Mediation week

University of Auckland wins 2022 ICC Mediation Competition

  • 17 February 2022
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New Zealand’s University of Auckland was crowned champion of the 17th edition of the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition, following head-to-head virtual mock mediation sessions against 47 university teams from 33 countries. Runners up were Brazil’s University of Sao Paulo and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and Australia’s University of New South Wales.

University of Auckland vs. University of Sao Paulo in the #ICCMW Final for 2022
University of Auckland vs. University of Sao Paulo in the #ICCMW Final for 2022

This year’s Competition was dedicated to the memory of renowned mediator Thierry Garby. A long-time participant and supporter, Mr Garby had been involved with the event from its inception, contributing to all 16 editions to date.

Based on real-world case scenarios and written by Competition professional Greg Bond, the final dispute played out between a marine transportation company and a port authority where one of the company’s ships blocked access to a port. The issue on the table aimed to determine to what extent the accident was due to the ship’s captain or first officer, the unusually low tide on the day, or negligence on the part of the port authority in maintaining the shipping lane.

Natascha Tunkel, a partner at Knoetzl in Austria and mediator of the final session of the Competition said: “ICC Mediation Week continues to inspire the next generation of lawyers to develop an incredibly versatile skillset. As displayed in the finals, these students are capable of identifying and acknowledging both the legal aspects of the case and the companies’ interests. They understand that doing business also requires establishing rapport and how to pragmatically move towards a solution. It is truly impressive.”

The University of Auckland featured competitors Spencer Barley, Karan Kalsi, Anna Patton, and Nick Stewart as well as coaches Susie McCluskey and Keeha Oh. Mr Kalsi and Mr Stewart represented Auckland on the digital stage in the final mediation.

Reflecting on his team’s success, Mr Kalsi said:It was an immense privilege to be a part of the final against a formidable team and in front of extremely talented judges.

“Being a part of the 2022 ICC Mediation Competition has been a very rewarding experience. It provided an invaluable opportunity to improve our mediation advocacy skills, and more importantly, meet many like-minded students and experienced professionals in the field. The relationships we have built here and the conversations we have had will serve us well in the years to come.”

The Competition’s second place winner, dedicated to Mr Garby in his honour, was the University of Sao Paulo, who had not been back to the finals since 2015. Representing the Brazilian team were students, Andreza Ometto Coury, Tomas Polido Garcia and Nadia Naomi Ota Terzi, with their coach, Julia Torres.

Reacting to the progress her students had made throughout the Competition, Ms Torres said: “If I could sum up my experience as a coach in one word, it would be ‘pride’. I am extremely proud of my team’s development throughout their preparation and the Competition, how they gained confidence in themselves, and how far they came.

I am also grateful to the ICC Organising Committee —as well as the Competition judges and mediators—for creating this amazing opportunity that enables students from across the world to connect and learn how to be true negotiators and peacemakers.”

The Competition is part of ICC Mediation Week, ICC’s largest educational event of the year. Having gone digital due to the pandemic in 2021, the seven-day event now hosts over 500 participants from 58 countries on a custom-built platform. The virtual venue incorporates all the aspects of the physical event, from the mock mediation sessions to networking rooms. Thanks to the pioneering tool, the Competition now welcomes a number of previously unfeatured countries and universities, including teams from Iran, Kenya and Senegal as well as the University of Benin, University of Nigeria Nsukka and the University of Ilorin.

The highly anticipated final included a private viewing party at ICC’s Global Headquarters in Paris. The Closing Ceremony included remarks by Ronald Austin, who represented the Competition’s Headline Sponsor, Clifford Chance. Alexander G. Fessas, Director of ICC’s Dispute Resolution Services, followed Mr Austin by announcing the winners of the 2022 event via live stream.

Re-live all the highlights of the ICC Mediation Competition on Twitter and Facebook and follow the official event hashtag, #ICCMW.

For more information about ICC’s mediation services, visit the ICC International Centre for ADR. To be involved in the next edition of the event, send an email with the subject line: ‘18th ICC Mediation Competition – Register of Interest’ to