Spinnaker assists Hill Dickinson hire 10-strong team of ex-Ince Hong Kong ship finance lawyers


Maritime people experts Spinnaker represented law firm Hill Dickinson in their recent recruitment of a specialist Ship Finance team of 10 from Ince & Co. The project was handled personally by Spinnaker Chairman Phil Parry (pictured), himself an ex-Ince & Co maritime lawyer.

The new hires all moved from Ince & Co Hong Kong and the move strengthens Hill Dickinson’s marine and shipping practice across the region.

This move comes as the 157-year-old law firm Ince & Co fell into administration in 2023. It’s been reported that the demise of the company was due to a cyber-attack in 2022 from which the organisation never recovered. Several attempts to save the business failed, including restructuring and selling off several offices and subsidiaries but the straw that broke the camel’s back following the acquisition of the firm in administration was the launch of a criminal investigation against individuals at the new owners Axiom DWFM culminating in 7 arrests for misappropriation of funds in November 2023.

Spinnaker’s placement of 10 new staff includes 3 senior partners, 5 fee earners and 2 support staff. The new team complements Hill Dickinson’s existing practice in Hong Kong, led by Damien Laracy, with a focus on shipping and commercial arbitration and litigation, ship sale and purchase, insolvency and restructuring.

Hill Dickinson’s CEO Peter Jackson said: “It was a pleasure to work with Spinnaker on our recent growth in Hong Kong. The market knowledge of Phil and his team, added to their knowledge of our vision, culture and values, enabled us to make a valuable addition to our services in the region.”

Spinnaker’s Phil Parry said the transaction was bittersweet: “I’ve always been very proud of starting my career at Ince & Co. I left as a relatively junior solicitor to set up Spinnaker and have always regarded Ince as my kind of alma mater. The events of the last few years have seen a once great name that sat at the very top of the tree in maritime law, fall from grace.

“I hope their legacy lives on at Hill Dickinson<, a firm whose culture is much the same as what made the old Ince & Co a great law firm,” Parry added.