The Lawyer UK 200 Rank45

Ince Gordon Dadds began life in 1866 when 25-year-old Francis Ince partnered with John Ingledew in Cardiff to form Ingledew Ince. The firm established itself in London in 1870, and from the very beginning focused on shipping and commercial law. This relatively narrow focus remained evident throughout Ince & Co’s existence. The firm specialised in shipping, insurance, energy and aviation. The firm made efforts to develop a bit more of a transactional practice in the mid-2000s but ultimately remained a

Ince Gordon Dadds began life in 1866 when 25-year-old Francis Ince partnered with John Ingledew in Cardiff to form Ingledew Ince. The firm established itself in London in 1870, and from the very beginning focused on shipping and commercial law.

This relatively narrow focus remained evident throughout Ince & Co’s existence. The firm specialised in shipping, insurance, energy and aviation. The firm made efforts to develop a bit more of a transactional practice in the mid-2000s but ultimately remained a very litigation-heavy firm.

The firm’s overseas network reveals the importance of shipping to the firm: its offices are all in major ports or shipping centres. Hong Kong (opened in 1979), Singapore (1991) and Piraeus (1993) have been followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, Le Havre, Marseille, Hamburg, Cologne, Monaco and Dubai. As senior partner from 2000 to 2008, Peter Rogan led the firm through much of this international expansion.

Ince maintained a very old-school reputation and, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, did not change nearly as much as one-time near rival Clyde & Co. While Clydes opened other UK offices, and grew via significant mergers with insurance firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Scotland’s Simpson & Marwick, Ince seemed willing to remain a relatively similar shape.

It was not a successful strategy. Revenue fell three years running between 2013 and 2017 and this belatedly shook the firm into action. It overhauled its remuneration system in 2015, and in 2017 The Lawyer revealed Ince was on the hunt for a merger and had approached a number of firms including Hill Dickinson and Watson Farley & Williams.

Jan Heuvals took over as Ince’s ninth and last senior partner in 2015. Previously Hamburg managing partner, he relocated from London in 2015, but moved again in 2017 to lead the firm from Hong Kong. He oversaw several changes at the firm which saw two redundancy consultations at the firm’s London office in 2015, downsizing that same office and an overhaul in its lockstep.

It was not enough to arrest the firm’s decline. At the end of 2018 AIM-listed Gordon Dadds agreed terms to acquire Ince, including its international LLP. The new firm is led by Gordon Dadds’ CEO and managing partner Adrian Biles, with Ince’s global chair Peter Rogan supporting him.

Ince & Co senior partner Chair
1866 Francis Ince
1920

Ernest Wilson

1957 Jack Griggs
1976 Donald O’May
1989 Patrick Griggs
1995 Richard Sayer
2000 Peter Rogan
2008 James Wilson
2015 Jan Heuvals Paul Herring (role created)
Ince Gordon Dadds CEO and managing partner Chair
2018 Adrian Biles Peter Rogan

TRAINING CONTRACTS

What is the trainee salary at Ince Gordon Dadds?

1st year trainee (London): £37,750

2nd year trainee (London): £41,800

What is the NQ salary at Ince Gordon Dadds?

NQ solicitor (London): £63,250