Stephenson Harwood has hired two partners in Singapore from Ince & Co: John Simpson (pictured), the latter’s Singapore office managing partner, and Martin Brown, who headed the regional finance team.

While Brown is set to join Stephenson Harwood on Nov. 1, Simpson will start at his new firm in May next year.

Simpson was named as Ince’s Singapore managing partner in 2015 after his predecessor Richard Lovell left for Reed Smith. Ince is the only law firm he has worked at till date, having joined as a trainee in 1999.

Brown, who had a six-year stint early in his career with the legacy Norton Rose, joined Ince in 2009. He was named head of the regional finance practice in 2012.

Last week, Stephenson Harwood announced it had hired Ince’s global insurance head Joe O’Keeffe in London, making it three senior hires from Ince in a matter of days.

The departures come at a time of upheaval at Ince. In August, the Hong Kong-based Jan Heuvels stepped down as firm’s international senior partner six months before his tenure was due to end. 

UK media earlier reported that Ince saw a dip in revenue in the past year, and more recently, it has emerged that Ince is set to merge with London-listed law firm Gordon Dadds. The merger would create the UK’s largest listed law firm.  

Gordon Dadds recently opened a Hong Kong office, around the time that Heuvels stepped down.

Stephenson Harwood and its Singapore alliance firm, Virtus Law, currently have 16 partners in the city-state.


To contact the editorial team, please email