Vanderbilt's New Faculty

Vanderbilt Law School welcomed five new professors in fall 2011: J.B. Ruhl, a nationally renowned scholar of land use and environmental law, who now holds the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law; and four assistant professors: Rebecca Haw, who focuses on antitrust law; Vijay Padmanabhan, who focused on national security law at the U.S. State Department before joining the academy; Ganesh Sitaraman, whose current work addresses foreign relations law and counterinsurgency strategy; and Yesha Yadav, who focuses on financial regulation.


Financial Regulation is a Hot-button Issue

Yesha Yadav, Assistant Professor of Law

Yesha Yadav

YYesha Yadav had a front row seat for both the run-up to the global financial collapse of 2008 and its immediate aftermath. During those critical periods, Yadav held positions first as an associate with Clifford Chance and then on the legal staff of the World Bank. She has now transitioned her experience in international finance and securities regulation to the legal academy. "I'm particularly lucky in the moment in which I'm joining the academy," Yadav said. "Financial regulation is a very hot-button issue."

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Yadav graduated in 2003 with a master's degree from the University of Cambridge, where she earned first-class honors in law and modern languages and won the Betty Wu Lee Prize in Law. After her admission to the bar of England and Wales, she joined the financial derivatives practice of Clifford Chance, working in the firm's London and Paris offices. "One of the last cases I worked on presaged the coming of the financial crisis - and provided one of the first inklings of the trouble that lay ahead," she said. "As a large international financial firm, we had a privileged seat to witness the crisis as it began unfolding."

Yadav left law practice in fall 2008 to spend a year earning her LL.M. at Harvard Law School. When the bottom fell out of the world's financial markets that October, she watched as former clients failed and unquestioned assumptions regarding their safety and soundness began to unravel. "Financial firms created such a 'web of complexity' within their own operations and throughout the financial markets as a whole that we moved beyond any human means to understand what was happening, let alone regulate it," she said. "It was too difficult to understand and impossible to model, and because regulators on both sides of the Atlantic did not understand what was going on, they couldn't control it or manage the risk. One of my goals is to understand the impact of this complexity and how it should change the way we structure our regulations. That's a challenge that's ongoing because there's still so much we don't know."

Written in the immediate aftermath of the financial crash, Yadav's first journal article, "Looking for the Silver Lining: Regulatory Reform after the Credit Crunch," published in the Stanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance in 2010, examined the supervisory framework for regulating financial services in the U.S. and the United Kingdom and found both seriously lacking. "While the regulatory architectures in the U.S. and the U.K. have some significant differences, both sets of regulators presided over a general failure of oversight during the period leading up to the credit crunch," Yadav said.

After completing her LL.M. in 2009, she joined the World Bank in Washington, D.C., as legal counsel in the organization's Insolvency and Creditor-Debtor Rights Initiative. "The finance ministers of the G-20 nations had given the World Bank a mandate to set standards in the area of insolvency and creditor rights," she said. "My work focused on diagnostic assessment and analysis of the insolvency and creditor-debtor rights systems of various countries, and I was also involved in the more broad-based work of analyzing the financial regulatory systems in World Bank client countries."

These assignments informed her second article, "The Specter of Sisyphus: Re-making International Financial Regulation after the Global Financial Crisis," published in the Emory International Law Review in 2010. Yadav has also published a paper examining the impact of the War on Terror on privacy laws and policies relating to financial data in the European Union and the U.S. She is currently examining reform proposals for the regulation of credit derivatives put forward under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Yadav was eager to study and teach law in the U.S. because "there is a hugely fluid, dynamic and interdisciplinary dialog in the U.S.," she said. "The universities are great, and the sheer dynamism of the U.S. academic environment—the intellectual caliber and investment made in research—is tremendous. It's a real privilege to be able to work at Vanderbilt in that kind of environment."

She is affiliated with Vanderbilt's Law and Business and International Legal Studies programs and teaches Securities Regulation and International Financial Regulation.

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