Lawyer business

Tributes paid to the famous Edinburgh lawyer

Tributes have been paid to Ian Balfour, a scion of Edinburgh law firm Balfour + Manson, who died aged 89.

His grandfather co-founded the firm in 1887 and he remained active after retiring as a senior partner in 1998 and, until the end of last year, worked as a co-auditor for Edinburgh Sheriff Court .

Balfour was born in Edinburgh in 1932. He began his education at Edinburgh Academy in 1938 but was evacuated during the war to Hamilton, Ontario with his mother and brother William where they lived with their family.

Upon his return, Balfour completed his education at Edinburgh Academy. He went on to study at the University of Edinburgh, where he obtained a master’s degree in 1953 and a master’s degree in law in 1955. At this time, an apprenticeship was followed by a law degree. He therefore began his training at Balfour + Manson in 1952 – during the final year of his master’s degree. – lawyer’s degree in 1955, became a partner in 1958.

Balfour then spent over 40 years in general legal practice before retiring in 1997, although he remained an attorney for members of the firm well into the eighties.

Elaine Motion, President of Balfour + Manson, paid tribute: “Through his professional and social life he was a great friend to so many and on a personal level I will always appreciate the opportunity and guidance that Ian m offered.

“He was a quiet man of real stature and gravity whose talents extended well beyond the law – one example being his historical account of the firm and those who passed through it over the years. decades.

“All connected with Balfour + Manson will continue to honor this great man by continuing the legacy he and his family brought to the legal practice in Edinburgh.”

As a manager, Balfour streamlined many aspects of Balfour + Manson’s business, honed staff to take on new customer interface roles, and organized the business into specializations.

To this end, he became the full-time practitioner of the Court of Session within the court department.

A key innovation was to take on four apprentices each year, then trainees when the training system changed.

His managerial vision even extended to the introduction of IT in 1983 – at the start of a law firm.

A devout man of faith, Balfour had considered becoming a lay preacher and studied for a degree in theology from the University of London, graduating in 1959. He was a member of Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Rose Street, Edinburgh from 1963 where he later became secretary. at the Chapel, retiring from the role in 2000.

Balfour accepted an invitation to be president of the Baptist Union of Scotland for the year 1977-78. This again stimulated his academic interest in theology and he attended New College Edinburgh where he obtained a doctorate in theology in 1980, after studying the life of one of the fathers of the Christian Church, Tertullian, who was a Roman convert to Christianity.

He was also appointed Fiscal to the Royal College of Nursing, which dealt with nursing discipline, as well as appointed Fiscal to the Law Society of Scotland on disciplinary matters. He was also Secretary of the SSC Society and President of the Child Support Tribunal.

Balfour is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joyce Pryde, and their four children – a daughter and three sons – 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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