ArbDB News

The UK Mediation Skills Competition 2016 Report

This Competition was held over the weekend of 15-17 January 2016 at the offices of global law firm, Linklaters LLP, at Silk Street in the City of London.  The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators is delighted to recognise the support given by Linklaters in hosting the Competition and providing amazing logistical support and the opening and closing receptions.  The Company is also grateful to the other sponsors, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which provided financial support, ArbDB, the Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Board Chambers, which provided the Competition Mugs and also supported the Competition Bar, and the Academy of Experts.  The Company would also like to recognise the support of ICC in Paris in permitting the use of their Mediation Competition Rules and providing a scenario for the Competition, as well as an entry for the winner to the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition 2016.  In addition, the Charitable Trust of the Company provided financial support.

A very strong entry this year was provided by the 12 teams from UK Universities and Law Schools, trainee solicitors and pupil barristers; these were:- 

·      Norton Rose Fulbright

·      Linklaters

·      4 New Square

·      The University of Law, Birmingham

·      The Open University

·      Berwin Leighton Paisner

·      City Law School

·      The University of the West of England

·      London Metropolitan University

·      Keating Chambers

·      BPP University

·      The University of Cambridge

Four mediation scenarios were used, two of which were used in the Preliminary Rounds and one each in the Semi-Finals and the Grand Final, which, in each case comprised a mock mediation with a professional mediator and three judges. 

The Semi-Finalists were:

·      The University of Law, Birmingham

·      BPP University

·      The University of the West of England; and

·      Keating Chambers

The Grand Final was held on the afternoon of Sunday 17 January 2016 and the mediator was Jane Andrewartha, with Katie Bradford, Nicholas Pryor and Sue Bayram as judges.  The Grand Final was between  The University of the West of England and BPP University  The exciting Grand Final was extremely close and won by The University of the West of England.

The prizes were presented by Master Michael Goodridge MBE; Freeman Phillippa Rowe was Mediation Session Supervisor.  The Officials, both mediators and judges, were organised by Liveryman Chris McArdle.  The prize for the Winner of the Grand Final included an entry to the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in 2016 in Paris 4-10 February 2016 and the Company is extremely grateful for the support of the ICC on this.

The awards were thus: 

·      1st Place: The University of the West of England

·      2nd Place: BPP University

·      3rd Place: The University of Law, Birmingham

·      3rd Place: Keating Chambers

·      Best Newcomer: BPP University

·      Best Mediation Plan: Norton Rose Fulbright

·      Best Mediation Advocacy: (a week’s internship with Linklaters) David Carey, The University of the West of England

All the participants received Certificates signed by the Master, Michael Goodridge MBE.

The Company is indebted to all of the sponsors, particularly Linklaters, for their support, without which this all would not have been possible.  Above all, the Company is indebted to the participating students and their coaches, all of whom gave up their time and, in some cases, used their own resources to be able to be present.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are all very much looking forward to the next Competition.

ArbDB Members, Dr Chris McArdle and Michael Cover, were both members of the Organising Committee for the Competition.