Ince & Co. has announced the appointment of Duncan Bateson. Bateson, who assumed his role in December, joins Ince from TLT Solicitors and will focus on sale and purchase and new build contracts.

Speaking exclusively to a month into his new role, Bateson expressed optimism at the amount of transactional activity he expects to see in 2016.

“I do think there will be an increase in new build contracts because, even though the global economy lurches along, the concentration of ultra-wealth continues and that militates towards new, expensive builds.”

Although Bateson foresees an upturn, he expects it to be a subtle one. “It will be relatively small numbers, as of course it always is at the high end”, he explains. “And we still see the smaller production builders struggling.”

Bateson says that although the superyacht team’s predominant focus is transactional work, its size and diversity of specialisms allows it to handle casualties, claims and litigation. And although the latter is relatively rare, when compared to other maritime sectors, the subjectivity of elements such as paint work means there will always be some demand.

Of the second-hand market, Bateson is predicting a year of ‘business as usual’. Sales numbers have plodded along over the last 24 months and, “the Russians are under pressure from their own economy, and the Chinese will take a long time to come online although we have seen a steady stream of enquiries - from Hong Kong Chinese rather than mainland Chinese.

“High-nets are generally retaining their wealth across the world so [the resale market] should retain its level.”

Bateson will be joined by Siobhan Silk, who is also a superyacht transactional specialist. She joins Ince from Hill Dickinson.

Andrew Charlier, Ince & Co’s global head of yachts and superyachts, said of the appointments:

“We are delighted to welcome Duncan and Siobhan to the firm. Their arrival in London builds on our established superyacht transactional capability in the UK, France and Germany. Duncan’s excellent market reputation and track record will be of significant interest to our superyacht clients looking for specialist transactional advice from an experienced London-based yacht team.”


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