Ince & Co is opening an office in Marseille, its third in France after Paris and Le Havre, with the hire of two local shipping and transport specialists.
French lawyers Fabien d’Haussy and Laurianne Ribes are both best known for acting for French shipping companies on a range of matters.
D’Haussy, who launched his own firm after a career at French firms Renard & Associés and Richemont & Associés, has been practising in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence for the last 15 years. He regularly advises large French shipping companies on cargo claims and is also active in yachting matters.
Ribes, who has a particular reputation for shipping disputes, began her career in 2005 at Renard & Associés, where she worked with d’Haussy. In 2015 she also established her own firm. Her French and international clients are mainly composed of ship-owners, insurers, bunker suppliers, export-import companies, merchants, financial institutions and seafarers.
Jérôme de Sentenac, the managing partner of Ince’s Paris and Le Havre offices, commented: “It makes perfect sense for us to open an office in the strategically important location of Marseille in addition to our offices in Paris and Le Havre. Having a presence in Marseille demonstrates our commitment to the market and will assist us to secure more instructions from our existing and target clients that are active in the Mediterranean and North Africa.”
Ince is the first international law firm to have its own office in Marseille, France’s main port and the city where most of France’s ship-owning companies are located.
Due to this, Marseille has attracted a number of other shipping service companies into the city, including ship-repair yards, insurance brokers, P&I correspondents, shipping agents and freight forwarders. This has turned Marseille into a hub for shipping and trading activities involving North and West Africa.
Jan Heuvels, Ince’s international senior partner, said: “2016 has been a year of growth and investment for Ince & Co. In October, we opened a new office in Cologne and earlier in the year we launched Ince Consultancy LLP.
“Over the last 18 months we have also appointed 24 new partners in our core sectors, 14 of whom have been new hires. Furthermore, we have moved to brand new offices in London and Hong Kong and have invested in new technology systems. The investment that we are making in our business has started to have a positive impact on our bottom line and we are projecting a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in turnover by financial year end.”
During the 2015/16 financial year Ince saw its turnover fall for the third consecutive year as revenue dipped 4 per cent last year to £76.2m.
The continued financial decline follows turnover falling by 8 per cent in 2014/15, from £86.7m, and by 7 per cent over 2012/13, from £93.2m. Over the last three years Ince’s revenue has fallen by 18.2 per cent.
Late last year Ince hired a team of four lawyers to bulk out its Singapore alliance following the 2015 exit of its Singapore managing partner Richard Lovell to Reed Smith along with a number of lawyers from Ince’s local alliance firm, Incisive Law. The group included joint managing director Mohan Subbaraman.
Ince has worked in alliance with Incisive Law since 2011. The joint venture now trades as Ince Law Alliance.
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