The following article is taken from the Singapore Management University (SMU). Click here to go to the original article.

27 Mar 2017

SMU has become the first Singapore University to win the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot after emerging champions in the final round held in Germany on 11 March 2017. The SMU team was also awarded the Gary Born Award for being the best team from a non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) country. Furthermore, SMU undergraduate Dominic Liew snapped up the award for Best Oral Advocate. SMU had also reached the final during its debut at this moot competition in 2014, the team eventually claimed the first runner-up position that year.

Hosted by the Frankfurt International Arbitration Centre and international law firm McDermott, Will & Emery, the Frankfurt Moot is in its 10th edition and saw a total of 61 teams participating this year. They included the likes of United College London, Sciences Po Paris, National Law School of Indian and University of St. Gallen.

This year, teams were to tackle a moot problem concerning a dispute between an investor seeking to bring a claim against the host-State under a Bilateral Investment Treaty.

The SMU team, represented by final-year law undergraduates Sean Sim, 3rd-year law undergraduates Dominic Liew and Loh Kah Yunn, and final year JD student Luis Duhart Gonzalez, won all eight matches en route to the championship – pre-sided by International Court of Justice Judge Christopher Greenwood – defeating the likes of George Washington University, National Law University Delhi and Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Team captain Sean Sim said, “Investor-State arbitration is an exciting area of law and Singapore has been getting its fair share of cases in recent years. We are glad that we could do our country and university proud on the international stage.”

For winning the moot, the team was awarded an exceptional three-week placement at The Hague Academy of International Law, which is the centre for high-level education in both public and private international law housed in the Peace Palace, The Hague. For winning Best Oral Advocate, Dominic was offered an LLM scholarship to Queen Mary School of International Arbitration, with a specialisation in International and Comparative Dispute Settlement. The scholarship is sponsored by McDermott Will & Emory.

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Just one week following SMU’s win in Germany, another team of our mooters also emerged champions in inaugural Ian Fletcher International Insolvency Law Moot competition held in Sydney, Australia. Sponsored by the QUT Faculty of Law, INSOL International and the International Insolvency Institute, the Fletcher Moot featured 14 international teams in this first edition. The competition aims to encourage the best and brightest students around the globe to learn about international insolvency law and international commercial litigation by posing a hypothetical problem to challenge students’ appellate advocacy skills.

The team comprising third year law undergraduates Benedict Chan, Goh Yong Ngee, Gary Leow and Pang Weng Fong completed six matches in total, going up against the likes of Deakin University, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Queensland University of Technology, and defeated National University of Singapore in the final, which was judged by James Allsop (CJ of the Federal Court of Australia), David Richards (Lord Justice of Appeal), and Allan Gropper (US Bankruptcy Court, NY).

Besides bringing home the championship cup, Benedict was named Best Speaker of the championship final, while Yong Ngee was named Best Speaker of the competition. These awards are certainly icing on the cake for the team which has been training hard!

With these first achievements, SMU has now reached 38 international moot finals in total, winning 19. In this moot season alone, SMU has won two other main titles – LawAsia International Moot and the Jessup national round.

Assistant Professor Chen Siyuan said, “This is an excellent start to the moot season. We are now performing at equally high levels for both private and public international law moots, which is a great testament to the skill sets and breadth of knowledge of our students. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank our School of Law faculty members and alumni, as well as partners in the law fraternity who have dedicated their time to coach, mentor and/or judge the teams. We are also grateful to WongPartnership for their support since 2015. The strong encouragement that we are receiving on all fronts means a lot to our mooting teams who put in their best at every moot competition.” Assistant Prof Chen heads the International Moots Programme at the SMU School of Law.