Firm Profile > DWF > Edinburgh, Scotland


Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

DWF’s Scottish is noted for its strength in investment, development and finance work. The scope of its practice covers the retail, distribution, leisure and tourism, education and energy sectors. The team is jointly led by Chris McLeish, who acts for key investor and developer clients, and David Ratter, who acts for blue-chip corporate clients. Iain McHardy leads on the retail side with an impressive array of household-name clients. Kevin McGlone joined as partner from Brodies LLP.

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Key clients

Babcock Group

M7 / Mileway / Blackstone

McAleer & Rushe

Aberdeen City Council


Ambassador Group

Costa / Whitbread

Marks and Spencer p.l.c.

Hermes Parcelnet

Mowi (Marine Harvest)


JD Weatherspoon

McCarthy & Stone

David Samuel Properties

Apollo Real Estate Investments

Lake Merritt Group

Jet 2

C& C Group (Magners & Tennents)

Buxani Group


Next PLC

Marks & Spencer plc

Travis Perkins Plc






Holland & Barrett


Fat Face

Dunelm Mill

Oasis Stores



The White Company

River Island


Pensions Tier 2

Covering various sectors, DWF receives regular instructions from trustees, employers and pension providers to assist with scheme restructurings, benefit transfers, investments, wind-ups, documentation reviews and governance issues, among other matters. June Crombie heads the practice from Glasgow and covers a wide range of pensions matters, including pension disputes.

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They are a pleasure to work with, and we have no hesitation in engaging them when we can.

I have found them swift to return with advice. And to give sound advice.

Good advice. Quick responses.

Colin Greig is excellent at identifying the key issues and providing strong advice in relation to them. He also has a strong understanding of wider factors and is very good at identifying other potential approaches to achieve one’s objectives.

June Crombie remains a practitioner who is held in very high regard, both by clients and her peers. Her advice and attention to detail is excellent.

June Crombie is my main point of contact. She gives a very personal service from a very strong knowledge base and is very flexible in the way she works with us. In the minds of the trustees she is a very important member of the team. She also ensures we get good value for money.

June Crombie has excellent knowledge and experience.

Key clients

Dairy UK

Cornwall County Council

Mattioli Woods plc

Ipsum Group Limited



Aliter Capital LLP

NorthEdge Capital

20-20 Trustees Limited

The Church of Scotland

Professional negligence Tier 2

DWF has vast expertise across the professional negligence sphere,  with a particular focus on solicitors' negligence claims. Practice head Alison Grant acts for a range of London-based market insurers and is the key name in the group for high-value meditations. Lindsay Ogunyemi acts for surveyors, solicitors, accountants, and construction professionals and is supported by senior associate Andrew McConnell. The Scottish team works closely with the firm's London office.

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‘Pragmatic, helpful and commercial.’

‘Alison Grant is highly experienced and has great knowhow.’

‘Lindsay Ogunyemi has been in this area a long time now; she is able to adapt to a changing marketplace.’

‘Alison Grant is available and approachable.’

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

DWF’s corporate team is well regarded for its cross-border transactional, commercial and regulatory expertise. Private equity, joint ventures, compliance, and UK-wide acquisitions and disposals are key areas of focus for the practice. Head of team Paul Pignatelli leads on many of the firm’s high-profile national client relationships and is recommended for corporate governance matters.

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‘They stand out from their competitors for their no-nonsense approach, focusing only on the issues that really matter’. 

‘The DWF corporate team are not only knowledgeable, but approachable’. 

‘The DWF team listen to the details of the given situation and frame their responses in relation to the problem using whichever team member is best placed to address the issues at hand’.  

‘The individuals are knowledgeable, experienced and good listeners’. 

‘Paul Pignatelli is very commercially focused, prepared to go the extra mile and will take the time to understand what is needed’.  

‘The individuals who have advised us are always accessible and available, sometimes at short notice and occasionally at personally unsociable hours, which all helps to ensure that challenging deadlines are met’.   

‘Their lawyers are personable, down to earth and know and understand the local business worlds of Glasgow and Edinburgh (and across Scotland)’.

‘They provide their clients with sound, practical and effective advice’.

Key clients

Boost (Bidco) Limited

Ipsum Group Limited


Boston Group Limited

Mattioli Woods plc

Custodian REIT Plc

Grahams the Family Dairy

Capita plc

Aliter Capital LLP

Ambassador Group

Edwin James Group

Element Plc

Suites Hotel Holding Limited

Corporate tax Tier 3

DWF handles a wide range of issues for clients, including tax and share incentive advice, and M&A and private equity-related tax. The firm also provides real estate tax advice to high street brands in relation to Scottish and UK transactions. Professional indemnity is another area of focus, where the team advises on allegations of negligent tax advice and failed tax compliance. The client base includes SMEs and publicly listed companies. Caroline Colliston is the key practitioner in Scotland.

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Key clients

Boost (Bidco) Limited (part of Aliter Capital)

Mowi (previously known as Marine Harvest Scotland Ltd)

Marks and Spencer plc

Custodian Reit plc

Graham’s The Family Dairy Group

LDC and other individual sellers

Perle Hotels

Boston Group (Bidco) Limited (part of Aliter Fund LP)

PSC Insurance Group Limited

Acamar Limited

Debt recovery Tier 3

Working in close conjunction with the firm's finance litigation practice, DWF's UK-wide debt recovery practice has a focus on high-volume work, most notably in the commercial, finance and property debt space, and frequently acts for clients in the finance sector, while also handling regular instructions from utility companies, debt purchasers and property companies and high-net-worth individuals. Debt recovery and finance specialist Ricky Cannon and commercial litigator Naomi Pryde are the main contacts for the Scottish arm of the UK-wide practice.

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Passion from all the team from paralegal to senior partner is what makes DWF different. The knowledge of the associates is unbelievable for asset finance and I would not trust anyone else. All advice given is reliable and a commercial view always taken when delivering suitable solutions.

Comprehensive understanding of the law with a commercial application that delivers outstanding economic results.

Passion and a desire to succeed and give the customer what they ask for.

Their desire to provide appropriate guidance on new and unusual scenarios to our business has been invaluable during our start-up period.

The team has many strengths, including their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, including up-to-date case law and precedent. The ability to provide complex information succinctly. Their pace of work is valued highly and they are always available to speak with for advice and or instruction.

Ricky Cannon in particular, is someone who always makes time for our business and demonstrates true commitment to improving product knowledge. He has made himself readily available to deliver on-site training which was of great benefit to a large volume of new staff members. He welcomes questions and queries, no matter how menial or tedious and delivers a truly professional response at all times.

Ricky Cannon is a fantastic, knowledgeable and driven solicitor. He is able to manage, direct and address complex matters with ease.

Key clients

Santander Consumer Finance

Barclays Partner Finance

Scottish Water Business Stream


Startline Motor Finance

Hyundai Capital UK Ltd

Specialist Motor Finance Limited

Shawbrook Bank Limited

NextGear Capital UK Limited

Aldermore Bank Plc

Arkle Finance Limited

PSA Finance UK Ltd

Ashtead Plant Hire Company Ltd

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Personal injury: defender Tier 3

DWF represents a range of insurer clients in claims concerning fatal or serious injuries following road traffic accidents, accidents at work and abroad. The counter-fraud team is particularly strong, having trebled in size since the arrival of Jill Sinclair  in 2016. Director Lynne Macfarlane arrived from Clyde & Co LLP in 2019 to provide ‘outstanding assistance in highly complex and sensitive personal injury proceedings’. Andrew Lothian is head of the insurance practice.

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Lynne Macfarlane has provided outstanding assistance in highly complex and sensitive personal injury proceedings. She has consistently demonstrated excellent knowledge of the law and procedure throughout the case and her attention to detail has been exemplary. She is also highly approachable. She would be my absolute first choice in complex personal injury cases.’

Key clients

MS Amlin

Tokio Marine Kiln

Property litigation Tier 3

Handling landlord and tenant matters constitutes a key portion of DWF's workload with clients including major retailers, commercial landlords and industrial estate owners. The practice led by commercial litigator and solicitor advocate Naomi Pryde is also adept at dealing with various contentious matters arising from infrastructure projects, and provides a wide range of arbitration and ADR services.

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Led by the formidable Naomi Pryde, any dispute with a GB/ROI cross-border element is bread and butter to this team.

Naomi Pryde has exceptional client management skills and excellent legal knowledge.

Naomi Pryde’s depth and breadth of knowledge is second-to-none and as the head of the DR team has appropriately skilled staff under her.

Naomi Pryde is exceptional. Her awards, notoriety and accolades are entirely deserved and warranted. I have never come across a dispute or issue which she cannot handle with her calm yet fiercely analytical skills. She is an opponent to be very wary of and someone you always want in your corner.

Key clients

Marble Acquisitions Limited

Holland & Barrett

Greggs Plc

Epic Financial Risks

Royal Sun Alliance (RSA)

DGM London Road Limited

Lunar Greenock SARL

M7 Real Estate Investment Partners V Limited

Mileway Real Estate UK Limited

Commercial litigation Tier 4

Much of DWF's work takes place in the real estate, property and construction space but the team also handles a wide range of disputes pertaining to other sectors such as energy, insurance and banking. Led by Naomi Pryde, who splits her time between the firm's Scottish and London offices and handles a wide range of commercial litigation matters for both claimants and defendants, the practice is well placed to provide assistance with disputes concerning commercial contracts, including those involving cross-jurisdictional aspects, and with corporate disputes pertaining to the operation of corporate entities and shareholders' rights.

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The team can handle large or small issues in both Scotland and England and shows itself to be extremely commercial in its view.

DWF has a vast amount of experience and incredible depth in their team. They are commercially astute and understand client’s needs.

Naomi Pryde is a breath of fresh air to the Scottish legal landscape. Highly commercial in her understanding and with great client empathy. Naomi cuts through disputes to advise clients to a successful conclusion and is always mindful of the costs of all outcomes.

Naomi Pryde has exceptional client management skills, plus strong legal knowledge.

Naomi Pryde is unflappably brilliant. She has the ability to distill huge amounts of information quickly and analyses a case’s strengths and weaknesses immediately.

Key clients

Scottish Water Business Stream Limited

Santander Consumer (UK) PLC

Jaguar Land Rover

Grahams The Family Dairy and Mactaggart & Mickel


Aberdeen City Council

The Highland Council

Aberdeenshire Council

Moray Council

Orkney Islands Council

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)

Shetland Islands Council

Crown Commercial Services

DWF is the largest listed legal business in the world, with an award-winning reputation for client service excellence, effective operational management and innovation. The Company became the first Main Market Premium Listed legal business on the London Stock Exchange in March 2019. DWF has been named by the Financial Times as one of Europe’s most innovative legal businesses and has been independently recognised for its quality of legal advice, service delivery and responsiveness.

DWF’s stated purpose is to transform legal services through its people for its clients using its three principal strategic objectives: understanding our clients, engaging our people and doing things differently. DWF aims to deliver its strategy by building long-term relationships with its clients, recruiting talented individuals to maintain a high service level culture and continually innovating in its provision of complex legal services, managed and connected services to address client needs and increase its market share.

The business has core strengths in corporate banking, insurance and litigation and in-depth expertise in several chosen sectors, including insurance; public sector; energy and industrials; real estate; financial services; retail, food and hospitality; technology and transport.

In addition to its legal services, DWF provides a range of professional, business or consulting services, a number of which include or are enabled by technology products and solutions to its clients through its Connected Services division. This offering is complementary to the traditional legal services offered by DWF.

DWF employs over 4,000 people across 31 key locations and has steadily grown its international presence in response to client demand. In 2019 and 2020 DWF expanded its international footprint by opening a new office in Warsaw, Poland and acquired Mindcrest Inc. to establish offices in Chicago and New York, USA, and Pune, India. DWF also acquired RCD in Spain and now has offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, Spain as part of its strategic growth plans.

DWF was the first UK legal business to achieve the ‘Disability Confident’ accreditation, which highlights the firm as an inclusive recruiter of disabled talent and is a Top 30 Employer for Working Families. The business also has its own charitable enterprise, the DWF Foundation, a registered charity aimed at providing funds and support to local charities and programmes focused on education, employability, health and wellbeing and homelessness.

Photo Name Position Profile
 Caroline Colliston  photo Caroline Colliston Partner
 Emma Forrester  photo Emma Forrester Associate
 Douglas Jefferies  photo Douglas Jefferies Director
 Wayne Lawrence  photo Wayne Lawrence Partner
 Andrew Lothian  photo Andrew Lothian Partner
 Gary MacDonald  photo Gary MacDonald Partner
 Julia McDonald  photo Julia McDonald Senior Associate
 Iain McHardy  photo Iain McHardy Partner
 Iain McLean  photo Iain McLean Partner
 David Ratter  photo David Ratter Partner
 Robin Watt  photo Robin Watt Partner