Balfour+Manson LLP: Lawyer scoops top award after landmark court victory10/27/2015
FRED Tyler, the senior litigation partner at Balfour+Manson, has been praised for his “massive contribution to Scots law over 40 years” and described as “a truly exceptional human being” after winning a prestigious legal prize.
Mr Tyler was presented with the Chairman’s Award at the Law Awards of Scotland, in recognition of a career spanning more than 40 years and a recent Supreme Court victory that redefined the relationship between patients and their doctors.
The winner of the category was selected solely by the chair of the judging panel, with the trophy presented to Mr Tyler during a ceremony at the Radisson hotel in Glasgow.
Hector MacQueen, professor of private law at the University of Edinburgh and chair of the judging panel, said: “I am deeply impressed by Fred Tyler’s massive contribution over 40 years to the development of Scots law, the international recognition of our legal system, and to the interests of justice and his clients.
“I am delighted to be able to reinforce the existing recognition from his peers with this fully deserved public accolade for his achievements.”
In March 2015, seven justices of the UK Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favour of Mr Tyler’s client, Nadine Montgomery, in the case of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015 UKSC 11], which has clarified the law throughout the UK.
Mrs Montgomery gave birth to her son, Sam, in October 1999 but his shoulder became stuck during the birth and he was deprived of oxygen, leading to him developing cerebral palsy.
Mrs Montgomery, who is a type-one diabetic of short stature, was not warned of the increased risk of Sam’s shoulder becoming stuck and was not advised of Caesarean section as an alternative.
The decision by the UK Supreme Court overturned an initial judgement by the Outer House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh and an appeal to the Inner House.
The ruling has modernised the doctor-patient relationship throughout the UK by allowing patients to decide on the risk they are prepared to take.
Following the judgment, Mrs Montgomery was awarded a seven-figure sum to help care for Sam. She said: “Fred has been honest, realistic and easy to talk to. His dedication and commitment to Sam’s case was unbelievable.
“We failed twice – at the Court of Session then at the appeal – and, after the second time, I was ready to give up, but the strength I saw in Fred was the motivation I needed to keep fighting.
“He became almost part of my family after a long 15 years of meetings, courtrooms, and assessments for Sam. He has worked tirelessly for our family’s justice and to change the law that will in turn help so many others – what a man.
“In short, he is a truly exceptional human being and I have never been more proud to call him my lawyer and now my friend. There is a special place in heaven for souls like his. He never gave up on us. Not once.”
Elaine Motion, the current chairman at Balfour+Manson, said: “I have worked closely with Fred since joining the firm in 1993 and he has inspired me and many others with his dedication, skills and caring approach to clients.
“Fred is a worthy winner of this prize and Professor MacQueen’s comments highlight the high esteem in which he is held, both within the legal profession in Scotland and further afield.”
Mr Tyler, who served as chairman at Balfour+Manson between 2005 and 2014, added: “I’m truly humbled by this award. I receive support from an amazing team at Balfour+Manson and so this prize is as much for them as it is for me.
“Going to court can be an extremely stressful and emotionally draining experience and I’m proud that I’ve been able to help people like Nadine Montgomery to find justice over the last 40 years.”
Balfour+Manson employs around 120 people in offices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen: www.balfour-manson.co.uk
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