Manches hires Booker eight months after he quits CC

Leading insolvency lawyer Ashley Booker is to join Manches & Co this week, after his sudden departure from Clifford Chance eight months ago.

Booker, who will head the firm's insolvency group, still refuses to explain why he left Clifford Chance, except to say it was “for personal reasons”.

Clifford Chance began inquiries in March into claims by two employees of sexual harassment.

Booker insists the two claims were baseless and irrelevant to his decision to leave. “There was never anything in it. They were never pursued,” he said.

Despite reports that Clifford Chance had initiated an inquiry into the harassment claims, spokesman Tom Rose refused to confirm or deny whether they were pursued by the firm.

Manches senior partner Alasdair Simpson said: “We are fully aware of Ashley's reasons for leaving Clifford Chance. We have received highly satisfactory references from many sources.”

Simpson said the appointment added considerable fire power to the firm's expanding insolvency and corporate recovery team.

Booker, aged 47, was at Clifford Chance for 17 years and has wide experience in international and cross-border insolvency. He has acted for the administrative receivers of Cavendish Funding, Warringtons, and TC Coombs.

Manches insolvency group now numbers eight and is currently active in the Far East.