This year’s competition drew 34 teams from 25 countries on every continent in the world. The final was held at the University of Frankfurt am Main and the Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). Two McDermott partners specializing in international arbitration, Dr. Sabine Konrad and Lisa Richman, played leading roles at the prestigious competition, which Dr. Konrad founded seven years ago. Joseph Marx, corporate partner in the Frankfurt office served as witness in the cross-examination class.
“We congratulate all the winners and celebrate the spirit of global cooperation and teamwork at this year’s gathering,” said Dr. Konrad. “We were delighted to sponsor this unique event, which brings together students from all around the world, infusing them with enthusiasm for international law and the peaceful resolution of disputes.”
At this year’s competition, students presented oral arguments before arbitration tribunals composed of investment treaty specialists. The final on 22 March was before Dechert LLP partner Eduardo Silva Romero, ZPG partner Charles Poncet, and Professor Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah (The C.J. Koh Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore and the Tunku Abdul Rahman Professor of Law at the University of Malaya).
The Stockholm team was in itself very international with Dominka Durchowska from Poland, Katrine Ritto-Tvede from Denmark and Aleksej Ketovs from Latvia. As above, Ms. Durchowska of Stockholm won the prize for Best Advocate, an LLM in London or Paris sponsored by McDermott Will & Emery and Queen Mary School of International Arbitration (London). Each member of the Winning Team received a scholarship for a three-week placement at The Hague Academy of International Law, sponsored by McDermott Will& Emery.
Beijing University was represented by Liu Shuang and Liu Xing-er, who will begin their course on investment treaty arbitration with Professor Mark Feldman in a few weeks. Mr. Feldman previously represented the USA in NAFTA proceedings. Today, his Chinese students represent the U.S. Government in the moot's final. Beijing not only won the silver medal, but also the prize for Best Asian Team and the Oxford University Prize for Best-Non-OECD Team.
“Participation in a student moot competition strongly enhances knowledge of international investment protection law and its dispute resolution mechanisms through their application to a concrete case problem,” said Dr. Konrad. “The Frankfurt Investment Arbitration has been dubbed the ’Rolls Royce of moot courts‘ by the eminent arbitrator Jan Paulsson. He is right. Once the students have survived the Frankfurt moot, there is nothing in a real arbitration that could frighten them.”
The 2013 Moot Court involved a dispute (“Case Study”) arising out of international investment protection law and provisions of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which was made available on the competition’s website in the fall of 2012. The Case Study is composed of the fictitious “Arctic Charter Treaty of 1911” and real cases including: Bering Sea Arbitration (1893), between the United Kingdom and United States, seen as one of the milestones of international environmental law, the freedom of the High Seas and the protection (and exploitation) of natural resources; and Asser Arbitration (1902), between the Russian Empire and United States, which concerned the seizure of four whaling and sealing ships seized by the Russian navy. The arbitrator in that case, Tobias Asser, later received the Nobel Prize for Peace for his contribution to the development of international dispute resolution.
The prize for the Best Team from Latin America and the Caribbean went to Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica.
The prize for the Best Team from Eastern Europe (sponsored by FTI) went to the Institute of International Relations at Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University.
The Asian teams were very strong this year. Of the eight teams in the quarter finals, four were Asian (Beijing, Gujarat, Hong Kong, West Bengal). Gujarat made it to the Semi-Finals. The other semi-finalist and bronze medalist was American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C.
This year’s teams came from Belarus, China, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States of America and Vietnam.
Five Practice Moot Courts were held around the world in Hong Kong (hosted by the HKIAC), Mumbai, Kiev, London and Washington D.C. during the weeks leading up to the main Moot Court in Frankfurt. For more information on the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court, please visit http://investmentmoot.org/
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach to Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.