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6th Herbert Smith Freehills - NLU Delhi International Negotiation Competition 2019

The 6th Herbert Smith Freehills - NLU Delhi International Negotiation Competition is being jointly organised by National Law University, Delhi and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP from 06-08 September.

An estimated 92-minute read
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National Law University, Delhi in collaboration with Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is set to organise the 3rd edition of the International Negotiation Competition from 09-11 September 2016.

The competition, which was started in 2014, is the first of its kind in India. With the growth of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a viable alternative to litigation, the competition seeks to introduce students of the top law universities across the globe to international negotiations and to hone their skills, with simulations as close as possible to actual international environments. The problems comprise of a common set of facts known to all participants and confidential information known to only the participants representing a particular side.

In the second edition of the competition, 24 teams participated, with the University of Cambridge emerging as the overall winner. The 2016 edition promises to be even more exciting, with a total of 28 teams participating and which includes 15 teams flying down to India from across the globe.

This year, the competition will see teams compete in two gruelling preliminary rounds. The first round’s simulation is called License to Stream. Negotiating teams are assigned one of two parties: Topstream plc, a film and TV subscription service, or GPT, a big television production company. Topstream is looking to expand its market into the Asian country of Tedra, for which it seeks to reach a licensing agreement without GPT to broadcast their hit shows.

The second round, Space Race, is a negotiation between Space Research and Exploration plc, an aerospace manufacturer hailed for its breakthrough innovations in space exploration, and Rickety Martin plc, one of the leading companies in the defence sector. After having developed a breakthrough technology, Space Rex is in dire need of money to continue operations and is looking for a 50/50 JV partner. Rickety Martin is looking to diversify and consider Space Rex their obvious choice. The parties, having signed a non-binding MoU, are now meeting to discuss the finer details of the JV agreement.

Qualifying teams will progress to the semi-final rounds, where another interesting simulation, Breezy Business, awaits them. A large landowning Duke and a company involved in creating renewable energy meet to discuss a lease agreement for wind farms on the Duke’s estate. The last chapter in the 2016 edition of the competition, Strategic Snacking, is a negotiation between the single-shareholder of a leading instant noodle company and a large hyphen-production company keen on entering the instant noodle market. With the latter finally getting an opportunity for the acquisition, the companies now seek to discuss the details of such a move.

In addition to the valuable experience of interacting with teams from various countries, the competition has many rewards. At the end of the competition, the Best Negotiation Team is awarded a cash prize of 1000 GBP while the Runners Up will receive a cash prize of 500 GBP. The Best Negotiator and the team with the Best Negotiation Plan will receive a cash prize of 100 GBP each. The team which best represents the spirit of negotiation through their communication skills will receive the ‘Spirit of the Competition’ award alongside a cash prize of 100 GBP.

We look forward to seeing all the participating teams!


18.00: We are extremely pleased to welcome you to the third edition of the International Negotiation Competition jointly organised by National University, Delhi and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP! We report to you live from the inaugural ceremony where we are about to begin the proceedings. Today we have on the dias Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi, Mr. Chris Parsons, Chairman, India Practise, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Prof. (Dr.) G.S. Bajpai, Registrar, National Law University, Delhi.

18.10: And the proceedings are underway, and Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh is set to deliver the welcome address! He begins by thanking everyone for coming for this competition, and especially Herbert Smith Freehills LLP for their continued partnership with the University. He commends the student body for the hard work they have put in to make everyone's stay comfortable! He talks about the landscape of legal education in India, which he believe operates by the virtue of its law colleges. He highlights how the legal education in India hs grown via these law colleges, including the change from law faculties to the modern day law schools. He puts forward his thoughts on how the art of negotiation is something which is considered a necessity for survival in these institutions and the legal profession. On a lighter note, he welcomes the participants to try our the food, which he warns is slightly spicy, in India and cherish the whole experience. What an inspiring speech!

18.25: Mr. Chris Parsons now begins with his Introductory Address to the participants of the competition. He commends National Law University, Delhi for the tremendous growth they have shown in the past few years! He talks about the beginnings of this competition which originated from an offhand conversation between Mr Parsons and Mr. Daniel Mathew, the Faculty Advisor for thhis event, about the growth of ADR culture in India. He alludes to the growth of this competition which has seen a greater number of foreign teams participating in every year! Negotiation, he believes, isnt something which is deep, dark secret which is taught but is an art which is learned through perseverance, hard work, and asking the right questions. He also thanks Mr Sid Shukla, Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, who has played an huge role in conceptualizing and organising the competition. He points out that the competition aside, the participants should get to know each other, breaking the cultural barriers, and explore India, which he believes is one of the most interesting countries in the world currently. Hopefully, the participants will listen closely to Mr. Parsons here!

18.45: Prof. (Dr.) G.S. Bajpai will not deliver the vote of thanks. He stresses on the need of the ability to negotiate, which is a much needed skill in the modern day globalize and commercial world. He congratulates the participants for making it to the competition, which retains its "invite only" nature. He thanks Herbert Smith Freehills for conceptualising and helping National Law University, Delhi design which is trule one of its kind. He thanks all the teams for visiting India, and visiting National Law University, Delhi, from all across the globe! He thanks Prof. Daniel Mathew, the faculty advisor of this event, and his team for organising the competition and making everyone feel comfortable. He ends by wishing the participants for the next two days of the competition! 

18.55: We now end the inaugural ceremony and will now move on to the competition briefing and penalty appeals. Since the events are limited to participants only, we take your leave. Hope you all follow us all tomorrow! 



Room - Moot Court Hall - Team 1 v Team 17

10:19:  Here the round starts with a warm welcome. The participants introduc themselves to each other. The representatives are calm and composed, and want to reach a fruitful conclusion to this negotiation. They thank each other for opting negotiation, instead of going for litigation. The teams are looking confident in their dealings with each other. Representatives of GPT are polite and convincing, while on the other hand the represenatives of Topstream seem to be quite nervous.
10:35: When the represenatives of GPT were asked on the issue of male protagonist's fight with one of the guest star on MCD by topstream. They have made it clear that that the leading actor will offer a public apology. To this the representatives of Topstream have agreed, and they look forward for the same. Also, the representatves of topsream want to have a long term relationship with GPT.
10:43: The representives of topstream throw the next issue on the table regarding the nudity and illegal download. The represenatives of GPT, knowing the situation of Tedra, assures them that all the scenes of nudity would be censored. The issue of writing the show was solved! To address the problem, GPT assured them that there would be shadow writers and the story would be completed at any cost. 
10:52: Team 17 seems to be more convincing! They know how to tackle the problem. Team 1 putting forward their issues again and again. On many issues they reach on an agreement, and for other issues they decide to arrange for another meeting. 

Room No. 102 - Team 2 v Team 18

10:20: The teams started on a very pleasant note. Team 18 starts off by introducing themselves and giving an outline of the negotiation deal. They wish to streamline the negotiations peacefully. Both teams are on the same page and want to take things forward in Tedra. Team 2 clarifies its stand on the exclusivity of Topstream, and states the points of discussion for the negotiation deal.

10:32: Twelve minutes into the discussion and we see our first conflict! GPT proposes a model for 7 years. However, Topstream is a little reluctant to engage in a deal for such a long period, owing to the old age of the author of the series MCD, Meredith Benson. GPT comes up with a solution clarifying the distinction between the author and the scriptwriter, and seeks to sit with the author to discuss the storyline. Topstream, on the other hand, seeks a 3 year relationship with GPT, to which the GPT responds with the desire for a long term relationship.

10:44: The room is heating up now! None of the parties are ready to budge. GPT plans to release one season of MCD per year. Topstream argues that this plan would not be effective citing various reasons. Topstream is all praise for GPT, but is not ready to negotiate about the duration of the deal.

10:52: Aaaand, finally, GPT agrees to shorten the duration of the contract to 5 years but keeping the price at just $30 million per year! Topstream agrees to the former proposition but adamantly refuses about the $30 million. Topstream asks for a higher price, to which GPT agrees on $40 million a year.
10:56: GPT is playing safe and is already talking about renewal of the contract. Topstream, being extremely diplomatic, still pushes forward the 3 year deal and assures the renewal of the contract if it fairs well in Tedra. Topstream also raises the issue of the bad press that MCD has been receiving, but GPT assured them this problem will be sorted by the following week. 

Room No. 103 - Team 3 v Team 19

10:25: Ladies and gentlemen, here we have Team 3 facing team 19. While both of the teams look composed, the room feels the tension of the face off. The judges are settled at their places. Here the negotiation kicks off!

10:29: Teams are discussing the issues in detail. Team 19 wants to know the term and duration of the contract. But team 3 asks them that why they wish to discuss the price first, when the content is the crucial issue here. Do we see a deal happening here? Woah! Both the teams discuss the estimated price and term of the contract, and they look determined to reach an agreement.

10:33: GPT comes up with a smart move of limiting the streaming of the show to one complete run, and a repeat. So, it would alloww them to maximize their revenue by approaching other online streaming companies. The round seems to be proceeding well.

10:38: GPT wants assurance that the show MCD will be aired even if the popularity of the show drops. Topstream then assure them that half of the shows of the season will be aired before Christmas. 

10:47: The next issue being discussed is about the nude content. Topstream wants an exemption from any kind of liablity. GPT sweetly agrees to it. Wait. GPT now wants it to be 50-50 liablity sharing. Can we see the misunderstanding within team 19?

11:05: The question round begins for Topstream. The Judges appreciate the team and state that they had dealt with the issues professionally. The judges want Topstream to express their expectations from the negotiation. The team answers it in a very composed manner. However, they fail to mention how they are planning to address a lower viewership problem. Topstream looks a bit nervous now. In the end, they manage to answer eloquently by justifying their move, which was that there is always risk involved when the companies enter into new markets. 

11:12: The question round begins for GPT now. The Judges appreciated the team and stated, "they looked like they're already lawyers." The first question that was thrown before the team is when they came up on table with the point, were they able to discuss the entirety of the point? The team replies by saying that they were able to discuss all the points but one relating to price.
The next question posed is about the risk and the team answered it confidently saying, "they have proposed a 50-50 liablity agreement." The judges state that there is a difference between restriction and penalty, while questioning the team on the affect of low subscription rate on them. The team says, "their main agenda was to ask for fine for the days of non-compliance to airing the show. In other words, their main aim was to deter Topstream from not showing their show.

Room No. 104 - Team 4 v Team 20

10:30: The teams are introducing themsleves with much respect and, for some reason, in a very low voice. GPT is jumping straight into the issues. Those well recieved by their counterparts are being pointed out. GPT is emphasing on the benefits Topstream will have when they collaborate for MCD. Topstream just brought up the elephant in the room! Simon and Frankie's incident is is being discussed and GPT assure Topstream's Counsel that no such incident will take place again. Meredith's health update is also of prime concern for Topstream. They won't buy any arguments about the old woman's health, clearly! GPT is persistent in assuring that Meredith is well and will complete her series. Topstream seems worried about the rumors about Meredith persuing other projects. GPT is quick is respond that they are just rumors and nothing else.

10:35: The possibllity of Meredith's passing away is very, very important for the online streaming company. GPT's response is an adamant assurance. GPT's main concern is illegal downloads, indeed rightly in this world of internet pirates! The revenues of both companies will benefit from the ban on illegal downloads. GPT emphasizes on how this problem affects both parties. The example of Netflix is put out there. Finally! Netflix to the rescue. Topstream want to tackle piracy head on and GPT agrees.
10:40: The issue with Tedra is up. It is one market to explore. The flexibility of contract is brought up too. GPT is very much positive about the stream-only policy. An exclusive contract, for MCD's broadcast in Tedra, is also being discussed. Tedra's government, and their authoritarian policies, is being discussed now. They are not a helpful bunch clearly! The Tedra Government's issues with fiction and fantasy is the elephant in the room. GPT agrees to providing disclaimers but cannot curb the storyline of MCD. 
10:45: GPT is inquiring from Topstream about the amendment of the clause which provides for the scenes being cut. Topstream emphasizes  these issues need to be discussed more. GPT is quick to adress the issues and point out to the surveys and the numbers involved here. Wow, they are discussing some real money! GPT is proposing a good (huge) amount of money and Topstream is hesitant to spent that much capital for the MCD program and the fifteen new shows. The success rate of MCD is the reason why GPT has quoted a huge amount of money. GPT is willing to negotiate the price but the not too much. Ofcourse, MCD is great show and counsel of GPT informs that Meredith is on board till the end of MCD.
10:50: The others shows are on the table now. GPT points out that the shows show signs of being successful. The parties are trying to reach at a consensus on the money to be invested in MCD. GPT won't accept pennies for their superstar show. GPT points out that Christmas is here and a package deal with 40-45 Millions will be great in totality. Topstream is happy with Meredith's assurance and are willing to shell out top buck for MCD. They are, on the other hand, not so happy about the other shows. they have finnaly reached a consensus.Tthey agree for furthur discussions. Everyone is happy!

Room No. 105 - Team 6 v Team 21

10:19: We're off to a slightly delayed but an enthralling start here. The teaams warmly greet each other. Team 21 plays cleverly by asking the representatives of Topstream as to how many shows they are looking at, to which Topstream replied that they are looking for 5 more shows. Well! It seems the teams have struck gold here, since they are both on the same issue. Neither of the teams plans to let the issue of the number of shows slide easily!

10:28: The negotiation seems to be proceeding well. But there also seems some amount of confusion between the teams. And they have some agreement. Ohh, Wait! Concern raised by Topstream upon the model of 10 shows and MCD in the first year. Seems like GPT does not want to discuss the contractual terms as of now. Wow! Topstream agrees. Concerns of the Tedra government are being put forth by Topstream.

10:35: Parties are having a light moment, and there is some exchange of smiles. Finally! But, this is short lived since the parties do not seem to agree on the editing of the Nudity of the content. GPT shares an idea of having a talk with the Tedra governmant regarding the same. GPT propses before team 6 about the Exit clause, to which the team does not agree. Team 6 emphasizes on having a minimum of three years of contract. Seems like Topstream has its way here! 

10:44: Both the teams are having discussions amongst themselves. Some Serious talk going on here! Wow! Topstream agrees on the exit clause provided they get a surety of the contract. GPT gives an example to make the other team understand of their objective. Money Matters being discussed. 
10:52: Well! There is an agreement on the nudity clause. Team Topstream makes its way. Some issues already discussed are being discussed again, the period of the contract. The parties summarise their discussions. Some statistics now! They are not able to reach on any numbers. No consensus on the same. Well! the judges give them another 1 minute to reach at some numbers. No numbers still. 
11:05: Judges ask one of the teams to stay back for the Q & A Session. It's team 6. Judges question them on the time period they have put forward. Team Topstream answers it smartly. Time for GPT!  Again the judges seem to be not very impressed with the time period put forth. Also, the exit clause does not seem to go well with the judges.

Room No. 201 - Team 23 v Team 7

10:30: The round start with both teams greeting each other. Topstream wants to move to the key terms to which GPT puts forth their issues. First, being the illegal download of the show and second, they want atleast a 5 year contract. Topstream, however, wants to forst look at finer points of the licensing agreement including the issue of investment and confidentiality. 

10:50: They have mutually agreed to an amount for 5 year agreement but Topstream have concerns regarding dearth of story line to which GPT has given the idea of being creative in developing a way for advance series. Topstream raises concerns regarding the success as i depends upon the original storyline but GPT assures them otherwise. Next, they move on to the impact of legal suit on the show to which GPT says the protagonist has apologised and in fact, people are now more interested in the show. But Topstream worries if such thing is to be repeated,  it will hamper their brand image. Hence, they want assurance but GPT wants to firs tknow why it is posing a threat? 

10:57: Now they are moving on to the deal. Topstream wants to move to the issue of censorship. They put forth regulations like no nudity and a running disclaimer in case of aliens shown before it is streamed. GPT thinks they are good at it so they can leave it to the imagination of viewers. Nudity is a prominent part but they have agreed to put disclaimer though not ideal but possible. GPT wants Topstream to negotiate with govt about about the regulations but Topstream suggests it to be done after some time as it is a new government.

11:03: The discussion has now drifted towards the amount of euros that is feasible for both and an amount has been decided mutually. They are also open to the idea of review. They want to have another meeting regarding some other issues like the illegal downloading and the source for mutual interests . So both have agreed MCD will be aired around Christmas. It was a good negotiation for both!

11:11: The judges are asking GPT about their strategy. Their main objective was to gain maximum money out of the deal. They agree that the should not have said the price before although it worked in their favor. Judges felt that that they could have asked for a contract more than five years. Over all they did a good job and turned the deal well in their favor.

Room No. 202 - Team 8 v Team 26

10:18:  Anddd we're off, ladies and gentlemen! Teams begin by greeting each other cordially Topstream sets out the agenda for the negotiaition, and GPT offers their perspective on the same. We've started on a fairly warm note here.

10:25: Team 26 tries to put out any doubts Topstream might have about the fact that the author is yet to finish the MCD book series, and fans of the series fear that she will not live to complete it. Topstream offers a different approach to length of the contract on the basis of Meredith's health but GTP is reluctant to agree to their offer. Do we have our first disagreement?

10:34: Teams are trying to decide the financial aspects of the agreement but the issue on the duration of contract refuses to die down. Topstream trying their level best to get GPT to agree to their offer.  Figures of 30 million pound are being discussed right now. Damn, lots of money in the streaming business! Maybe we should joing that instead of this?

10:42:  Topstream mention how government has publically stated that it will impose restrictions on any fantasy-based characters and nudity shown in any streamed content. Oooh! Things getting interesting here. Still no agreement over what the price and duration of the contract should be. But it's looking good now, since the teams are agreeing on a few issues.

10:57: Into the final strait now with teams hastily trying to agree to a price. Topstream suggesting 30 but GPT standing firm on 20 million pounds. Will someone relent?  And BINGO! W2 have a deal - 25 million pounds it is and the teams shake hands. It looked a little difficult but excellent negotiation skills from both the teams means we finally have a deal.

11:10:  Now it's the time for judges to grill both the teams. GPT going up first. Judges start pointing out the details of their agreement that they couldn't understand. The Judges are now asking the teams to get straight to the point and get into the smaller issues later. It seems as if the teams are being grilled on the details of the agreement or it's lack thereof. 

Room No. 203 - Team 9 v Team 25

10:20: Negotiation begins between Topstream and GPT over rights to stream "Move, Change or Die" (MCD). Both parties seem to be amicable and hope to come to a beneficial agreement. The first topic of issue that GPT chooses to bring up is the controversy surrounding their protagnosit - Simon Frecknell. They reassure Topstream that the scandal will in no way adversely affect the show. In fact, as it turns out, their viewership has gone up since Frecknell punched his guest star Frankie Iron. (Well, we do know that the public loves a good scandal!) The rise in revenues since the controversy seems to impress Topstream. That's one issue put to rest. Another issue to be dealt woth is the author of the MCD novels, and the rumors surrounding the fact that she might not live to complete the novels, consequently, there won't be any stpryline for the show. GPT reassures them, saying they have a skeleton of the story with them.  

10:30: Topstream brings up a 7 year contract to stream MCD but GPT is slightly hesitant. They are worried about the reception they will receive from the conservative country of Tedra. While there are young, unexploited viewers present there, GPT are apprehensive about the conservative population and how they would react to a show with massive elements of fantasy. Topstream counters it with a five year period. After some negotiation, they agree upon a five year contract. Topstream then wishes to move on to the monetary aspects of the show. GPT tries to discuss other issues first, but Topstream shifts the topic back to revenues before discusing other terms of the contract. (Well, money is an important consideration in any contract truly!) 

10:40: The factors affecting the monetary aspects of the contract include critics' reveiws. Both parties are hesitant about the reception of critics in Tedra. They move on to the issue surrounding the illegal downloading of shows online, and Topstream assures that they have strict measures to prevent illegal downloading of shows from their website. The next issue they need to cover is the topic of censorship. GPT feels censoring certain parts will affect the show itself. Topstream offers to pixellate all nudity in the show, and they come to an agreement to put a disclaimer for scenes containing fantasy characters. Topstream moves back to the continegncy of the author's death. They think the shock from her death will affect the viewership. GPT offers to put in a monetary compensation in case the viewrship of the show is affected. The contract agreed upon is for $30 million. After consultng with their client, Topsteam agrees to it. GPT also offers a contract for other shows they have, including one filmed in Tedra. Topstream finds this agreeable. 

10:50: GPT has an issue with Topstream having exclusive rights to stream MCD. They have contracts with other streaming companies. After some negotiating, they agree to exclusive rights for 3 years, instead of the 5 years of the contract and agree to meet up again in 3 years to decide further. Topstream redirects the topic to rates and monetary aspects. (They're a little hung up on that aspect, to be honest.) The parties discuss rates for MCD, and with it 15 other shows that the two parties have decided to include into the contract. With that issue resolved, they move on to contingencies, including how the rates will be affected by events like the author's death, et cetera. As they round up their negotiations, Topstream once again assures GPT of their committment to the show and the two parties come to a mutually amicable agreement.

11:00: The judges were impressed by negotiations. They interrogate Topstream about their previous plans. Topstream admits that they had initially planned for a 3 year contract, but GPT's reassurance  skeleton placated them and they went ahead with the 5 year contract. Another issue that the judges had is that Topstream could have pushed for greater compensation upon the author's death, or could have pushed for compensation in a scenario where the author was no longer in a position to write. Judges have an issue with pixelating, an issue that wasn't properly discussed in the negotiation; and something that judges feel would not necessarily be agreed upon by a conservative country like Tedra. However, all issues aside, judges were happy with their replies. 

11:15: Judges speak with GPT. They rehash the terms of negotiations. GPT mentions how they did not want any censorship, and feel that they agreed upon pixalation very easily. They mention that the 40 minutes allotted for the negotiation was a little less ("Rather like Masterchef," the judge pipes in.) and they made hasty decisions because of it. GPT also isn't sure about the monetary aspects of the contract, but came to an agreement because it was 'a sticking point' for Topstream. The judges found the team to be very gullible, easily agreeing to the points put forward by Topstream. They also didn't like that the parties had settled upon rates before discussing other issues of the contract. Another issue the judges have is bringing in outside matter into the negotiations, including lacking the right to stream other movies. (It's a topic that all parties involved are clueless about...) The judges move the topic back to pixaltion and whether absolute censorship, i.e., scenes being cut will affect the deal. GPT says it would. In the end, judges are happy woth the negotiations and with the responses. 

Room No. 205 - Team 11 v Team 27

10:18: We're off to a slightly delayed, but interesting, start here. The associates from both the teams are on a very interesting discussion. Licensing content is the main concern for the Topstream! The liveblogging team strongly believes that this is going to be some real intense session today. Topstream is here addressing issues concerning censorship, court case & what-not under the sun. They seem to be very well prepared! Just 4 minutes down, and we already have goosebumps!

10:30: Terms of old relationships have finally found a place & according to me, this deal shall bank upon the past relations. GPT raises the issue that there material is of utmost value as it is their own property & any kind of illegal downloading will not be tolerated. So measures & terms relating checking the illegal downloads is the first gauntlet thrown by these TV people. Topstream is here concerned regarding there brand image as they know, the nascent age of Tedra. People haven't been exposed to content of Topstream & hence, a brand image is of extreme value! 

10:40: Second issue is on the table, the most important, CENSORSHIP! Tedra being a socially conservative country and hence, the nudity issue raised by Topstream is of genuine concern. Obscene & objectionable scenes are to be censored which is a demand put forth by the broadcasters. Topstream have managed to achieve some levy but if they go ahead by censoring the nude scenes & objectionable scenes, it would be difficult for the audience to follow the story-line. This seems to be a genuine concern but GPT, can you really ask these people to add the disclaimer part to the show? The Topstreams are really miffed off by this proposal!

10:44: I think, these GPT people have a barrage of ideas to make things happen their way. They have come up with the idea of pixelation of nude scenes & meet all the parties of the Tedra government so as to explain their genuine concerns. Another arena which they could resort to is first screen the nude scenes to a particular group & then move ahead with the final airing of the season.

10:50: Third issue which is put forth is the illegal download issue. This is perhaps the main issue that would perturb the broadcasters. Tedra government is extremely concerned about their young generation as to their values are not ruined by airing the seasons. Intellectual Property Rights find a mention once again. GPT has put forth an idea where they can code the original version and whenever a person tries to illegally download the version from proxy-servers or other illegal methods, the virus would creep in and disrupt the entire serial. Wow, these are sime harcore techies here!  The Topstreams are amenable to this idea but they have solicited certain time to consult their tech-team. Nice move guys.

Room No. 301-B - Team 12 v Team 29

10:30: GPT shoots a barrage of questions about capabilities of Topstream in its existing market areas, right after Topstream finishes off a boasting session about their market share in the European and American streaming markets. Topstream does accept (finally!) that they've made mistakes in the past, but goes on to say that the Tedra markets shall be a hopeful investment.

10:37: GPT Studios rants about problems with their incomplete storyline of the hit fantasy series "MCD", and also about their problem of illegal downloading, and Topstream helps them by adding more worries! They point out how the author of MCD is dying, and how the storyline might always be left incomplete, but GPT does not simply accept that fact! And now the demands of both sides begin...

10:46: So finally cards start falling on the table! Topstream demands exclusive rights to MCD and other shows of GPT, and also the discretion to decide the airing schedule in Tedra. GPT on the other hand wants special features for GPT shows on Topstream, including "download and watch later" feature and that GPT shows be watched more regularly. Topstream accepts it all.
10:53: And now the haggling starts: GPT wants a 5 years contract period at a normal price, or 7 years at a lower price. Topstream wants to give 3 years at the maximum. And the prices are unbelievably disagreeable (is that even a phrase?)! While Topstream offered 15 million pounds for MCD and a library of other shows that GPT airs, GPT quotes the price at 40 million just for MCD! Forget page, these teams aren't even reading the same book!
10:59: GPT wants to stick to its initial price, but Topstream asks "What if the author, Benson, dies?" GPT offers a 20% reduction in fee per year if the author dies, and proposes that the parties sit together every year to decide a future course. While Topstream wants a greater reduction in fees seeing the risk involved, GPT says that they have confidential information that the show shall continue, and it can sit with Benson to decide a future course. But Topstream wants to go on with the price negotiation, and after quite a few revisions, SOLD! AT 33 MILLION POUNDS! (per year, that is)

Room No. 506 - Team 13 v Team 21

10:25: So here we go, slightly behind the schedule. Team 28 (representing GPT) has just put 60 million and a contract for 7 years on the table but team 13 are clearly not ready to invest that great an amount of money! Wow, that was a hefty start. 

10:43 Team 28 provides an assurance that the protagonist of the show has agreed to settle case privately and for a public apology. Team 13 replies with a not-so-satisfied smile. Team 13 proposes to remove nudity and a banner whenever an alien appear on the show. But looks like team 28 have a counter proposal on the issue! However, Team 13 maintain their concern regarding the nudity.

10:55: Team 28 show their concern egarding the sliding payment method. Team 13 understand their concern, and agree to propose same payment throughout the years! Things are getting to heated up in negotiation, and due to paucity of time each team is shooting their proposal in the last few second!

11:11: Question and answers starts! Judges don't think negotiations were complete and questions the strategy of delaying some issues. Judges try to question the strategy but it looks like they were able to defense their line.

11:20: Judges starts to start questioning the strategy of team 28 for not clubbing the deals together. Teammates responded by looking at each other, however, ultimately answered the question.

Room No. 515 - Team 15 v Team 31

10:27: We have the Team 15 representing Topstream plc and Team 31 representing GPT. The teams get down to the agenda after exchanging lukewarm (and slightly elongated) pleasantries. Maybe this is the sound of the silence before the storm!

10:35: Team 15 pushes for exclusive right for streaming MCD, trying to address various valid apprehensions of Team 31 along ranging from nudity on screen to disclaimer for fictitious characters. Topstream makes an effort to dry home the point of intertwined interests of both the parties. 

10:43: Negotiations continue in gravitas mode with all the technical aspects of the contract being dealt with both the teams. Concerns over future contractual relationship seems to have become a hot potato, given the uncertainty surrounding Meredith Benson penning down the upcoming books in the series.

10:55: No negotiations are complete without teams gruelling upon the finances! The payment model failed to gain the dominant narrative due to the differences. Topstream seem to have actually come to an agreement with GPT with respect to revenue sharing and marketing! Unbelievable!  

11:04: With time running out, representatives realise there are many issues that still need to be discussed for this partnership to see the light of the day. Meeting scheduled for the next week.

11:18: The judges now question the representative of GPT on their modus operandi. The team tries to convince the judges with their key strategies, while the judges are of the opinion that they under-sold their product. 

11:40: The judges now question the representative of Topstream on some of the assumptions they carried forward while negotiating. The judges are convinced that the representatives have done their homework!

Room No. 518 - Team 16 v Team 32

10:25: Both teams start off in a very amicable and cordial manner. And both appreciate the fact that they both have a lot to gain by working together in the new market. Top stream start off by putting the censorship issue on the forefront by infomring GPT that some things like  fantasy based characters might need to be censored. GPT seem to be fine with the idea as long as they have the final editing rights. Top stream also have reservations about the law suit regarding the protagonist of MCD. GPT tell them to not worry about the same, and they will sort the issue at their end.

10:40: Topstream have a lot of reservations on the health of the author of the book on which the show MCD is based. They are asking for a exit clause in the contract if something happens to the authors. GPT tell them that the health of the author doesn't affect the quality of show because they just take the idea from the book and it is their script writers who really write the show. Topstream is still insisting on an exit clause but GPT are only willing to give them a discount if the author dies and if that turn leads to a fall in ratings for the show. This issue is really becoming a sticking point in the negotiations!

10:47: Now the negotiations have turned to the length of the contract and the number of shows apart from MCD which Topstream want the rights over. Topstream are asking GPT to give them a contract of 9 other shows apart from MCD for a period not three years. And a lot of big numbers have started flying inside the negotiation room regarding how much Topstream should pay GPT for  each of the show. Money, Money, Money!

Meeting Room - Team 14 v Team 30

10:26: So the round finally begins with jolly greetings. The discussion of agenda begins with some points being brought up by Team 14 who talk about the fight of the protagonist of MCD, Tedra's goverment and of course, terms of the final agreement. The most important thing, as Topstream pointed out, is to get a license. The CEO of Topstream quickly answers GPT's question on what they wish to achieve from this agreement. GPT finally bring about the issue of illegal downloading, but as it turns out that isn't the first issue topstream want to discuss. Topstream is apparently interested in the fight between Simon and Iron, well, we all like talking about celebrities. There will be a next press conference where both the celebrities will resolve their issues. Well, that is a good sign! Both the teams look happy with this celebrity fight ending soon.

10:31: Now we come to another issue, the Tedra government. Teams agree on the importance of the country, with its emerging markets. Topstream says that they have been on continuous dialogue with the government, communication is the true spirit. Nudity is one of the restrictions placed by the Tedra government, and to tackle all issue, the teams are discussing a lot from blurring of nudity to disclaimers. 

10:37:  GPT is now elaborating on why they are so excited to work with topstream. We all love hearing our praise, don't we? The teams quickly address a pressing issue - illegal downloads. Topstream seems fairly confident in admitting that illegal downloads shall not be an issue in Tedra. At least, that's off the list of problems. 

10:42: Monitoring piracy and third party regulations are some solutions to prevent any and all possible illegal downloads. Here comes a tricky and interesting question - has topstream contacted anyone except GPT? And the answer is no. And here comes another one, GPT wants to know if Topstream has had similar past agreements. We don't have much time to waste after all. 

10:46: We surely were missing Meredith's name and it is finally here. The teams can't for obvious reasons move forward, without talking about the availability of content. GPT has now forwarded three written points that they want to address. Topstream claims to have heard reports about Meredith not living long enough to complete the writing, and oh! GPT has not heard about this before, and they assure the show will have its contents.

10:54: Topstream has two proposals for the model of agreement that should be followed. Topstream wants to ensure quality for a specific number of years. This is indeed going a long way as both teams try to reach an agreement on the number of years. Where topstreams suggests 3 years while GPT simultaneously suggests 5 years, we can only hope to see an agreement soon. 40 million pounds per year for the first three years is what GPT put on the table but they don't hesitate in mentioning that they take the number down if the years are increased. 

11:02: There are continued negotiations on the pounds that will fly around, we are talking in big numbers here! Looks like years and money are entangled here and we don't see an agreement coming our way. 

11:04: So here comes the slightly disappointing part of the end, the teams did not reach an agreement. Well, let's save some negotiations for later then! 

And with that, folks, we have come to an end of the first preliminary round! As the teams and judges savour their lunch, we shall be back soon with the seoncd preliminary round of the day! 


Room 202 - Team 8 v Team 26

14:00: The referee blows the whistle and off we go . Both teams exchange pleasantries, allay any doubts the other party might have and get right down to business.

14:05: The round seems to be proceeding well. Both parties have been impressive and every strategy has been dealt with smoothly so far. Parties discussing how much the initial investment should be in their joint venture.  Rickety Martin a little hesitant in agreeing to Space Rex's offer of an initial investment of 60 million pounds but Space Rex are constantly giving good arguments to convince them.

14:18: Discussion on the board structure of the JV going on between teams. Space Rex have been in good form in this round and continuing their good momentum , suggest the structure of board and hope to  convince Rickety Martin regarding that issue.  But persuading Rickety Martin is not that simple and we have our first major disagreement here !

14:27:  Shots fired here! Space Rex asking Rickety Martin to be a little reasonable or they will have serious doubts about starting this joint venture. Rickety calms them down and rightly states how no party would prefer a deadlock. Discussions ongoing but watch this space here !

14:32: Space Rex now , understandably , raising concerns about safeguarding its intellectual property.  The Munraya contoversy again raising its heads but Rickety Martin have smartly steered clear of that issue. Watching this negotiation has proved that deciding board structure is more difficult than sitting through a 30 second Youtube ad.
14:39: PING! There goes the bell and the round ends. The teams have performed reasonably well and have managed to come to an amicable agreement. Judges asking the teams to briefly state the details of their agreement.  Judges grilling the teams a bit more regarding the investment of 300 million pounds,  A great round and this'll be a little difficult for the judges to decide.
14:46: Teams decide who will be questioned first by a classic game of Stone , Paper Scissor and everyone has a nice laugh. Rickety Martin first up. Judges complement Team 25 for getting the better end of the deal and also getting the position of CEO. Judges grilling Rickety for not pushing Space Rex on certain issues but Rickety responding well and I feel they've held their end well.
14:51 - Next up is Space Rex and the kind of form the judges have been in , they better watch out. Judges questioning the team on why they were so insistent on getting a 200 million pound investment but also praising them for managing to secure more investment than they actually planned.  The judges asking for Space Rex's reasoning behind not going for the CEO position. Team 8 also answering well. This has been a very interesting round, indeed!

Room 103 - Team 3 v Team 28 

13:59: The teams begin by shaking hands and look enthusiastic. Team 28 putforth their agendas. Their counsel straigthaway declares that 120 million pounds is the cap of their investment. Both the teams are very articulate and well mannered. 

14:04: Client of Team 3 stumbles on a point but their counsel takes the charge and proposes that they want to know the initial investment. Team 28 cleverly tell them that there has been a unstable financial flow in the space rex and hence they want to supervise the finance section by having their CEO. It seems like ball is in their court. HURRAY!

14:13: Team 28 seems to have too many point to make in this negotiation. They did not let Team 3 speak for sometime. They haggle on the total estimated investment. 150 million did not seem viable to TEAM 28. Lots and Lots of haggling is being done on the same. None of the parties seem to budge.

14:24: Both the parties now focus on Financial structure. Sadly! nothing concrete seems to have been concluded. Rickety Martn proposes to Space rex a time period of 5 years within which they must finish making FANG since to them these 4 years are very crucial and only these will make FANG financially viable. They propose that if the project does not finish within 5 years they will buy more shares of space rex and will not comply with the 50-50 joint Venture. Team 3 responds to this by saying that they also want to speed up their FANG project and hence need funds. But they cannot say whether it is possible within 5 years or not. 

14:30: The next issue on table is intellectual property. Counsel of Rickety martin seems eager to reach an agreement.  Everyone seems to be happy as they reach an agreement on intellectual property which will be used exclusively by the two parties and JVC. Rickety Martin desperately wants to become incharge of the finances. They putforth the structure of having equal numbers of board of directors from both the parties. The issue on the table now shifts to development of the technology and both the parties sadly accept the fact that if the technology does not develop there will be no meaning of the whole agreement. They again jump on to the time issue, Team 28  makes it clear they are looking forward to 4 year agreement and explicitly mentions that they are not even ready for 4 and a half or 5. 

14:45:  Both the parties have been dealing with the issues very smoothly so far.  The negotiation ends with both the teams discussing the minutes of the negotiation done so far. Round 2 ends here. CHEERS.

Q/A for Team 3
14:51: Judges appreciate the team.Judges question the team as to why did they allow the other party to share the intellectual property. The first question itself make the team look so nervous. They were not able to answer this one. The grinning faces change into disappointed ones.The next question pops up again about as to why they did not use the Intellectual property for negotiation and kept themselves busy dealing with time which does not seem so relevant to the judges. The answer did not seem to impress the judges.

Judges question them as to why they did not discuss about affirmative right and veto powers? Team 3 seems to be in deep water.

Room 102 - Team 2 v Team 31

13:59: It was an amicable start and both the parties are upfront and straightforward about the MoU. Rickety Martin in the very beginning cleared the rumours floating around in the market. Space Rex discussed diverse issues that they seek to address and negotiate about.

14:15: They say "Honesty is the best policy", Space Rex has taken this very seriously by admitting that their prototype is at a standstill. However, they propose an MoU of 6-7 years. Space Rex seems to be clueless about the deadline of its completion, where we see our first conflict. Rickety Martin stresses on 4 years. They meet mid-way, with a JV of 5 years. Next, both the parties try to decide the amount Rickety Martin is willing to invest and reach at a mutual consensus of $500 million over 5 years.

14:23: Rickety Martin takes control of the negotiation and tries to steer the JV into provision of assistance in fields like manpower and other resources. They seek to include training in the deal as well to which Space Rex agrees. Space Rex continuously asserts the experience it possesses in this sector and tries to overpower the other party because Rickety Martin is still budding.

14:34: Well, well. Seems like Space Rex has trust issues. They are very particular about the protection of their confidentiality. While discussing about the composition of the Board of Directors, they seem to retain their complete control in the firm. 
While Rickety Martin showcases amity and tries to venture out into discussions about supply of raw materials and resources, Space Rex shows resistance in indulging into this and decide to jump back into re-discussing finance. Things are heating up. 

14:40: Looks like the deal on the table will stay there a little more longer as they still can't come on a compromise. Rickety Martin would like a 50/50 share, but Space Rex doesn't look too happy about it. 
However, they agree on meeting at a later time and Rickety Martin would like to frame a "confidentiality agreement" emphasising (or taunting) on the protection of privacy.

14:53: The judges then went on to a one-on-one question round with each team. The questions thrown at them rattled Space Rex and forced them to contemplate about their terms and conditions again. 
While questioning Rickety Martin, the judges cleared a demarcation between the role of a counsel and the client. They revealed their strategy of the MoU, which the judges appreciate, but positively criticised.

The technicality and the frequency of questions did intimidate the teams a little bit, but both of them were very calm and maintained their composure. 

Room 104- Team 4 vs Team 30 

14:05: The teams are enthusiastic and great each other when introducing themselves. The teams state the benefits that the JV can bring to both the teams. Counsel for Space Rex jumps straight into the Munraya affair. Space Rex is clear about the position of it's R&D and the financial position of Rickety Martin but they do not hesitate in asking questions head on.

14:10: Space Rex is adamant to know as to what extent does Rickety Martin want to be involved in the company as the FANGS mission Space Rex involves intellectual property.

Space Rex is more careful towards the JVC and the Rickety Martin has it's focus on the financial viability is apparent. Rickety Martin's counsel and client are inquiring about the assurance that Space Rex can give them in terms of the success of FANGS. Rickety Martin's client, Space Rex just wants to get the project off the ground. They point out the need for a huge amount of investment. RM's quick response is a an inflow of cash in equal amounts as the success of R&D innovations in hard to predict. They are discussing some Gold numbers for investment. The future of Space Rex is going to be bright.

14:18: The parties are discussing the number of Board Members and more importantly the the Chief officials. The room has just gotten serious. The parties agree to resort to a compulsory arbitration for this issue. This seems to be a great idea pitched by the RM negotiators and it is well received on the table. Space Rex is concerned with keeping the identity of the company and RM's counsel and client agree as they wish to work with a seasoned player which is also recognizable and holds a good position in the market.

14:25: The Joint venture company is being discussed and the table is in deep discussion as to Rickety Martin would like to invest in the Joint Venture Company. Space Rex does not want to split the company and they apoint out that FANGS and Space Ex is a baby whom nobody would not want to split.

Rickety Martin puts out the lucrative opportunity for Space Rex by stating that they have very innovative technology which could be of great use for the R&D of FANGS. The parties are discussing the supply obligation for FANGS. Space Rex want to discuss on more investment for the purpose of increasing innovation suggested by Rickety Martin. The parties are cautious about the wording of the negotiation.
14:30: Initial invest is the issue. It just won't resolve. Do the parties want to talk about it today? Yes they do. But the parties quickly move ahead to discuss the issue of heading of chair. The parties amicably discuss different ideas one being splitting the duration in half. Space Rex points out that it should be the one heading the first half of the duration as FANGS is the brain child of Space Rex and they have been working for the innovation in space flight. RM is not very keen on the idea and paucity of time puts the issue out for the next meeting. The parties directly go back to the numbers. Isn't that why people do business? Space Rex asks for huge sums in addition to subsequent installments. RM want to stick to the original offer of 150 Million and the teams agree to discussing it further. The negotiation just ended with equal enthusiast as it began
14:45: The Questions of the judges: The judge asks about the strategy regarding the IPR protection of the Space Rex technology. Judges point out that Space Rex did not even bring up the topic of R&D innovation Intellectual Property Rights. The issue was just dusted under the rug. Space Rex are asked why did they not present a strong leverage on the other party for the 50/50 JV. The judges aptly pointed out the main issues which revolve around IP and the non binding nature of the MoU. Financing, anti dilution, IP were some issues pointed out by the Judges which the parties should have discussed in deep before reaching to a conclusion in negotiating. Disclosure of the deed was also not discussed. The Judges are not easy on the teams! But it was great learning for Space Rex.
14:58: Rickety Martin are told that the other party got a sweet deal out of them. The judges asked as to why RM agreed to give huge sums to a company which won't even provide their IP to them. RM was asked about the Board Management and appointment of CEO. The Board is really the boss over the CEO here. Judges are asking simple questions. Critical matters like this were not discussed upon. Why? A 50/50 JV is the most difficult merger state and where does the RM think it came out? Rickety Martin pointed out that the financial details missed by the other party and provided for how they believed in the agreement in Good Faith. The judges pointed out that the party gave the money too easily and that the other party could have been kept on it's toes for a better deal for Rickety Martin. The party should have tried and driven the negotiation. RM is the team bringing in the money and they have a higher stand as they are important for Space Rex. The judges here sure are very knowledgeable and the negotiation was great information for the teams and the blogger.

Room 515- Team 15 v Team 18

14:09: We have the Team 15 representing Space Rex and Team 18 representing Rickety Martin. Team 15 takes the lead and both the teams set out the agenda for the round.  

14:15: The issue of bad publicity garnered by Rickety Martin with respect to Munraya is brought to the forefront by the representatives of Space Rex, suggesting an interim agreement before getting into a full fledges Joint Venture. Trying to turn things to their advantage, team 18 addresses the apprehensions with a very positive and receptive attitude. 

14:22: The proposal of an interim agreement and the suggestion of opening an escrow account for the time being, has not gone down well with Team 18. It has opened a pandora box, many questions remain unanswered!

14:31: The teams have agreed to defer the narrative on the interim agreement for a while, sensing no middle ground. 

Aaand now we go down to the financing. Both the teams have different estimates and expectations, this is going to be fun!
14:39: Representatives of Rickety Martin has put a new proposal of supplying light weight cutting-edge material at concessional rate that has taken the other team by surprise! Team 15 in a right spirit tried to synchronize their apprehensions and the potential of this proposal.
14:37: Both the teams have agreed to meet after a week for further negotiations. 
15:03: The judges grill both teams on their team strategies and the structure in which they operated during the course of the negotiation. Both the team fail to address the key issues raised by the judges which did NOT go down well with the judge. Ooops.

Room 105 - Team 6 v Team 27

13:57: The representatives of both the teams warmly greet each other and the negotiations start on a pleasant note.Team 6 starts discussing the agenda. Team 27 puts forth its idea of investment upto 60 million pounds. Well, the teams are calm and composed.

14:09:  Twelve minutes into the competition and the teams go into the main details of the issue. Wow! Money being discussed. Disparity regarding the initial investment. Team 6 looking for 350 million pounds in next five year. Expecting team 27 to invest 150 million in the first year.  The round seems to be proceeding well. 

14:15: Well, the parties are deciding the financial aspects of the investment. Team 27 does not seem to agree to the figure of 150 million pounds as the initial investment. Two minutes time taken by team 27 to decide amongst themselves. . Both the parties understand the necessity of the initial investment. Aaaand team 6 has its way. Team 27 agrees to the figure of investment. The issue of the duration of the contract refuses to slide away. 

14:21: Team 6 plays cleverly and asks team 27 to have a breach clause in the agreement in case of any future losses. Shrewed move, I must say! Team 27 is no less. Puts forward the idea of having the ownership in the intellectual property rights. Does not seem to go well team 6. WOAH.. two minutes discussion time taken by team 6 as well. After the following discussion, they decide not to assign the ownership rights.

14:30: Team 27 agrees to allowing team 6 to have its CEO. That sounds good. Time for sum up. Parties decide to have an arbitration clause in the agreement in case of any future problems. Although, they were going to be done before the time, they decided to continue after looking at the clock. The parties agree on the investment of total 450 million pounds that includes the initial as well as the subsequent investment. Finally there is a consensus.

14:58: Time for the most interesting part of the session, the Q & A Session with team 6. The judge asks the team if they are satisfied with the points they have put forth before the opposing team. The judge also questions the team as why they did not ask for the deadlock. Argument on the same between the judges and the team.

Its team 27 now. The judges ask them about the deal they are actually offering. Also, the judges question as to why did they not decide the procedure to be followed in the court. The judges appreciate their efforts in the end. 

Room MCH - Team 1 v Team 32

14:00: So the negotiation begins with the pleasant note. The members of the team greeted each other following introduction. They are looking cheerful but nervousness can be easily captured from their facial expressions. Somehow the teams manage to overcome it. Team 1 starts with the agenda and are concern about their reputation.

14:13: The representatives of team 1 were worried about their IT protection, to which Rickety Martin assures them that their reputaion would not be affected at any cost. They assures them of IT protection and want to have a long relationship with them. Team 32 asks them about their contribution on JV. Team 1 replied in positive and agrees to put their contribution on JV. The amount contributed by team 1 would be converted into equity so that their shareholding could not be disturbed.  
14:28: they start talk about future financing. team 32 mentions that it is not better to have third party financing and started mentioning about the risks associated with it. Team 1 buried this issue and change the topic, stated to discuss it latter. it was seen that team 1 have a upper hand during the negotiation. now the issue was with the respect to the members of the JV board. team 1 was looking for 11 members but team 32 states that 5 members would be feasible. the teams had a long discussion over this issue, however it was futile. There was no consensus over it. 
14:39: Suddenly a good news arrived for the teams. The respected judges decided to provide them 15 minutes extra time for negotiation. hearing this the teams were happy and they grab such opportunity. there was going on long discussion between the teams pertaining to the investment. Again and again team 32 was trying to insist the other team to eliminate their idea of third party investment, but team 1  was adamant.
14:52:  it was observed that team 32 was clever.Touching every nook and corner to make its demands fulfil. they know how to tackle the problem. so some of the issues were resolved but some not. judges again give them 5 more minutes to conclude their points. the parties decides to arrange for the next meeting. so the negotiations ends here.

Room 205 - Team 29 v Team 11

14:00: We're exactly on time and see an interesting start here. The associates from both the teams are on a very interesting discussion. The Board appreciates the position of Space Rex in the market and congratulates them for their hard earned position. Here comes the Space Rex & explains the objectives of their company & propose for a joint venture. Reputation, as seen these days, has become a very big concern and it should be. "The situation in Munraya is grave as embargoes upon the country violate the international sanctions & rights, What steps can be taken ?", etc. are other issues put forth by the Space Rex. "Rickety Martin has water-tight control over shipping of products & however the arms turned up in Munraya has no link with these people", how subtle & smart these people are. There have been certain production challenges faced by The Board which stalled their further growth.

14:18: Coming to the second issue of Investment, the Space Rex propose an investment of 500mn Pounds and propose to sped 150mn in first three years & the remaining in the coming 5 years. The Martins are not very much amenable to this proposal & say that they don't have any sufficient purchases for the first year. They persuade the Space guys for a slightly lesser figure & assure that the whole sum would com from the Martins only. And here comes the real business ! The Spaceys are adamant on 150mn for the first year stating the fact that they want to invest and inject more and more for the development of the FANGS. The Board wants to ask about the current status quo of the FANGS, if it has been stalled or started or whatever. In response to this, a cool-cut reply from the Rex has stolen the show. "This sum is imperative for the first year & the rest can be decided as to how the rest sum could be disbursed." :). The Martins talk about the 50:50 split in the JVC & inquire regarding the equity status they may get. Oh ! Why these people are prevaricating from the real question ?

14:30: The Space Rex want to expand their areas and want to develop FANGS beyond an aerospace launch system. These people are shrewd enough to get the Board to their terms, as they ask about the "knowledge" of the Martins about the development and advancement of their idea. The Martins want to explore the other ideas before investing/injecting the first installment of 150mn. They also want to discuss about the use of FANGS in the future. 50:50 split issue floats up once again ! The Martins propose to two non-executive propositions on the JVC Board & wow ! The Rex are amenable to it. The first ray of sunshine finally hits this negotiation table. They propose to give the CEO position to the member of Space Rex company, keeping in mind the reputation and value of their company. The Martins propose that the post of the Chief operating Officer would be a post of their man. Ah! Here I encounter the first instance of a true quid pro quo idea. But, once again the situation is not favorable ! "The COO has to be of the Space Rex", raised by the Counsel and befitting reply was enough to justify the stand of the Martins. Justifying that having COO of their company would energize and give a new edge to the project, they finally make the opponents agree to their demands. Good Move the Martins ! You will have to hasten this negotiation in order to escape this situation heading towards a stalemate <3
14:35: The deadlock issue is now on the board. The Space Rex propose various suggestions such as appointing arbitrator or resolving among themselves. Also, they propose to appoint a 7 member or an odd member committee to look into the issue of deadlock situation. 
14:40: Ahan ! The Chairman may get even the veto power & the position of Chairman may only go to the Martins only when the Martins agree to decline the position of the COO. Both the companies are now amenable to appoint a third party chairperson. Neither of the sides in this case gets to have a levity. The Martins propose tot take over the Space Rex where the latter differ stating that their prior concern is to complete the FANGS as that this their foremost commercial concern. Great move Space Rexs'. Finally, this deal heads towards where the CFO going to the Rex and the actual capital investment is still the bone of contention. The companies are amenable to 500mn figure in total for a total period of 5 years. Coming to the 150mn deal issue, it still hangs in the air and is left to be discussed on the next meet. At last, the Martins propose an instant cash injection the JVC. "Next Week", they say to discuss about the remaining and unanswered issues. This brings this negotiation deal to an end. What a bargain people. The judges look happy while nodding their heads as a mark of affirmation.
14:45: The judges are bringing in the Rickety Martin guys for the Q&As. Let us watch how much pressure will they be able to bear with. The judges are damn serious. Tough time to come. They are praising them for being articulate and ask if they were satisfied regarding the deal. The first question is, why these people want the CEO and COO ? The answer is that they may be able to command and make them work better. Strategically, they want to place themselves in a superior bargaining position. They want to have a check on the funds as the total injection is by the Martins. The second question is, why did they allow a sum of 500mn investment in the JVC as the Martins are only a 50:50 partners and the judge sees no benefit for the Martins over the next 5 years as all the fruition would come after 4 years after the completion of the FANGS. Their answer is amazing. That 500mn will be in the form of equity as well as debts. The judges are supremely happy over the conditions put forth by in case of the deadlock and the way, Martins proposed it to the Rex. And her we wrap up the first Q&A session which was extremely lauded by the judges. Let us see, what the Space Rex has in their store-house. 
15:00: The judges are bringing in the Space Rex guys for the Q&As. Let us watch how much pressure will they be able to bear with. The judges are damn serious. Tough time to come. They are praising them for being articulate and ask if they were satisfied regarding the deal. They also appreciate that no hostilities & a willingness to accept the conditions put forth. First, the judge asks why aren't they ready for the CFO & the COO. The company responds that in their agreement, they want to have a control & check at their daily production activity. Second, why they sought 500mn pounds & when they required only 450mn ? The answer is very glib that in case they may run out of the funds as the need be, they went for a higher level while demanding money. Third, the agreement on technology transfer has to be signed as an MoU. The party feels that inserting a clause under the JV would kick-off a good deal of technology transfer concernsAgain, a mark of acceptance & appraisal is visible from the judges. Hence, this brings the negotiations for the day 1 to an end. The preliminary rounds are over and this intensifies the situation for tomorrow. Keeping in mind the intensity of the competition offered from both the teams, the judge are thrown into a situation of dilemma as to what should be done while marking the teams. Let us wait & see how the results are for the day one.
Room 203 - Team 9 v Team 24

14:00: Negotiation between Space Rex and Rickety Martin begins after discussing the confidentiality of the negotiation. The biggest concern for Space Rex right now is the matter of Rickety Martin weapons being found among rebel groups. Rickety Martin assures that there had been no export of any weapons to rebel groups on their part, and would like to take the allegation out of negotiations. However, This remains a matter of concern for Space Rex, who wish for a termination of contract and punitive damages should those allegations be proven true. Rickety Martin wants them to do either one of them.

14:10: Space Rex moves on to discussing the control of the company, appointments of CEO, CFO etc. and the daily functioning of the company. They also want to have authority over deciding who their customers are, and whom their name is associated with. However, Rickety Martin first wants assurance that there are enough buyers for the product FANGS, since it is a huge investment project on their part. They also want to be able to go trough the list of buyers and jointly choose the buyers. Space Rex refuses to disclose customers until there is an MoU. They move on to negotiations about transfer of intellectual property, which is causing some tensions between the two parties.    

14:20: Discussions still revolve around the transfer of intellectual property. Space Rex claims to have the background in intellectual property and therefore claim the intellectual property rights. Rickety Martin, however, wants it to be under the joint venture, since they are bringing in the investment. They seem to be saying the same points again and again. Intellectual property remains a point of contention. Rickety Martin doesn't want it to be a one way investment.
14:30: Rickety Martin doesn't seem to understand what Space Rex is proposing. As things get heated in the room, Space Rex artfully shifts the conversation back to the allegations levelled on Rickety Martin, claiming their primary issue is the possible damage to their reputation. But then Rickety Martin once again bring up the license for intellectual property up. This is becoming a tennis match as the two parties go back and forth between the two issues. Space Rex brings up a contingency agreement, since they dont want to dilute their share holding. Rickety Martin suggests no dilution of shares for five years, which is the default period, as Space Rex claims that FANGS would be developed in these five years. The negotiation finally seems to be going in a proper direction as both parties discuss the monetary aspect of their contract. Yet, despite finding some common ground, the parties find it hard to come to an agreement. Parties temporarily agree upon 120 million Pounds of investment, and agree upon a joint ownership of intellectual property. Space Rex also wants to implement a non compete clause for two years. Negotiations end with an agreement to get together again to discuss the MoU further.  
14:45: Judges criticise the method of negotiation on the part of Space Rex. According to them, the non compete clause should have been there irrespective of the agreement on the joint ownership of intellectual property. They suggest focusing on the more important issues first, not the trivial details.  
14:55: Rickety Martin admits that they could have done better, especially since the negotiation seemed to be stuck on two points. The judges didn't particularly find their arguments convincing, and their reply to this wasn't convincing either. Rickety Martin admits that they would have agreed to any contract as long s they had direct control, which was the very first issue of contention.
Room 301B - Team 12 v Team 21

14:09: Space Rex agrees that FANGS would be a part of the Joint Venture for as long as the contract subsists. Apparently, the only demand they have is finance, with a minor request to accommodate a just Board of Directors. Rickety Martin stands confused as to what to ask now!

14:20: When you reject the hand that offers help! Rickety Martin offers suplies and technical support from its Materials Division, and SpaceRex (not so) politely refuses. Heavy negotiations and persuasions pursue from the side of Rickety Martin, but SpaceRex refuses to budge. Apparently they're just interested in the money.

14:27: Finally both sides realise that there is no point arguing about where the materials are supplied from, and they can have the Joint Ventures Engineers to assess it. Now that one issue is resolved, the next roadblock arrives. "When shall the FANGS be commercially deployable?" Ask Rickety Martin. "We don't know really" says Space Rex, "all we need right now is money".

14:35: Now the tables have turned. As soon as SpaceRex quoted the amount it required (500 million pounds that is, by the way), Rickety Martin suddenly lost the enthusiasm it had in the venture. Now it's SpaceRex trying to convince the financers the viability of their project. SpaceRex says it's completely justified, while RM outrightly denies it. Let's see how it goes!

Room 204 - Team 23 v Team 10

14:00: We start off in a very businesslike manner, as Space Ex lays down the agenda, primarily that of confidentiality and non-disclosure of intellectual property, to which Rickety Martins also says that the composition of the members of Joint Venture Company (JVC) is to be decided. However Space Ex says that they are more concerned with  money matters and to how much of a cash injection will Rickety Martin will be able to provide. Ohh! There is some confusion and passing of currency issues as Rickety Martins quote a price in dollars, Space Ex demands a price in pounds.

Room 506 - Team 13 v Team 20 

14:04: And here we go, so both the team started with the well-structured opening statement. Looks like both teams have learned from last round. Team 20 (representing rickety martin) has launched the proposals which have resulted into a meteor shower of counter proposal, and both parties trying to dodge them. 

14:14: Space Rex have concerns regarding their intellectual property rights. However, Rickety Martins tries to ensure that they are not trying to compete with them rather have further joint ventures with them. Representative from space rex whispering into each other ears, not decided what to do or a smart move coming up?

14:24: Rickety martins (RM) disclose that they have a buyer to investing into FANGS which in turn leads to a representative from space rex (SR) looking at each other face. Rickety Martins and Space Rex both throws exciting order to each other but a clear solution does not seems to be achieved.  

14:34: Space Rex clearly puts their concern regarding giving position CEO and Chairman as it can jeopardize the project and Rickety Martins tries to address their concern but an agreement on the topic with less than 5 minutes left seems hard to achieve. Looks like interests of each party overlap and negotiation gets over with nothing much agreed.

14:44: Both judges raise issues regarding the conservative offers made by rickety martins and further raises issues upon the lack of coordination between teammates. Further told team that they concentrated more on small issue which resulted into paucity of time for larger issues  

14:57 Judges started with question and answers session with good feedback, but afterwards, gave a whammy on arguing more on smaller issues. Further, judges congratulated them for well-structured negotiation but also criticized for issues like arbitration.

Room 518 - Team 16 v Team 17

14:10: The negotiations starts in a very amicable manner. Representatives of Space Rex outline their concerns straight out of the bat. Representatives of Rickety Martin  agree with the agenda set up by Space Rex. The elephant in the room which is the Munraya case is up for discussion first.Space Rex are not willing to put their reputation on the line and representatives of Space Rex assure them that they had no hand in the weapons found in Munraya.

14:20: Both the sides want to discuss the cash injection by Rickety Martin towards the FANGS project.Representatives of Rickety Martin want a milestone based cash injection and Space Rex have no problems with this and are willing to comply subject to certain conditions.

The first point of contention between the teams seems to be on the amount of initial cash injection from Rickety Martin. Space Rex are adamant that they want the initial cash injection to be 150 million dollars.  Rickety Martin are not willing to pay more than 100 million dollars.
It looks like we have a standoff here.

14:30: We have a some movement on the issue of money. Rickety Martin are willing to provide a cash injection of 120 million dollars and provide raw materials required for FANGS at discounted rates.
But now we seem to have deviated from this issue without any agreement. But we can be pretty sure that this issue will come back at some point of time.
Now the teams are discussing the control over the Joint Venture.

14:35: Space Rex want it to be ensured that Joint Venture composition remain at 50- 50℅. Rickety Martin are amenable to this and are ready to give assurance to Space Martin on it.
Rickety Martin are ready to offer the position of Chairman to Space Rex but they want the positions of CEO and CFO for themselves. Space Rex do not completely agree with the idea.
But Rickety Martin do not want to give up the position of CEO and have floated the idea of having two CEO's
Both are willing to agree on this. And both agree to talk on how to solve a deadlock, which seems to be inevitable if the post of CEO is split,in the future talks. 

14:45: Judges have given 10 minutes extra for the negotiation.

Both the sides are now summarising the negotiations they have had till now to clear up their respective positions.
Space Rex reinforce the point that they are not willing to give up control of the FANGS project and do not want to deviate from 50-50% structure.
There is no opposition on this from the representatives of Rickety Martin.
But both sides agree that they need to have further negotiations at a later date to settle some of the outstanding issues.

The negotiations ends with a cordial handshake between the two teams.
Now we will have the Q and A session.

Room 201 - Team 7 v Team 26

14:18: The teams start with greeting each other. Both of them have already identified the key areas and they will be addressing them one by one. Both parties are showing their interest in entering into a JV. RM starts off with the amount of investment regarding JVC to which SR has placed a figure of 150 million pounds as an annual figure. Both are keen on returns and are devising to have such policies where both can derive maximum benefits.

14:31: SR expresses its concern regarding FANGS and need initial investment for fulfilling trust gap but the amount is too much according to RM and they emphasize on reducing investment considering it not feasible. SR somehow agrees to it if the amount increases over the years proportionately. RM focuses on diversifying their area of expertise and it wants the transfer ownership of SR's intellectual property to the JVC but Sr wants only to give exclusive license to the JVC. RM asks if SR has any patent or trademark for FANGS for future considerations.

14:41: RM wants to contribute to the IP through its employees but SR draws attention as to how would they differentiate between the technology developed before and after. SR wants to give them licensing rights but not the ownership because dilution of ownership seems not feasible. SR suggests that IP will give perpetual licensing rights retaining the ownership to which both the parties agree. Finally after a lond discussion they have come to a middle ground.

14:53: Now the teams have moved on to discussing the managerial position of JVC. RM wants their person to be the GM of JVC for the goodwill of it to which SR partially agrees and proposes the idea of having a neutral person to be the CEO. Seems like the judges want the discussion to go ahead therefore they have given an extension of 5 minutes to the teams. SR further wants that CEO shall have the final power in case GM and CFO are from RM's side. Both the parties have concerns regarding deadlock. RM comes up with another idea of having a clause of breach of contract as a middle path resulting in buy outs from both the sides. The parties tried to discuss the MUNDRAI issue but could not come to an agreement despite an additional extra minute. 

14:57: Judges appreciated RM the way they devised middle grounds but the termination groung according to them was something not really relevant. The QnA session for RM was really short and judges seem to be impressed let's see what happens.

15:02: Judges congratulated SR on having a good deal. Though they could not come to a middle ground but their performance was really appreciated by both the judges. This was again just a 2 minute session. Both the teams have performed amazingly well. Let's see who gets through.

Meeting Room - Team 14 v Team 19 

14:05: As we begin both the teams can be seen smiling however things get down to business quickly. the weapons belonging to Rickety Martin found in munraya, was certainly an issue that Space Rex wanted answered. With great confidence, Rickety Martin denied hand in any such condemnable acts and also took a step forward to agree to share all information of this case.

14:11: So we come to next issue, that is the market for FANGS, well that is certainly a priority.  Here come the numbers now, interesting issue - price range! And here we go to another topic - board directors. Looks like it is too soon for money. Rickety Martin is all in for unanimous voting for the important positions such as the CEO, they want the board to decide who will head the board. Sounds like a good idea. On the other hand, Space Rex wants to hold a few positions to make sure they remain the face of the JV and maintain their reputation. Looks like we are in a little disagreement for these top notch positions.

14:18: So finally, Space Rex gets a tighter hold on the positions and Rickety Martin gets an accountability clause in the possible agreement. Moving on to IPR, an interesting point made by Space Rex, about the distinction between FANGS and other technologies that will come later. They've made it quite clear that their focus remains on the commercialization of FANGS for the next 5 years.

14:25: How many years will it take for the FANGS technology to complete? 4 or 5? Both sides have their preferences here. And what happens if the JV runs out of money? Team 19 is all in for injecting money in return of equity. However, Team 14 (Space Rex) are in no way going to lose control of the JV and want the 50-50 division to remain intact.

14:32: We will have to hold on longer as Space Rex isn't yet admitting to a deadline. Moving on to deadlocks, Rickety Martin suggests arbitration but here comes the small surprise, they'd buy the interests of Space Rex if the deadlock continues, but there still is no agreement for the number of years that arbitration would work. Assigning to the JV or licensing to the JV? There seems to lack of clarity here ass well. 

14:39: The teams have taken a minute to discuss matters among themselves, that's a lot of murmuring. Team 14(Space Rex) has made it clear that arbitration is their first choice. Time for numbers!

150 million pounds in the first year and 300 in the next is the capital that would be needed for the development of FANGS. Team 19 (Rickety Martin) made the low in defense sector clear without wasting a minute and continued to say that 115-120 million pounds is what they an commit right now.

14:45: With time running out it seems like things will have to be left midway until the teams meet again! 

14:49:A very crucial questions are answered as the team addresses their goals and if they were able to achieve all of these goals. We can safely say that they addressed a reasonable number of the goals, from IPR to a ready market to board composition. How practical the idea of unanimous voting for electing board members is in a 50-50 JV was raised by the judge, which is indeed an interesting point. Team 19(Rickety Martin) admitted that Space Rex has better expertise in financial matters and hence it would be better for Space Rex to hold the position of CFO. 

14:54: Goals and objectives are addressed by client and counsel and most importantly, they point out the issues that according to them were missed out in the session. Judges also point that the issue of announcing of this agreement wasn't brought up at all! In addition, the non binding nature of the MoU was taken note of. Judges inquired more about the team's investigation of the other team and the session ended with good wishes.

The preliminary rounds have now ended and we shall now head off to Lodi - The Garden Restaurant for the formal reception dinner and to announce the breaks!

22:30: And we have the breaks! After two gruelling Preliminary Rounds the teams breaking, in no particular order, are:

  1. Australian National University
  2. National University of Singapore
  3. University of Melbourne
  4. University of Sunshine Coast

We congratulate them and wish them luck for the rounds tomorrow!



And we are ready to begin with the Semi Finals! The teams look tired from staying up all night to make the negotiation plans for the rounds but look even more determined to win! 

Room 103 - Australian National University v University of Melbourne

11:10: Negotiation begins between Fergus O'Reilly (Fergus) and DanskWind ApS (DW). The parties meet in an amicable setting this morning as they go over their plans for the day. Discussions are friendly, with some chitchat as the parties get to know each other (I guess talking about the weather does hold some relevance when discussing wind energy projects...) before moving on to talking about the first issue of the day: the preferred site for the project. DW prefers McIlroy Hill (Site A). It all ties up to the employment and profits generated from the site. The teams discuss it a little before choosing to set the topic aside.

11:20: Fergus chooses to discuss the difference between the two Sites that are in consideration in the agreement. They offer the pros and cons of both sites, mentioning not just profits generated, but also about the wind speed in the area, number of turbines that can be set up in each site. They're going over the nitty-gritties of both prospective places, not settling on any particular details right now, but choosing to go over their choices. 
11:30: After some more discussions on the difference between McIlroy Hill (Site A) and McDowell Ridge (Site B), which remains an important concern, parties negotiate to, irrespective of whichever site they choose, go over the number of turbines and expand the project in another two years period. The conversation moves over to community involvement in the project, something Fergus is adamant about (it helps their political agenda!) and DW is pretty agreeable with that plan, even as they go over the risks. The very mood in the room is agreeable; both parties are cheerful and amenable to the others' demands. (For once, the calm weather in here is beneficial for the wind power project!)
11:40: After going over the concerns for community involvement, the parties go over the basic details of the construction of the wind turbines for the project. With some details settled over there, DW puts forth a term for exclusivity. Things start getting stormy - Fergus shouldn't have to give up all 10000 acres, and they want the option to deal with other companies too - but a dash of quick humour on the part of the counsels restores the calm.
11:50: As exclusivity is pushed to the back bench, the parties discuss some contingencies to their agreement - how the project would affect the community, et cetera. Before go over the financial aspects of the contract, the two parties break to go over the details once again and confer with the clients.
12:00: The negotiation turns to the financial details. DW goes over their concerns for the project, and how it would affect their investment, but Fergus is quick to give counter proposals. They rehash the numbers, and the parties once again take a short reprieve to calculate them (one can't blame them for taking their time; it's a lot of math.) Given the amount that DW is contributing to the project, they try to push for a flexibility in the number. They find a middle ground, and once again go over the finalised the details - community involvement, 45 turbines, plans to go over the agreement again in 3 years and the investment - and the parties have an agreement!     
12:15: The judges go over the strategy that Fergus had adopted during this negotiation. They were willing to let the other party lead the negotiation as long as the contract wasn't against their plans and everything was covered. The judges criticise this strategy of theirs, since it is Fergus who has the resources and is, technically, doing DW a favour. The judges offer a few tips to the party about how they can go forward with their negotiations in the future. With a few courtesies exchanged, this Q&A round ends.
12:25: The judges begin with complementing DW on their performance throughout the negotiation and proceed to go over their initial plans. The difference between the investment figures that the two parties had come up with really threw DW off their game. The judges point out a few flaws in their plans, like how, at some instances, they gave in to Fergus' offers to easily. However, the judges remain pleased with both parties' performances, and with some last tips on how to go over the numbers again, Q&A with DW ends. 

Room 105 - National University of SIngapore v University of Sunshine Coast

11:08: And the round begins! Here comes the first goal - subsidies, as given by DW. Who doesn't like subsidies? We all like free stuff, mostly food, or especially food. And here comes the other goal - profits. DW is on a roll. They go on admit that they look forward to a long term relationship. Duration and site are certainly two important agendum for this negotiation. But here we go, we can see O'Reilly bringing citizens' protests into focus!

11:15: An agreement for 20 years is what DW has suggested but looks like O'Reilly has dodged this one as they would like to look into other matters first. Coming to sites, DW's vote goes to side A, but the other team has a different take. Noise pollution, the view from the castle, and of course, lack of a road to connect the site, O'Reilly has a long list to say a big fat no to site A.

11:22: We can only hope that this tussle between site A and site B shall end soon. Do turbines look that bad? Let's stop this turbine-shaming already. And we hear some numbers! And the speed of jumping to other matters is fast as wind turbines. O'Reilly now brings up the human resource concern about the farmers and restrictions they'd have to face because of the turbines.

11:32: O'Reilly clearly wants to make everything good and comfortable for the farmers, and this is quite a concern now. From exclusive access for DW (pretty sure O'Reilly won't let this happen) to prioritized access and the safety of farmers, it's nice to know that farmers will be looked after. 

11:40: So the teams have agreed on attending a public meeting with regard to the issue, subjected to this deal taking place of course. Indeed, a good sign. And we hear citizen protests, again. I sense some obsession here, which isn't that bad, we shouldn't run behind pounds all the time after all.

11:44: O'Reilly has brought to table the idea of an exclusive agreement, which  has been agreed upon and would mean that O'Reiley will not hold negotiations with any other competitors of DW. This sounds good for both the teams. 

11:50: After talking a little about revenue and annual turnovers, DW now takes a step back and brings back the site issue. This A vs. B doesn't seem to end. O'Reilly has played a smart card here by conveying that the money that DW would have to pay for sites will be different, and obviously a lot more heavier on the pocket if O'Reilly's preferred site is not chosen.

11:57: Coming to number of turbines, we do see some agreement here with 40 being the start number. And a quick recap comes from O'Reilly's side which tells us what has been achieved and agreed upon and which has not (site issue obviously!). The teams add another issue to the 'done and dealt with' list and that is confidentiality of all reports. The teams agree to meet again and wrap up at 55 minutes, it seems obvious that 5 minutes will sadly bring no changes improvements to the disagreements.

12:04: The judges now have their Q&A session with side DW - Did they get really everything they wanted? Such questions that can lead anyone into a sudden moment of introspection were answered and the team went on further to address the impact of disagreement of the site issue on money and lease terms. Judges also pointed out how an obligation or a more certain protection from citizen protests would have helped DW's stand. The team also noted that the teams had different understanding of the exclusivity agreement which came to their notice only in the middle of the negotiation. The judges also brought up the strategy used, or rather not used by the team to tackle the emphasis placed on 'visibility of numbers' by the other team. We wrapped it for them with good wishes and of course, a lot of learning.

12:15: The judges now have their Q&A session with the other side - Judges are quick to address the lack of monetization in the negotiations. They also point out that a demand of an upfront payment would have made the team's side stronger. The team admits that there were competing interests at almost all stages, specially the site and therefore the money too which stalled the process after a time as everything came back to the sites.  Judges also added that payment strategy would've helped their team through the disagreements and they could have played a clever card by saying that they were open to other firms' offers too. We bet they didn't think of it that way. It all ended with best wishes.

And we come to an end of the Semi Finals! We await the results now!

13:10: AND WE HAVE THE RESULTS! The teams progressing to the Final of the 3rd NLU Delhi - Herbert Smith Freehills International Negotiation Competition 2016 are:

  1. Australian National University
  2. University of Sunshine Coast

We will tune in again for the Finals!


15:15: Now it's the moment and the match up everyone has been waiting for. It's time for the finals and you can be sure that the next 60 minutes are going to be a thrilling watch! The teams from Australian National University and University of Sunshine Coast are going to face off in a local Australian Derby. But wait, one of the judges has his birthday today and we have a little celebration before we start off! What a way to start the Finals!

15:20: The teams greet each other in a very cordial manner and we're off . Roger Perez and the counsel of FOYS starts by mentioning the importance of FOYS to them and outline the major issues they would like to be discussed. UTG seem to agree largely with the agenda set up by FOYS until now. 
15:25: UTG straight out of the blocks want to discuss the recent developments of NFSA investigating some products, and the possibility that FOYS might be investigated too. Representative of FOYS mention that they have had informal discussions with NFSA and have been assured that they are not in risk. They also discuss the issue of current management and workforce. UTG want Robert's help in maintaining the structure of FOYS in so far as their staff is concerned. Representatives of FOYS say that can certainly try to talk to their staff but are in no way going to force them to stay, and UTG seems to agree wih this - but they still seem wanting of an assurance from Rober that his entire saff may not end up following him in his exit.
15:35: UTG wants Robert to be involved with the company at least initially and preferably as a director for 3 years. Robert Perez seems disinterested in continuing with the company as that would defeat his purpose of selling it. This issue remains unresolved for now but is certain to come up again later in the negotiation. Representatives of UTG ask about the rumours flying around of Robert entering the heath food market and want a term in contract which prevents Robert from entering that market for 4 years. Counsel for FOYS seems to be amenable to that idea subject to certain other conditions. 
15:45: The non- compete clause seems to be a point of contention but this is something UTG continue to insist on. They are however willing to discuss on the length of non-compete clause. 
UTG are coming back to the issue of risk of investigations of NFSA as they do not want to compromise their reputation. FOYS assure them that it wouldn't be a problem but mention that they are planning to change the recipe of Uncle Bobi's Noodles. UFC want a contingency plan in the contract in case there is a call back of the product over the next year. FOYS again seem to be amenable to that idea but say that much will depend on what price they agree on in the end.
15:55: Representatives of UTG summarise the negotiations between both sides so far before moving on. UTG wants to know about the distribution agreement of FOYS. Counsel of FOYS says that they want UTG to continue with the existing contracts that FOYS have and respect those agreements. UTG say that they have their own distribution agreement and are therefore insisting that they would like to buy out the contracts. Representatives of FOYS are ready to accept this but would like some discussions to be held with their existing partners before agreeing on anything.
16:05: Things are getting a bit heated here as representatives of FOYS outrightly reject UTG's initial offer of 90 million pounds. Counsel of FOYS mentions that they are looking for 250 million pound.To bring those numbers closer would take a lot of work because there is a big difference between the two.UTG now offer an initial fee of 100 million pounds upfront with future payments depending on consultation service of Robert and its duration. Representatives of FOYS want an initial payment of 115 million pounds.They finally agree on a payment of 100 million on signing of the contract and 15 million two weeks after. Wow, with those big numbers, we come to the end of the negotiations and both sides shake hands!
16:20: Now we have th Q/A session for the UTG representatives by the judge. They are questioned on the earn out in case of recall by NFSA and the impact of recall of brand. Representatives of UTG say that they will recoup the money through discount on future payments. There is more questioning on this issue and about why they did not push the other team enough in terms of risk involved with the investigations.There are some questions on the continued role of Robert in the board. 
16:35: The length of the Q and A session is evidence of the high level of involvement by the panel of judges in the competition. Some excellent advice and invaluable feedback is given by the judges to the team. Judges also discuss the practicality of some of the things discussed in the negotiations. Up next is the Q/A for the FOYS representatives.
17:05: It's the turn of the other team to face the tough questions now. The first questions to the representatives of FOYS are on the issue of structure of payments. Further questions are asked about the risks involved and impact of the deal. The team responds by saying that the NFSA issue could have made the deal risky. The judges are questioning the team on them agreeing with the opposition on the fact that NFSA was a big issue. The teams agree with the judges and think that that issue could have been dealt in a better way by them.Judges in the middle of Q/A also give some suggestions and excellent  feedback which is appreciated by the teams.
17:40: With a few (or lot) more questions by the judges, and some very valuable tips, we come to the end of the final round of this year's competition! Both teams were brilliant and we await the results eagerly. 
Don't forget to tune in to updates from the valedictory ceremony soon!


18:00: And we are all set to begin with the ceremony now. On the dias, we have Honb'le Justice Deepak Misra, Judge, Supreme Court of India, Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi, Mr. Chris Parsons, Chairman, India Practise, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Prof. (Dr.) G.S. Bajpai, Registrar, National Law University, Delhi.

18:05: We begin the proceedings with an address from Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh. He addresses the value of this competition to all the participants and the students of NLU Delhi, placing the relevance of such a competition in the globalized world that we live in which is also moving towards ADR as a method of dispute resolution. he thanks Herbert Smith Freehills LLP for providing NLU Delhi with the chance to organise this compeition and for their unending support, and he refers to the ability of this competition in helping teams from across the world break cultural barriers, and get to know more people, and make new friends. He hopes that all participants will take back new friendships and fond memories from the competition! 

18:15: Mr. Chris Parsons now addresses the gathering. He points back to his interactions with the judges and participants over the last three days, and congratulates everyone on the extremely high level of negotiation seen at the competition. He again points out to the relevance of negotiation in the modern world, and how the competition seeks to meet that need. In a poignant moment, he also addresses the participants and students as future lawyers who will have the ability to change the world, and that they should, therefore, always use that ability to do some good. 

18:25: Justice Misra now gives the valedictory address for this year's competition. He is quick to point out how this competition has created a place for itself in a country so rich with the traditional mooting culture. He enlightens the students with the workings of the Supreme Court and their brush with ADR methods such as negotiation and mediation. In his wisdom, he highlights to the students how negotiation is a skill that we all must, and do, use in our daily life and the importance of which can be second to none. Lastly, he offers kind words to all the participants who did not make it past the preliminary rounds about how competitions such as this are about inculcating in oneself necessary skills and forging new friendships. We are honored to have sir addresses the gathering! 

18:40: The participation certificates are handed over to all the participating teams by Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh. The semi-finalists, National University of Singapore and University of Melbourne, are handed over their certificates by Prof. (Dr.) G.S. Bajpai.

18:50: The certificate and award for the Best Negotiation Plan are handed over by Mr. Chris Parsons. The winners are V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, GoaWe congrtulate them!

18:53: Mr. Parsons also hands out the certificate and award for the Best Negotiator. And the winner is Jeremy Roe from the University of Melbourne. What a tremendou display of talent!

18:57: Prof. (Dr.) G.S. Bajpai hands out the certificate and award for the 'Spirit of the Competition' award to the team which best represents the spirit of this competition. The award was decided by a vote by the teams themselves. And the winner is Rhodes University! Truly deserving! 

19:00: The certificate and plaque for the Runners Up is handed out by Hon'ble Justice Deepak Misra and Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh. In an extremely close match up, the Runner Up are Australian National University

19:05: And this can only mean one thing - the Winners for the 3rd NLU Delhi - Hebert Smith Freehills International Negotiation Competition 2016 are the University of Sunshine Coast! They are handed over their certificate and trophy by on'ble Justice Deepak Misra, Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Mr. Chris Parsons, and Prof. (Dr.) G.S. Bajpai. The smiles on their faces are infectious! 

19:10: As we come close to the end, Mr Daniel Mathew, the faculty advisor for the compeition, delivers the vote of thanks. He thanks Justice Misra for taking out his time to attend the valedictory ceremony. He thanks Herbert Smith Freehills LLP for their support in helping organise the competition. He thanks Prof. Singh and Prof. Bajpai for their unending support at NLU Delhi. He thanks all the participating teams for taking out their time to visit the compeition. And lastly, he thanks all the members of the organising committee and the volunteers for having taken out their time to help organise the competition.

And with this, we come to an end of the 3rd NLU Delhi - Herbert Smith Freehills International Negotiation Competition 2016! 

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