A team of aspiring barristers from The College of Law have just returned to the UK after putting in a skilful performance in a competition to find the world’s best student negotiators, narrowly missing out on a top three place.
Charlotte Whitehorn and Charles Shoebridge, who have just successfully completed the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) at the College’s Bloomsbury branch, were representing England and Wales in The International Negotiation Competition, which took place in Chicago at the beginning of the month.
They came fourth out of sixteen of the world’s best negotiating duos, beating countries such as Australia, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Canada and Japan.
(Left to right) Team coach Anna Cheunviratsakul, Charlotte Whitehorn, and Charles Shoebridge from The College of Law, with the Singapore team and coach
The competition measured their skill at making deals and resolving disputes on behalf of fictional clients during the course of three negotiations. They were judged by legal practitioners and academics on the outcome of the negotiation, their preparation, flexibility, teamwork, ethics and relationship with the opposing team.
Charlotte and Charles had earned their place in the international final after being crowned winners of the national final in March, which was sponsored by CEDR (the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) and open to every undergraduate and postgraduate law school in England and Wales. The costs of their trip to Chicago was met by CEDR and the College.
Charles said: “Although each of our negotiations involved long hours of planning and preparation, our rewards were immense. We gained invaluable experience of dealing with highly capable teams, and judges, from around the world with, in some cases, very different cultures and negotiation styles from our own.
“Almost all the competitors were the winners of their own respective national competitions and therefore, as we had expected, the standard was very high. It was an enormous privilege to represent our country and the College at the competition, and we are grateful to the College and the CEDR for having enabled us to do so."
Charlotte said: "This was a valuable experience for both the development of my skills and the insight it gave me into different cultural styles, strategies and tactics. I am delighted to have been a part of this excellent competition and my congratulations to every team that took part."
The negotiation scenario tackled by competitors centred on a fictional international touring exhibition of ancient antiquities and involved negotiating agreements between the various parties participating in the exhibition.
Charlotte and Charles’ coach Anna Cheunviratsakul, senior lecturer on the BVC at The College of Law in Bloomsbury, said: “Charles and Charlotte worked extremely hard to prepare for three negotiations over three days against Japan, India, two teams from the USA and Singapore. Having observed all their negotiations since their entry in the internal competition last December, I am pleased to say that they performed brilliantly with an excellent demonstration of tactics and strategy."
The competition was won by a team from the USA, with Denmark and South Korea (last year's winners) in second and third places respectively.