On 22nd and 23rd January, 39 Essex Chambers’ first six pupils, Chris Moss and Chiara Cordone claimed victory at the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators 2022 Mediation Skills Competition, defending Chambers’ title. As well as winning the competition overall, they also received the Past Master Karl Davies Award for Most Creative Solution Proposed in a Mediation Session.
The competition was held at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London and involved 3 qualifying rounds before the final held on the Sunday. Competitors, who could be students, pupil barristers or trainee solicitors, were judged on their opening statements, exploration of needs, team interaction, interaction with the other team and working with the mediator. The qualifying rounds covered issues ranging from a dispute on solar panel sales to non-functioning military aircraft technology.
In the final, 39 Essex acted on behalf of a software company providing software for pet businesses and faced a team of trainee solicitors from Linklaters LLP acting on behalf of a disgruntled pet funeral provider. The parties were assisted by mediator, Andrew Miller QC (Mediator of the year 2021) and judged by a panel of 4 mediators from the worshipful company including Master Martyn Bradish. 39 Essex were praised by judges for their problem-solving approach and use of open questions to cordially explore issues in dispute.
Both pupils agreed that it was a challenging and enjoyable insight into mediation and the skills required to succeed. Chris said that, “I am delighted that we were able to win. Having never mediated before, the opportunity to partake in the competition and receive feedback from such an experienced panel was absolutely invaluable”. Chiara added “It has been great fun working with Chris for this competition, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to practice mediation skills in front of the best in the industry. I am very grateful to the Worshipful company for organising this competition, and to Chambers for supporting us to take part.”