A team of three Professional Practice Course (PPC) students at the Law Society of Ireland rounded out a great week for the Irish in France by winning the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Mediation Competition in Paris.
The Law Society team comprised Aoife O’Carroll (Arthur Cox), Eoin Doyle (A& L Goodbody) and Clíodhna McHugh (Arthur Cox), and was coached by PPC Course Manager John Lunney.
They came through six mediation rounds over six days to be crowned the winners of a week-long competition that involved 48 teams from 31 countries.
The international nature of the competition was highlighted by the fact that the Law Society team competed against teams from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Singapore and the USA.
This was the 19th edition of the competition, which is the largest and most prestigious student-mediation competition in the world.
A distinguishing feature of the competition is that the rounds (over 80 mock mediation sessions) are mediated and judged by leading mediators and ADR (alternative dispute resolution) practitioners from around the world.
In the final the Law Society team was up against the University of Marburg (Germany).
The final round was at the Science Po University of Law in Paris and was witnessed by students, mediators, arbitrators, and lawyers from all over the world.
The case scenario for the final concerned an international commercial dispute that arose after a manufacturing company won a contract to provide state-of-the-art trams to a national transportation-service provider.
The Law Society team proved adept at balancing empathy and assertiveness in order to move the parties from a position of dispute towards a commercial resolution.
Coach Lunney praised the Law Society team for its performance: “Aoife, Clíodhna and Eoin were superb in all rounds across the week and were widely recognised by the judges for their strategic dispute-resolution skills.
“This was our first time competing in this competition, but they were able to balance being strong advocates for their clients with collaborating with the opposing teams and mediator to generate options and solutions to resolve the dispute.
“Importantly, they worked exceptionally as a team and were praised for this by judges, mediators and peers across the week.”
The winners were announced by Alexander G Fessas (Secretary General of the ICC Court of Arbitration), who was effusive in his praise for both teams, and the quality of the final round, under the added pressure of a large live audience.
A recording of the final round can be viewed online.