Duane Morris doubled the number of partners working full time in its new Austin office, hiring corporate insurance partner Alex Gonzales and intellectual property litigator Pierre Hubert.

Hubert, formerly a principal in McKool Smith’s Austin office, joined Philadelphia-based Duane Morris on Jan. 22. Gonzales, a former managing shareholder of Winstead‘s Austin office, joined the firm on Jan. 10.

Duane Morris expanded its Texas presence in October 2017 by opening the Austin office with IP partner Bert Greene and renewable energy partner Brad Thompson. The firm opened its Houston office in 1999.

Hubert said he was attracted to Duane Morris’  national and international reach and strong IP litigation practice. Coming from trial firm McKool Smith, Hubert said he sees greater cross-selling opportunities at the full-service Duane Morris.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity,” he said.

He declined to identify clients.

Gonzales said he joined Duane Morris because insurance is a core practice, and the firm also provides him with a national and international presence. Duane Morris has 26 offices around the world, and Winstead lawyers are mostly based in Texas.

“My former firm is a great firm. It is a regional firm and insurance really wasn’t a core practice. We made it work, but with Duane Morris, we’ve got … one of the top-ranked insurance practices in the country,” he said.

He said his clients include Guggenheim Life and Annuity Co., Delaware Life Insurance Co., The Hartford, and Lloyd’s America.

Gonzales said he started talking to Duane Morris about the move in late 2017, and “recruitment was rather quick.”

Matthew Taylor, chairman of Duane Morris, said in a statement that the firm intends to expand quickly in Austin with top-notch lawyers, and Gonzales and Hubert fit that requirement and will be an asset to clients in Texas and elsewhere.

Gonzales and Hubert join Thompson and Greene in Austin. Thomas Sankey, managing partner of the firm’s offices in Houston and Austin, splits his time between the two Texas cities, and IP partner Diane Sangalli is based in Houston but plans to spend some time in the Austin office.

David Dawson, Winstead chief executive officer, said, “Alex is a fine lawyer and valuable member of the Winstead team. We wish him the best at Duane Morris.”

Mike McKool, chairman of McKool Smith, did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on the departure from his firm.