February 25, 2013

Prestigious competition in arbitration held at Mannheimer Swartling

Heidelberg beat Helsinki in a thrilling verbal duel when eleven European university teams participated in a prestigious competition in international arbitration hosted by Mannheimer Swartling and Stockholm University. The competition, a pre-moot, is part of these schools’ preparation for the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot to be held in Vienna in May.

“Arbitration is one of the areas within law where Sweden has something unique to offer internationally,” says Patricia Shaughnessy, Director of the Masters Programme in International Commercial Arbitration Law (ICAL) at Stockholm University. “If we are to retain expertise and say ‘resolve your disputes in Stockholm,’ we must have a strong, vibrant academic environment. That is why this engagement is so important.”

She, together with her colleagues from Stockholm University and a number of Mannheimer Swartling’s arbitration lawyers sat on the jury for the Mannheimer Swartling Vis Arbitration Pre-Moot that was held at the firm’s Stockholm office for the fifth consecutive year.

Eleven teams from ten European universities competed in analysis and pleading techniques during an intensive weekend. The competition is a “pre-moot” that is held for universities preparing for the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, one of the world’s most prestigious competitions in arbitration, which will be held for the 20th time in May. The competition, which attracts approximately 300 teams of law students from around the world, is arranged to promote the development of international arbitration.

In preparation for the competition in Vienna, teams travel around to a number of pre-moots and practice on the fictional dispute to be dealt with, sometimes as plaintiffs, sometimes as defendants. Of the approximately 20 “pre-moots” held around the world there has been a noticeable increase of interest in Stockholm, according to Kristoffer Löf, a partner at Mannheimer Swartling and one of the organisers arranging the competition.

“Previously, Stockholm University would invite teams to the competition – but in recent years, more and more universities have been contacting us and apply to participate,” he says.

The six law students on the team from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, under the direction of coach Björn Centner, won in the finals against the team from Helsinki University.

“We have been preparing since October and this was the first time we had the opportunity to perform,” says Yashan Huang, who also won the award for Best Individual Advocacy. “It was fantastic to win. It is an acknowledgment of our hard work – as well as our strong and positive team spirit.”

Second place went to her teammate Lennart Reber. Along with the rest of the group, they now move on to Milan, Berlin and Belgrade to train further for Vienna.

The competition took place 15-17 February, and began with a conference at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Institute (SCC). This was followed by a reception at Mannheimer Swartling.

“An intense and fun weekend with many strong teams,” summed up Gaspard Genton from the University of St. Gallen.

Together with his team he won the coveted “Best Colleagues” award where teams vote for each other.

For more information about the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, please visit the website

More pictures of the teams