Mediation week

University of Auckland seals the deal to become 2020 ICC Mediation Competition winner

  • 13 February 2020

University of Auckland has claimed victory as the winner of the 15th edition of the International Commercial Mediation Competition of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), after six days and almost 150 mock mediation sessions.

Mary McLain, Mediator, 2020 ICC Mediation Competition Final

The final mediation was held on Wednesday, 12 February at the Espace Saint Martin in Paris. The session signaled the end of ICC Mediation Week—the largest educational event of the year for the world business organization.

The last problem of the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition played out before a live audience and was written by Ronald Austin, a Chair of the Competition Rules Working Group and mediated by American ADR professional, Mary McLain. The theatrical dispute included a leading production company, the widow of a famous composer and the possibility of a remake of a classic film.

Commenting on the session between the two teams—Bucerius Law School representing Germany and the University of Auckland representing New Zealand—one of the judges of the ICC Mediation Competition Final, Jim Lawrence, said:

“It all goes back to the student training, where one of the things that they were asked to do—and were told that the judges would be looking for—is solve a problem. Both teams managed to avoid the copyright issue, for the most part, were able to steer away from legal discussions and just try and solve the problem. For me, that was the most impressive thing about the final round.

University of Auckland team with mediator, Mary McLain

Students Susie McCluskey and Keeha Oh were selected to be present at the table and showcase their skills in the final round of the Competition for the University of Auckland. Reflecting on her team’s success, Ms Oh said:

“I could not be prouder of our team, our coaches and our stakeholders at home about our win. It has been an amazing experience and has been such an honour to be up against such talented teams. It feels like all of our time, work and efforts have finally paid off and it feels great to have that recognised on a world stage.”

Coming in second in the Competition, Bucerius Law School was represented by students Philomena Hindermann and Ruth Sander. Commenting on her team’s progress, Coach Julia Muller said:

“I am really proud of what our team has accomplished at the ICC Mediation Competition. I think what was apparent today is how much they developed since the beginning. We have seen immense improvements in every session that we have had, especially since the semi-finals. [The final] was great to watch.”  

2020 ICC Mediation Competition Final

Ranking third are Eotvos Lorand University from Hungary and the Jagiellonian University from Poland.

After the thrilling last mediation session, an award ceremony directly followed. Representing the ICC Mediation Competition’s Headline Sponsor, Clifford Chance, Mr Austin kicked-off the ceremony with remarks about the significance of the Competition and its importance in nurturing a new generation of peacemakers. Alexander G. Fessas, Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services, followed Mr Austin by applauding all ICC Mediation Week participants for their contribution and highlighting the need for capacity-building events and the Competition’s importance to ICC’s mission.

Relive all the highlights of the ICC Mediation Competition on Twitter via @ICCMediation or the official event hashtag, #ICCMW.

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