Ropes & Gray’s Higher Education and Health Care Practices Expand with Steve Sencer

In The News
April 18, 2023

Steve Sencer, who most recently served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Emory University, joined Ropes & Gray today as counsel. He will be part of the firm’s health care and higher education practices.

Steve brings to Ropes & Gray significant experience in scientific and clinical research and technology transfer. At Emory, he served as the chief legal officer for both Emory University and Emory Healthcare, a wholly owned health system with 12 hospitals and over 2,000 physicians, as well as affiliated entities such as The Carter Center and DRIVE, Emory’s nonprofit drug development company.

Steve led numerous successful health care-focused initiatives while at Emory. His accomplishments include:  

  • leading a $540 million securitization of a HIV drug royalty stream.
  • creating the corporate structure for the nonprofit drug development company Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory, LLC (DRIVE) and its wholly owned non-profit subsidiary Emory Innovations, Inc (EII).
  • helping to form the Emory Vaccine Center in New Delhi, India and the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative in Australia, designed to translate academic research into drug development candidates for clinical trials in cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

“Steve is well-known and highly regarded within the health care, higher education and life sciences sectors. He has handled a full array of complex legal matters in scientific research, government grants, and technology transfer, including Bayh-Dole and related regulatory issues” said Mark Barnes, Ropes & Gray health care partner and renowned practitioner in issues related to biomedical and other academic research and federal research grants.

“Ropes & Gray is known for successfully advising major health care, life sciences and university clients on critical strategic, operational, complex regulatory matters to position them for growth and success,” said Steve. “I could not be joining a better team and look forward to advising the firm’s world-class clients in their most ambitious matters.”

About Ropes & Gray's Higher Education and Health Care Practices

The health care industry, as well as institutions of higher education and scientific research, face tremendous changes driven by new technologies, shifting business models, and intense government scrutiny. Clients benefit from Ropes & Gray’s deep experience in health care law and scientific research and our intimate knowledge of our clients’ core businesses activities.

The firm recently has received every major health care award for its work. This includes:

  • The American Lawyer’s “Corporate Legal Department of the Year, Health Care”
  • The Deal’s “Health Care, Pharma & Biotech Law Firm of the Year”
  • Law360’s “Health Care Practice Group of the Year” – three years in a row
  • Financial Times’ award for the best law firm in “Enabling Business Response to COVID-19”
  • U.S. News–Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” “Law Firm of the Year, Health Care”
  • Chambers USA recognized the firm for its 2021 “Health Care Firm of the Year” award, and also ranks the firm’s work highly, as does The Legal 500 US.