Ince Group sold out of administration back into private hands
Listed law firm the Ince Group has been sold out of administration to Axiom DWFM, a fast-growing national firm, in what is described as a “partner-driven transaction”.
More than two weeks after Ince announced it was going into administration, it announced today that Quantuma had been appointed as administrator and sold the group’s business and certain of its assets to AxiomDWFM. The details of the deal have not yet been released.
AxiomDWFM was created in 2021 through the merger of Axiom Stone and DWFM Beckman. It has 43 partners and offices in central London, three in Greater London, Birmingham, Bristol and Swindon.
Ince & Co will be a separate operating entity of AxiomDWFM and managed independently as a separately branded firm.
“The transaction enables the partner group of Ince & Co to refocus the firm’s growth strategy on its core legal services, whilst also improving operations and support structures,” a statement said this afternoon.
All employees will be transferred into Ince & Co under their previous terms of employment. “Existing remuneration structures will be honoured and other material liabilities of the business will be funded.”
The statement went on: “AxiomDWFM’s new ownership provides Ince & Co with solid foundations that will allow it to flourish on its own terms and to continue to provide the high quality of professional service for which it has been known.
“It will allow Ince & Co’s exceptional lawyers to reinforce the firm’s reputation in key sectors such as shipping & energy, aviation, insurance and real estate, along with practices such as dispute resolution, employment, immigration, asset finance, corporate services (including tax), regulatory, family & private wealth and related areas.”
Pragnesh Modhwadia, managing partner of AxiomDWFM, said: “We have great confidence in the quality of the Ince & Co business and the lawyers within it and are very excited that, like AxiomDWFM, the firm is built around differentiated areas of great specialism, market positioning and quality of service.
“When the opportunity came to acquire a business of the calibre of Ince & Co, we were eager to engage and are delighted that the Ince & Co team shared our enthusiasm.”
Donald Brown, chief executive of Ince & Co, said the deal would provide “a simple and clear corporate and capital structure under professional, knowledgeable and robust ownership”.
He added: “After taking over the management of the PLC group [last autumn], it quickly became apparent that we needed to address a series of poorly structured and executed transactions and expansions.”
Jennette Newman, managing partner of Ince & Co, said: “We are committed to reinforcing the firm’s reputation of providing complex legal services to corporate, commercial and high-net-worth clients in our core sectors.”
Axiom DWFM’s partners include several well-known figures like chairman Jonathan Metliss, a renowned City dealmaker and former partner of the legacy Ince Group firm Gordon Dadds; David Sedgwick, ex-chief executive of Clarke Willmott and a former director of small firm consolidator Echelon Law and the defunct Cubism Law; and Guy Barnett, former chief executive of Birmingham firm Blakemores, which was closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2013, and founder of the shopping centre legal marketing brand Lawyers2you.