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 regulatory, transactional and compliance matters. She regularly provides advice regarding the structuring, launch and operation of registered funds and fund governance. Additionally, she advises on the full range of issues facing funds, their boards and advisers, such as compliance, disclosure and activist matters as well as fund restructurings and merger and acquisition transactions. She regularly advises on industry developments.

An emerging leader in the industry, Neesa was named Up and Coming Practitioner in the area of Registered Funds (Nationwide) by Chambers Global (2023) and Chambers USA (2022), where she is commended by clients for “always looking for ways to strengthen our processes while giving suggestions to solve problems.” She was also named a “Rising Star” at Fund Intelligence’s 2021 Mutual Funds Industry and ETF Awards. In The Legal 500 U.S. (2021) Neesa is praised by clients for her continuing “to stand out in her understanding of investment company regulations and industry practices.”

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 that included major cases and initiatives she worked on, which was recognized with an NLJ 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.

  • Up And Coming - Registered Funds, Chambers USA (2022) and Chambers Global (2023)
  • Rising Star, Mutual Fund Industry and ETF Awards, Fund Intelligence (2021)
  • NYSBA Empire State Counsel Honoree, recognition for pro bono contributions (2017, 2021 and 2022)
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll – High Honors, D.C. Courts (2016, 2020, 2021)
  • Rising Star in Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers (2018-2020)

Neesa serves on the Advisory Committee for the Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Greater D.C. Community Foundation, which supports educational and enrichment programs and initiatives for underserved youth in the greater Washington D.C. area. She serves as the liaison to Horton’s Kids, the Foundation’s current principal grantee.

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

  • Serves as co-lead independent board counsel to a number of registered fund boards.
  • Advised numerous clients on compliance with the substantive provisions of the 1940 Act, such as those governing affiliated transactions, fund-of-fund arrangements, use of derivatives, advisory and distribution agreements and valuation, among others.
  • Provided strategic investment management regulatory advice to asset management firms in M&A transactions.
  • Represented closed-end funds in IPOs, shelf offerings and other capital markets transactions.
  • Advised closed-end funds in actions to address discounts and responding to activist shareholders.
  • Represented adviser in connection with adoption of interval fund.
  • Represented investment advisers and registered fund complexes in seeking exemptive orders from the SEC.



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

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia, 2010 New York, 2010