Steven H. Cohen

recently retired
Steven H. Cohen, principal of Cohen Law Group, is of counsel to Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. He joined the firm in 2013, at which time he founded Whistleblower Advocates, a collaboration between Cohen Law Group and HSPRD that investigates and prosecutes qui tam lawsuits on behalf of whistleblowers.

Steven is nationally recognized for his representation of whistleblowers in qui tam cases brought under the False Claims laws. He has investigated and prosecuted sealed and unsealed qui tam cases spanning the spectrum of fraud involving government program monies, including health care, government contracting, and federally insured financial institutions. In 2001, Steve founded the Cohen Law Group, where he dedicated his practice to representing whistleblowers in qui tam cases. Prior to the Cohen Law Group, Steve was a litigator in private practice, with a focus on class actions, shareholders’ rights litigation, securities, business, and consumer fraud.

In addition to practicing law, Steve is active in local and national political campaigns. He was a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Following the 2008 election, Steve was appointed as an advisor to the Department of Justice Agency Review Transition Team for qui tam/False Claims Act issues. In 2012, President Obama appointed Steve to the Board of Trustees of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, an independent federal agency that provides scholarships to students seeking professional careers in public service. Steve serves on a variety of academic, non-profit and foundation boards, including the Mikva Challenge, the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, and Facing History and Ourselves. In addition, Steve is a partner at Impact Partner Films, which finances independent documentaries that address pressing social issues. Steve also serves on the President’s Council of Taxpayers Against Fraud, the national public interest organization of whistleblower lawyers dedicated to combating fraud against the government and protecting public resources through public-private partnerships, and has taught clinical trial advocacy as an adjunct faculty member at the Northwestern University School of Law.


Northwestern University School of Law (J.D. 1979)
Beloit College (B.A. 1975)


U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada

Professional Recognition

Lawyer of the Year Award from Taxpayers Against Fraud (2008)
Leading Lawyer — Illinois Leading Lawyers Network

Memberships / Associations

Member, American Bar Association
Member, Illinois State Bar Association
Member, Chicago Bar Association
Member, American Constitution Society
President’s Council, Taxpayers Against Fraud
Executive Committee, Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law
Chicago Advisory Board, American Constitution Society
Partner, Impact Partner Films
Board of Directors, The Mikva Challenge Foundation
Board of Trustees, The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
Trustee, Beloit College
Trustee, TCS Education System
Chicago Advisory Board, Facing History and Ourselves

Presentations & Publications

Steve regularly speaks to industry, labor, academic and professional groups about the public-private coordinated anti-fraud enforcement efforts under the false claims/qui tam laws. At the request of the U.S. Department of State, International Visitors Leadership Program, he has made presentations to attorneys and legislators from around the world.



Representative Matters

United States ex rel. Steinke v. Merck. Settled federal and state false claims act cases involving Medicaid pricing fraud that had been initiated by a qui tam whistleblower. After seven years of investigation and litigation, Steve’s efforts returned more than $400 million to federal and state taxpayers, making the settlement one of the largest Medicaid drug fraud civil settlements in the history of the federal False Claims Act.

State of Illinois ex rel. v. The University of Chicago Hospitals. Represented two relators in a case against the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) in which the relators alleged that the UCMC Children’s Hospital violated Illinois law by improperly billing Medicaid for services provided in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The Illinois Attorney General’s investigation, prosecution and ultimate recovery began after the relators—two longtime NICU nurses—filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the NICU had violated Illinois licensing regulations by systematically placing two high risk neonatal intensive care babies in a bed space licensed for one baby, an egregious practice known as “double-bunking.” The relators alleged that the UCMC placed these high-risk babies at further risk by systematically double-bunking and overcrowding the NICU from at least 1997 through 2005. The case was settled for $7 million. Under the unique settlement mechanism negotiated by the State of Illinois and the relators, the Illinois AG will disburse the settlement money to healthcare facilities that serve indigent women on the South Side of Chicago.

United States ex rel. Hamilton v. Leo Burnett. Litigated a qui tam action against Leo Burnett Company, Inc. in which the relators, two former high-level executives, alleged that the company had told the Army that an independent subcontractor was working on the internet portion of the “Army of One” advertising campaign, even though Burnett was completing the work. This enabled Burnett to charge the Army higher hourly rates and to circumvent the contract’s cap on government reimbursement for Burnett’s in-house work. The relators also alleged that Burnett had improperly inflated the hourly rates it billed the Army. The company paid the federal government $15.5 million. The relators received an award of $2.79 million.

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