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Ince & Co is losing the head of its shipbuilding practice in a move which is believed to be the first partner defection from the firm.
Mike Pollen, who has been a partner at Ince & Co for 18 years and is believed to be one of the firm's top billers, will join the London office of DLA. Pollen advises shipyards and shipowners on conventional shipbuilding contracts and special projects and is predominantly involved in contract work for big industrial clients. DLA's practice, however, focuses on P&I clubs, shipowners and insurers. Pollen said he thinks that his practice and DLA's will complement each other well. "There's a lot of scope for cross-fertilisation for both the practice and the clients," he said. He said he is joining DLA because he is impressed by its modern approach to practising law. "They're an impressive outfit and I'm fascinated to see how a differently managed firm works." His departure follows the announcement that Ince & Co will open an office in Hamburg on 1 October (The Lawyer, 3 September). The move is a significant coup for DLA, which has been planning to build its shipping practice following the recent expansion of its international network D&P.
"DLA is an impressive outfit, and I'm fascinated to see how a different firm works" Mike Pollen, DLA
DLA operates shipping practices in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the North West of England and a number of D&P firms include shipping as one of their core areas. Pollen's arrival is expected to boost the practices both in the UK and the Far East. DLA's head of marine aviation and reinsurance said: "Adding [Pollen] to our team will push DLA to the forefront in this increasingly important area." DLA managing partner Nigel Knowles said: "Pollen's arrival is a very significant addition, not only to DLA, but also to our D&P network, particularly bearing in mind the strength of certain D&P firms in relation to shipping."