Hong Kong

Ince & Co Asia aviation finance head Balbir Bindra has left the firm ahead of its proposed merger with Gordon Dadds.

Despite the timing of his exit, sources close to Ince say Bindra’s departure was finalized before the merger talks with Gordon Dadds began. His destination is as yet unknown.

Bindra, who is based in Hong Kong, joined Ince in 2016 as a partner from Canadian oil and gas development company CEC North Star Energy Ltd., where he was the executive director of legal affairs.

Bindra has held a number of other senior roles at international law firms, including serving as Hong Kong office head at Locke Lord; Hong Kong banking and finance practice head at France’s Gide Loyrette Nouel; and Asia structured finance head at Sidley Austin. He also led the international banking and finance practice at legacy Wilde Sapte, now part of Dentons.

Ince now has three partners in Asia specializing in aviation, all of whom are based in Hong Kong: office managing partner David Beaves, Janice Lee and Rosita Lau.

Ince and Gordon Dadds are currently finalizing a merger that is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Gordon Dadds’ two-lawyer Hong Kong office and its association with local three-lawyer firm Justin Chow & Co. are set to integrate with Ince’s much larger Hong Kong office as part of the combination.

Since the merger announcement by publicly listed Gordon Dadds in September—a merger that will result in Ince partners ditching the firm’s current lockstep transparency for Gordon Dadds’ merit-based black box pay system—a string of partners in various locations around the globe have left Ince. Earlier this month, the Singapore office’s finance head, Martin Brown, left to join Stephenson Harwood; Singapore managing partner John Simpson will make the same move in May of next year.

More recently, five partners across Ince’s London and Piraeus, Greece offices have left or are leaving the firm, including former Piraeus office head Antonis Lagadianos, who is moving to Watson Farley & Williams next month.

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