Stephen Warnke has practiced as a health care lawyer in New York since 1991 and has been a partner in the New York City office of Ropes & Gray LLP, a leading international law firm, for the past twenty years. Stephen represents mission-driven hospitals, health systems, managed care plans, non-hospital provider organizations and community-based human services agencies on the full spectrum of health care regulatory, compliance, transactional and governance matters. A former policy advisor in New York City government, Stephen also counsels clients on New York’s unique regulatory, reimbursement and enforcement landscape, relying on his extensive experience before the New York State Department of Health, the New York Attorney General and other New York regulators. Stephen is proud to be an outside counsel to VNS Health.
Apart from his active law practice, Stephen is committed to giving back to the community through pro bono representations, charitable work and political engagements. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephen guided many clients on the front lines of New York’s COVID response, for which New York Law Journal named him one of three finalists for “Attorney of the Year” in 2020 and Ropes & Gray honored him with its Outstanding Pro Bono Partner Service Award in 2021. For a decade, he served as the founding chair of FAIR Health, a national nonprofit created to bring greater transparency to health care costs and health insurance information. Stephen has also served as a volunteer trustee on the boards of The Legal Aid Society, Legal Action Center, Pro Bono Net and Women’s Prison Association, all New York City-based charities.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Stephen attended Harvard College and received his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of The Yale Law Journal. After law school graduation, he served as a judicial clerk to Judge William A. Norris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles, California. Stephen lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife Susan Sommer, a civil rights litigator and former National Director of Constitutional Litigation for Lambda Legal, and together they have three children.