Ince & Co

Ince & Co

Address: Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman Street, London, E1 8QN




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 ''I wanted to go to a mid-sized litigation firm' 'specialisation in shipping' 'not driven by crazy billable targets' 'I participated in their Trainee Recruitment Placement Scheme and it was a really enjoyable experience' 'I had heard good things about the firm' 'I was interested in shipping law' 'friendly culture'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''The friendliness - Ince has down-to-earth, friendly and helpful partners, associates and support staff, who, due to our size, you can get to know really well' 'the matters we deal with are varied and interesting' 'fantastic and really inspirational lawyers' 'the standard of the work' 'the amount of responsibility you can be offered'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''Sometimes the trainees aren't listened to by the firm' 'the flexible but rather chaotic seat system - there doesn't seem to be much value placed on providing structured training' 'there aren't many secondment opportunities' 'there is a slightly moany culture' 'the firm is sometimes criticised in the press, which is never nice to hear'
Best moment? 
 ''Being involved with a freezing injunction application' 'drafting a memo that was sent straight to the client' 'being involved in discussions and meetings with clients in the aftermath of a collision or grounding' 'getting to hold a client meeting by myself' 'drafting advice to clients and instructions to counsel' 'attending court'
Worst moment?
 ''Dealing with stressed fee earners' 'a couple of weekends at the office' 'some dull days of document review' 'accidentally hitting reply all and sending an internal email to all other parties' 'long hours when trainees were thin on the ground''

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Eric (The Little Mermaid) - friendly, laid-back and really good at steering a ship

The Verdict

The firm

Founded in 1870, Ince & Co is an international commercial law firm with 13 offices worldwide. The firm has a well-established reputation in both shipping and insurance, and also focuses on the aviation, energy and international trade sectors. Ince & Co's offices are located in key strategic locations for these markets internationally. Over 100 partners and more than 260 other lawyers work for the firm worldwide. 

The star performers

Asset finance and leasing; Aviation; Commercial litigation; Commodities: physicals; EU and competition; Fraud: civil; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; Insurance: corporate and regulatory; M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m; Personal injury: defendant; Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Professional negligence; Oil and gas; Shipping; Travel: regulatory and commercial.

The deals

Advising Visemar, and insurer, Gard, on disputes relating to a 2014 fire on board the Norman Atlantic; advised Golar on its joint venture with Schlumberger; advised GasLog on its $400m joint venture with a Greek entity to operate several floating storage regasification units; advised International Underwriting Association on the review of its standard contract clauses in relation to the newly-implemented Insurance Act; acted for HDI Global in a major marine insurance case regarding fraudulent conduct in the presentation of insurance claims.

The clients

Bristow Helicopters; Danaos; East Coast Capital; Emirates; Global Reach Partners; Ocean Yield; PVM Oil Associates; Ryanair; Sea Powerful; Vueling Airlines.

The Verdict

Trainees were drawn to Ince & Co's 'reputation for shipping and marine insurance' as well as its 'status as one of the world's leading maritime law firms'. One recruit was particularly impressed that the firm 'has been involved in virtually every major maritime incident'. Receiving 'quality work from the outset' and a 'great deal of responsibility, especially on smaller cases/matters' are part and parcel of the Ince & Co training contract. This ensures that trainees 'get as much exposure and experience as possible'. Recruits were divided over the firm's flexible seat structure, which allows them to 'pick up work from any department, regardless of where you are sitting'. This system 'can work very well and allow you to see your cases through to the end'. However, it can also be 'rather chaotic' and mean that 'you get stuck on matters you are not so interested in for several seats', the outcome of which is that training can be 'narrower than it might be somewhere with a more traditional seat structure'. There are 'good opportunities to work closely with partners and clients' at Ince & Co and senior members of the team are mostly 'happy to let you take on a lot of responsibility from the beginning'. Examples of hands-on work are 'going abroad to represent the firm at a meeting' and 'interviewing witnesses on a massive case two months into my training contract'. There are international seats on offer at Ince & Co, with trainees mentioning Monaco and Dubai as potential destinations. Client secondments in the City are also available, enabling trainees to 'get a new perspective of what a client actually needs'. Those intrigued by shipping law and keen to do 'interesting and varied work' should take a closer look at Ince & Co.

 A day in the life of...

Francesca Jus-Burke second-year trainee, Ince & Co 

Departments to date:  Admiralty and aviation

University:University of Loughborough 
Degree:European and international studies 

9.00am:  I either cycle in and leave my bike in the basement lockers, or travel in by motorbike and go to the gym before work. There are quite a few gyms around here and most trainees make use of the gym subsidy to go before or after work.

9.30am:  I sit down at my desk with a tasty breakfast from our subsidised canteen, check my emails and plan my day.

9.45am:  I continue to work on a disclosure exercise with a fellow trainee. We are acting for the owner of a vessel whose ship was arrested and is defending itself against cargo claims. We are compiling court bundles for agreement by all parties, and further correspondence has been sent across by the other side, so we're checking to see whether we already have these documents in our bundles.

11.45am:  After a tea break, I get started on drafting expert instructions for a general average case. We are acting for the owners of a vessel that grounded and we want to find out the cause of the grounding. I spent a few days collating the evidence gathered on board and from emails into a file; now it's time to pull that information together and draft the details of the case, our opponent's stance and the questions we want answered.

1.40pm:  I'm fluent in French, so a second-year trainee asked for my help with the translation of a French document into English. The correspondence relates to a French captain's record of a vessel's attempted refloat by salvage following a grounding.

2.25pm:  I get started on a quick task discussed with an insurance partner yesterday; I need to look into the applicability to foreign companies of the Isle of Man and UK Third Party (Rights against Insurers) Acts. We are acting for a client who is owed insurance monies and is considering winding up proceedings against the guilty party's underwriters in order to pressure them into paying out.

3.30pm:  A capacity email came round asking for help with background research for a presentation to clients on differences between US/UK contract law and recent LNG cases. After meeting with the energy associate who will be delivering the presentation, I start researching the contract law point. That involves looking at existing information on our database and topping up any gaps from the usual legal sources.

6.00pm:  I attend the Lloyd's List Global Awards ceremony at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich with one of our partners. It's a black tie drinks reception and dinner in celebration of the key players in global shipping. One of our Singapore partners was nominated in The i-Law Maritime Lawyer of the Year category and we were attending on his behalf. During the evening we sat with representatives from the Liverpool and Southampton port owning company; it was interesting to hear about the kinds of trade, ships and general matters they have to deal with on a daily basis.

About the firm

Address:Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman Street, London, E1 8QN

Telephone: 020 7481 0010

Senior partner: Jan Heuvels

Total partners: 90

Other fee-earners: 250

Total trainees: 550

Other offices: Beijing, Cologne, Dubai, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Le Havre, Marseille, 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:GDL and LPC plus £7,000 maintenance grant within London, £6,500 outside London.


Facts and figures

Training contracts available for 2020: 10

Applications received pa: 300-500 

Percentage interviewed: 15% 


First year: £37,750

Second year: £41,800

Newly qualified: £63,250

Turnover in 2016: £76.2m (-4% from 2015)

 Application process

Apply to:Jennifer Watson, recruitment and resourcing manager.

How: Online application

What's involved: Online application, psychometric test, in-tray prioritisation exercise and assessment day (including pitch exercise, drafting exercise, Q&A with trainees, and an interview with HR and a partner).

When to Apply:

Training Contract: By 31 July 2018.

Spring Vacation Scheme: By 31 January 2018.