The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law team of Emily Bradley, Aaron King, Dora Konomi, Natalie Kolos, Emily McMurtry and Chloe Waind has won the 2017 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.
Held annually in Vienna, Austria the Vis Moot is the largest international commercial law competition in the world. The moot aims to train law students in methods of alternative dispute resolution by having them work through the arbitration process in a concrete international business dispute. Teams compete by writing memoranda and presenting oral arguments before experienced judges and arbitral experts.
This year, the moot attracted over 2,000 students from 344 law schools across 65 countries, including leading universities from North America, Europe and Asia. The competition was held from April 8-13, 2017.
After making it through the general rounds during the first days of the competition, the uOttawa team faced opponents from the Pontifical Catholic University of Paranà (Brazil), the University of Mainz (Germany), the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), the University of Maastricht (Netherlands) and the University of Montevideo (Uruguay) in the elimination rounds before prevailing over O.P. Jindal Global University (Delhi) in the championship round.
This is the third time the University of Ottawa has won the competition (2011 and 2015), a record number of wins by any university at the Moot. Individually, Natalie Kolos was awarded top oralist, while Emily Bradley and Chloe Waind received honourable mentions for oral submissions. Ms. Kolos, who transferred to the University of Ottawa from Western University to try out for the Vis, reflected on her decision following last Thursday’s result.
“Leaving Western was not an easy decision. But the reason I left was simple. Participating as a member of the University of Ottawa’s Vis Moot Team was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I made the move from London to Ottawa, and since then, I have not looked back.
“The World Champion title was a dream. But Professor Daimsis and James Plotkin, our coaches, turned that dream into a reality. And I lived that dream with my team in Vienna. Words cannot express my gratitude and admiration for two exceptional individuals who put their heart and soul into making their students the best they can be. It is precisely because of their tremendous support and meticulous guidance that our team was successful. I am honoured to have been a member of this team and share in the University of Ottawa’s unparalleled success.”
Coach and Faculty of Law Professor Anthony Daimsis (LL.B. 2001) had nothing but praise for the team.
“Everyone worked tirelessly over the past months to get ready for this competition, and it absolutely paid off. To win the competition for the second time in three years, and three times since 2011 is an extraordinary accomplishment.”
Professor Daimsis, who is also the Moot Court Competition Coordinator, shared coaching duties with James Plotkin, a law school graduate (LL.L. 2012, J.D. 2013, LL.M. 2015) and member of the 2015 winning team. Faculty and alumni routinely come back to assist with current teams, which speaks to the strength of the mooting program at the Faculty and Professor Daimsis’ methods.
“In Vienna, ‘University of Ottawa’ is synonymous with greatness,” said Plotkin. “That greatness is built in part on the tireless work and devotion each cohort of uOttawa Vis Mooties pays to this peerless educational contest. But Professor Daimsis is the architect of our mooting pedigree. Anthony's dedication and effort expended in professionally enriching those who go through the moot program is a standard all educators should aspire to.
“I am constantly amazed at his ability to bring out the best in his mooters, and his students generally. Thanks to Professor Daimsis, those who experience the uOttawa moot program begin their careers as advocates head and shoulders above the competition.”
Congratulations to the team and its coaches on this wonderful performance!