The team representing Queen Mary University of London at Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition (“Vis Moot”) reached the Eighth Finals (round of 16) out of 378 participating Universities across the world.
The team also secured an individual oralist honourable mention for the Martin Domke best speaker award and a team orals honourable mention for the Eric E. Bergsten Award.
The team comprised of Haley Brown (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution LLM), Jessica Marshall (Laws LLM) – Martin Domke award, Zil Shah (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution LLM), Ismail Waly (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution LLM), Anita Winsome (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution LLM).
In its 30th year, the Vis Moot is the most prominent competition of its sort in the fields of international private law and international arbitration and is one of the most prestigious international moot court competitions, called by the BBC “Olympic Games of International Trade Law”.
This year the dispute arose in the context of an international sale of goods under the Permanent Court of Arbitration Rules of Arbitration, the Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods, and the UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts.
The team’s success this year was a breakthrough and the highest result in the recent history of QMUL’s participation in the Vis Moot (who previously won once in 2006). This success and recognition is further reinforced by the fact that QMUL was the only UK team (out of 19) to break into the round of 16 out of 378 teams.
In addition, the team had a strong presence in the various Pre-Moots in which it took part, including reaching the Final of the Brussels Vis Pre-Moot organised by White & Case (Brussels).
The team was coached by Lilit Nagapetyan and Simona Valkova, Teaching Fellows at the School of International Arbitration and alumnae of the Vis Moot themselves. Lilit, for whom this is the second successful coaching result for Queen Mary at an international moot, notes: “We are honoured to deliver such a great result for our university, and also are incredibly proud of our international LLM cohort who, in spite of all the challenges of studying a year abroad, demonstrated exemplary competence, unparalleled dedication, and collaborative team spirit throughout the competition”. Simona adds: “Coaching this year’s QMUL vis team was a privilege and a great pleasure. It was especially rewarding for us to see how a group of people develop into a real team over such a short period of time and at the same time achieve an extraordinary result by reaching the round of 16. We are proud to have been part of and contributing to their journey.”
The Moot took place in Vienna, Austria between 31 March and 6 April 2023.
The team is grateful to Queen Mary's Centre for Commercial Law Studies and the School of International Arbitration for their unconditional support throughout the competition.