01 Jun 2022

Ince bolsters Greek presence with seven new faces for Piraeus office from rival firms

Rise in volume of work sees new arrivals join shipping litigation and ship finance teams from firms including Hill Dickinson and WFW

Piraues Harbour

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Listed UK law and professional services firm Ince has added seven new faces from rival firms to its office in Piraeus, Greece, in a move it says has been triggered by an increased volume of business. 

Associates Ioanna Gavriiloglou and Henry Stockley have joined the shipping litigation team from Hill Dickinson and Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) respectively, along with trainee Christos Palimeris, who has moved over from Greek law firm Kelemenis & Co.  

Meantime Anthi Kekatou has joined the ship finance team as a managing associate from HFW alongside associate Io Georgia Papadimitriou, who has joined from Hill Dickinson, and paralegal Domniki Symeonoglou, who made the move from Stephenson Harwood. 

Rounding out the new hires is marine manager Michel Farach, who has joined from American Hellenic Hull, where he was an assistant underwriter. 

Jamila Khan, partner and head of the Piraeus office, said the office was experiencing substantial growth. 

“This has given us the opportunity to welcome new talent into the team at all levels, which will allow us to provide the best service to our maritime clients," she added.  

The latest hires, which bring the Piraeus office’s lawyer headcount up to 20 including seven partners, follow shipping finance partner Konstantinos Mexias joining the office at the start of last year from WFW, just a few months before shipping disputes partner Aris Moschopoulos moved over from Hill Dickinson. 

Led by Paul Herring and Dimitris Giomelakis, Ince’s shipping litigation team in Piraeus is ranked Tier 2 by the Legal 500 and has shipping companies including Carras Hellas and Star Bulk among its clients as well as the London P&I Club. The ship finance team, meanwhile, has a Tier 3 ranking and a strong focus on offshore and yacht finance. 

Julian Clark, global senior partner at Ince, said the expansion of the Piraeus office was “fantastic news” for the team in Greece but also for the wider firm. 

“Attracting, retaining and developing talent remains a key priority for us and we are delighted that so many practitioners have joined our growing maritime practice,” he added.  

The expansion of Ince’s Piraeus office follows a tumultuous period for the firm, which earlier this month launched a formal investigation into allegations that a group of its senior staff had behaved ‘inappropriately’ towards a waitress at a restaurant in Cardiff. 

Last July the firm reported a 4% rise in revenue to £100.2m but a 59% fall in operating profit to £3.1m for the year ending 31 March, after incurring a series of ‘non-underlying’ Covid-19 related costs, including £3.2m associated with the permanent closure of one of the two floors at its London headquarters. 

The firm also lost its UK managing partner Mark Tantam last July after he had spent just 10 months in the role, with Tantam departing Ince to pursue interests outside the legal services sector.

Another UK firm to boost its maritime offering recently was HFW, which in February launched in Denmark with the hire of leading Danish shipping lawyer Jens Mathiasen in a move the firm said made it the only global shipping practice with a base in the Scandinavian country.

 

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