Morgan Lewis & Bockius is expanding its intellectual property litigation team, adding seven partners Aug. 1 to handle legal disputes especially in the life sciences and technology industries.

The lawyers are moving from McDermott, Will & Emery in Chicago. Five of the new partners—Jeff Gargano, Krista Vink Venegas, Shon Lo, Hersh Mehta and Kevin Shortsle—will practice from Chicago. New partner Natalie Bennett will be located in Washington, and Brent Hawkins will be in San Francisco.

The additions will expand the IP litigation practice to 16 lawyers, including five partners. There are 82 lawyers at the firm’s Chicago location, and more than 1,900 across the firm’s 30 offices.

“This new team is a tremendous addition to our firm and our practice, significantly deepening our patent litigation and trial bench and expanding our capabilities to serve pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device clients as they safeguard their critical innovations,” said Jami McKeon, the firm’s chair, who announced the hires July 30.

The latest hires add “scientific and technical strength, particularly in life sciences,” added Eric Kraeutler, the head of Morgan Lewis’s IP practice.

The new partners will collaborate with the firm’s existing IP teams on the West Coast in Northern California, and on the East Coast in Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia.

The lawyers, all of whom have engineering or scientific backgrounds, also have experience litigating for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. They have experience in federal court as well as before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the International Trade Commission.

One of the new hires, Jeff Gargano, has advised Chinese companies looking to enter U.S. markets on intellectual property and competition law. Morgan Lewis has several Asian clients, including mobile phone manufacturer ZTE Inc., and other clients including Yahoo Holdings.

It’s likely that Morgan Lewis’s life science practice will grow even further. Some additional McDermott lawyers are expected to join, raising the total number of lateral hires to as many as 14.

Morgan Lewis has been expanding steadily in the past several years. With its new hires, the firm has grown more than 70 percent since early 2016, the firm said. Earlier this year, it added a group of tax layers from rival firm Baker McKenzie, as well as additional litigation and employee benefits partners. In February 2016, the firm expanded its intellectual property team by hiring four IP partners.