PALO ALTO ­— Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has nabbed an intellectual property litigation partner from Hogan Lovells, but lost a counsel in that group to Dentons.

Song Zhu, Ph.D., comes to Wilmer’s Palo Alto office after three years with Hogan Lovells, and Wilmer touted the Asia expertise he will bring to the firm. Russell Tonkovich, M.D., joined Dentons’ IP and technology practice as a partner in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices. He had been counsel at Wilmer for four years.

Mark Selwyn, partner-in-charge of Wilmer’s Palo Alto office and cochairman of the firm’s IP litigation group, said the firm was pleased to bring Zhu aboard. “His background, intellect and dedication are a great match for our team and will support our efforts to expand our West Coast IP litigation and China practices, in particular,” he said.

Prior to embarking on a career in law, Zhu was a senior engineer at General Motors Co. In addition to automotive expertise, he has technical experience in semiconductor manufacturing, electronic devices, telecommunications, computer systems and software, renewable energy and medical devices.

“I’ve long known of WilmerHale’s first-rate IP litigation practice and significant experience in Section 337 cases,” Zhu said in a statement. “I believe that combining the firm’s tremendous national and international brand with my experience and skills will be a recipe for great success.”

Tonkovich, who received a medical degree prior to attending Harvard Law School, focuses on complex patent infringement, unfair competition and other IP litigation. Before joining Wilmer in 2010, he spent several years at Kirkland & Ellis.

In announcing his hire, Dentons highlighted Tonkovich’s insight into the pharmaceutical and medical device technologies with which he works. He also has experience in the energy, computer hardware and software, and mobile industries.

“His exceptional command of complex technical concepts, informed by his medical training, provides our clients a talented new colleague experienced in handling the most challenging cases,” Dentons’ U.S. managing partner Mike McNamara said in a statement.

Contact the reporter at callison@alm.com.