Fordham University School of Law wins mediation competition

  • 10 February 2011
International Court of Arbitration

Fordham University School of Law won first prize in the 6th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with Universite Pantheon-Assas (Paris 2) from France taking second place, and UC Hastings College of the Law coming in third.

The two finalists competed at this renowned event, hosted by the Maison du Barreau in Paris, in front of an international audience of some 400 people. William Wood, QC from the United Kingdom, mediated, while Mercedes Tarrazon (Spain), Thierry Garby (France) and Colin Wall (UK and Hong Kong) served as judges evaluating the teams.

The annual moot mediation competition is organized by ICC’s Amicable Dispute Resolution (ADR) department in Paris and is a one-of-a-kind event gathering teams from law and business schools, as well as mediation experts, from around the world.

This year’s event drew record numbers, in terms of both participants and participating universities. Fifty-eight teams from 27 countries, from Belarus to Hong Kong, took part in ICC’s biggest educational event, held 4-9 February. This brought the total attendance to more than 460 participants, including more than 110 professional mediators who served as volunteer judges and mediators.

The aim of this annual competition is to train law and business students to better meet the dispute resolution needs of today’s global market and the cultural sensitivities implied in this process. It gives students an opportunity to test their problem-solving skills in a moot international mediation.

This year’s event – which for the first time was open to business schools – consisted of five days of intense competition as teams applied the ICC Amicable Dispute Resolution Rules in mock mediations all based on real cross-border commercial mediations. It offered participants an extremely rare opportunity to see some of the world’s leading mediators at work.

The seven mock cases in the contest concerned international commercial disputes, ranging from intellectual property problems related to art work, contract rights arising from the purchase and sale of high value manufacturing equipment and the restructuring of a family business.

A team from Germany’s Europa University Viadrina evaluated the proceedings from a cross-cultural perspective, specifically looking at mediation styles. Training sessions for students and professionals were offered in order to further strengthen the event’s educational value.

KPMG, as the main sponsor of this year’s event, led a long list of supporters of the 6th Mediation Competition, including HoganLovells, Clifford Chance, Gide Loyrette Nouel, JonesDay, White and Case, as well as companies including Siemens, GE, Thales and BNP Paribas.

The ICC Mediation Week culminates 10 February with ICC’s 2nd International Mediation Conference, which draws on in-field expertise to offer participants guidance on implementing in-house dispute management systems for business to business conflicts.