Legal Business

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

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.’

muna.abdi@legalease.co.uk

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

 

Legal Business

Case study: Ince

Case study: Ince

What a difference a year makes. After an initial public offering, a series of acquisitions – including City institution Ince & Co in October 2018 – and a share price drop earlier this year, Ince Group plc, which previously operated as Gordon Dadds, moves up 23 places in the Legal Business 100 2018/19 following a 69% boost in revenue from £31.2m to £52.6m.

The listed firm added £21.4m to its top line through five acquisitions in 2017 and 2018. The group reported a 73% profit increase from £8.8m to £15.2m, while earnings per share surged by 79% and dividend per share increased by 50%. However, the group reported a £14.3m non-recurring acquisition cost and a debt reduction of £5.5m, bringing the actual figure down to £2.9m.

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Ince appoints London managing partner duo as City players hire globally

Revolving doors: Ince appoints London managing partner duo as City players hire globally

After an eventful few months following its acquisition by Gordon Dadds, Ince has put down some roots with the appointment of Nick Goldstone and Michael Volikas as joint managing partners of the London office.

The move came after Gordon Dadds last month posted a 69% revenue hike from to £52.6m and a 73% rise in profit to £15.2m on the back of its £43m acquisition of Ince.

Ince’s former head of dispute resolution, Goldstone specialises in media-related disputes, reputation management and human rights. Volikas was previously global managing partner for the Ince & Co shipping group where he acted mainly on dispute resolution matters.

Goldstone told Legal Business: ‘We intend to be one of the go-to firms, not just for law, but for professional advice. We think we offer a fairly unique offering and intend to keep growing our sectors.’

He said he intends to move the firm forward and work through all the opportunities that have been created by last year’s merger. The firm aims to build out its core areas of strength in shipping, energy and insurance as well as its corporate, commercial and property sectors.

Goldstone is confident the current political and economic climate will bring in more work. ‘So far as the Strait of Hormuz is concerned and the trade war that’s potentially building up between the United States, China and the sanction issues with Iran – these create problems and opportunities. We are well-equipped to help our existing client base and new clients deal with these issues.’ Goldstone said.

Adrian Biles, the chief executive of both Ince and Gordon Dadds, will focus on the firm’s international outlook.

Meanwhile in Frankfurt, DLA Piper bolstered its tax practice with the hire of Ulf Andresen from PwC where he headed the Frankfurt transfer pricing group and the German financial services transfer pricing group.

Andresen has experience in structuring and implementing cross-border activities, evaluating tax accounting impact and defending these structures in audits. The move is part of DLA’s plan to expand its capabilities in transfer pricing, an area of law which is becoming increasingly important due to changes in the international tax landscape.

Co-managing partner Konrad Rohde told Legal Business: ‘We have a transfer pricing practice already in the UK and China. We’re very strong in terms of transfer pricing in the US and we also have capabilities in Italy. We have a lot of clients that do international reorganisations and transfer pricing is a huge driver for that. We also see a lot of opportunities to interface with other areas we practice in, in particular intellectual property, corporate and also white collar crime.’

‘We think that it will help us grow the practice but also give us an edge in comparison to other firms. If you look at law firms in Germany, very few typically cover transfer pricing. This will really give us a good footprint in the German legal market’ Rohde added.

Elsewhere, in Hong Kong, Allen & Overy appointed restructuring lawyer Ian Chapman to the partnership and its Asia Pa00cific restructuring and recovery group. Chapman has over 30 years of experience advising publicly-owned and private companies on complex and high profile restructurings and insolvencies in Asia.

Meanwhile, Burness Paull, has enhanced its tech sector capabilities with the hire of IP, commercial and competition partner Colin Miller from DWF.  He has acted for clients including C-Trip/Skyscanner, Expedia Group, Zoopla, uSwitch and Administrate, as well as the Oil & Gas Technology Centre.

Finally in China, Linklaters’ Shanghai free trade zone joint operation partner Zhao Sheng has hired Vivian Cao to its Beijing competition practice and corporate M&A lawyer Colette Pan to it Shanghai office. Cao has international and domestic competition law experience while Pan specialises in China-facing financial institution, tech and fintech M&A and financial regulation. Both partners join from Fangda Partners and are PRC and New York State qualified.

muna.abdi@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Ince merger pays dividends for Gordon Dadds as revenue and profit skyrocket post acquisition

Ince merger pays dividends for Gordon Dadds as revenue and profit skyrocket post acquisition

Gordon Dadds has posted a pace-setting set of results that have seen revenue and profit soar thanks to the addition of Ince & Co last year.

The listed entity, Gordon Dadds Group Plc, saw revenue boosted 69% from £31.2m to £52.6m following its £43m acquisition of Ince. It is a positive set of results that come after the business suffered a share price drop to an all-time low only three months ago.

Profits increased by 73% to £15.2m from £8.8m and earnings per share saw a 79% surge as dividend per share increased 50%. The firm has also reduced debt from £8.4m to £2.9m. The business reported a non-recurring cost of £14.3m for acquisitions, including Ince’s Chinese business at the start of the year, which marked the completion of Ince’s integration.

Chief executive Adrian Biles (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘All of our areas have seen plenty of activity. There’s an awful lot happening in the Strait of Hormuz and depending on what happens that obviously might well affect the shipping market. We’re looking to capitalise on those areas in which we are already a market or world-leader and offer more. Since we put the two businesses together, we’ve greatly increased the range of services that we offer to our clients.’

The group operates from eight jurisdictions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and recently opened a London office in the Lloyds insurance market to improve its insurance offering. The listed firm reported no partner or client losses during and since its acquisition period and announced the lateral hires of three partners to its Hong Kong office.

muna.abdi@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Ince Gordon Dadds sees share price fall following critical administrator report

Ince Gordon Dadds sees share price fall following critical administrator report

Merger vital to saving ‘unmanageable’ Ince business, says Quantuma

Newly-merged listed firm Ince Gordon Dadds saw its share price dip to an all-time low of 130p in March, following a damning creditor’s report from administrator Quantuma on the legacy Ince & Co business.