Ping Wang (from left), Michael Ye and Andrew Mohr of Morris Manning & Martin

Morris, Manning & Martin has significantly bulked up its Washington office, adding eight lawyers—and a total of 18 new hires—to start a government contracts practice, expand its intellectual property practice and add to its international trade team.

“Washington has been a priority for a while,” said the Atlanta-based firm’s managing partner, Louise Wells. “We made this huge push, and it all came together.”

More hires are in the offing, Wells said. “There are more people we’re talking to and hoping will join us.”

The new additions expand Morris Manning’s lawyer head count in Washington from 23 lawyers to 31. The firm has a floor and a half of space at 1401 Eye Street, N.W., which Wells said is now at capacity, so it will be taking contiguous space in the same building.

“We would love for the Washington office to be every bit as strong in numbers as Atlanta,” she said, adding that the firm’s goal is to double the size of its D.C. branch, its second-largest office, over the next five years. About 140 of Morris Manning’s 184 lawyers are in Atlanta.

To launch the government contracts practice, Morris Manning recruited partner Andrew Mohr and of counsel C. Kelly Kroll from Cohen Mohr (now called Cordatis), a Washington boutique specializing in government procurement law and related litigation.

Morris Manning also landed a team of IP lawyers and patent agents from Andrews Kurth Kenyon, after that firm’s merger with Hunton & Williams. Ping Wang, M.D., and Michael Ye, PhD. joined as partners and John Murray, Ph.D., joined as of counsel along with three patent agents, all with doctorates—Peter Brunovskis, Qiang Li and F. Pierre VanderVegt.

Wang, who leads the team, had worked at Morris Manning for almost a decade before joining Andrews Kurth. She and her colleagues handle all aspects of IP law, including patent prosecution, litigation and counseling and copyright and trademark matters.

“Returning to MMM was the best decision for our team,” Wang said in a statement. “MMM’s business model allows us to shift and accommodate to client needs and to deliver quality work without the rigidness of big law firms. Their approach to attract top talent provides an efficient and focused environment.”

The firm’s international trade practice gained a seasoned practitioner, William Barringer, who joined as special counsel from international firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. An associate, Luke Engan, joined the practice from Ropes & Gray.

Morris Manning added another associate, Curtis Arnold Jr., to its litigation practice from Eversheds Sutherland, whose U.S. headquarters is in Atlanta.

The new recruits come on the heels of a year of solid financial performance for Morris Manning, which reported an 8.4 percent revenue increase in 2017 to 129.8 million and a 12.6 percent increase in net income, to 49.7 million. That boosted profits per partner by $108,000 (10.2 percent) to $1,172,000.