Singapore, 16 January 2012 – Four young lawyers took part in the final of a mooting competition organised by Essex Court Chambers and the English-Speaking Union (“ESU”), and supported by the Singapore Academy of Law. This is the first occasion on which a mooting competition, which is designed to test the advocacy skills of its participants, has been held in Singapore for qualified lawyers.
Drew & Napier's Mr Pardeep Singh Khosa and Mr Mahesh Rai took on WongPartnership’s Mr Kevin Ong and Mr Lau Kah Hee to win an all-expenses paid two-week internship at Essex Court Chambers in London. In the final, which took place at the Supreme Court of Singapore, each team consisting of two speakers, a leader and a junior, were given a hypothetical case involving allegations of breach of contract. They argued the case before a distinguished judging panel consisting of the Honourable Attorney-General Mr Sundaresh Menon SC, the Honourable Justice Steven Chong and the former Attorney-General of Hong Kong and a member of Essex Court Chambers, Mr Michael Thomas CMG QC.
The judges used four criteria with which to evaluate each team’s performance: content, strategy, ability to respond and style. Emphasis was placed on their insight and analysis of the problem, their ability to rebut their opponent’s arguments, their marshalling of legal arguments, team work and oral advocacy skills. A total of 22 young lawyers from seven local law firms, the Justices’ Clerks of the Supreme Court of Singapore and the Attorney-General’s Chambers had participated in the earlier rounds of the competition which commenced on 3 November 2011. Participants had to be under the age of 30 and be lawyers or legal service officers in Singapore who have been in practice for no more than three years as at 30 September 2011.
The Singapore Mooting Competition is supported by the Singapore Academy of Law’s Professional Affairs Committee chaired by the Honourable Justice Steven Chong, and represents the culmination of several months of collaborative effort between the SAL and the members of Essex Court Chambers in developing an event which provides young Singapore lawyers with a forum in which to hone their advocacy skills.
Essex Court Chambers is one of the leading sets of barristers’ chambers in the UK, specialising in commercial and international law. “The members of Essex Court Chambers are delighted to be working with the English-Speaking Union and the Singapore Academy of Law in this endeavour. The mooting competition in Singapore reflects the deep and long-standing commitment of individual members of Chambers to Singapore and its development as an international centre for dispute resolution,” said David Foxton QC of Essex Court Chambers. Note: The winners and runners-up will be announced at 8.00 pm on 16 January 2012.
About Essex Court Chambers (www.essexcourt.net)
Essex Court Chambers is widely acclaimed as one of the leading sets of barristers’ chambers in England and is presently home to 77 barristers, as well as associate members and arbitrators from across the globe. Essex Court Chambers has succeeded in maintaining its tradition of excellence by attracting some of the finest advocates at the English Bar since it was established as a set of chambers 50 years ago. It is generally regarded as one of the few ‘magic circle’ sets of barristers’ chambers and its ranks include 39 Queen’s Counsel and Senior Counsel from a large number of jurisdictions worldwide and at least nine Professors of Law. Many from amongst its ranks have gone on to be appointed to judicial office, including in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court (and its predecessor, the House of Lords) and the International Court of Justice. Although Essex Court Chambers remains first and foremost a commercial set of barristers’ chambers, members of Essex Court Chambers are also regularly instructed to act as advocates in a wide range of other areas including public international law. Members of Essex Court Chambers appear regularly not just in the UK but also in a large number of other jurisdictions, including Singapore.
The ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition in the United Kingdom has had a long and illustrious history that dates back precisely 40 years and the members of Essex Court Chambers are proud of their association with the competition and with the ESU, which administers the competition in the UK. The competition in Singapore would be the first occasion on which a mooting competition with a similar format would be held in a country other than the UK. The competition encourages the development of excellence in advocacy skills and identifies gifted young lawyers who have the potential to become leading advocates.
About English-Speaking Union (“ESU”)
Patron: Her Majesty the Queen
President: HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh KG KT
Chairman: Dame Mary Richardson DBE
Director-General: Peter Kyle OBE
The ESU brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures. By building skills and confidence in communication, ESU gives people the opportunity to realise their potential. Worldwide, the members and alumni of the ESU support these objectives. ESU’s vision is to provide people in the UK and internationally with communication skills, confidence and networking opportunities.
About Singapore Academy of Law
The Singapore Academy of Law (the “Academy”) is the umbrella body of the legal community in Singapore and has close to 9,000 members. The work of the Academy is focused on three key areas: supporting the growth and development of the Legal Industry; building up the intellectual capital of the legal profession by enhancing Legal Knowledge; and improving the efficiency of legal practice through Legal Technology. The work of the Academy is driven by these three core mandates. This in turn is directed towards raising the standard and quality of legal practice and building a strong and dynamic legal community in Singapore. Besides its role as the official law reporting agency in Singapore, the Academy’s other functions include providing continuing legal education for its members, legal publications, promoting legal research and scholarship, the reform and development of the law and alternative dispute resolution.
For more details on the Academy, visit www.sal.org.sg