After a five-year stint at Reed Smith, IP partner Carina Tan has decamped for Sheppard Mullin in Palo Alto.

Tan, who helped open Reed Smith’s Silicon Valley office in 2008, joined the intellectual property group at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton on Thursday. Her practice focuses on the design and protection of IP assets; licensing, sale or acquisition of intellectual property; mergers and acquisitions due diligence and intellectual property-backed financing.

Tan did not respond to a request for comment.

Catharina Min, managing partner of Reed Smith’s Silicon Valley office, said she suspects Tan was drawn to the opportunity to work with a larger team of patent prosecutors. Tan may also have wanted to “circle back to practicing” with former colleagues from Perkins Coie, where she worked as an associate before joining Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in 2005, Min said.

“Carina joins Sheppard Mullin as part of our ongoing strategic goal to expand our trademark and patent prosecution capabilities in Palo Alto and firmwide,” Stephen Korniczky, who cochairs the firm’s IP group in San Diego, said in a statement.

Last year Sheppard Mullin added a handful of IP partners to its California offices, including Lorna Tanner in Palo Alto from Foley & Lardner, Michael Heimbold in Century City from Steptoe & Johnson, David Randall in Los Angeles from Dickstein Shapiro, James Soong in Palo Alto from Greenberg Traurig and Laura Burson in Los Angeles from Kirkland & Ellis. There are now 30 attorneys in Sheppard’s Silicon Valley location.

Legal recruiter Larry Watanabe of Watanabe Nason advised the firm on the transaction.

Contact the reporter at npierrepont@alm.com.