Administrators of maritime specialist Ince & Co have moved to quell suspicion over the reasons behind the firm’s demise, revealing that they have appointed ‘forensic accounting partners’ to assist with their investigation.

In a statement intended to provide assurance to third party creditors, joint administrators Quantuma and Pinsent Masons said they will ‘shortly’ produce proposals to creditors which will provide more detail.

According to the statement, the administrators are ’concerned’ that their investigations should not be compromised and are ’perplexed’ at recent reported comments and suggestions attributed to former partners and various ‘sources’. ‘The joint administrators will not be speculating on the outcome of their ongoing investigations as they do not wish to prejudice any possible litigation in the future.’

The investigation will also look at the ‘high level’ of partner departures in the 12 months prior to administration, the statement said. In August, senior partner Jan Heuvels stepped down from his role – six months before his term was due to end.

In January, the Gazette reported that administrators had been appointed to Ince on the day its UK business was acquired by listed firm Gordon Dadds in a pre-pack deal.

The acquisition did not include the independent network of Ince firms in Germany, Greece, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, which continue to trade under the Ince name.

Days after the acquisition was confirmed it was revealed that dozens of staff members at the merged firm had been put on notice of redundancy. Around 45 roles were thought to be affected, mostly support staff previously based at Ince. Ince held its own round of redundancy talks in 2018, and confirmed the loss of 32 jobs in its London office.