Tributes paid following the death of leading Edinburgh legal figure Ian Balfour

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

Mr Balfour, whose grandfather cofounded the firm in 1887, remained active after retiring as senior partner in 1998 and until late last year was working as joint auditor for Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Ian Balfour was born in Edinburgh in 1932. He started his education at Edinburgh Academy in 1938, but was evacuated during the war to Hamilton, in Ontario, Canada, with his mother and his brother William.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Post-war, he completed his education at Edinburgh Academy. He went on to Edinburgh University, graduating with an MA in 1953 and LLB in 1955. In those days, an apprenticeship was served alongside obtaining a law degree. He began his training in Balfour+Manson in 1952 during the last year of his MA, qualifying as a lawyer in 1955 and becoming a partner in 1958.

Tributes have been paid to the late Ian Balfour, seen by many as 'wise counsel' a leading figure on the Edinburgh legal scene Pic: John Chadwick

He then spent more than 40 years in general legal practice before his retirement in 1997 although he remained a wise counsel to those in the firm well into his eighties.

Elaine Motion, Chairman of Balfour + Manson, described him as a “phenomenally knowledgeable and talented lawyer” who carried the family legacy.

She said: “Ian will be sadly missed by partners and staff, past and present. Through both 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 Ian offered me. He was a quiet man of real stature and gravitas whose talents extended well beyond the law.

"Everyone connected with Balfour + Manson will honour this fine man by continuing the legacy that he and his family brought to legal practice in Edinburgh.”

Devoutly religious Mr Balfour had considered becoming a lay preacher and studied for a Degree in Divinity 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 to the Chapel, retiring from the role in 2000.

Mr 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 PhD in Theology in 1980, after studying the life of one of the Christian Church’s fathers, Tertullian, who was a Roman convert to Christianity.

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

The keen writer spent many years recording historical records of his family, a book about Charlotte Chapel, a history of Balfour & Manson and other topics which were of historical or entertaining interest to him.

Ian Balfour is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joyce Pryde, and their four children a daughter and 3 sons, 10 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Lesley, his daughter is a retired midwife, Robin is a doctor, Jeremy is an MSP and Sandy is a Chartered Surveyor.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.