New Zealand Law Society - Auckland students reach world finals of mediation advocacy

Auckland students reach world finals of mediation advocacy

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Auckland University took silver at this year’s International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris.

The team of law students narrowly lost the final of the contest to the University of New South Wales in a final problem involving an international sale of goods dispute.

The competition, run by the International Chamber of Commerce, requires students to resolve complex cross-border business disputes through mediation. This year, 65 university teams from over 50 countries gathered in Paris to work with top international commercial mediators during 147 rigorous and fast-paced mock mediation sessions over six days.

Students were required to represent one party in each dispute, quickly developing a theory of the case, analysing the client’s core interests, objectives and alternatives (BATNA/WATNA), and then executing a realistic negotiation strategy in the mediation itself.

The Auckland Law School team of Michael Greenop, Honor Kerry, Ana Lenard and Andrew Yan Feng Lee, together with coach Nina Khouri, defeated teams from the United States, Germany, Brazil and India to qualify for the final rounds.

The team then beat New York’s Cornell University in a pro-athlete IT and sponsorship dispute to advance to the semi-finals. They then defeated Melbourne’s Monash University in an international gemstone insurance dispute to advance to the Grand Final at La Maison du Barreau, the headquarters of the Paris Bar Association.

This is the second time in the last four years that Auckland has reached the final of this competition.

The team thanks local mediators who helped train the team over summer – Warren Sowerby, Miriam Dean QC, Geoff Sharp, Anna Quinn, Paul Sills, Mark Kelly, David Clark, John Walton, Carol Powell, Helen Rice, Barbara McCulloch, Jessica Carter, Kimberley Eccles and Stephanie Panzic – and FairWay Resolution Limited for sponsoring the team.

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