The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Ince & Co is an international commercial law firm that serves its global client base from offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The firm provides legal advice and strategic guidance to clients based in four core sectors: Transport, Trade, Energy & Infrastructure and Insurance.
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; Oil and gas; Personal injury: defendant; Power (including electricity and renewables); Professional negligence; Shipping; Travel
Acted for Advent International, advising on the maritime law aspects of the acquisition of an 80% stake in London-based shipping services company V.Ships; acted for Aegean Marine Petroleum Network on its $367m acquisition of HEC Europe; representing Great Eastern Shipping and North of England P&I Club in $30m proceedings in the UAE and London as a result of a collision of an LNG carrier and another tanker in the Gulf of Oman; acted for Trafigura in a $12m High Court dispute with Renbrandt Limited concerning a contract for the sale and purchase of gasoil; advising RSA and a large group of other leading London and international marine insurers on the $30m coverage dispute following the sinking of the bulk carrier Panamax Trader in 2015
China Merchant Partners; Danaos, Ed Broking, Emirates, Global Research Partners, Golar LNG; Griffin Insurance Association, Newpark Resources; PVM Oil Associates; Sri Lankan Airlines
‘More independence and freedom to work on your own terms’ is the nature of training at Ince & Co. The ‘non-restrictive seat system’ allows trainees to ‘assist with work from all departments when you have capacity regardless of which department you’re sat in’. Also favoured is the firm’s commitment to ‘high standards of behaviour and decorum’ – ‘everyone is treated with respect’ and there is a ‘relatively equal relationship across all levels’. Though recruits envy their peers with more client contact, they nonetheless recognise their fortune in having ‘slightly more responsibility earlier in our training contract’ and a ‘better work/life balance’. The training at Ince & Co is more relaxed than formal which some recruits dislike as there’s ‘no structure to seats’ and ‘very little management’. Also complained about was the ‘lack of transaction work to experience despite the firm’s drive to expand this sector’. Nevertheless, trainees appreciate working with a firm that has vast experience in the shipping and energy sectors. When rookies got to ‘write advice which was directly forwarded to the client’ and ‘see through a successful deal from beginning to end’ they felt a great sense of achievement, and rewards such as ‘attending a client lunch after completion of a finance transaction’ made the times when recruits ‘stayed late to prepare bundles’ less dreadful. The firm’s involvement in CSR and pro bono is ‘very, very good’. The team helps out at immigration law clinics, reads to school children and runs charity events. An application to Ince & Co is a must if you want to complete ‘rewarding work’ with ‘friendly people’.
A day in the life of...
Lisa Meller second-year trainee, Ince & Co
Departments to date: Marine insurance and shipping
University:Queen Mary University
Degree:International Shipping Law
9.00am: I take the DLR to work which is just a few stops away from Tower Gateway for me and join the rush towards Aldgate.
9.30am: I sit down at my desk with the breakfast special from our subsidised canteen. Then I go through the to-do list I wrote the evening before and decide which task is the most urgent and needs completing first.
9.45am: I start amending an application for security for costs in regards to a rather unusual cargo claim. The claim was made in 2014 and only recently came back to life. We are acting for a shipping line against an Albanian import company. After completing the amendments, I hand the application to the partner for a final review.
11.30am: Following the trainee social in the previous week, I liaise with admin to submit the expenses incurred to Chrome River.
11.45am: I have a brief conversation with the associate on another shipping case on which we are currently at the stage of specific disclosure. I have been helping out on this case since last year together with two other trainees reviewing a number of documents in Spanish.
11.50am: I file some documents which come through on a wet shipping case regarding the progress on site and look for the letter of protest requested by one of the partners on this case. The vessel in this case caught fire and the wreck removal contract is currently being negotiated.
1.30pm: After lunch, I start working on another matter where we need to put together a response pack for an arbitration which we are planning on starting soon. I liaise with the court clerk on this who provides some useful tips on where to locate the documents.
3.00pm: The partner comes back with his final amendments on the security for costs application. I implement his amendments and draft an email to counsel attaching the application and all supporting documents for his review.
4.30pm: I meet with another partner to discuss an old instruction which requires calling an expert and a local authority in Wales to dispose of some old car batteries.
5.00pm: The court clerk gets back to me with further information on the response pack and I prepare a document comparison of documents used for a previous arbitration on the same case. I then draft an email to the associate on this case with an update on this.
6.00pm: Media consultants email us on the wet shipping case in response to the site update provided to them in the morning and point us to some recent media articles published about the vessel. I prepare a draft to the client with the media updates. Then, I go through the to-do list on this case and circulate it among the team.
6.45pm: Looking at my time recording of the day, I read through and amend my narratives before submitting my entries.
7.00pm: I attend my weekly Spanish class at WeWork in Aldgate Tower which helps me to stay on track with Spanish and use the language on a regular basis.
About the firm
Address: Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman Street, London E1 8QN
Telephone: 020 7481 0010
Chairman of the board: Peter Rogan
Other offices: Beijing, Cologne, Dubai, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Le Havre, Marseille, Monaco, Paris, Piraeus, Shanghai, Singapore.
Who we are: With over 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: We are an international commercial law firm that serves its global client base from offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. We provide legal advice and strategic guidance to clients based in four core sectors: transport, trade, energy and infrastructure, and insurance. By combining our sector expertise, legal knowledge and market experience, we deliver services in support of our clients’ most complex disputes, transactions and projects. 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
Total partners: 90
Turnover in 2017: £88.9m
Trainee places available for 2021: 5-10
Applications received pa: 300-500
Percentage interviewed: 15%
First year: £38,250
Second year: £42,250
Newly qualified: £64,000
Apply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 2019
Spring vacation scheme: By 31 January 2019