Booker exit prompts CC to bolster unit

Clifford Chance has announced that it is pulling back insolvency partner Roger Best from Hong Kong a move which comes in the wake of Ashley Booker's resignation from the firm earlier this month for “personal reasons”.

Best, a partner since 1990, had been a long-standing member of the Hong Kong office and, according to Clifford Chance, had always been scheduled to return to London.

Clifford Chance has also announced that it is making insolvency assistant Adrian Cohen a partner.

The moves will plug a hole in the firm's London insolvency practice, left by the departure of Booker and two other leading partners Andrew Wilkinson and Sandy Shandro.

Just before Booker's resignation, Shandro left to go to Freshfields following Wilkinson's departure last year to join Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

The Lawyer revealed last October that Cohen was considering following Wilkinson to Cadwaladers. He was persuaded not to go, however, and told that he had a very good chance of being made a partner.

With Best, Cohen and David Steinberg, the London insolvency practice now has three partners and 11 assistants. But the practice still does not approach the strength it had a year ago.

Last month, the London department was weakened further when insolvency partner Mark Hyde was sent to Hong Kong to advise the provisional liquidators of Peregrine Securities. He is expected to return in the summer to head the deparment.

Clifford Chance issued a statement saying that it had been a good year for the department despite being marked by turbulence and change.