Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
With over 30 practice areas, we have all bases covered. Find out how we can help
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Regulatory, business information and analytics solutions that help professionals make better decisions
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Printer Friendly Version
The annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial
Arbitration Moot (the Moot) is the most prestigious competition of its kind.
For the unacquainted, the Moot is an international arbitration mooting competition centred on an international sale of goods problem and conducted in accordance with the rules of an arbitral institution (this year, the ICC Rules). The Moot attracts hundreds
of teams from universities across the globe and culminates in oral argument before volunteer arbitrators in Vienna, Austria (there is also a sister ‘East’ moot that takes place in Hong Kong).
For students of international commercial law, the potential benefits of participating in the Moot are many: in-depth exposure to international arbitration law and procedure; honing skills that will be useful in practice; participation in rigorous academic
debate; building confidence and developing advocacy skills; extensive networking opportunities; a chance to travel and meet lawyers and law students from across the world; exposure to different legal traditions; gaining valuable insights into post-graduate
opportunities (including potential recruiters); and, forging friendships and contacts that may last a career or even a lifetime.
The good news for the future of international arbitration is that the Moot remains incredibly popular, but, according to current Moot co-director* Prof. Dr. Stefan Kroell, there
is room for improvement.
An arbitration mooting competition would be lost without its arbitrators and the Moot is heavily reliant on volunteers taking time away from their busy legal practices. Fortunately, there hasn’t yet been a shortage of able and willing arbitrator
volunteers. Nevertheless, within the pool of Moot arbitrators there are far fewer representatives of common law jurisdictions (such as England and Wales or the USA) as opposed to civil law jurisdictions (such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria).
Why is this case? Is it the closer proximity of Vienna to the civil law, German-speaking legal communities? Are those same communities more alert to the fact that the Moot offers a rich pool of potential recruits?
Prof. Kroell comments that:
‘At the last moot only about 25% of arbitrators come from Common Law jurisdictions. This is lower than we would like, and indeed is lower than the percentage of teams from Common Law jurisdictions – 35%. Geographical proximity may be a factor, with the exception of the UK the distance of time involved in travelling may deter some. However, there is also perhaps an awareness and familiarity factor, and that is certainly something we are hoping to address.’
To help address this imbalance, and hopefully encourage more volunteers from the common law tradition, it is worth considering the significant benefits of being involved. I’d like to thank Dr Mariel Dimsey,
associate based in Cleary Gottlieb’s Cologne office, for her assistance in extolling the virtues of volunteering as a Moot arbitrator.
The benefits include:
Achieving success in the field of international arbitration, as a lawyer and as an arbitrator, is heavily dependent on making and maintaining professional connections. It is in the nature of the beast. Arbitrator and counsel appointments are often driven
by a network of interconnected recommendations and the Moot offers an excellent opportunity to meet international arbitration lawyers from around the globe.
Indeed, it is not unheard of for practitioners to schedule hearings in Vienna around the time of the Moot to take advantage of this rare culmination of arbitration practitioners in the same place at the same time. Attending the Moot can change the course
of a career.
Volunteering as a Moot arbitrator provides invaluable practical experience before taking on the real thing. It also looks good when it comes to obtaining that important first appointment as an arbitrator. Also, many recommendations for arbitral appointments
are known to arise out of connections made at the Moot.
Being involved in the Vis Moot as an arbitrator is a great way to highlight the international arbitration work of your firm to students.
Linked to the benefit above, the Moot attracts exceptionally able law students from around the world, and therefore is an excellent opportunity to spot future legal talent.
It is fun, interesting, rewarding and the oral argument phase of the competition takes place in the beautiful city of Vienna. As an overall experience, it is worth the time sacrifice involved.
Good. You can register as a Moot arbitrator here.
If you want more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Stefan Kroell, Dr. Christopher Kee or
Mag. Patrizia Netal.
Find more details on the Vis Moot website.
*The other co-directors are Dr. Christopher Kee and Mag. Patrizia Netal.
0330 161 1234