Law Schools from 15 countries pitch their negotiation skills in an international competition

Law schools from 15 countries pitch their negotiation skills in an international competition

This is the first time that this prestigious competition is held in Asia.

Singapore, 3 July 2007 – Thirty-two law undergraduates from some of the top law schools in Asia, Europe, US, Canada and Australia will battle it out at negotiation tables at the Supreme Court in Singapore over three days.

This is part of the 2007 International Negotiation Competition (INC) for law students which is held for the first time in Asia. The competition is hosted by the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations. The competition will be held on 3rd, 5th and 6th July 2007.

“INC provides a unique platform for testing future lawyers in negotiation and collaborative skills,” said Mr Loong Seng Onn, Executive Director of Singapore Mediation Centre.”

In this year’s competition, the law students will be negotiating over the loan of exotic animals from various countries for the purpose of creating biodiversity on an uninhabited tropical island. “The simulated international transactions will provide
an opportunity for participants to experience the complexities of cross-cultural communications,” said Mr Loong.

“Taking part in the INC will not only allow me to develop my interpersonal skills,but also stand me in good stead should I decide to pursue my ambition to be a corporate lawyer,” said Ms Pearly Yap who will be representing Singapore. Ms Yap and her team mates beat 22 others in an internal competition held at the National University of Singapore to qualify for this international event.

“The ability to negotiate effectively is required of all lawyers. This is the case whether the lawyer is trying to close a multi-million dollar deal or negotiating to
settle a matter before it ends up before a judge,” said Mr Loong. “That is why savvy multi-national companies look out for effective lawyer-negotiators to protect their interests.”

“The ability to negotiate well and to persuade people effectively are critical business skills in the corporate environment,” said Jonathan Yuen, General Counsel of Global Resolutions, a Singapore-based international negotiation consulting firm.

“Increasingly, companies are seeing the benefit of managing and preventing conflict before any possible legal proceedings.”

Since 1997, the Singapore Mediation Centre has helped thousands of organisations and individuals manage conflicts through mediation (otherwise known as facilitated negotiations and by providing consultancy and training in negotiation and dispute
resolution. Over 1,300 civil disputes of all types and involving different quantum of claims (up to multi-million dollar disputes) have been referred for mediation at the SMC. An impressive 75% of these have successfully reached amicable settlements
with more than 90% of these settled within one day.

About SMC
The SMC is a non-profit organisation established in 1997 to provide commercial mediation services. It is structured as a company limited by guarantee of the
Singapore Academy of Law (SAL). With the support of the Singapore Judiciary, the SAL, the Ministry of Law and various professional and trade organisations, the SMC has successfully spearheaded the mediation movement in Singapore and continues to promote the use of mediation and other non-confrontational dispute resolution methods.


SMC also conducts training workshops in Singapore on a weekly basis for government organisations, tertiary institutions, professional and trade associations
and business organisations, and have provided courses for key government officers from developing nations on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.
SMC has also advised and worked with foreign judiciaries, government ministries and bar associations, trained their pioneer groups of third party neutrals and assisted in establishing their first panels of mediators.
SMC has conducted training programmes for the European University Centre for Peace studies in Austria, the Malta Institute of Management, the Malaysian Bar Council, the Judiciary of Indonesia, the Judiciary of Thailand, the Philippine Supreme Court, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Labour & Industrial Relations in Fiji.


For more information on SMC, please visit http://www.mediation.com.sg.


About the International Negotiation Competition
Started by two American University Law Schools, one at Creighton University and the other at Pepperdine University, the first annual International Negotiation
Competition (INC) was held in July 1998 and was modelled on the Negotiation Competition sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division. The countries represented at the inaugural competition were Australia, Canada, England,and the United States. The Australian team from University of Sydney was the first winner of the travelling plaque presented by the Practising Law Institute of New
York City.


Since then the competition has become truly international with teams having competed from Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Denmark, England and Wales, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States of America.


The 2006 winners are Sophie Atkinson and Charlotte Kirkcaldie from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and who have gone on to legal careers at Bell Gully
Barristers and Solicitors and HSBC in New Zealand respectively.


List of participating universities in 2007 INC:
Australia – University of Queensland
Canada – University of Western Ontario
Denmark – University of Copenhagen
England and Wales – University of Leicester
Hong Kong – City University of Hong Kong
Japan – Hitotsubashi University
India – National Law School of India University
Ireland – The Honorable Society of Kings Inns
New Zealand – University of Waikato School of Law
Northern Ireland – Queens University Belfast
Puerto Rico – Interamerican University School of Law
Singapore – National University of Singapore
South Korea – Handong International Law School
Sweden – Uppsala University
United States - John Marshall Law School – Chicago


For more information on INC, please visit http://law.creighton.edu/inc2007/.

Foo Kim Leng (Ms)
Senior Corporate Communications Manager
Tel: +65 63325365 / 96358850
Email: foo_kim_leng@sal.org.sg