The SEED Team

Faculty Directors and Staff


Professor Stephen Choi

Stephen Choi
Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor of Law
Director, Pollack Center for Law & Business

Stephen Choi is the Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor at NYU School of Law. He graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School in 1994 and received his PhD in economics from Harvard in 1997. His research interests focus on the theoretical and empirical analysis of corporations and capital markets as well as on judicial performance. He is the co-author of Securities Regulations: Cases and Analysis (West Academic, 4th ed. 2015). He has published in the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Duke Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Virginia Law Review, among others, and has presented papers at numerous conferences and symposia.


Professor David Yermack

David Yermack
Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at the NYU Stern School of Business
Director, Pollack Center for Law & Business

David L. Yermack is the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at New York University Stern School of Business. He serves as Chairman of the Finance Department and Director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business.  Professor Yermack has been with NYU Stern since 1994. His primary research areas include boards of directors, executive compensation, and corporate finance. Professor Yermack has published more than 25 articles in leading academic journals in Finance, Accounting, Economics, and Law. He is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been a Visiting Scholar at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank.  Professor Yermack received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics (1985), Master of Business Administration (1991), Juris Doctor (1991), Master of Arts in Business Economics (1993), and Doctor of Philosophy in Business Economics (1994) from Harvard University.


Anat Carmy-Wiechman

Anat Carmy-Wiechman
Associate Director, Pollack Center for Law & Business

Anat Carmy-Wiechman is the Associate Director of the Pollack Center for Law and Business. She graduated magna cum laude from Tel-Aviv University School of Law in 2006. Upon graduation, she worked in the litigation group of Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co., one of Israel’s leading law firms. She earned her LLM degree from NYU School of Law in 2011, and worked as an associate at Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser Sipser until joining the Pollack Center in September 2013. She has published in the American Law and Economics Review, and in Precedent and the Law: Reports to the XVIIth Congress International Academy of Comparative Law, Utrecht, 1622 July 2006. Carmy-Wiechman’s research interests include corporate law, empirical legal scholarship, law and finance, and securities regulation.


Giovanni Patti

Giovanni Patti
Head of Research for SEED, Pollack Center for Law & Business

Giovanni Patti is the Head of Research for the Securities Enforcement Empirical Database (SEED). He graduated second in his class from the University of Palermo School of Law (Italy) in 2008 and received a three-year scholarship to pursue his PhD in Corporate Law at the University of Roma Tor Vergata Business School, which he completed in 2013. Upon graduation, he worked for four years as an associate at Ranieri, Guaccero, Cornetta, a boutique law firm in Rome that specializes in corporate and banking law. He earned his LLM degree in Corporate Law from NYU School of Law in 2018. At NYU he received the Dean’s Graduate Award scholarship, worked as a research assistant for Professor Stephen Choi, and served as a graduate editor for the NYU Journal of Law & Business. Giovanni has published in American and European law reviews, and presented papers in various universities. His research interests include securities regulation, financial regulation, and corporate law.


Peter Robau

Peter Robau
Wagner Fellow, Pollack Center for Law & Business

Before joining the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business, Peter served as an associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he advised financial institutions clients on issues arising under the Advisers Act and Investment Company Act, CFTC issues, compliance and SEC enforcement, as well as regulatory issues in connection with private equity transactions and fundraising. Peter's research interests include securities regulation and enforcement, financial systems, and law and economics.

Graduate Student Research Fellows

SEED depends on the contribution of students from NYU School of Law and the NYU Stern School of Business. Graduate student fellows from the institution perform all research, including gathering enforcement action documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission website and collecting variables for review. We anticipate student research fellows will use our data for their individual research projects.


Photo of Sotonye Belonwu

Sotonye Belonwu ’21

Sotonye holds an LL.B (First Class Honours) degree from the University of Nigeria which she obtained in 2017 and a B.L.  (First Class Honours) from the Nigerian Law School obtained in 2018. Prior to commencing her LL.M. at the New York University School of Law, Sotonye joined Kenna Partners, a leading corporate commercial law firm in Lagos, Nigeria as an associate where she worked flexibly across the firm’s team structure providing legal representation and corporate advisory on several commercial transactions, regulatory compliances and risk management and employment disputes. She has dedicated interest in policy development and advocacy aimed at strengthening regulatory frameworks for investment. At NYU, she is a Hauser Global Scholar pursuing a traditional track L.L.M.and an International Finance and Development Fellow.


Photo of Risa Das

Risa Das ’21 

Risa Das is an Indian trained attorney, currently pursuing an L.L.M in Corporation Law at NYU School of Law as a Dean’s Graduate Scholar. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from National Law University, Odisha, India as one of the top ten students in her class. Prior to joining NYU, she was working with several top-tier law firms in India such as Khaitan & Co LLP and Luthra and Luthra Law Offices in the Banking and Finance space. Her work primarily included advising domestic and international banks, multinational companies on rupee financing, aviation financing, project financing, and cross-border financing such as overseas direct investment, external commercial borrowings, etc. Her research interests include securities regulations, corporation laws, finance, and insolvency laws.


Photo of Arya Dhakal

Arya Dhakal ’21

Arya Dhakal is an LL.M. candidate at NYU School of Law. She obtained her B.A. LL.B. degree (with honors) from National Law University, Delhi in 2018. She subsequently worked as an associate at Pioneer Law Associate, a premier full-service law firm in Nepal, for over two years. During this time, she advised clients on cross-border transactions, project finance, foreign investment, and corporate compliance. At NYU, Arya is pursuing her LL.M. mainly focusing on corporate law. She is also a staff editor for the Journal for Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. Her research interests include securities regulations, corporate law, project finance, and energy law.


Photo of Ariel Errar

Ariel Errar ’23

Ariel Errar is a J.D. Candidate at NYU School of Law, Class of 2023. Prior to Law School, Ariel worked as a legal assistant for a boutique commercial litigation firm. This summer, Ariel worked as a summer associate alongside in-house legal counsel at Mondelez International. Currently, Ariel is Social Co-Chair of Law Women and a Staff Editor of NYU Law Review. Ariel received her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Florida, where she majored in International studies.

Photo of Pilar Laitano Ferreira

Pilar Laitano Ferreira ’23

Pilar Laitano Ferreira is a J.D. Candidate at NYU School of Law, Class of 2023. Before Law School, Pilar interned at in-house at Sony Music Entertainment. During 1L summer Pilar interned at the Special Prosecutions Office at the Westchester District Attorney's Office. Pilar is currently a member of LaLSA and a Staff Editor of the Journal of Business & Law at NYU Law. Pilar will be joining Simpson Thacher & Bartlett as a Summer Associate in 2022. Pilar received her B.A., cum laude, from Barnard College of Columbia University in 2020, where she double majored in Political Science and Economics.


Photo of Jaskiran Kaur

Jaskiran Kaur ’21

Jaskiran Kaur is an LL.M (Corporation Law) candidate at NYU School of Law. At NYU, she received the Dean’s Graduate Award scholarship and served as a graduate editor for the NYU Journal of Law & Business. Before joining NYU, she was associated with IndusLaw, India as a corporate lawyer where her practise areas primarily included private equity, mergers & acquisitions, and corporate & commercial advisory. In her practice, she has advised clients across various sectors, including real estate, fin-tech, logistics, pharmaceuticals, F&B, e-commerce, on a range of corporate transactions such as investment and acquisitions, structuring and advisory, general corporate & commercial matters and real estate development. Her research areas include securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions and bankruptcy law.


Photo of Joseph Jagunmolu Ogunmodede

Joseph Jagunmolu Ogunmodede ’21

Joseph Ogunmodede obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree with First Class Honors from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a B.L with First Class Honors from the Nigerian Law School. He has received several academic awards and recognitions including the A.G Leventis Scholarship; Vice Chancellor’s Award for the Best Graduating Law Student from the University of Ibadan; First Valedictorian from the Faculty of Law since the inception of the University of Ibadan; Director-General’s Prize for First Class in Nigerian Law School amongst many others. Prior to commencing his LL.M, Joseph was an Associate at Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, a tier-one commercial law firm in Nigeria, where he rotated in different practice groups in the firm including banking and finance; private equity; technology, media, and telecommunications; tax and dispute resolution. As a recipient of the Dean’s Graduate Award, Joseph is currently pursuing an LLM in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration at NYU. Joseph was a Student Attorney at the NYU International Transactions Clinic where he advised clients conducting cross-border transactions, with social impact objectives. He undertook an Advanced Certificate in Law and Business during the Summer 2021 semester at the NYU Stern School of Business as a Volgelstein Scholar. Joseph is an International Finance and Development Fellow and would be commencing his fellowship with the International Monetary Fund in Spring 2022.


Photo of Nathalie Bertha Louis Peeters

Nathalie Bertha Louis Peeters  ’21

Nathalie obtained her Master of Laws from the University of Antwerp, where she graduated within the top 1% of her year. During her studies, she participated in the Moot Court in Constitutional Law, where she obtained the first place for her written submission and the second place during the oral pleadings. During her Master's, Nathalie worked as a Research Assistant within the "Business & Law" department of the University of Antwerp, where she did research on the topic of 'alternative financing." In the broader context of her research assistantship, Nathalie published two articles in peer-reviewed Belgian legal journals. After graduating, Nathalie worked for more than three years as a lawyer with the Real Estate department of Linklaters LLP in Brussels, Belgium. She assisted both Belgian and international clients in the fields of real estate M&A, real estate tax and finance, capital markets, as well as energy, environmental, and public law. Nathalie was seconded as a legal counsel to a London-based private investment firm and a Brussels-based real estate developer, advising on corporate and construction law matters. Currently, Nathalie is a Dean's Graduate Scholar completing an LLM at NYU with a particular focus on corporate and environmental law.


Photo of Abiodun M. Rufai

Abiodun Rufai ’21

Abiodun Rufai is an LL.M candidate at NYU School of Law. He obtained his LL.B degree with First Class honors from Osun State University, Nigeria in 2016. Following his LL.B program, he proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, where he graduated in 2017 with another First Class honors. He subsequently worked as an Associate at Nigeria’s leading commercial law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP, where he gained experience advising on several market-defining commercial and corporate transactions. At NYU, he is a Grunin Scholar, Dean’s Graduate Scholar, staff editor at Annual Survey of American Law and an International Finance and Development Fellow. 


Photo of Rilwan Shittu

Rilwan Shittu ’21

Rilwan holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (with honors) from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and was admitted as an attorney in Nigeria the same year. Prior to commencing his LLM at NYU, Rilwan was an Associate at Olaniwun Ajayi LP, one of Africa’s outstanding full-service commercial law firms, for three years. In this time, he gained significant experience advising on some of the market defining commercial transactions in the Nigerian market. At NYU, Rilwan is pursuing an LLM in Corporations as a recipient of the Dean’s Graduate Scholarship award. He currently serves as a Graduate Journal of the NYU Journal of Law and Business. He was also recently selected as first-place winner in the Healthcare category at the NYU Law Venture Fund Spring 2021 Business Plan Competition. For his LLM, Rilwan is focusing on corporate transactions, finance, securities regulation and M&A. He is also very interested in the intersection between law, business and technology, venture capital, social enterprise and start up law.


Kyle Tebo ’23

Kyle Tebo is from Houston, Texas. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and is now a rising 2L at NYU Law. He is broadly interested in the intersection of law and public policy and has enjoyed his time researching for SEED.

Photo of Qibin Ying

Qibin Ying ’21

Qibin Ying is an LL.M. candidate at NYU School of Law focusing on Corporation Law. Before the LL.M., he spent two years advising issuers and financial institutions in securities offerings. 



SEED Alumni :

Faruk Aktay ’14, Ruchin Jain (NYU Stern 2014), Hayden Bui ’15, Dylan Cassidy ’15, Caroline Dayton ’15, Leslie Hung ’15, Jingjing Wu ’15, Zhi Xia ’15, Hao Zhang ’15, Kuen Young (Anna) Park ’16, Michael Roberts ’16, Erik Andrén ’16, Will Clark ’16, Zhaohua (Josh) Huang ’16, Christopher Porcelli ’16, Dylan Service ’16, Nathan Trunnell ’16, Mark Bennett ’17, Yuan (Claire) Chen ’17, Yujia Feng ’17, Jiarui Li ’17, Run Bo Lu ’17, Melina (Lin) Meneguin-Layerenza ’17 and Caitlin Stachon ’17, Ece Gizay Ban ’18, Danielle Kfir (Dulitzky) ’18, Yuan (Percy) Gao ’19, Avelino Garcia '19, David Kang ’18, Joann Park ’18, Carla Ruggero ’18, Theodore Tan ’18, Bozidar Bogosavljev ’19, Pedro Armando Castelar Pinheiro ’19, Shiyi Fan ’19, Pimvipa Kunanusorn ’19, Christine Lee ’19, Coty Lee ’19, Geoffrey Adonu ’20, Xiaoting An ’20, Edward Duan ’20, Ted Lee ’21, Gutemberg Pacheco Lopes Junior ’20, Eugenio Prosperi ’20, Victor Ricardo ’20, Courtney Sohn ’20, Ben Wertkin ’20, Zhongji Wu ’20, Brandon Ho ’22, Victoria Byler ’21, James Nirappel ’22, Zain Syedain ’22, William Walant ’22.