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Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Faculty is pleased to congratulate the team representing Cambridge University at the 25th Willem C. Vis Moot International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition on reaching the final round and getting the 2nd best place among 362 participating teams.

The team comprised Ian Cooper (LLM, Queens College) and Barnaby Lowe (LLM, Gonville and Caius College) as speakers, along with Sophie Bird (Tripos, Hughes Hall), Rabin Kok (Tripos, Peterhouse), Jian Jun Liew (LLM, Wolfson College), Fergus Tam (Tripos, Fitzwilliam College), Ke Wang (LLM, Robinson College), and Michelle Wong (Tripos, Newnham) as researchers.

The Vis Moot is regarded as one of the most prestigious international moot court competitions. It has been described by the BBC as the 'Olympic Games of Moot Courts' and it is considered the private international law counterpart of Jessup Moot Competition. This year the dispute arose in the context of an international sale of goods under the UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration, the Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods, and the UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts.

The team from Cambridge took part in oral rounds over a six-day period and ultimately participated in the grand final and came 2nd out of over 360 teams, concluding as the highest ranked common law team in the competition. In addition, Barnaby Lowe received an Honourable Mention as an individual oralist for his performance.

After three days of preliminary rounds, the University of Cambridge team successfully proceeded through the knock-out rounds to the quarterfinals and semi-finals (against the University of Hamburg, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Bonn, the University of Passau, and the National Law School of India). The final against the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow was judged by Yas Banifatemi (Partner, Shearman & Sterling), Professor George Bermann (Columbia Law School), and Professor Peter Huber (University of Mainz).

The team was coached by Lord David Hacking, Ken Rokison QC, and Faidon Varesis (PhD, St John’s College). The team is grateful for the strong support they received from both the Cambridge Law Faculty and Professor Richard Fentiman, as well as to WilmerHale who generously sponsored this year’s participation.

Finally, the team would like to extend its thanks to those who helped during the preparation of the written submissions and oral training of the team, in particular, to Professor Neil Andrews, Sir Christopher Clarke, Professor Anthony Daimsis, and Lord Nicholas Phillips.