Morning Tea at Bankside for Vis Moot Team

University of Auckland Vis Moot team share their experience with Sponsors, Bankside Chambers

 A morning tea was held this week to celebrate the achievements of the University of Auckland Vis Moot Team, sponsored by Bankside Chambers, who took part in the 2017 Willem C Vis Commercial Arbitration Moot held earlier this year in Vienna.

This is the second year that Bankside Chambers has provided sponsorship of the University of Auckland Vis Moot team as they represent their law school on the world stage.

Since 1994 the Moot has attracted participation by hundreds of law schools from around the world. The line up for the 2017 iteration was no different with over 350 teams competiting in pre-moot events around the globe culminating in the finals in Vienna, Austria in April.

Bankside Chambers’ expert arbitrator Roydon Hindle warmly welcomed the team and recognised the work that has gone in to the Vis Moot this year, complimenting the team and coaches on their demonstration of the ‘self-starting DNA’ that is needed to become a leader in the profession.

Team members Michael Smol, Honor Kerry, Josh Suyker and Jovana Nedeljkov were congratulated alongside coaches Thom Clark and Finn Lowery.

Professor Warren Swain, on behalf of the University of Auckland Faculty of Law, thanked Bankside Chambers for their sponsorship of the team and noted that the support went beyond financial contribution, mentioning the help and encouragement that members also provided.

“As mooting becomes an important element of the law student experience, this year’s team is part of a growing tradition of success in the competition, placing first in the Paris pre-moot and runners up in the Heidelberg pre-moot stages, while being unlucky not to reach the final stages in the overall competition,” said Professor Swain.

“Taking part itself was a formative experience, enabling them to further develop their skills in arbitration as well as making important contacts.”

Speaking for the team itself, Michael Smol explained the opportunity afforded to the team of being exposed to not just law students and judges from around the world, but also the chance to experience an area of law that traditionally wouldn’t be part of their New Zealand based legal education.

The Vis Moot problem this year was one of contractual interpretation involving two parties in the aircraft industry. After receiving the problem in late 2016, the team spent much of the summer preparing written and oral submissions before taking off to pre-moot events in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Prague, Stockholm, Belgrade, Brussels, Paris and Heidelberg then on to Austria.

“Being part of the Vis Moot is the best thing I have ever done,” exclaimed Mr Smol, who went on to say that despite the different backgrounds of the teams, sharing the same experiences as part of the Moot was an unforgettable, and very special, memory.