Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, the multistate law firm based in Center City, has added two LGBT trailblazers to its roster as it launches a new practice area and expands its diversity efforts.

Partner Alfred W. Zaher, 60, will chair the firm's new Intellectual Property department. A member of the board for the National LGBT Bar Association and the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia, Zaher also will serve as Montgomery McCracken's chief diversity and inclusion officer. Zaher formerly was partner at Blank Rome where he claimed he was dismissed for hosting an LGBT event.

Maryellen Madden, 70, a pioneer in the transgender legal community, is joining the firm as Of Counsel to focus on complex litigation and commercial disputes. Her history includes a focus on securities, corporate governance, and real estate, among other disciplines. On Monday, Gov. Wolf named Madden to the newly-created Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, the only commission of its kind in the nation.

Zaher and Madden are among four attorneys joining Montgomery McCracken from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

Also joining the Philadelphia office is partner Shawn S. Li, 47, who will join Zaher in running the new IP practice which will focus on patent and trademark litigation. Zaher and Li have worked together for a decade. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Li has degrees in pharmacology and biology and extensive experience in biomolecular medicine. He advises clients on protecting intellectual property in China.

Both Zaher and Li have experience in the medical device, biotech, pharmaceutical, and software industries. Associate John J. Powell, 34, who is also a litigator, handles a variety of complicated commercial disputes, IP issues, and white-collar criminal defense.