04 Jan 2023

DLA Piper secures DWF’s head of Scottish commercial disputes in Edinburgh

Highly regarded litigator Naomi Pryde brings extensive cross-border and advocacy experience

Naomi Pryde Image courtesy of DLA Piper

DLA Piper has secured the head of DWF’s Scottish commercial litigation team.

Naomi Pryde has joined the firm as a partner in Edinburgh after four years at DWF to manage high-value commercial and property litigation cases. 

Her arrival marks a significant lateral hire for DLA Piper; qualified in Scotland, England and Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, she can litigate in cases across the UK and the EU – a major plus for the firm’s cross-border clients. 

“Naomi will be a real asset not only in Scotland but across the UK and as part of our international offering,” said Neil Bowker, DLA Piper’s UK head of the litigation and regulatory group. “She is highly regarded as a lawyer and has fantastic energy which, along with her can-do attitude, is appreciated by colleagues and clients alike.”

Her client base ranges from wealthy individuals to large multi-national corporations and spans the full range of commercial sectors but has a particular focus on the energy, retail, banking and finance sectors, which also aligns with DLA’s strategic outlook.

Pryde has also distinguished herself for her work with clients on dispute avoidance and risk management as well as using alternative dispute resolution strategically, while remaining ready to litigate firmly and assertively should the need arise. 

Aligned to her cross-border experience, Pryde brings advocacy experience in both Scotland and England and Wales’s higher courts, as well as being a notary public. She is also a Writer to His Majesty’s Signet – one of Scotland’s oldest and most respected legal institutions outside the Faculty of Advocates. 

She trained and qualified at legacy firm Tods Murray, now part of Shepherd & Wedderburn, and spent more than six years at the firm before relocating to England to work for Dentons’ litigation team for four-and-a-half years. From there, she moved over to DWF as a partner in 2019, where she split her time between the firm’s London office and bases in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Voted ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in 2021 at the Scottish Legal Awards, Pryde’s prominence in Scottish legal services has seen her give back to her profession as a senior leader of DWF’s diversity group and through serving as a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s governing council, adding large law firm insight to that body. 

Her role as head of DWF’s Scottish disputes team also saw her work closely with DWF’s global litigation leadership team. While not initially taking on leadership responsibilities with DLA Piper, Pryde is expected to boost the firm’s disputes practice, both nationally and internationally, and spearhead a sharper focus on larger, more complex and valuable international commercial disputes.

Pryde’s arrival at DLA Piper follows a period in which DLA Piper has focused on developing its European and Africa networks that saw it hire Hausfeld’s former Paris and Brussels managing partner Laurent Geelhand in Brussels last August to boost its competition offering. 

The firm also hired Africa-focused projects partner Karim Maalioun in London last November from Canadian firm Fasken and in the same month added Clifford Chance’s former Africa group director, Titus Edjua, from Watson & Farley. 

Recent UK disputes hires at the firm include Antony Hainsworth, previously UK head of financial services regulation at Société Générale, last July, and Emma Dowden-Teale, a public sector litigator who joined from Bates Wells in April 2022. The firm announced a bumper 74-partner promotions round, with just under half the cohort women, the same month. 

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