Elaine Motion makes The Lawyer Hot 100 2019

Elaine Motion The Lawyer

Elaine Motion, Chairman

Elaine Motion, Executive Chairman of law firm Balfour+Manson, has been named in The Lawyer magazine ‘Hot 100’ list of the most “daring, innovative and creative” lawyers across the UK.

Published annually, the eagerly awaited Hot 100 recognises individuals who have contributed significantly to the legal world and enhanced the reputation of law firms, chambers or other organisations for which they work from across the United Kingdom. 

Elaine Motion was included for her dogged and ultimately successful battle in proving that the UK Parliament had the right to revoke Article 50 – a twisting, year long journey which included 15 court hearings, culminating at the Court of European Justice. 

She was named one of the best 13 law firm ‘leaders’ in the UK, a remarkable achievement considering the hundreds of nominations from across the legal profession, making the final selection one of the most competitive ever.  

In 2018, the inclusion of 51 women marked the first time the men have been outnumbered in the Hot 100; this year the pendulum has swung even further and there are 59 women on the list. Elaine’s inclusion is particularly appropriate as recent promotions mean Balfour+Manson has a female-majority partnership – with 13 female and 11 male partners. It is believed to be the first law firm with more than 20 partners in Scotland to achieve this. 

The Hot 100 report says: ‘Elaine Motion is the first female chair of Scottish firm Balfour+Manson and a well-known name in Scotland for her public law and clinical negligence expertise. However, what put her in the spotlight in 2018 was the year-long legal battle she fought seeking clarity over an important point of public law which could potentially provide an alternative way out from the political turmoil over Brexit. 

At the end of 2017, Elaine, along with Aidan O’Neill QC and a group of Scottish MPs, launched the legal challenge to take the question of whether the United Kingdom can call off Brexit without the consent of other EU member states to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Since then, she has worked alongside a team of barristers in 15 court hearings, including the CJEU and culminating in the Court of Session adopting the CJEU’s opinion.

On 10 December, the ECJ ruled that the UK could unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU without needing the consent of the other 27-member states.’

Elaine said: “I am deeply honoured to be named as one of The Lawyer’s Hot 100. It has been an exceptionally busy and exciting 12 months, both for me personally and for the firm in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.  

“We have worked on some complex, high profile cases – such as providing legal counsel on revoking Article 50. Cases like this have had a profound and far-reaching impact, but we aim to do every piece of work to the highest possible standard for our clients – and day after day, our superb, talented team of people aspire to achieve that.”