CMS has become the latest law firm to bring in a former Ince & Co partner.

Master mariner Richard Oakley joins in Hong Kong to expand its shipping and insurance practice.

CMS said Oakley has a wealth of experience advising on the full range of maritime matters, including casualty investigations, collisions, pollution, groundings and total loss.

The solicitor had been with Ince for 15 years, the final two as a partner.

He was a deck officer in the UK merchant navy for nine years, and then trained at law firm HFW.

This was followed by a stint as a claims executive at Steamship Insurance Management Services.

At the start of October, the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority closed down Ince & Co’s parent firm Axiom Ince amid claims of a misuse of client funds.

CMS partner and co-head of insurance and re-insurance Cheryl Gibson said: “I am delighted to welcome Richard to our practice. His rich background and expertise have allowed him to develop a very high profile in Hong Kong, and he will bring a set of complementary skills to our established and already substantial marine team.”

The firm’s Hong Kong partner Andrew Horton added: “This latest appointment of Richard shows our commitment to the region, as we continue to attract leading individuals to our top-tier team. I look forward to working with him.”

Oakley said CMS has a “stellar reputation” in Hong Kong for shipping disputes.

In February, CMS bolstered its maritime asset finance offering in Hong Kong with the recruitment of partner Conor Warde.

He joined from Mayer Brown, bringing his shipping transactional and finance practice with him.

CMS was founded in 1999 and has 79 offices and more than 5,000 lawyers worldwide.

Stephenson Harwood added more shipping lawyers from Ince this week, taking on a team of eight in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The group is led by partner Paul Ho, a lawyer with 27 years of experience, including 21 years based in Shanghai.

The rest of the team comprises two counsels, three managing associates and two associates.