCIO compliance.

Practice head(s):Alan Gilfillan

Leading individuals

Alan Gilfillan - Balfour+Manson LLP

[back to top]

Family - ranked: tier 2

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP handles a high volume of divorce claims that involve contentious elements such as economic disadvantage arguments, division of company assets, abusive behaviour and shared property in multiple countries. The firm's capabilities are also demonstrated by its work on cohabitation claims and child law matters including residence orders, contact orders and permanence orders. 'Calm and unflappable' practice head Shona Smith, a trained arbitrator and mediator, also sits as a member of the Family Law sub-committee of the Law Society of Scotland, while junior partner Jamie Foulis is seen as 'a rising star'.

Practice head(s):Shona Smith


'A strong family law team, with a huge bank of experience across a number of different facets - knowledgeable, approachable, communicative and above all, pragmatic.'

'A very well established firm with a highly experienced family law department.  The firm has a well-deserved excellent reputation for both its direct work with clients and its work as an Edinburgh agent for other firms from outside Edinburgh.'

'Shona Smith, is a standout family lawyer, who is hugely experienced. She is straighforward, clear and outcome-focused.'

'Shona Smith exercises a skilled and measured approach to her own cases and to management of the team. She is calm and unflappable.'

Leading individuals

Shona Smith - Balfour+Manson LLP

[back to top]

Personal tax, trusts and executries
Personal tax, trusts and executries - ranked: tier 3

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP’s team acts for trustees, beneficiaries and high net worth individuals, predominantly on the management and taxation of trusts, with a view to mitigate inheritance tax, and the drafting or rectification of wills. In addition the team, assisted by two welfare managers, regularly advises on incapacity, powers of attorney and guardianship, and in a recent case determined that a guardianship order needed revising. Practice head Shona Brown has a particular interest in working with elderly and vulnerable clients and those who lack capacity, while senior associate and qualified accountant Margaret Ross advises on tax, cashflow forecasting and asset allocation.

Practice head(s):Shona Brown

Other key lawyers:Margaret Ross

Rising stars

Margaret Ross - Balfour+Manson LLP

[back to top]

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.