The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Founded in 1870, Ince & Co has established an international reputation for its shipping expertise, routinely advising ship-owners, charterers and insurers on a variety of issues. The firm set up a Cologne office in May 2016, its second in Germany after launching in Hamburg in 2001. Ince & Co now employs over 600 lawyers spread across 12 offices in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The firm also has well-regarded practice groups covering M&A, aviation and personal injury.
The star performers
Asset finance and leasing; Aviation; Commercial litigation; Commodities: physicals; Fraud: civil; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; Insurance: corporate and regulatory; M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m; Oil and gas; Personal injury: defendant; Professional negligence; Shipping.
Acted for DNB as a creditor on the restructuring of Italian shipping company RBD Armatori; defended Travelers, RSA, Novae, Canopius, Omega, Atrium and Markel as the insurers on proceedings by the assured owner of a superyacht following extensive fire damage; advised long-term client Golar LNG on a commercial agreement with Perenco Cameroon regarding the development of a floating LNG project; advised on the fire on board an Ethiopian Air Boeing 787 Dreamliner, caused by a lithium battery; acted for PST Energy 7 Shipping on the high-profile Supreme Court case relating to the collapse of the OW Group.
British Marine Mutual; Dragon Oil; Fred Olsen; GasLog; Gunvor; Hercules Offshore; Nordea; Petrofac; Vitol; XL Catlin.
Ince & Co offers ‘very good formal training sessions’ which include ‘weekly seminars and lectures’ to help ease trainees into their training contracts. While being given ‘independence’, trainees feel ‘very supported’ and love how the firm is ‘actively encouraging’ their progression. The firm organises ‘external speakers’ to come in regularly and discuss a range of topics from the ‘basics of contract law to the more intricate areas of law the firm specialises in’. The firm’s ‘strengths are in its core practices’ including M&A, aviation and insurance, but it is internationally renowned for its shipping expertise. The ‘flexible training system’ allows trainees to ‘pick up work from any of the firm’s departments’. Recruits don’t have to give up ‘good-quality work’ when they ‘move seats’ as each practice area is ‘interesting and complex’. The firm has the ‘winning combination’ of ‘incredibly approachable’ partners who ‘possess extensive knowledge and experience’ and are ‘willing to help’. Trainees grumble about ‘uneven distribution of workload’ as some are overwhelmed while others have ‘periods of nothing to do’. Training highlights include ‘playing a key role in a case’, ‘receiving positive client feedback’ plus ‘being given a high level of responsibility early on which was both encouraging and exciting’. Trainees love the ‘friendly atmosphere’, the ‘people who work here’ and the ‘good work/life balance’. If you are looking for a personalised training contract at an expert shipping firm, why not add Ince & Co to the list.
A day in the life of...
Sang Joon Park second-year trainee, Ince & Co LLP
Departments to date: Trainees can work accress all of the firm’s business groups in each of their seats
University:University College London
Degree:Law LLB, International Business Law LLM
6.45am: I start the day early today as I have a squash match against a friend working in the City. We try to squeeze in a few games two to three times a week to keep relatively fit.
8.30am: I arrive at my desk, armed with some coffee, and check my to-do list. I am currently assisting a partner in preparing for an LMAA arbitration which is due to start in a matter of weeks. The case concerns corrosion damage to the tank tops after a cargo of wet sulphur was shipped on board. We are acting for the owner of the vessel claiming repair costs against the charterer who was contractually obliged to inform us about the nature of the cargo. I receive a call from counsel. We discuss what amendments need to be made to the hearing bundles, including a supplementary witness statement from one of our appointed experts. I prepare a number of inserts, and update the bundles and indices. Having checked for any errors, I draft a cover email, attaching the supplementary expert report and serve it to the solicitors acting for the other side.
10.30am: Ince’s training contract does not restrict trainees to solely undertake work from the department in which they are sat. My current seat in the energy group has given me the opportunity to work on a dispute regarding an oil and gas project (an area of personal interest). Our client is owed a large sum of money for the work they performed under a contract to install, operate and maintain a production facility in Iraq for a large operator company. I have been asked to draft a letter before action to the other side. I draft the letter and send it to the partner for review and also send a brief email to the client informing them that by the end of the day they will receive the letter to review. I also start drafting the claim submissions in preparation for commencing proceedings.
12.30pm: I briefly stop for lunch in the firm’s canteen. A lot of the trainees try to take lunch at about the same time each day as it’s a good chance to catch up.
1.30pm: Returning to my desk, I review a number of new emails regarding the upcoming arbitration. Counsel has made a number of requests. I am asked to first draft a document which details all of the issues as set out in our pleadings, and summarise the differing opinions on these issues according to the various witnesses and experts. I work through the witness statements, taking note of their evidence and incorporating this into the document.
4.00pm: I continue drafting the claim submissions for the oil and gas dispute. This task can take time, depending on the complexity of the case. However, as this is a simple debt recovery claim, I can navigate through most of the documents fairly quickly and draft the particulars of claim accordingly. The client has also sent through further relevant documents which will help me to plead their claim in full. I submit the draft to the lead partner for review.
6.00pm: Along with billable work, trainees are often tasked with writing articles about contemporaneous legal topics or cases which may be of interest to our clients. I receive an internal case update which mentions a Supreme Court decision in relation to contract law. I visit the office of the partner who is responsible for co-ordinating these articles for our clients, and have a discussion about the case and its relevance to our clients in the energy sector. She asks me to review the case and draft a case commentary tomorrow.
7.30pm: Tonight is Ince drinks. The firm regularly hosts drinks on the balcony of our offices. It is always a relaxed and enjoyable occasion (especially if the weather is nice).
About the firm
Address:Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman Street, London, E1 8QN
Telephone: 020 7481 0010
Fax:020 7481 4968
International senior partner : Jan Heuvels
Other offices: Beijing, Cologne, Dubai, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Le Havre, Monaco, Paris, Piraeus, Shanghai, Singapore.
Who we are: With 140 years of experience we’re one of the oldest law firms in the City, but we’re not bound by tradition. We’ve built our success by always taking an innovative approach, looking for new ways to apply legal strategies and create new law.
What we do: Ince has five core business groups: aviation, energy, insurance and reinsurance, international trade and shipping. We are frequently at the forefront of developments in contract and tort law.
What we are looking for: 2(1) or equivalent at degree level, AAB or equivalent at A Level. Proactive, academic, enthusiastic about our practice areas and expertise.
What you'll do:From the moment you step through the door you’ll be given real responsibility for real cases. Although your work will be supervised by partners, you’ll also enjoy a high level of autonomy. Because we don’t have rigid departmental structures, you’re encouraged to approach partners and get involved in all aspects of our practice areas throughout your training contract.
Perks: Private healthcare scheme, permanent health insurance, interest-free season ticket loan, Ride 2 Work scheme, fitness subsidy (firm contributes up to £30p/mth for any gym or other fitness-related membership), lnceFlex – flexible benefits scheme – offers additional benefits via salary sacrifice, such as dental, insurance, travel insurance, critical illness cover and buying/selling holiday.
Sponsorship:Fees for future trainees. GDL: £6,500 for study within London and Guildford and £6,000 for elsewhere. LPC: £7,000 for study within London and Guildford and £6,500 for elsewhere.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: approximately 10
Applications received pa: 650
Percentage interviewed: 10%
First year: £37,000
Second year: £41,000
Newly qualified: £62,000
Total partners: 90
Total trainees:18 (London)
Apply to:Shalini Chawla, recruitment and resourcing manager.
When to Apply:By 31 July 2017.
Apply by 31 January 2017.