For the second time in a decade, Irell & Manella is at a turning point. Defections have chipped away millions in revenue, and rainmaker Morgan Chu is once again shouldering the weight of the Los Angeles-based intellectual property boutique.

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It’s a story the firm has told before. In the mid-2010s, Irell strove to rebuild its transactional practice, bringing on high-profile attorneys including Joshua Grode. In response to questions in 2016 about the firm’s apparent overreliance on Chu, executive committee member David Siegel pointed to David Gindler, who led the firm’s life sciences litigation practice, and Craig Varnen, who is vice chair of the firm’s litigation group. Grode, Gindler and Siegel are no longer with the firm.

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