Sponsored by CEDR and with the support of College of Law, London
Key 2016 Dates
Application deadline: Monday 18 January 2016
Saturday 13 February 2016
London The International Dispute Resolution Centre, 70 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1EU, 11:30am-6:00pm (Registration from 11am)
Saturday 20 February 2016
Bristol, The University of Law, Bristol, Temple Circus House, Temple Way, Bristol BS1 6HG, 12:00pm-5:30pm
Chester, The University of Law Chester, Christleton Hall, Pepper Street, Christleton, Chester, CH3 7AB, 12:00pm-5:30pm.
Leeds, The University of Law Leeds, 15-16 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5HD, 12:00pm-5:30pm
Training Day for National Finalists: Saturday 5 March 2016. The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, London
National Final: Saturday 19 March 2016, The University of Kent
How to enter the Competition
All universities are invited to enter the National Student Negotiation Competition. Universities may submit up to two teams (of two competitors each) for the competition. Applications may only be made by Universities or Law Schools and will not be accepted from Student Societies or individual students.
The 2016 application form is available here (National Student Negotiation Competition 2016) and applications will need to be received by Monday 18 January 2016.
The Competition will follow the below format:
Each institution is allowed to submit up to two teams (each with two members). It is up to each individual institution to decide how these teams are selected and many Universities carry out their own internal selections. Competitors can be any student studying for an undergraduate or graduate qualification in England and Wales or a legal professional qualification. Entries must be received along with the requisite entry fee (£75 per team) by 18 January 2016.
- A number of regional heats will be held around the country on Saturdays, 13 and 20 February 2016. These heats consist of two rounds of a two-way negotiation. Please note: Teams will compete in only one regional heat. For those who are not familiar with the format of the day, I attach a copy of the schedule and one of the scenarios from a previous year.
- For the 12 teams who win through from the regionals, there will be a professional negotiation skills training day delivered by two of CEDR’s Negotiation faculty, hosted at CEDR's offices in London, on Saturday 5 March.
- The national final will be held on Saturday 19 March, and will be hosted in Canterbury by the University of Kent, who won last year. The Final consists of three rounds of negotiation. The Finals day concludes with an awards dinner which includes announcement of the national winner who is then eligible to go forward to represent England and Wales in the International Competition in July.
The Negotiation Competition provides an opportunity for law students to practise and improve their negotiation skills. The competition involves students in teams of two going head to head to measure their negotiation skills. The competition, now in its fifteenth year, is designed to foster the skills of negotiation in the next generation of lawyers.
The competition also offers:
- Certificate of participation for all students entering the competition
- A free one-day advanced negotiation skills seminar, provided by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), for all students who qualify for the national finals
- Cash prizes for the winners in the national finals
- A travel grant to enable the national winners to represent England and Wales in the International Negotiation Competition
The Competition is open to all law schools in England and Wales.
Most disputes in which lawyers are involved do not end up in the courts. Instead they are settled by way of some form of compromise between the parties - a negotiated agreement. Lawyers are also often asked to advise on the way deals or transactions are set up - for example, what are the most favourable terms, what would be the best price, what penalties can be included for breach of contract? Getting the best deal for the client can often involve some skilful negotiation.
Learning the skills involved in negotiating has recently become part of legal skills programmes in many Universities in England and Wales. Workshops are run to give students an opportunity to identify the principles of negotiation and to acquire and practice negotiation skills, usually in the context of the substantive law courses that they are following such as contract, commercial law, company law, employment law or family law. The Bar Professional Training Course for barristers includes elements on negotiation. The skills of negotiation also form part of the trainee solicitors' legal skills courses after they have completed the Legal Practice Course.
A University or law school may enter up to two teams in the competition, each team consisting of two students who may be at undergraduate or graduate level. Each institution selects its team in whichever way it chooses - many hold internal competitions.
There are initial regional competitions from which a total of twelve teams proceed to a national final. The winner of the national final is then eligible to go forward to represent England and Wales in the international competition.
There are two negotiating rounds in the regional competitions, and three in the national final. Occasionally there are three- or four-way negotiations, but the most common format of each round is that a team of two law students representing a party/client negotiates either a transaction or the resolution of a dispute with an opposing team of two students. Typically, each round consists of a 50 minute negotiation session. At the end of the 50 minute period each team has a ten minute period to analyse their performance in private and a ten minute self-analysis period (ten minutes per team) in the presence of the judges.
For each round, participating teams receive, in advance, both a common set of facts and confidential information known only to the particular side they are representing.
Each round is judged by a panel of three judges. Judges are chosen to be independent of the teams they are judging, and as a further precaution participating teams in each heat are identified only by a letter rather than by the name of the institution they are representing.
The judging criteria require the judges to address the following:
- the apparent preparedness of a team
- its flexibility in deviating from plans or adapting a strategy
- the outcome
- relationship between the negotiating teams
- the self-analysis.
All participants receive certificates of participation.
The twelve qualifying teams from the regional competitions are eligible to attend a one-day Advanced Negotiation Skills course provided by trainers from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. This year this will be held on Saturday 5 March 2016.
The winners will receive a trophy to be held in their Law School until the next competition a small cash prize.
The winners of the competition will also be invited to represent England and Wales in The International Negotiation Competition; their Law School will receive a travel grant to help towards the team being able to represent England and Wales.
The International Negotiation Competition
The format of the International Competition is similar to that of the national competition and provides an excellent opportunity for all the student participants, the faculty advisers and judges to take legal education just one step further. For more details about the International Competition go to www.law-competitions.com