Mediation week

NALSAR University of Law wins ICC International Mediation Competition

  • 28 February 2023

The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) of Hyderabad, has become the first Indian university to win the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition. New York Law School, University of Auckland and University of Trento were Competition runner ups.

NALSAR was competing in the Competition for the sixth time but the 2023 edition marked the first time making it to the finals. Swathi Reshmitha Kathi and Mehreen Mander were chosen to represent NALSAR University of Law for the final, while Shravani Shendye and Arjun Nayyar supported their teammates from the audience.

Commenting on the team’s win, Ms Swathi said:

“Participating in this edition was extremely enriching. Every problem required us to tap into different skillset as well as mindset. We found all the efforts we put in had come to fruition in the final round. We feel we have taken back umpteen lessons from all the teams we had negotiated with during the competition. The competition also provided us with an opportunity to interact with professionals, from whom we gained rich insights, and with like-minded peers from across the globe. These interactions echoed and further fuelled our passion for mediation, and for that we are really grateful for this experience.”

Held in-person following two virtual editions, the week-long Competition took place from 6-11 February. It attracted the participation of over 300 students and professionals, comprising 47 teams from 27 countries, who competed in over 75 mock mediation sessions.

The Competition final between NALSAR and New York Law School was held in front of an audience of 100 in the historical Émile Boutmy Lecture Hall of Sciences Po University in Paris. The final mock mediation problem about construction costs and complications as a result of the Covid pandemic was written by the late Christopher Miers, a long-standing supporter and contributor of the Competition.

Another long-time supporter of the competition, Australian Alan Lawrence Limbury mediated the final. He said:

“Apart from the fun and interactions with students and professionals, the competition helps equip the next generation of lawyers with skills not taught to my generation. They will be able to focus not on “who is right and who is wrong” but on “what is it going to take to fix it? The problem written by the sadly departed Christopher Miers enabled the students to reach agreement within the 85-minute session, something I cannot recall having happened before. Both teams performed well, listening to each other, asking excellent clarifying questions.”

Having stepped in as a replacement university, New York Law School had less time to prepare for the Competition than other teams. Team leaders Austin Labowrit and Natalie Klein said:

“As both teams were so well prepared, we found the entire 85-minute mediation session to be exciting, and it was rewarding to reach a deal in the final minutes. Although it was our first time competing on a stage in front of a large audience, we strongly focused on collaborating with the other team and the mediator as if it was a real-life mediation. And, as a result, it nearly felt as if we were the only five people in the room, working together towards our shared common goal of reaching an amicable deal for both sides.”

The Competition is ICC’s largest educational event of the year and a  key feature of ICC Mediation Week.

Winners of the 2023 event were announced by Alexander G. Fessas, Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services, following concluding remarks by Ronald Austin of Clifford Chance – the Competition’s headline sponsor – who underscored the importance of funding such an event.

Relive all the highlights of the ICC Mediation Competition on Twitter and Facebook via follow the official event hashtag, #ICCMW. Recordings of the semi-final session and final session are also available on the ICC Official Youtube Channel @ICCWBO1919.

For more information on ICC mediation services, visit the ICC International Centre for ADR.