The first 18 months of my Chairmanship have flown by with positive activity across the board.
Over the last year, we welcomed some of our younger partners onto the management board which now comprises of David Short, Head of Litigation; Robin Hill, Head of Property and Private Client; Shona Smith, Head of Family Law; Robert Holland, Head of Employment Law and myself as Chairman.
We also had a record number of promotions in 2014, particularly among our solicitors; these included Ann Logan, Julie Clark-Spence, and Shona Brown who were assumed partners, along with Sarah Shiels and Irene Turner who were promoted to associates. We were delighted that Grant Miller and Elizabeth Sparks have remained with us as qualified solicitors after completing their traineeship.
As we continue to grow, the firm welcomed several new personnel to the Balfour+Manson family both in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. These included Hugh Angus as Commercial Partner, Beth Saddler as associate; Julia Cryan and Catriona Torrance as solicitors; Jo Kelly as paralegal; Susan Simpson, Libby Fleming, Susan Husband, Leanne Ross and Ellie Dishington into our support teams.
The firm is again highly recognised in Chambers UK and Legal 500 for the different service areas of personal injury, medical negligence, civil liberties and human rights, family law, professional negligence, charity, private client and employment that we offer to clients. We are particularly proud that we continue to be number one in personal injury; medical negligence and civil liberties and human rights.
In addition to this, other recognitions include:
Ann Logan, partner was accredited as the first clinical negligence specialist and assessor in Scotland by Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
Julie Clark-Spence, partner was awarded senior litigator status by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and was also nominated in the 40 under 40 in the Aberdeen business community.
Karen Gibbons, associate was accredited by the Law Society as a specialist in family law and also appointed Chair of Family Law Association.
We have had a number of staff who have shown tremendous loyalty to the firm, serving the firm for more than 25 years and in some cases 40+ years, they are: Fred Tyler, Raymond Newton, Audrey Imrie, Margaret Young, Sandra Dunn, Christine Laurie, Linda McAllister and Louise Taylor, a special thanks goes to all of them, particularly Gill Scott and Hamish Pringle who retired from the firm this year we wish them all the very best for the future.
I am pleased to announce that the firm has raised approximately £3,000 so far for our nominated charity CHAS (Children's Association Scotland) through various fundraising activities. I would also like to acknowledge so many of our people who give their time and services to charitable work without seeking any recognition.
I am sure it will be an interesting year ahead but I am confident that with the team we have in place and our commitment to our clients, 2015 should be another successful year for the firm.
Elaine Motion, Chairman and Partner