Scenes from the 2015 BU School of Law Graduation

The past May the Executive LL.M. graduated its largest class yet. The 2015 graduating class was represented by 17 graduates originating from 12 different countries. Those who were able to come to Boston to attend the graduation ceremony included:

Vincent Constantin , Michel André De Preter , Nadine D. Elkhoury, Julian Robert Hodda, Arthur Langford III, Sutadi Ng, Maria de los Angeles Purcell Burotto, and Anna Townes. Alexander Russell, ELLM ’14, completed his Banking and Financial Law LL.M. from BU (congratulations, Alex!) Some of these intrepid graduates traveled extremely far to join us, including Julian (Australia) and Sutadi (Indonesia)

Congratulations once again to all of our graduates, and welcome to our family of alumni!


Dean O’Rourke addresses the 2015 BU School of Law graduates.



Arthur, Vincent, and Michel



Sutadi, Director Ian Pilarczyk, and Nadine


ELLM Ladies_IMG_0369

Maria, Anna, and Nadine


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Michel, Julian, Vincent, Anna, Sutadi, Maria, Nadine, Arthur, Alex (ELLM ’14, BFL ’15)



Michel, Julian, and Alex


International Arbitration: The Executive LL.M. is now a CIArb Recognized Course Provider

ciarbThe Executive LL.M. in International Business Law is proud to announce that International Arbitration, taught by Lecturer Philip O’Neill, is now a recognized course by the CIArb. Students who complete International Arbitration will now be able to exempt themselves from Module 2 at the Member Level of the CIArb’s training pathway.

In addition to gaining a meaningful credential, CIArb members also are afforded a variety of benefits, including access to CIArb branches and resources.

From the CIArb About Page:

“The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) is a leading professional membership organisation representing the interests of alternative dispute practitioners worldwide. With over 13,000 members located in more than 120 countries, CIArb supports the global promotion, facilitation and development of all forms of private dispute resolution. As a not-for-profit, UK registered charity, CIArb works in the public interest through an international network of 37 branches.”

A student who wishes to claim the exemption from Module 2 should submit the transcripts necessary to show that the student: i) took International Arbitration as part of the ELLM; and ii) has obtained a law degree. If you have any questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact the ELLM Office (

Transnational Legal Practice Now Open for Registration!

We are always excited to announce program enhancements and new curricular offerings as part of our commitment to offering a robust and practical LL.M. program that is of benefit to a wide range of practitioners. New courses are frequently added.

globe_set_grey-178x178Some time ago we announced the creation of an exciting new course with wide applicability to many of our students: Transnational Legal Practice. This new online offering focuses of many of the core competencies and issues that form an integral part of doing business abroad, either as a U.S. trained lawyer involved in foreign transactions, or as a foreign-trained lawyer involved in U.S. transactions or working with American practitioners and clients. The instructor, Dennis Campbell, Executive Director of the Center for International Legal Studies in Austria, and his son and fellow legal academic Christopher Campbell, bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this new course offering. To give you just a taste of what this course offers, Dennis offers the following thoughts:

How does a lawyer negotiate the challenges of a crossborder practice? Does a Canadian lawyer run afoul of local practice rules when he or she flies to Tokyo to offer legal assistance in a merger and acquisition? Is an American lawyer equipped to evaluate the qualifications of the Spanish or German lawyer to whom a client will be entrusted? There are many pitfalls in the crossborder practice of law, and some have dramatic consequences.

In France, the act of exporting documents or responding to discovery requests is a criminal offense. The French Supreme Court recently confirmed that a French attorney was subject to a fine of €10,000 for cooperating with American discovery requests. This is but one example of the issues that confront lawyers whose work carries them beyond the borders of the countries in which they are admitted to practice. In Transnational Legal Practice, we will consider the role of the crossborder lawyer and how he or she can best navigate among what sometimes are conflicting responsibilities.

This course will be offered in September as part of our Fall Online curriculum; you can find a course description and syllabus here. The deadline for registration is August 21, 2015, with the course opening at the beginning of September and running until early December. Please contact us at with any questions, and we hope you will join us for this stimulating and useful addition to our curriculum!

Checking-in With the ELLM’s First Graduates

Dear friends of the ELLM–

In this blog, we do something a little different: we are checking-in with 2 of our first graduates from the program, both graduates from 2012, who share their experiences with the ELLM and what they have been up to since then.

First, let’s visit with Marini from Jakarta, Indonesia:

marini“I think it is appropriate to congratulate you and your team for running a great program. If I had to sign up and do it all over again, I would do it on a heartbeat. For me personally, the Executive LL.M is all about the experience. I had always wanted to study in the U.S but never had a chance until BU accepted me in the program.  In those 2 1/2 months of residency, not only did I gain knowledge about subjects that weren’t too familiar for me then but I have met interesting people which some became very good friends. 

On the professional side, since July 2014, I am managing partner of Legisperitus Lawyers, a startup law firm which is the result of a merger between my old firm Alfredo Associates and another firm called LADVO. Our firm has affiliate offices in 82 countries across the globe within the Advoc network, an international network of independent law firms. We have Robinson & Cole as our member firm in Boston and the fact that I am a BU graduate helped a lot in some conversations with their lawyers. 

If there is one subject taught in the program that is still very applicable in my current work, it is IBTA, and perhaps also Corporate Law. Quite often I found myself looking back to the notes I made during Prof. Greiman’s class whenever I had to draft a contract. I also found what Prof. Outterson taught us in Corp Law class can be very handy when I tried to explain how Indonesian corporate structure is different than corporate structure adapted in most countries, including the U.S.” Connect with Marini.

jeffrey-gitto-profile-mNext up is Jeff, an American lawyer and entrepreneur who resides in Miami, who also updated us on the past few years. “Since graduation I have expanded my company brand to over ten hospitality venues (from 4). It has been a challenge, to be frank….I have shed a venue and learned a few hard lessons about private equity, but pioneered on. I started a law firm and have been dating an attorney who also is a local news analyst for a large local firm, with a few CNN and Al Jeezera stints, for the last year.

I just hired a large marketing company to update our global digital footprint.” Jeff adds that “I have definitely been in touch with our classmates. I have also kept in touch with Fabiola (Costa Rica) and Roman (Russia)! Thomas (Germany) and Fabiola have visited me in Orlando, which was great. Thomas and I have spent the most post graduation time personally and Marini via email. It has been a crazy few years but I recently told them I would make a better effort on my end to keep in touch since the friendship and bond of the first ELLM class is truly a unique thing.” Connect with Jeff.

We are always glad to hear how you are keeping in touch with each other, and please let us know what we can do to facilitate that! Always happy to hear updates from everyone, as well!

All best,


ELLM graduates 2012, including Marini (2nd from left), Jeffrey, and Thomas (far right).

ELLM graduates 2012, including Marini (2nd from left), Jeffrey, and Thomas (far right).


ELLM Announces New Online Concentration in Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance!

On behalf of the Executive LL.M. program, I am thrilled to announce our latest addition to the curriculum: a new concentration in compliance!

Our third all-online concentration, joining our offerings in International Taxation and International Environmental and Energy Law, the new Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance Concentration (ERMC) is now available to ELLM students. This concentration will further augment our already-strong curricular offerings by expanding the opportunities for our students to specialize in this dynamic and fast-growing field. As Babak Boghraty, professor in the ELLM, states, “In light of recent enforcement trends, compliance has become an integral part of global business operations, and companies are moving to adapt by instituting internal risk management systems. The new content positions our students to participate in and take advantage of the opportunities produced by this process.”

Offered in conjunction with MET College’s Administrative Sciences master’s program, the ERMC leverages industry and academic experts in the field of risk management, business continuity and compliance at both BU LAW and the MET College. This Concentration is offered entirely online, with no residential components, in a mix of 7-week long intensive courses and LAW’s standard 13-week long courses. Completion of the ERMC Concentration also allows students to complete the Executive LL.M. program requirements through two, rather than the usual three, residency sessions if desired. Students may also enroll in these courses individually, as all these courses will count towards the Executive LL.M. degree. In order to complete the IEEC Concentration, students must complete 12 or more credits from this basket, subject to the additional requirements below:

  • Administrative Law (3 credits) (7 weeks)
  • Enterprise Risk Management  (3 credits) (offered in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, 7 weeks)
  • Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance  (3 credits) (offered in Spring 2016 and Fall 2016, 7 weeks)
  • Enterprise Risk Analytics (3 credits) (offered in Fall 2015, 7 weeks)
  • Fundamentals of Compliance Management for Multinational Enterprises (3 credits) (13 weeks)
  • Legal Risk Management in International Trade and Finance (3 credits) (13 weeks)
  • Cyber Law, Cyber Security, and Corporate Governance (3 credits) (anticipated to be available in September 2016, 13 weeks)

In addition, ELLM students wishing to obtain the ERMC Concentration must meet the following requirements: non-U.S. trained lawyers, or those without a first degree in law, must complete: (a) Administrative Law; (b) Enterprise Risk Management, or Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance, or Enterprise Risk Analytics; (c) Fundamentals of Compliance Management for Multinational Enterprises or Legal Risk Management in International Trade and Finance; and (d) at least one more course, for a total of 12 credits. ELLM students who are U.S.-trained lawyers are subject to the same requirements, except that Administrative Law is not required and therefore they must completed at least two more courses in addition to (b) and (c), above, for a total of 12 credits. Completing the Concentration and fulfilling the ELLM degree requirements will therefore result in having to complete a minimum of 26 credits. For ELLM students who have already taken Managing Compliance Risks for International Business Networks offered in 2014-2015, that course will count towards the Concentration and will take the place of Fundamentals of Compliance Management for Multinational Enterprises.

While there are no formal prerequisites, it is highly recommended that students take Enterprise Risk Management and/or Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance before taking Enterprise Risk Analytics. As with all of our concentrations, students are welcome to enroll in individual courses without pursuing the formal concentration. I hope you will agree with us that this is a highly-desirable addition to the ELLM.

For information on the concentration, please visit our description on our website. For more information on the ELLM, please visit our website or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!



Congratulations to Peter Manda on Recent Published Article!

The ELLM office offers congratulations to current ELLM student Peter Manda, whose article “Bringing Fairness to FCPA Settlements: Protecting the Corporate Form through Respondeat Inferior  Subsidiary Liability”,  was just published by the International In-House Counsel Journal in its Winter 2015 issue. The article is concerned with whether the subsidiary structure in international operations should allow the corporate parent to shield itself from the effects of corruption and illegal activities when employees or agents do not act on the parent’s behalf. That extra protection would allow corporate parents to focus more on disincentives and incentives that maximize law abidance, where the distances in time and space between the issuer-parent and the subsidiary situs can be vast. By shifting liability under the FCPA to its source and origin, respondeat inferior allows for an increase in vigilance and a focus on compliance. The more legitimately a parent can show that the acts of its subsidiary were driven by rogue employees, the easier it should become for the parent to avoid excessive liability that it must otherwise share collectively with its consolidated operations.

Peter cites Professor Babak Boghraty’s ELLM course, Managing Compliance Risks for International Business Networks, as providing the impetus for the article:

“The inspiration for the article came as a result of a question that Professor Boghraty had posed in his compliance course about the FCPA. The question related to the scope of the FCPA Guide for companies prepared by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. As we found in class, through the Guide the DOJ has effectively adopted a strict liability standard for assessing the amount of penalties and fines to charge violating multinationals. As I read the case law and thought about the issue in greater depth, I realized that the principle of ‘respondeat inferior’ that I was familiar with from municipal law practice would be a more apt standard. Further research showed that it is also used as a theory to prosecute employees who engage in sexual harassment and for members of gangs.”

The parallel between gang activity and application of the FCPA was more closely-related that it might first appear, added Peter.

“In many ways, employees in foreign subsidiaries act like independent gang members where the gang kingpin is usually not found inside the company. Thinking about foreign corrupt practices this way, I decided to write an article to propose an analysis of FCPA cases that would allow multinational corporations and the DOJ to cooperate in the fight against corruption.”

The argument raised by Peter proved to find a receptive audience, since in addition to the publication he was invited by the blog to summarize his article as a contributing writer.

“Throughout this process Professor Boghraty and the ELLM program staff (Ian and Zac) were extremely supportive. Professor Boghraty in particular read various drafts of the article and provided invaluable advice that made the text better and more meaningful”, noted Peter.

Peter MandaPeter Manda has been general counsel to LMCK Partners, LLC and has worked as in-house counsel to the automotive and precision instrument industries in the United States and Japan. After graduating from Temple Law School, Peter clerked at the United States Court of International Trade.

Peter is currently an LLM Candidate in Executive International Business Law program at Boston University School of Law. Ha received a bachelors in Modern Persian Literature and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1982 and a masters in Classical Persian Literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989, a Masters in Public Administration and Politics from the Bloustein School at , Rutgers University in 2010, a Masters in Public Administration with a Concentration in Public Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. He has also received a Certificate in the Study of Law from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2011 where he concentrated his studies on securities regulation and structured finance. At the same time he completed studies in corporate finance at the Wharton School where he received a Certificate in 2011. As in-house counsel, Peter specializes in international transactions and litigation management with a focus on in-house investigations, cross-border M&A and capital growth, and supply chain management.

A copy of the article may be accessed here: Bringing Fairness to FCPA Settlements: Protecting the Corporate Form through Respondeat Inferior Subsidiary Liability

ELLM Director, Ian C. Pilarczyk, discusses online LL.M. programs with The National Jurist

Executive LL.M. Director Ian C. Pilarczyk was quoted in a National Jurist feature entitled “Education everywhere” in the February 2015 issue. The article chronicles the growth of online LL.M. programs and discusses the technology behind the programs.

In the article, Dr. Pilarczyk points out the limitations of unitary software systems in creating a robust pedagogical experience for online learners, and emphasizes that programs such as the ELLM depend on numerous products in order to provide the best learning outcomes. BU’s programs, including the ELLM, use a combination of Blackboard, Echo360, and Adobe Connect (among other products) in support of online teaching. “Rather than just chasing the latest technology, we look to see what products, or what combination of products and approaches, produce the best online experience”, says Pilarczyk, “and we continue to look for ways to improve even further.” One area in which he’d like to see more improvement is in the ‘live classroom’ feature that many of the courses use as an optional feature. “While our model is asynchronous in order to optimize flexibility, this is a feature that both students and faculty often value. We’re now experimenting with a new program, Blue Jeans, to see if it assists us in improving the user experience for the participants.”

The ELLM also offers dual formats, all-online as well as blended learning, to reap the benefits of both digital education and seminar style face-to-face classroom time. “We’ve had tremendous success with a blended, or hybrid, model of executive education”, says Pilarczyk. “This model has allowed us to attract experienced working practitioners from some forty countries around the world to the ELLM, united by their desire to expand their knowledge of U.S. and international business law. In our case, it is blended in the full sense of the word– we offer hybrid courses, online courses, and are anticipating adding some short-term fully residential courses as well. We really focus on optimizing flexibility for our students while delivering a first-rate legal educati0n.”

The ELLM is also at the forefront of other distance initiatives, such as supplying a team that will produce BU Law’s first-ever MOOC, on legal compliance, to be offered in fall 2015 (more details to follow!). Spear-headed by Babak Boghraty, LAW’89 and ELLM instructor, this course will be offered through edX and offer certification in this fast-growing and important field. You can read Professor Boghraty’s recent ELLM guest blog here.

For more details on online LL.M. programs, read the full National Jurist Article.

ELLM Congratulates Alum for Being Named One of Denver’s “40 Under 40″

40u402015winnerslogoweb-600The Executive LL.M. Program is very pleased to offer congratulations to one of our recent graduates, Erik Estrada (ELLM ’14), who was named one of Denver Business Journal’s (DBJ) “40 Under 40“. The award is presented by the DBJ to recognize an elite group of men and women, in different professional fields, for their “commitment to community and business leadership.”

While Erik deserves full credit for this award based on his dedication to the City of Denver, his public service and his high level of legal professionalism, he was quick to share it with the ELLM program. “The education that I received from Boston University’s Executive LL.M. Program, one of the best such programs in the world, has helped me become an emerging leader for my company. The subject matter covered in the curriculum was directly applicable to my day-to-day duties as Senior Corporate Counsel.”  As part of his studies in the ELLL, Erik had taken courses that included Securities Regulation, International Business Transactions and Agreements, International Arbitration, Corporate Finance, and several tax courses. In addition to the well-rounded curriculum, professional networking opportunities and flexible scheduling options, Erik says he was attracted to BU’s program because of BU Law’s “long-standing commitment to public service, and the fact that it strives to instill such commitment in its students. This commitment is a passion of mind as well, and accordingly I try to give back to the communities in which I live and work by serving on various non-profit boards.”

Erik serves as Senior Corporate Counsel for Level 3 Communications, a Fortune 500 Company, since 2012. Previously, he was employed at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP and served as Senior Fellow and Program Director of El Pomar Foundation, a general grant-making foundation that supports a wide range of initiatives in Colorado. In addition to the LL.M. from BU, he holds a J.D. from University of Denver College of Law, where he was named a Chancellor’s Scholar;  an M.P.A. from University of Colorado School of Public Affairs, where he was named the Outstanding M.P.A. Student; and a B.A. from University of Colorado at Boulder. He serves, or has served on the board of directors of El Pomar Foundation, University of Colorado Alumni Association, Tony Grampsas Fund (appointed by Governor Bill Ritter), Community Resource Center, and the Colorado Center on Law & Policy.

Again, congratulations Erik on this well-deserved award!

For more information on the ELLM program, please contact us or visit our website.


Let’s Take a Sober Look at the End of Sanctions on Cuba and Iran

Prof. Babak Boghraty

Prof. Babak Boghraty

Babak Boghraty specializes in U.S. laws governing business conduct overseas, including anti-corruption and sanctions. He brings two decades of combined legal and business experience to this field, having assisted global enterprises extend their presence to the most inaccessible markets.

Professor Boghraty currently teaches a course in the Executive LL.M. program that focuses on managing compliance risks for international business networks. (Full bio). This is his first guest blog for the ELLM program:

In the course of 2015, we will likely witness the dismantling of economic sanctions against two longstanding US foes: Cuba and Iran – without a reciprocal commitment on human rights or democratic reforms.  The Obama administration reasons that integrating these nations into the global economy will be more effective in bringing about positive change in their governments than embargoes and isolation.

The prospects of a return to these markets has electrified western investors and raised hopes in both countries for a better future.  But in reality, this time is fraught with risk for all involved – for Cuba and Iran; for western businesses ready for the mad dash into these frontiers; and, for US credibility.

Consider Iran, the larger of the two markets.  After more than three decades of economic isolation, it ranks 136 out of 174 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.  Most of Iran’s economy is owned or controlled by the government and the ruling elite, and it lacks market-oriented institutions like a transparent regulatory system, sophisticated accounting and banking profession, effective legal and judiciary system or a broad-based tax system. Given these conditions, an abrupt and massive injection of foreign capital and technology into Iran’s economy is unlikely to inure to the long-term benefit of its public — let alone advance human rights or good governance.  Judging from past experience in other emerging markets like Russia and China, globalization and rapid growth will tend to increase the wealth and power of the ruling elite at the expense of the environment and the social fabric.

The risk is no less foreboding for the first wave of businesses to brave the Iranian market.  For the last decade, global efforts to combat corruption have focused on multinational business as the source of the problem.  Members of the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) – the origin of most of the funds invested in emerging markets — have all enacted anti-corruption laws that severely restrict dealings with foreign officials and state-controlled entities.  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), for example, casts a wide net — holding multinational businesses liable not only for the corrupt conduct of their employees and subsidiaries, but also their local affiliates and collaborators.

The blurred lines in Iran between government and private business, the opaque regulatory system and the lack of access to reliable information will challenge western companies’ ability to manage their FCPA risk.  As some commentators have observed, such elevated FCPA risk may ultimately deter Western investors, acting as de facto sanctions.  Such an outcome would pave the way for the so-called “dark knights”–investors from countries who do not subscribe to the West’s anti-corruption agenda.

Finally, US interests are at risk.  As the Obama administration’s rhetoric suggests, the US is retooling its foreign policy by reducing its reliance on blunt tools like embargoes in favor of more subtle tools like the FCPA, targeted sanctions and export controls.  While the new “soft” tools conveniently shift the burden of advancing US policy to the private sector, their efficacy remains unproven.  The course of events in Cuba and Iran after sanctions will not only test these new tools but also US credibility.

In sum, though it may be tempting to fall for the hope and euphoria generated by the talk of ending sanctions, this moment calls for sobriety.  The outlined risks can only be mitigated if: 1) the US and other OECD members remain focused on using their new policy tools like the FCPA to prevent misallocation of Western capital and technology; and 2) global businesses and investors avoid a rush and deliberately channel their resources in a manner that protects their Cuban and Iranian stakeholders; and, at the same time, discharges their legal obligations.

All best,

Babak Boghraty

Happy Holidays from the ELLM, and a New Addition to the Curriculum!

Dear friends of BU and the Executive LL.M. program:

XMAS-Terrier[1]As the year draws to a close, we take a moment to reflect on another successful year and share our gratitude towards everyone who has helped us continue to grow the ELLM. Our first “fall online” session proved very popular and allows us to further enhance our curricular flexibility and depth through the addition of an all-online version of International Business Transactions and Agreements, as well as two well-received new courses, Managing Compliance Risks for International Business Networks and Deals.

A generous donor and supporter of the ELLM allowed us to offer entrance scholarships for the first time, improving our capacity to build the program further.  Looking forward, we have a revamped version of Securities Regulation in production, and a new course in Transnational Legal Practice, both to be offered in 2015.

I also wish to take this opportunity to mention a new academic offering, available starting in January: a Directed Study!  For those of you who are particularly interested in a special area of study, or wish to undertake further studies after BU (such as a Ph.D. or SJD), the Directed Study will allow you to write a research paper under the supervision of a BU Law faculty member for 1-3 credits. This may prove particularly helpful to you if you wish to write an article that will form the basis of a publication or thesis. It may also be of benefit if you find yourself a few credits short of your requirements for degree completion. Only one Directed Study may be taken as part of the ELLM, and it requires the written permission of the Director as well as a qualified instructor (which will be chosen in tandem with our office). For more information on the course, please visit our curriculum section of the website, or email us at  We hope that some of you will find this to be an exciting and relevant addition to your ELLM studies.

There are also some very exciting new developments for the ELLM that I look forward to announcing to you in the near future, once all of the approvals are concluded– but that will have to wait for the New Year! As always, we are thankful for your referrals, your enthusiasm for our program, and most of all for being part of our community. While I take a respite from creating my “legal facts of the week”  until January, here is a seasonal favorite from my blog at, from 2011, entitled “Of Christmas Caroling, Extortion, and Mistletoe“. By the way, if you ever have ideas you wish to share for topics, please do send them along!

We wish you and yours a wonderful and joyous holiday season, and all the best in 2015!