Marine law firm sold in pre-pack deal

Peter Rogan and Adrian Biles Ince & Co’s Peter Rogan (left) with Adrian Biles, Gordon Dadds’ Managing Partner & CEO. Credit: Gordon Dadds

Unsecured creditors of marine law firm Ince & Co could lose millions of pounds after the business was sold as part of a pre-pack administration deal.

The company has now been acquired by Gordon Dadds in a £27.3m deal.

It is understood Gordon Dadds was advised that there was a risk of insolvency on Ince & Co’s balance sheet and therefore a risk to investors due to the liabilities.

The deal was confirmed on 31 December after initially being announced by Gordon Dadds in October, but the announcement did not mention that Ince & Co had entered administration.

Trade continues

The deal involved Ince & Co’s UK business and practices in Shanghai and Beijing. It did not include the independent network of Ince firms in Germany, Greece, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, which continue to trade under the Ince name.

The deal includes the transfer of 24 equity partners who have committed to the confirmed firm of Ince Gordon Dadds for a minimum of 18 months.

A pre-pack deal enables the sale of a business as a going concern, lining up a buyer before the formal appointment of administrators.

The system is controversial as it enables the new owner to continue trading without the debts and liabilities.

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