Auckland Law School's mediation competition team secures victory

Group wins Asia-Pacific Commercial Mediation Competition.

L-R: Chris Brunt, Tunisia Napia, Benjamin Seto, Susie McCluskey, Louis Norton and Madison Hughes

The team, comprising University of Auckland law students Madison Hughes, Susie McCluskey, Louis Norton and Benjamin Seto, coached by solicitors Chris Brunt and Tunisia Napia, won the July 2019 ICC Asia-Pacific Commercial Mediation Competition in Melbourne.

Competing against teams from Australia, India and Singapore, the team faced five gruelling rounds, each of which involved two team members (acting as client and counsel) aiming to settle complex commercial disputes with the opposing side, helped by a mediator. The teams were judged by some of the world’s leading dispute resolution specialists.

In the grand finale, the Auckland team represented a celebrity management firm and went head-to-head against the National University of Singapore team who represented a restaurant. They mediated over a range of commercial and legal issues that arose between the parties after a celebrity chef had walked away from a brand ambassadorship deal.

As the first place winners, the University of Auckland team won the Henry Jolson Award, bestowed by the Victorian Bar in honour of the late Henry Jolson QC, and automatic entry to the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris in February 2020, with the entry fee paid for by the ICC.


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