MoFo adds Baker Botts patent prosecution leader as firms continue life sciences push

Morrison & Foerster offices in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • New partner has experience in AI, data analytics
  • Hire comes as firms boost life sciences, IP practices

The company and law firm names shown above are generated automatically based on the text of the article. We are improving this feature as we continue to test and develop in beta. We welcome feedback, which you can provide using the feedback tab on the right of the page.

(Reuters) – Morrison & Foerster on Tuesday became the latest law firm to bulk up its life sciences and healthcare team, adding Palo Alto-based partner Hogene Choi to its patent strategy and prosecution group.

Choi, who has a computer science background and experience in data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, leaves Baker Botts, where she served as co-chair of the patent counseling and strategic portfolio development practice group. She works with life sciences, healthcare and technology industry clients, according to the firm.

Firms have been scooping up lawyers with life sciences and healthcare experience over the past 18 months in response to increased demand from clients in a variety of practice areas, including for corporate transactions, technology, regulatory and intellectual property expertise. Several other firms in the past year have made moves to hire IP lawyers with life sciences industry experience, including Cooley, White & Case, Barnes & Thornburg and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

San Francisco-founded Morrison & Foerster recently hired other life sciences and technology lawyers, including Stacy Cline Amin, former chief counsel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who joined as a partner and co-lead of the firm’s FDA regulatory and compliance practice in June. The firm lost a life sciences dealmaker in July to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Michael Ward, head of the firm’s life sciences and healthcare and patent practices, in a statement described Choi’s computer science, patent prosecution, litigation and technology expertise as “tremendous assets” that “align perfectly with the areas where we are seeing extraordinary client demand across our global offices.”

Choi said in an interview on Tuesday that she was drawn to the firm because of its life sciences platform and its “well-known culture of collaboration.” She also noted that she previously worked with Mark Whitaker, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s IP litigation group. Whitaker joined the firm from Baker Botts in 2016.

Many life sciences companies have software-related needs, including using AI and machine learning to speed up research and development efforts, and using “basic software” in medical devices to improve benefits to patients, Choi said. The use of technology is an “exploding area of the industry,” she said.

Prior to joining Baker Botts in 2011, Choi practiced at Kilpatrick Townsend, the Lanier Law Firm and Fish & Richardson as an associate, according to her LinkedIn page. A Baker Botts representative said the firm wishes her well in the new role.

Read more:

Morrison & Foerster taps ex-FDA chief counsel as practice co-lead

Patent litigators go firm-hopping amid IP practice push

Sara Merken

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at

Read More

Sara Merken