Coming this fall: Global Compliance

Sidd PattanayakBy Sidd Pattanayak:

I’m excited to be teaching Global Compliance: Introduction and Best Practices this fall, mainly as the topic is not only timely for lawyers and their clients, but also for the general public.

Just take a look at the home pages of newspapers such as the New York Times, Le Monde and the South China Morning Post, and you’ll see daily articles about corruption investigations involving senior governmental officials and multinational companies, money laundering cases involving prominent banks, sanctions changes and violations, data privacy breaches, and other compliance-related scandals.

You don’t have to represent a large multinational conglomerate to know that compliance issues affect everyone in this era of globalization.   An American company that uses third party international distributors has to be mindful of FCPA/UK Bribery Act exposure.  A Chinese conglomerate acquiring a European chemical company has to consider the impact of EU antitrust review.   A website operated in Australia has to consider whether they are adequately protecting their users’ data not only in their home country, but users in faraway continents.

Those are just a few examples of how compliance affects almost everyone around the world.  Of course, it is impossible to become an expert on literally hundreds of thousands of compliance laws in jurisdictions from Albania to Zaire.   The key is to have a consistent, holistic approach to dealing with compliance issues, big and small.

That is the primary focus of this course – how lawyers and their clients can find an approach or “best practice” with respect to these issues.  We will do a general survey of some of the key “alphabet soup” statutes – FCPA, UK Bribery Act, OFAC, and other prominent laws.  Then we’ll look at some case studies of prominent companies and other organizations, including Google, HSBC, Wal-Mart and others, and take away learnings that students can use in their field of practice, enhancing their professional skills while adding value to their employers.

Students will be evaluated primarily on their approach to hypotheticals – whether it’s how to set forth guidelines for local salespersons regarding FCPA compliance, preparing a memo for a client’s CEO about senior management liability, or how simply to respond to their client’s chief financial officer, who wants to set aside a reserve for potential regulatory violations.

I look forward to a robust discussion among students on the discussion boards about what they think a “best practice” is, based on their own personal experiences (good and bad).  Sharing of these experiences, along with the other elements in the course, will help students craft their own best practice approaches for tackling global compliance issues in the best manner possible. 

Professor Pattanayak’s course, Global Compliance: Introduction and Best Practices, is offered in the all-online format this fall 2016. The course is an elective in the Executive LLM curriculum and is a core course in both the Concentration in Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance as well as the Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance.

The ‘rationality of the irrational’

P1030548This summer’s Executive LL.M. Budapest session kicked-off this week. Friday’s colloquium speaker was Laurent Niddam, Attorney at Law and a Fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

The topic was the ‘rationality of the irrational’ –specifically, the importance to legal practitioners in excavating the underlying motives or internal logic (often referred to as ‘interests’ In ADR) of others when their actions appear irrational on the surface. As some audience members pointed out, this topic may be particularly timely given the backdrop of the Brexit vote in the U.K.

ELLM Alumni Spotlight: Fernando Barros

2015-06c (2)Connect with Fernando via LinkedIn.

Fernando Barros is a recent graduate of the Executive LLM program. He also recently accepted a transfer to the U.S. as an expansion in his role as the head of the Latin American Legal Department at Hitachi Data Systems, an American company. In his new position, in addition to overseeing all of Hitachi’s legal matters in Latin America, Fernando now also works closely with the company’s U.S.-based negotiation team.

In a nod to the ELLM, Fernando explained that, “the ELLM was definitely a factor in the expansion of my role. It demonstrated to my boss that I was motivated to further myself professionally and that I could handle additional responsibilities.”

A six-year employee of Hitachi, Fernando’s transfer prompted him to uproot his life six months ago, moving from the mega-city of Sao Paulo to the suburbs of mountainous Denver, Colorado. In his new role, Fernando is getting involved in the intricacies of contract negotiation in the U.S, understanding how it is approached in common law, in contrast with approaches typical in civil law.

Fernando credits Professor Pettit’s course on Contract Law with giving him a firm basis for understanding and negotiating the Hitachi contracts that he now deals with as well as allowing him to better translate what certain terms in common law contracts mean for civil law jurisdictions. Other courses that Fernando found particularly useful were IP Law and Compliance Law. Because Hitachi is an IT company, Fernando runs into IP issues all the time, and having a foundation in the U.S. jurisprudence on things like trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets has reduced the learning curve in his new position. Fernando is also confronted with developing compliance measures within his company, so having a firm understanding of the existing compliance benchmarks is critical in both upholding the company’s policies and in advocating in favor of ethical behavior.

In addition to his expanded professional responsibilities, Fernando is also adjusting to American culture both in and outside of the workplace. Fernando noted that for a Brazilian used to a city that is constantly alive and bustling, the quiet of American suburban life takes some adjusting to. Also, he finds it interesting how his American colleagues eat by themselves at their desks for lunch, while in Brazil and all around Latin America he and his co-workers would always go out to lunch together. It certainly sounds like Denver could use a couple more Brazilians! He is also learning to live in a place where it snows. Surprisingly, he doesn’t mind shoveling on occasion. And in addition to his favorite beer, Sam Adams, he is now also a fan of Colorado Native.

We wish Fernando all the best in his new position and city.

Professor Stacey Dogan Talks Patents, Compulsory Licenses, and Geopolitics with the Executive LLM


BU Law’s ELLM program was pleased to welcome Professor Stacey Dogan as our first colloquium speaker for 2016. On March 7th Professor Dogan, who teaches Intellectual Property in the JD and ELLM programs, gave a brief introduction on patent law and then focused the discussion on the legal and geopolitical impact of Article 31 of the TRIPS agreement, which allows countries to grant compulsory patent licenses in certain circumstances. The colloquium series, a central component of the ELLM program, features subject matter experts who address a wide range of areas broadly related to international business law.

The TRIPS (Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) is a major international treaty on intellectual property law. TRIPS signatories – which include most countries in the industrialized and developing world – promise to provide baseline levels of IP protection, and to grant citizens of other signatories the same rights as their own citizens.  They also agree to provide effective enforcement of IP rights. While TRIPS went into effect in 1995, developing and least developed countries had a phase-in period to comply with its provisions, especially with respect to patent law. As a result, Article 31 is only now beginning to be tested, as governments have only recently begun to grant compulsory licenses pursuant to its terms.

Professor Dogan and the ELLM students discussed the impact of TRIPS among developing and developed nations and the legal requirements that Article 31 established for implementing compulsory licenses. The class discussed the ongoing tension between countries seeking to use the flexibilities built into TRIPS, on the one hand, and pharmaceutical firms in the US, Europe, and Japan, who have pushed for stronger patent rights and limits on compulsory licensing. Professor Dogan also discussed the US Trade Representative’s use of its Special 301 reports to pressure governments to enhance and enforce IP rights, and the increased push for “TRIPS-plus” treaties that bind signatories to amend their IP laws in ways that exceed the requirements of TRIPS.

As the U.S. and Europe continue to enter into TRIPS-plus agreements, and as TRIPS signatories continue to develop compulsory licensing laws under Article 31, this area of the law will continue to develop dynamically. Professor Dogan will be teaching US and International Intellectual Property Law this summer in the ELLM’s blended-online session in Budapest. For more information on Professor Dogan’s course and other ELLM course offerings, please see the ELLM Curriculum.


Professor Dogan guest lecturing in the Executive LLM International Business Law colloquium series.

Professor Dogan is a leading scholar in intellectual property and competition law.

Her recent articles explore cutting-edge topics in trademark, copyright, and right of publicity law, including questions of intermediary liability, the rights of trademark parodists, and evolving norms underlying trademark law. 


Professor Dogan’s SSRN Author Page and Google Scholar Page.


ELLM Program Branches Out: Presenting the Certificate in International Business Law!

In late December the University approved the Executive LL.M. Program’s (ELLM) first certificate, the Certificate in International Business Law (CIBL). Consisting of any four ‘core’ courses from the ELLM’s expansive curriculum, the CIBL allows for another innovative and flexible offering from the ELLM’s growing portfolio.

The CIBL is the first in what is envisioned as a number of free-standing certificates. The CIBL consists of four courses (12 credits) of ELLM courses, offered either blended or online, and meets a need for executive-style education for practitioners interested in international business law. We anticipate that the CIBL will be attractive to a wide-range of practitioners including those who desire to enhance their knowledge and credentials without completing an entire LL.M. program,  who seek prospective admission to the ELLM pending successful completion of the CIBL, as well as those who are not able to attend any courses with residential components. The CIBL, if desired, would allow these students to obtain the credential entirely online. “I’m confident that this will be seen as yet another innovative offering by the ELLM program, that both meets a market need and provides a desirable and rigorous legal credential”, says Ian C. Pilarczyk, director of the ELLM Program. “I envision that this will be the first in a number of certificate offerings, making our courses available to an even-larger universe of talented and driven global practitioners.”

The requirements for the CIBL are:

  • completion of a minimum of 12 credits from the ELLM curriculum, consisting of 4 courses;
  • completion of International Business Transactions and Agreements;
  • completion of all courses with an overall GPA of 3.0 (“B”) with a grade of “C” or better in all courses taken.

Students will have 18 months (with a possible extension of 6 months for extenuating circumstances) to complete the CIBL. Tuition will be charged at the prevailing ELLM rate, and no scholarships will be available for the CIBL. The same admissions standards for the CIBL will be applied as are used for the ELLM, but we will be  more flexible with respect to the work experience requirement. Students who complete the CIBL will be eligible for advanced standing in the ELLM, should they be accepted through our regular admissions process.

Currently, the courses open to students in the CIBL are:

  • U.S. Contract Law for International Lawyers
  • U.S. Corporate Law for International Lawyers
  • U.S. and Trans-Border Securities Regulation
  • U.S. and Trans-Border Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Corporate Finance with U.S. and International Reporting
  • International Business Transactions and Agreements (available blended and online)
  • U.S. and International Intellectual Property
  • International Arbitration
  • Global Compliance: Introduction and Best Practices (online; available Spring 2017)
  • Deals: The Legal Engineering Behind Corporate Transactions
  • Transnational Legal Practice (online)
  • Global Cyber Law and Governance (online; available Fall 2016)
  • Directed Study

The CIBL was approved by Boston University in December 2015 and is currently pending ABA acquiescence. Applications to the CIBL are now being accepted. For more information on the program, please visit our website or email us at Read more about the CIBL in the BU Law News Press Release.

Environmental and Energy Law: A Growth Area

A recent article in the National Jurist entitled “Environmental, Energy law remain strong” reinforced for us what we at the ELLM already knew: that these two related areas remain areas of robust current and future growth. Moreover, we believe these areas are of increasing importance to international lawyers who work in other fields. “Issues around energy transcend borders of time, place, or subject”, says ELLM director Ian C. Pilarczyk. “Does anyone doubt, for example, that energy can implicate national security concerns? Energy and the environment have an evident and obvious relevance to global business and law, and courses in these areas accordingly have a great deal of practical utility to practitioners employed in a wide range of different sectors and in varied capacities.”

Introduced in 2013, the ELLM’s concentration in International Environmental and Energy Law (IEEL) was designed to meet this practical need, and the courses have proven to be popular with ELLM students. A result of a partnership between BU LAW and Vermont Law School, the country’s top ranked law school for environmental law, as of January 2016 nine students have taken courses offered in this basket. “While relatively few have chosen to pursue the concentration, the courses in Environmental Law, Oil & Gas, and Alternative Fuels and Renewable Energy have proven particularly popular”, says Pilarczyk. (You can read one of our graduate’s perspectives on the Environmental Law course, posted in 2014, on our blog).

For more information on these courses or the IEEL concentration, please visit our website (BU LAW’s new, redesigned website, point of fact!) or email us at As always, we welcome your referrals of qualified potential applicants to our program. We also love to hear about your personal and professional updates, so please stay in touch!

Holiday Greetings from Boston University School of Law

This year we were moved by the Dean’s message, and so rather than create our own message, we wanted to send this along instead. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to know such a diverse, interesting and enthusiastic student body and we therefore count you as among the many things for which we are thankful. Our best wishes for the holidays, to you and your families, from both of us.


Ian C. Pilarczyk
Director, Executive LL.M. in International Business Law

Zachary H. Wang
Assistant Director, Executive LL.M. in International Business Law

holiday greeting

header divide

Dear BU Law community,

Now that all of the exams are almost over and all of the papers almost written, it is fitting to take a moment to relax and celebrate the holidays. Yes, even in a world that—despite all of its technological progress—still daily demonstrates in the most tragic ways an inability to embrace our common humanity, it is worth remembering all of the blessings we have and to celebrate them with family and friends. When the holidays are over, the shiny lights dimmed, and the New Year’s parties silenced, our real work begins:

To find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

That quotation is from Dr. Howard Thurman, longtime dean of Boston University’s Marsh Chapel, a place of inclusion for peoples of all faiths or none at all.

And in his spirit and on behalf of Boston University School of Law, I wish you all the peace, joy, and hope of the holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2016.

My best,

Maureen A. O’Rourke
Dean, Michaels Faculty Research Scholar, and Professor of Law


ELLM Now Offers Online Concentration in Risk Management and Compliance!

The office of the Executive LL.M. Program at BU Law is pleased to announce that we have received university approval for our third addition to our portfolio of all-online concentrations, this time in the rapidly-growing area of compliance. Our new Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance (ERMC) Concentration is a joint offering between LAW and the MET College at Boston University, leveraging industry and academic experts in the areas of risk management, business continuity, and compliance.

The ERMC consists of a basket of 5 online courses, offered in a mix of MET’s 7-week long intensive courses and LAW’s standard 14-week long courses. These courses therefore allow for an additional element of scheduling flexibility in addition to providing immersion in this highly-relevant growth field in international business law.

In order to complete the ERMC Concentration, students must complete 12 or more credits (4 courses) from this basket:

  • Enterprise Risk Management (MET, 3 credits)
  • Enterprise Risk Planning and Compliance (MET, 3 credits)
  • Enterprise Risk Analytics (MET, 3 credits)
  • Global Compliance: Introduction & Best Practices (LAW, 3 credits)
  • Global Cyber Law and Governance (LAW, 3 credits)

Several of the faculty who teach these courses will be well-known to ELLM students. ELLM instructor Virginia Greiman is developing her new course in Cyber Law to focus on legal issues related to the regulation of cyberspace.  MET faculty member Andrew Banasiewicz, an expert in risk management analytics (statistics) and frequent guest speaker in our “Issues in International Business Law” colloquia series, teaches Enterprise Risk Analytics.

We are confident that you will find these course offerings will further enrich an already-robust practical curriculum related to international business law. As always, we accept applications to the ELLM throughout the year, with our next classes beginning in January 2016–making it a great way to start the new year! For more information on these courses or the ELLM in general, please visit our website or email us at


Alvaro Ceballos Publishes Article on the Supranational Jurisdiction of the Andean Tribunal for Commercial Arbitration in Colombia

suarezExecutive LL.M. student, Alvaro Ceballos Suarez, recently published an article in Revista Confluencia (issn: 2346-1047).

Abstract: (article in Spanish)


The main purpose of the research is briefing to the readers about a new exiting way in Colombia to handle the commercial arbitrations. The Andean Community is a customs union comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The Andean Tribunal is the legal branch of the internal organization of the community in charge of the rules to unify the jurisdictions of the country members. In the efforts to amalgamate the diverse local laws (base in the civil legal system) the Andean Tribunal stated the “pre judicial interpretation” as mandatory policy for the local courts of each country to ask in a preliminary basis to the Andean Tribunal for the interpretation of the supranational rules when the litigation case involves issues ruled by the Andean Community. This legal step must be follow by local judges before the award or judicial decision. Otherwise, a breach of the Andean legal framework will take place.

In the article published by the Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Mr. Ceballos summarized the legal arguments of a recent case in which a Colombian Court (Consejo de Estado) declared the nullity of some awards of commercial arbitrations because the lack of the pre judicial interpretation. This relevant antecedent means that the integration of the transnational legal system of the Andean Countries became a real legal issue rather than academic discussion.

ELLM Summer Session 2015 – Lunch Workshops

This past summer we had a great lineup of speakers at our colloquium luncheons in Budapest and Boston. Below are just a few of the speakers who shared their thoughts on a current issue within their area of expertise.

Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi is the managing partner of the Budapest Baker & McKenzie office, where he heads the antitrust and competition practice. He is also the vice-president of the Hungarian Competition Association and a member of the Scientific Board of the Competition Law Research Institute at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, where he lectures in the postgraduate competition law course. He practices law in Hungary as well as at the European Union level, including the European Commission and the Court of Justice. Zoltán shared his thoughts with us on upcoming competition law legislation that will affect the compliance obligations for small and medium sized enterprises.



Robert (USA), Nana (Ghana), Zoltan, Madie (South Africa), Dennis Campbell (Director Center for International Legal Studies)

Marcell S. Clark, partner in the Bratislava (Slovakia) office of Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, addressed ELLM students. He spoke on the adverse impact that sanctions imposed on Russia had on Central and East European real estate financing, specifically in the case of Hungary.


John Terpinas, FBI agent and Director of the International Law Enforcement Academy, European branch, discussed public corruption, the rule of law, and counter-terrorism during the ELLM Colloquium. The ILEA is funded by the State Department and assists U.S. allies in training law enforcement officials.


Professor Cornelius Hurley has over 35 years of diversified legal, entrepreneurial, and academic experience in the financial sector. His teaching and research interests focus upon the interactions between finance and the real economy. He serves an independent director of Computershare Trust Company, N.A., an element of one of the global leaders in the transfer agent business, and of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, one of the three so-called “GSEs.” Professor Hurley shared his thoughts regarding new legislation governing banks that are too big to fail.

Professor Cornelius Hurley has over 35 years of diversified legal, entrepreneurial, and academic experience in the financial sector. His teaching and research interests focus upon the interactions between finance and the real economy. He serves an independent director of Computershare Trust Company, N.A., an element of one of the global leaders in the transfer agent business, and of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, one of the three so-called "GSEs." Professor Hurley shared his thoughts regarding new legislation governing banks that are too big to fail.