Legal Business Blogs

Hong Kong drives H1 revenue at Ince by 125% following key partner hires amid expansive year

Following the full integration of its consolidated businesses in the UK and China, Ince today (28 November) published revenues of £45.3m for the first half of 2019/2020 financial year, a 125% hike from 2018. Profit increased by 264% from £1.1m to £4m, while the firm also reported a net debt of £10.4m, an increase of £7.3m due to the working capital invested in lateral hires and the cost of integrating the businesses.

Group chief executive Adrian Biles told Legal Business: ‘The key growth areas include Hong Kong, where we have effectively doubled the size of our business in the period where we’ve had control.’

Between April and May this year Ince – which previously operated as Gordon Dadds before the takeover of Ince & Co over a year ago – hired corporate partner Eric Lui and commercial disputes partners Alfred Lau and Ian Lo as well as over 20 staff in Hong Kong.

The business operates out of 23 offices in eight countries and will focus on expanding in jurisdictions it already has a presence, aiming to ‘replace capacity in Ince’s traditional sectors where needed and also broaden the offering of each office’. Ince has offices in Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, the UAE, Singapore and China and has plans to hire in Singapore and Dubai.

‘The plan is to look at all the areas and jurisdictions where we operate and to increase the range of services which are offered to our clients in those jurisdictions,’ added Biles (pictured). ‘We are fortunate in having some significant lateral hires joining us. We’ve got people joining from Singapore from peer group businesses. The object of the exercise generally being to increase revenue in each jurisdiction.’

The firm recently hired Mark Tantam as global head of consulting. Tantam was previously vice-chair of Deloitte and has 20 years of professional services experience. He will provide his services through the recently acquired Mahtcorp1.

Biles said: ‘He brings with him not only a very clear vision of how a large international professional services business can operate but also a wealth of experience in forensics, regulation, remediation and excellent client relationships in key areas which we operate in like regulatory consulting.’

Other senior appointments include former global head of shipping at Hill Dickinson, Julian Clark, appointed as senior partner in September and current European managing partner of Orrick, Alexander Janes, who will join the firm as head of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The listed entity has continued to show positive results, despite scepticism over how successful and stable the listed legal model is.

‘The question is, who is an appropriate firm to list?’ Biles commented. ‘Firms that want to list have got to have their own profile and the right reasons for wanting to list. I’m sure people are looking for the ability to finance their business and enhance its growth. For a private company to transition to a public company can be quite a cultural shift. Looking at the results that have been announced by most of the listed firms, they’ve all been very positive and one hopes that the model is working and investors are becoming more comfortable with it.’

For more on Ince, see ‘LB100 case study: Ince’