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Moot Madrid 2015

Moot Madrid 2015

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) organized a new edition of the International Competition in Arbitration and Commercial Law, Moot Madrid 2015. This new edition, held from the 20th to the 24th of April, welcomed 30 teams of lawyers in training from 13 countries. Each team hopes to come away with the victory in a tournament that is conducted in Spanish and boasts participants from Spanish-speaking (Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Paraguay and Peru) as well as non-Spanish-speaking countries (Brazil, the United States, France, Poland and Russia). The winner this year was the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.

The Moot started on April 20th on the Getafe campus of the UC3M with an intense morning devoted to the “International Conference: Celebrating the Success of the UNCITRAL.” After the participation of international and national experts in this novelty in Moot, the starter’s gun sounded with the opening ceremony, and the hearings began in the afternoon.

From that moment, each team took turns to defend the claimant on up to two occasions and the defendant on two others, in courts made up of national and international arbitrators. In total, more than 70 hearings took place that week. Thus, after the general rounds, on the morning of April 23rd, the competition moved to the offices of Uría Menéndez, where the eight teams that advanced to the quarterfinals and would square off that afternoon were announced.

From that moment, the organizers compare the competition to a marathon where every runner must demonstrate a high level of endurance. After the quarterfinals, which took place at Clifford Chance LLP, the semi-finals were held at CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo on the morning of April 24th. That afternoon, the final was held at the Madrid Court of Arbitration.

Chronicle of the big final

At 4:00 p.m., the big final between the University of Miami (U.S.A.) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru got under way. The fate of the contest was in the hands of a distinguished arbitration court made up of José Antonio Moreno Rodríguez, director of the Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Economía y Política (CEDEP) and president of the American Association of Private International Law in Asunción, Paraguay; Elena Gutiérrez García de Cortázar, Secretary-General of the Madrid Court of Arbitration; and Jorge Oviedo Albán, professor at the Universidad Sergio Arboleda (Colombia), lawyer and president of the Bogotá Commercial Law Society.

When everything appeared to be ready to start, the organization and the court of arbitration had a surprise: the testimonial evidence was accepted. It was an audiovisual testimony that was projected and whose new information the parties had to incorporate into their arguments on the fly.

In total, each group had to defend the interests of their client for more than three hours at the highest level, answering the many questions posed by the court of arbitration. However, only one team could come away with the victory, and it would be the team from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. The same university also obtained the honor “In extremis,” for the best reaction in the most complicated circumstances, according to the evaluation made by expert David Cairns, a lawyer for B. Cremades y Asociados.

The event culminated with the awards and closing ceremonies, where prizes were given to the best team in the oral phase and for the other four categories which test the skills of the participating teams. This is the case of the Prize for Best Orator in the General Rounds, where first place went to Fábio Murta Rocha Cavalcante (Universidad de Sao Paulo, Brazil), as well as the Prize for Best Statement of Claim, which was awarded to the Universidad Jaume I de Castellón. Lastly, the Prize for the Best Statement of Defense went to the Centro Universitario de Villanueva.

Although Moot Madrid has finished, the organizers would like to take the opportunity to recognize the extraordinary work done by all the teams and coaches that competed. At the same time, they are grateful for the support from the sponsors, the Madrid Court of Arbitration from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and KPMG, and the help of all the collaborators: Baker & Mckenzie, B. Cremades y Asociados, Clifford Chance LLP, CMS, Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo, Club Español del Arbitraje (CEA), Cuatrecasas, Gonçalvez Pereira, Garrido Abogados, Garrigues, Gómez Acebo & Pombo, Novit Legal, Pérez-LLorca, Roca Junyent and Uría Menéndez. They would also like to thank the more than 150 arbitrators who participated in this edition.