“I had to Google it,” Julian Clark said. “I’m as shocked as you. I am in mourning.”

The veteran shipping lawyer got word this week only through concerned calls and messages from friends that the stock-listed Ince Group with its fabled shipping law practice would file court papers to be placed under administration.

TradeWinds reported this week that the London-listed Ince Group had announced the plans after its bankers lost patience and pulled the plug.