Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Maritime lawyers Ince fall into administration

Photo: Unsplash City-of-london-from-the-air
One of the best-known names in maritime Ince Group is being placed in administration after a major creditor pulled support for the business.

With over 150 years of history Ince, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, had been in financial difficulties for some time and said in an announcement that the audit process for its 31 March 2022 financial results remained uncompleted.

Ince had delayed the release of its 2022 financial results  on multiple occasions and its shares had been suspended from trading since 3 January this year. The law firm said that the length of the auditing process had put pressure on its cashflows and it had been in discussions with major lenders and other creditors.

“The Company has now been informed by a major creditor that it will no longer continue to support the business and, as a result, in order to preserve the future value of the Group's business and to protect the interests of employees and other stakeholders, the Board of the Company has regrettably concluded that it has no choice but to place the Company into administration,” Ince said in a stock exchange announcement.

The directors have filed to appoint Quantuma as administrator and there is an expectation that it would implement a sale of the group.

A historic name in the world of maritime law Ince & Co was acquired by UK-listed law firm Gordon Dadds Group in 2018, later becoming Ince Group. The acquisition came at a time of upheaval with a number of high-profile partners leaving the firm.

In recent times it has disposed of a number of subsidiaries in apparent effort to raise cash including £1.3m at the end of March from the sale of Bristol-based Clinical Negligence Services.

Senior Partner Julian Clarke, responsible for its global shipping business, left the business a month ago to join P&I insurers Gard, and said in a LinkedIn post that he would appear to be the last ever Senior Partner at Ince.

Ince operates a global network of offices with outstanding matters related to the audit of its business in Hong Kong cited as one of the reasons for the delay in releasing its financial results from 2022.

Ince’s website lists 11 offices in five different countries. The list does not include Incisive Law in Singapore, which operates as a separate Singapore firm. At the end of March Ince completed the sale of its Gibraltar subsidiaries and Ince Germany also effectively separated from the business to comply with local laws and regulations following Brexit.

TAGS: Europe Asia