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Thursday, 2 March 2023

Viz Team 2023Mooting at Cambridge has a long and illustrious past, which continues today in with a team from Cambridge competing in preparation for the regular Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

The Willem C. Vis Moot Competition is an annual international commercial arbitration competition hosted every spring in Vienna, Austria. In recent years, more than 350 law schools from over 50 countries have taken part.

This year 7 team members from a number of Colleges have been selected who are being coached by Nicholas Davidson KC (Trinity 1969) and Ian Gaunt (Selwyn 1969) as well as by Cambridge LLM researchers Tishta Tandon and Jorge Velazquez-Hernandez. The team has submitted the detailed Claimant and Respondent Memorandums of some 50 pages and is now involved in coaching for the oral rounds.

The Vis Moot competition itself takes place between 30 March and 6 April and involves both general and advanced rounds. Each team will argue four times, before the top 64 teams advance to a series of elimination rounds.

In the last week in the run up to the Vienna final rounds, the Cambridge team have won first place in the Fox Williams pre-moot in a close final against Oxford held at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London. The pre-moot is organised by law firm Fox Williams and this is the third time in 5 years that the Cambridge team have been placed first out of the 30 competing teams. These included many leading English and other European universities. Congratulations especially to Cambridge oralist Saifullah Shah (Downing) who also won the accolade of top claimant oralist in the competition.

In 2017 the Cambridge Team were finalists in the Vienna competition and in subsequent years the performance of the team and of individual oralists has received recognition by promotion in the final elimination rounds of the competition and mention as best oralists.

For the individuals who take part this is not only a unique experience to work as a team in an intellectually demanding and competitive environment but it is undoubtedly conducive to the enhancement of the reputation of Cambridge as an institution promoting the study and practice of international commercial arbitration, now one of the most important areas of study and practice in the legal field.