HFW launches Monaco office from former Ince team

Global law firm HFW is launching an office in the Principality led by partners Ian Cranston, Andrew Charlier and Marco Crusafio, former heads of Ince in Monaco.

HFW is a global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance, and shipping sectors. The firm has more than 600 lawyers, including 185 partners, based in offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

The HFW team will also include legal directors Ian Fisher and Ruth Monahan, associate George Kaye and trainee legal executive Laura Pike, and specialise in shipping, yachts, business aviation, international trade, commodities, energy and insurance.

They will join HFW in early September 2019 from Ince, where Ian Cranston was Monaco Office Head and Andrew was Global Head of Yachts.

“We’re thrilled to be able to welcome Ian, Andrew, Marco and the team to HFW,” said Paul Dean, Head of Shipping at HFW, in a press release. “We’ve been interested in the Monaco market for quite some time, but we were only ever going to make a move if we could bring them on board – they’re the clear market leaders and we wouldn’t settle for anything less.”

In follows the acquisition of law firm Ince & Co LLP by Gordon Dadds Group PLC in December. The professional services firm also released a statement on Friday saying that a review of its future operations in Monaco concluded that its performance can be improved by bringing in a new team, and “The former Ince team will leave, with no compensation of any entitlement to deferred consideration payable by the group.”

HFW’s move to open a Monaco office continues a period of sustained international expansion that includes 11 international office openings, mergers and associations since 2016, including a US merger and other moves in Brazil, China, Indonesia and the Middle East.

“Monaco has always had a strategic interest for us because of its strong trading, shipping and yachts business, which are core parts of our practice globally,” said Richard Crump, Global Senior Partner at HFW. “We have changed beyond all recognition as a firm over the past four years, thanks to the support of our clients, and will now have 20 offices across five continents. We have ambitious plans to continue that growth and will actively pursue strategic opportunities across our core sectors, services and geographies.”

According to Law Gazette, Ince has suffered significant partner fallout in recent months. In February, administrators of Ince & Co investigated the ’high level’ of partner exits in the 12 months prior to administration. The previous year senior partner Jan Heuvels stepped down from his role six months before his term was due to end.