Neesa Patel Sood is a partner in the Asset Management Department. She counsels registered funds and their independent board members, as well as investment advisers, across a wide range of complex regulatory, compliance, fund governance, operational and transaction-related matters. She regularly provides advice regarding the structuring, launch and day-to-day operations of registered funds, including innovative products and structures.  Neesa also has significant transactional experience, regularly counseling clients on fund restructurings and adoptions as well as merger and acquisition transactions. She regularly advises on industry and legal developments.

Neesa was named Independent Counsel of the Year at With Intelligence's 2023 Mutual Fund and ETF Awards and recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. (2023) as a "Next Generation Partner" for Investment Fund Formation and Management: Mutual/Registered/Exchange-Traded Funds, where she is praised for the "depth and breadth of [her] '40 Act knowledge, combined with excellent business judgment." She is also recognized in the area of Registered Funds by Chambers Global (2023-2024) and Chambers USA (Nationwide) (2022-2023), where she is commended by clients for "always looking for ways to strengthen our processes while giving suggestions to solve problems." Neesa was also named a "Rising Star" at Fund Intelligence's 2021 Mutual Fund and ETF Awards.

Neesa was named an Emerging Women Leader in Law by DCA Live in 2024, being selected among “the great women attorneys in the Washington region who are emerging as leaders within their firms and the broader DC legal community.” In 2022, she was featured in a National Law Journal Q&A profile on Willkie’s work in the field of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) that included major cases and initiatives she worked on, which was recognized with the 2022 National Law Journal ESG and Community Impact Award. She has also co-authored articles for several prominent industry publications, including The Investment Lawyer and Corporate Counsel Business Journal.


Neesa was a Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Law Fellow in 2006.

  • Emerging Women Leaders in Law, DCA Live (2024)
  • Independent Counsel of the Year, Mutual Fund and ETF Awards, With Intelligence (2023)
  • Next Generation Partner - Investment Fund Formation and Management: Mutual/Registered/Exchange-Traded Funds, The Legal 500 (2023)
  • Up And Coming - Registered Funds, Chambers USA (Nationwide) (2022-2023) and Chambers Global (2023-2024)
  • Rising Star, Mutual Fund and ETF Awards, Fund Intelligence (2021)
  • New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel Honoree, recognition for pro bono contributions (2017, 2021 and 2022)
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll – High Honors, D.C. Courts (2020-2022)
  • Rising Star in Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers (2018-2020)

Neesa serves on the Board of Directors of Horton’s Kids, a non-profit organization focused on preparing children from communities in Southeast DC for college, career and life through educational opportunities and comprehensive programs tailored to their needs. 

Neesa leads the Advisory Committee for the Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Greater D.C. Community Foundation, which supports educational and enrichment programs and initiatives for children in under-resourced communities in the greater Washington D.C. area.

Neesa is also a member of the D.C. Chapters of Women in ETFs and 100 Women in Finance.

  • Directors’ Institute, Mutual Fund Directors’ Forum (MFDF) (Faculty Member, 2024)
  • What's in a Name (and What Does it Say About Your Fund)? – SEC's Amended Names Rule, MFDF (Speaker, 2023)
  • Try, Try, Try Again: The SEC Adopts Another Round of Money Market Fund Reforms, Securities Law Developments Conference, Investment Company Institute (Panelist, 2023)
  • Form N-PX and “Say-on-Pay”: Preparing for New Requirements for Institutional Managers, Managed Funds Association (Panelist, 2023)
  • Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Roundtable, Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance (Participant, 2023)
  • Benchmarking Wall Street DEI: Where We Are and Where We’re Headed (Panelist, 2022)
  • SEC Charges Investment Adviser, Officers and Fund Trustees with Liquidity Rule Violations, The Investment Lawyer (Co-Author, 2023)
  • SEC Proposes Cybersecurity Rules and Amendments for Registered Investment Advisers, Registered Investment Companies and BDCs, The Investment Lawyer (Co-Author, 2022)
  • ESG Community Impact, The National Law Journal (Quoted, 2022)



Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 2009 University of Maryland, B.S., 2006

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia, 2010 New York, 2010