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Penn Law competes online in 27th Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

April 10, 2020

Student team at international moot competition
Student team at international moot competition
The Law School’s Willem C. Vis Moot Team competed in the online event, even holding arguments in the middle of the night to participate.

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Vis Moot Team competed in a series of online hearings for the 27th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The moot was held between April 4-6 and is the most prestigious competition of its kind. Normally, the event takes place in Vienna, but because of the disruption of COVID-19, this year’s competition occurred entirely online. Nearly 250 teams competed, advocating from time zones around the world.

Online hearings were fixed according to local time in Vienna. Due to the six-hour time difference, three of the Law School’s four moots began between the hours of 2:30 and 4:30 am EST. Despite this challenging schedule, the Law School competed in all four of its hearings. These were against Ilia State University, Universidade de Brasília, Erasmus University, and the University of São Paulo Largo San Francisco.

The Law School’s team was captained by Nick Wiggins L’21 and coached by Florencia Bohl LLM’ 20 and Edward Grigg LLM’20. Oralists included Bridget Golob L’21, Athira Sivan L’21, Colin Benthien, L’21, Shuying Wen LLM’20, Marie-Sophie Revault LLM’20, and Katherine Schroeder L’20. The team’s first-year representative, Erich Makarov L’22, contributed to written submissions.

Reflecting on the experience, Grigg praised the team’s hard work and dedication.

“The Vis Moot is one of the most demanding international competitions out there,” Grigg said. “And that’s before you factor in a global pandemic. The team showed outstanding resilience during this difficult time and can take immense pride in their performance.”

Looking back over the year as a whole, Bohl noted that “the Vis Moot is an extraordinary forum for promoting cooperation between JDs and LLMs. Since September, the team has been brainstorming and exchanging ideas. The result has been very sophisticated discussions about the differences and similarities between common and civil law, as well as the practice of commercial disputes in both international and foreign jurisdictions.”