The 6th Edinburgh International Willem Vis Pre-Moot took place on Saturday 11th – Sunday 12th March 2017 and was thoroughly enjoyed by mootees and arbitrators alike.
The Edinburgh University Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration Pre-moot is a mooting competition that combines procedural issues of international commercial arbitration with substantive law on international sale of goods based on the CISG (The Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods of 1980).
Prior to the Pre-Moot, on Friday 10th March 2017, Edinburgh Law School and partners also hosted a conference on Multi-Tier Dispute Resolution in Practice, which was commended by delegates for its high calibre of speakers and for being highly informative, entertaining and very well organised.
The Pre-Moot, itself, was based on the problem for the 24th Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, with final rounds in Vienna in April 2017. The problem concerned a contract between an Equatorianan fan blade manufacturer (CLAIMANT) and an Mediterranean jet engine manufacturer (RESPONDENT) for 2,000 fan blades. Furthermore there was an addendum for 2,000 clamps to attach the fan blades. The parties entered into a dispute due to concerns about the correct exchange rate to be applied to the contract and a novel problem concerning the imposition of an administrative levy by the central bank of Equatoriana. The issues raised included whether the tribunal has the power to grant the buyer’s request for security for costs even though this was submitted after the terms of reference were fixed between the parties and the tribunal; whether the sellers claims are admissible given that they may have been submitted outwith the time frame agreed in the contract; whether a fixed or floating exchange rate applies to the contract; and who should bear the cost of the administrative levy imposed by the central bank on the transaction. The full problem/case file is available on the Moot website (https://vismoot.pace.edu/).
The Edinburgh Pre-Moot was an important step for our students in their preparation for their pleadings at the moot venue in Vienna. It enabled 15 teams from China (Hong Kong), England (LSE, Kings College, Sheffield), France (Aix-Marseille), Germany (Freie Universität Berlin, Mannheim), Japan (Kobe and Hokkaido), Switzerland (Bern and Basel), the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Turkey (Marmara), to practice together with our Scottish teams (RGU Aberdeen and Edinburgh). More than 45 arbitrators gave their time to support the students in their preparations and to give them constructive feedback on their performance.
In the words of participants:
“The Edinburgh University Pre-Moot has become part of the essential preparation for the finals in Vienna. Compact enough to be interactive, but with teams from UK, Europe and Asia diverse enough to be representative and provide meaningful benchmarking of the teams and their development over the weekend. It remains a celebration of arbitration and advocacy and a chance for your arbitrators to work alongside experienced international practitioners and leading counsel. The pre-moot format combined with the conference and the evening events make it a reason to come to Edinburgh and for Edinburgh to showcase to the world.” Iain Aitchison (Munich), FCIArb, FDBF, March 2017
“The Pre-Moot in Edinburgh was a great experience. It was very pleasant to be able to train with teams coming from all over Europe and to get feedback from recognised professionals and scholars.” Julie, France
“Great experience. Very good preparation exercise before Vienna. Amazing organisation and very helpful staff. A big thank you!” Sandra Gradziel (Aix-Marseille University)
The highest ranking teams at the end of the competition were:
- University of Basel
- University of Mannheim
- King’s College London
Followed by University of Edinburgh in 4th place.
The best scoring individuals were:
- Luciana Vigano, Basel
- Cédric Pittit, Basel
- Daniel Maglieri, King’s College.
We (Edinburgh Law School and pre-moot organisers Snjólaug Árnadóttir and Dr. Simone Lamont-Black) are very grateful for the strong support from the legal & arbitration community including the judiciary without whom this event and its success would not have been possible. A big thank you to our arbitrators in this competition who were (in alphabetical order):
- Leonie Adam (King’s College London)
- Iain Aitchison (FDBF, FCIArb)
- Dr Ross G Anderson (Ampersand Advocates)
- Murray Armes (Sense Studio Ltd)
- Soham Astik (University of Neuchâtel)
- David Bartos (Terra Firma Chambers)
- Matthew Blome (University of Amsterdam)
- Çağrı Cem (Marmara University)
- Professor James Claxton (Kobe University)
- Lucas Clover Alcolea (University of Edinburgh)
- Martin Dell (University of Mannheim)
- Dr Neil Dowers (Pupil Barrister, 4 Pump Court)
- Hew R Dundas (International Arbitrator and Mediator)
- Maxmillian Flesch (Land Salzburg, European Affairs)
- Sean Gibbs (Director, Hanscomb)
- The Rt Hon Lord Hamilton
- Jorian Hamster (University of Amsterdam)
- Gregor Hayworth (CMS Cameron McKenna LLP)
- Desley Horton (WilmerHale)
- Robert Howie QC (Ampersand Advocates)
- Julia Hörnig (University of Bayreuth)
- Dr iur. Alissa Palumbo Högger (University of Basel)
- Khalid Al Khajah (Edinburgh University Alumni)
- Dr Andrey Kotelnikov (Robert Gordon University)
- Jae Hyuk Lee (BBP Law School)
- Mark Lee (London School of Economics)
- Ross MacDonald (University of Edinburgh)
- Donny Mackinnon (Chartered Arbitrator)
- Konstantina Maniati (University of Edinburgh)
- Tadeáš Matys (Charles University)
- Neil Morrison (HBJ Gateley)
- Satya Talwar Mouland (Edinburgh University Alumni)
- Dr Kyriaki Nousia (University of Exeter)
- Lindy Patterson QC (CMS Cameron McKenna LLP)
- Veronika Pfäffli (University of Edinburgh)
- Manon Philippet (Stibbe Law Firm/University of Liège)
- Dharshini Prasad (Wilmerhale)
- Lynda Ross (Burness Paull LLP)
- Professor Akira Saito (Kobe University)
- Rina See (WilmerHale)
- Michael Schifferli (Wenger Plattner/University of Berne)
- Sebastian Seidel (University of Mannheim)
- Alastair Stewart (Ince & Co)
- Fergus Whyte (Edinburgh University Alumni)
- Qingxiang Wu (Univeristy of Edinburgh)
- Dr Hong-Lin Yu (University of Stirling)
- Dr Tietie “Frank” Zhang (Sheffield University)
We are also extremely grateful to our sponsors::
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, the Scottish Arbitration Centre and Edinburgh Law School for their generous and continued support.
More photos from the event can be found here.