Mediation Skills Competition for UK Students

The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators announced its first UK Mediation Skills contest in July 2010 and competitions have been held every two years since. The Competition is open to universities, law colleges and younger members of the profession throughout the UK and is intended to assist in training law students and younger members of the profession to better understand the skills needed to be effective in negotiation and mediation and to give them the opportunity to exhibit and develop their problem-solving skills. The teams are divided into requesting and responding parties and adopt the role of counsel and client before an experienced mediator and judges. At the end of each session the teams are given constructive feedback by the judges to help them develop their skills.

Teams are encouraged to display and develop the skills necessary to be an effective negotiator and advocate including: planning in advance of the meeting; considering the strengths and weaknesses of their own and their opponents’ position; developing a strategy for the negotiations; presentation of their own position; active and effective listening to their opponents; responding positively to what is heard; creative engagement with the negotiation process; adopting a principled approach; generating options to resolve difficulties.

Our last Mediation Competition took place over the weekend of the 20th and 21st of January 2018 at the offices of the International Dispute Resolution Centre, Fleet Street. The contestants were twelve teams assembled by universities, firms of solicitors and barristers chambers and they competed in a number of rounds throughout the weekend. The Final on Sunday afternoon was contested between teams from BLP and 39 Essex Chambers; the winning team was from 39 Essex Chambers.

The competition required a very large number of dispute resolution professionals, most of whom were members of the Company, to act as judges and organisers. Special mention is due to the key organisers, Chris McArdle, Nicola Cohen, Joy Davies and Phillippa Rowe whose flawless preparation and skilful administration made such a splendid event.

We are very grateful for all the support offered for the Mediation Competition by our several sponsors who contributed to the success of the weekend.

We hope to organise our next competition in 2022.

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