Montgomery McCracken Adds Team of IP and Litigation Attorneys in Philadelphia

August 6, 2018

Types : Press Releases

Partners Alfred W. Zaher and Shawn S. Li, Ph.D. to launch firm’s IP department

(Sitting from left to right: Louis A. Petroni and Richard M. Simins;Standing from left to right: Alfred W. Zaher, Shawn S. Li, Ph.D.,Maryellen Madden and John J. Powell. Photo:Dave Moser Photography)

PHILADELPHIA, PA –Montgomery McCracken announced today that two prominent Intellectual Property attorneys have joined the firm as partners in its Philadelphia office. Alfred W. Zaher and Shawn S. Li, Ph.D. will oversee the firm’s newly formed Intellectual Property department, where Zaher will serve as department chair. The pair brings with them two litigators, Of Counsel Maryellen Madden and Associate John J. Powell. The four attorneys join Montgomery McCracken from the Philadelphia office of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

“Alfred and Shawn are two powerhouse IP attorneys with very robust practices,” said Louis A. Petroni, Chairman of Montgomery McCracken. “We believe their additions will present new opportunities to our firm, and our clients will greatly benefit from their experience in all areas of IP law. I am excited to welcome Alfred, Shawn, Maryellen and John to the firm.”

Zaher and Li focus their practice on patent and trademark litigation and prosecution, trademark registration and recovery, licensing and counseling worldwide. They bring extensive experience to a wide array of U.S. and international clients in the medical device, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemical, electronics and software industries. The group also has significant experience with trademark recovery and litigation matters in China. Madden and Powell, both litigators, focus their practice on complex litigation and commercial disputes.

“We have been looking to start an IP department that could offer new services while complementing our existing litigation and business departments,” said Richard M. Simins, Vice Chairman and Executive Partner. “We believe Alfred and Shawn are the right individuals to lead the growth of this department and expect them to make immediate contributions to the firm.”

“We were attracted to Montgomery McCracken mainly for its platform which emphasizes client teams, collaboration, cost-effectiveness and efficiency, and maintains a direct focus on providing cutting-edge legal solutions to its clients,” said Zaher. “We view Montgomery McCracken as an entrepreneurial law firm, and this is an opportunity for us to build out our established IP practice by offering clients greater flexibility and attention.”

“This move is the ideal situation for our clients and our practice,” said Li. “The firm’s existing capabilities in transactional law and litigation greatly overlap with our technology practice, which will allow us to fully service our tech clients. We look forward to getting to work with our new partners.”

The firm also announced that Zaher will serve as the firm’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. In this role, Zaher will be responsible for overseeing and implementing diversity initiatives at the firm. A leader in the LGBT legal community, Zaher currently serves on the board of the National LGBT Bar Association and the board of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP).

Alfred W. Zaher

Zaher concentrates his practice on patent, trademark and trade secret litigation, licensing and counseling. He has experience representing clients before U.S. courts, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office, and internationally across courts in Europe and China.

He counsels companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electronics and software industries. Leveraging his close relationships with Chinese companies and officials and law firms, he has particular focus on managing clients’ patent and trademark portfolios in China, including securing and prosecuting infringers in the Chinese court system.

Prior to entering law, Alfred was a research engineer and electrical engineer with more than 10 years of technical experience with companies like The Boeing Company and Litton Industries. He earned a law degree from St. John’s University, engaged in graduate studies in Electrical Engineering at Drexel University and earned a B.S. degree in Engineering Science from the City University of New York.

Shawn S. Li, Ph.D.

Dr. Li concentrates his practice on comprehensive intellectual property matters. He has developed global protection strategies, drafted and prosecuted U.S. and international patent applications, prosecuted patent reexaminations and negotiated and prepared complex licenses and related agreements. He also advises clients on issues related to protecting intellectual property in China.

In addition to gaining experience working for nationally recognized law firms, Dr. Li has worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of physiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and as a graduate research assistant at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. He earned a law degree from Temple University, a Ph.D. and M.S. degree in Pharmacology from New York University and a B.S. degree in Biology from Peking University. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Maryellen Madden

Madden focuses her practice on complex litigation and commercial disputes, including securities, corporate governance, real estate, commercial contracts, health care and the sale and distribution of goods. She has handled litigation, including complex, multi-district litigation, in 22 states, as well as before domestic and international arbitration panels, administrative agencies and industry self-regulatory organizations. Madden earned a law degree, with honors, from Duke University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Denver.

John J. Powell

Powell handles complex litigation, including a wide variety of complicated commercial disputes, intellectual property, white-collar criminal defense, securities and antitrust matters in federal and state courts around the country and in international arbitration. He earned a law degree from Columbia University and a B.A., magna cum laude, in Philosophy from Boston College.

About Montgomery McCracken

Montgomery McCracken is a full-service law firm with offices in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The firm represents leading businesses, multinational corporations, nonprofit organizations and individuals across a wide range of industries in complex litigation matters, significant corporate transactions and challenging disputes. For more information about Montgomery McCracken or its practice areas, please visit us online at or on Twitter at @MMWR_Law.


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