Hosang Lee of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has grown its intellectual property practice with new additions in Washington, D.C., marking the beginning of 2019 by extending a slow-motion transfer of IP talent from McDermott Will & Emery.

Hosang Lee joined as partner on Wednesday, while Daniel Bucca moved to the firm as of counsel last month. Hosang’s team includes three lawyers and multiple technical specialists, patent agents, and patent prosecution specialists, Morgan Lewis said.

The moves continue an IP hiring binge that Morgan Lewis began last summer when it added seven former McDermott partners in California, Chicago and D.C. The total number of McDermott lawyers and staffers moving to Morgan Lewis exceeded 50 last August.

“I see a better opportunity with Morgan Lewis than with McDermott,” Lee said in explaining his decision to change firms. McDermott spokespeople did not immediately provide comment on the new moves.

While Lee would not discuss specific clients, he said all of his clients would be following him to his new home. He said his colleagues from McDermott who moved to Morgan Lewis last year gave him positive feedback and served as one of his “main reasons” for making the move.

Morgan Lewis’ founding office is Philadelphia, but its 30 offices around the world have grown to include nearly 2,000 lawyers and helped the firm rank eighth in the 2018 Am Law 100 by revenue. Its largest office by lawyer head count is in D.C.

Morgan Lewis’ newest additions are also poised to help maximize the firm’s clientele across borders. Lee is a member of the Korean Patent Bar, holds an electrical engineering degree from Seoul National University and has represented many major Korean companies, including Samsung. His clients hail from a range of industries, including telecommunications, automobiles, electronics, fuel cells, and medical and display devices.

In a statement, Morgan Lewis chair Jami McKeon touted Lee’s business as strengthening the firm’s “Korea-focused practice” throughout the Asia-Pacific region, which the firm has identified as a “chief priority.”

Lee said he regularly visits Asia, particularly Korea and China, and added that Morgan Lewis’ platform and expertise on other matters involving international trade was another reason to join Morgan Lewis’ team.

Bucca, meanwhile, brings his bevy of experience in the life science, chemical and material science technology realms to the firm’s D.C. office. He holds a Ph.D. in polymer science and figures to bolster the firm’s major interest in the life sciences.

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