Former Ince chief exec removed as company director over ‘conflict of interest’ concerns

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By William Holmes on

Immediate effect

Adrian Biles

The former chief executive of the listed law firm Ince has been removed from his position as a company director with immediate effect, it was announced yesterday.

In July, Adrian Biles confirmed he would step down from his role as Ince’s chief executive and resign from the board upon completion of £8.6 million fund raising project through the issuance of new shares and a loan.

In an announcement to the stock market yesterday, Ince said Biles “has been removed as a director of the Company with immediate effect, as a result of circumstances which may give rise to a conflict of interest between Adrian Biles and the Company.” The firm declined to provide further details when approached for comment by Legal Cheek.

It also stated that Biles’s father John Biles has been replaced by Jillian Watt as head of finance and administration, pending approval by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

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On the subject of Watt’s appointment, Donald Brown, chief executive of Ince, commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Jillian to the Senior Management team at Ince and look forward to benefitting from the breadth of her financial experience, particularly in the areas of cash control and debt collection.”

The effects of Covid-19 on Ince UK and Hong Kong markets, as well as the Ukrainian conflict’s impact on global shipping, a key market for the firm have meant that the firm has had a tough year. On top of that, Ince suffered a cyber-attack in March mid-way through its IT system migrations in Asia.

The consequences of all this can be seen in the company’s latest financial results in which revenues dipped 3% to £97 million. Ince’s share price also dived 50% to around 5p following the July announcement that it would be undergoing further financing. The listed law firm’s shares price tumbled further to 4.33p in the wake of yesterday’s announcement.

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