Global firm HFW is opening an office in Monaco with a ‘market leading’ team poached from Ince, the firm created when Gordon Dadds acquired Ince & Co last year.

Gordon Dadds Group painted a different picture, however, claiming it has replaced its Monaco personnel in order to improve the office’s financial performance.

HFW’s Monaco team will be led by former Ince partners Ian Cranston, Andrew Charlier and Marco Crusafio. Two legal directors, an associate and a trainee legal executive from Ince will also join the business in early September.

Paul Dean, HFW’s head of shipping, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be able to welcome Ian, Andrew, Marco and the team to HFW. We’ve been interested in the Monaco market for quite some time, but we were only ever going to make a move if we could bring them on board – they’re the clear market leaders and we wouldn’t settle for anything less.’

HFW partner Jay Tooker added: ‘It isn’t every day that you get an opportunity to bring in the number one yacht team in Monaco, the centre of yachting in Europe.’

However, Gordon Dadds Group said it decided to replace the Ince team following a review of future operations. It said: ’The group has concluded that the financial performance of its representation in Monaco can be improved by bringing in a new team.’

It added: ‘The former Ince team will leave that firm shortly. There will be no compensation or any entitlement to deferred consideration payable to the former team.’

Ince has suffered significant partner fallout in recent months. In February, administrators of Ince & Co investigated the ’high level’ of partner exits in the 12 months prior to administration. The previous year senior partner Jan Heuvels stepped down from his role six months before his term was due to end.