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Welcome to the 5th Indian Vis Pre-Moot and the ICC YAF Conference 2015 at National Law University Delhi! Follow India's premier arbitration event of the season with us, live from the University! This year, National Law University Delhi is proud to partner with the International Chambers of Commerce International Court of Arbitration in Paris and the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata to bring this event to you! You can also follow us through our Facebook page, as well as our Twitter handle. May the odds ever be in your favour!


This year's edition will host twenty one teams from across the world, as they arrive at New Delhi in hopes of mooting glory. We have teams joining in from Australia in our exclusive E-Moot round, being the first and only law school in India to offer this. There are arguments to be made, judges to be impressed, and friendships to be fostered in these upcoming action-packed days! 

The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot is one of the most prestigious moot court competitions in the world. Each year, over 300 teams take part in the moot in Vienna and Hong Kong. The object of the moot is to cultivate study regarding international commercial and arbitration laws. As there are no qualfiying rounds for the moot, the Indian Vis Pre-Moot is a platform for teams to hone their skills before the international rounds.

This year's problem is based on the ICC Rules of Arbitration (in force as on 1 January 2012) and encompasses, among others, issues concerning joinder of additional parties and Emergency Arbitrator provisions under the ICC Rules. This year's Pre-Moot will provide the teams with an unparalleled opportunity to try their arguments before members of the ICC Secretariat and arbitrators with experience in ICC arbitrations.



The extended arbitration weekend kicks off with the ICC YAF Conference on Joinder of Parties and Extension of Arbitration Agreements to Non-Signatories. You can view the details of the programme here. Stay tuned for more updates!

15:20And we are underway! For the inauguration we have Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr. Abhinav Bhushan, Deputy Counsel, ICC ICA, along with our very own Prof. Dr. Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor, NLU Delhi and Prof. Dr. GS Bajpai, Registrar, NLU Delhi.

15:24: Prof. Dr. Ranbir Singh highlights the importance of mooting for fostering legal acumen, stressing on NLU Delhi's recent historic acheivements, including winning the 2014 ICC Trial Moot in the Hague and the 23rd Manfred Lachs International Space Law Moot in Toronto.

15:28: Now we have Mr. Abhinav Bhushan, Deputy Counsel, ICC ICA introducing the ICC YAF Conference. He emphasises on developing interest in international arbitration in young professionals, including students and young associates.

15:30: Justice Swatanter Kumar further elaborates on the theme of the conference by stressing on honing the legal skills of young professionals. He brings his unique experiences with the National Green Tribunal in India by questioning whether arbitration can be utilised in environmental cases. Interesting!

15:40: Justice Kumar talks about the tension dynamic between privity of contract and the joinder of non-signatories, and also mentions the group of companies doctrine, among others. Vis mooties, we hope you are taking notes!

16:00: Justice Kumar signs off by highlighting the concerning fact that arbitrations in India are quite expensive, even more so than their international counterparts. Yes, Justice Kumar, we agree with you and hope that India becomes a premier arbitration destination.

16:05: Prof. Dr. GS Bajpai, Registrar, NLU Delhi takes the stage to deliver the vote of thanks. He wishes the teams best of luck, and extends his sincere thanks to Justice Kumar and the ICC ICA. 

Panel Discussion



16:25: Mr. Akshay Kishore, Associate, Ashurst LLP, Singapore, will serve as the Moderator of the session. He starts by introducing the UNCITRAL Model Law regarding the theme of this year's Vis Moot, and then subsequently yields the floor to Mr. Abhinav Bhushan, Deputy Counsel, ICC ICA.

16:35 Mr. Bhushan highglights the Emergency Arbitrator provision in the ICC Rules of Arbitration to give a general overview of the same. He expresses that this year's moot problem features very "interesting" problems regarding the Emergency Arbitrator provision. Yours truly can see participants exchange looks, with hints of smiles all around.

16:38:  Mr. Bhushan further elaborates regarding joinders in the ICC Rules, and talks about several personal anecdotes from his time as a part of the ICC ICA. Internship, sir? Moving on, he invites questions regarding the ICC Rules and the Vis problem. 

16:40Mr. Kishore invites Mr. Alexander Lutgendorf, Senior Counsel, Amereller Legal Consultants, Dubai to talk about his experience as an arbitrator at Vis Vienna, which he has been a part of for the last decade. He talks about various procedures through which non-signatories may be joined to an arbitration.

16:49: Mr. Lutgendorf asks for more time to conclude his speech on joinder of non-signatories in a non-international context. Groans all around, followed by laughs as Mr. Kishore grants him five more minutes. Mr. Lutgendorf departs to specifics regarding the group of companies doctrine, the principle of alter ego and lifting the corporate veil. He mentions the ICJ's Barcelona Traction case. Pained smiles from NLU Delhi's 2015 Jessup team. 

17:05Mr. Lutgendorf concludes by highlighting the spirit of consent in arbitrations. Thank you for the incredibly informative session! Now we emark upon incredibly diverse international perspectives on joinder of non-signatories by beginning with our Singapore leg with Ms. Smitha Menon, Partner, Wong Partnership LLP, Singapore.

17:10: Ms. Menon clarifies that Singapore's stand on the same is very conservative, making references to the Court of Appeal's Astro v. Lippo case. She makes the distinction between a party and a signatory, reconciling it with Singapore's stand on the same.

17:15: Ms. Menon also mentions Hong Kong's different approach to the same, setting up the stage for Mr. Martin Wallace, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hong Kong. We've had a very energetic session so far, and Mr. Wallace's finale seems like the perfect icing on the cake.

17:20: Mr. Wallace  makes reference to the HKIAC Rules as well as LCIA Rules on joinder of parties. He also highlights several practical considerations regarding the joinder, including the need to make the application for joinder as early as possible. He concludes by countering Singapore's position in Astro, and the principle of good faith.  

17:35: With Mr. Kishore wrapping things up, and thematizing the whole debate, we now break for High Tea. This is Shrey Patnaik, signing off on behalf of the Organising Committee. See you folks on Saturday, where we will commence with the preliminaries! Good luck to the teams, and Happy Holi!



9:30And we are underway!

Moot Court Hall: Deakin University, Australia (E-Moot) v NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna) The first speaker from Deakin University is arguing on the procedural issue. She brings up the good faith doctrine to provide grounds for binding the other party to the arbitration clause. So far there have been no questions from the arbitrators.

102: NLU Delhi (Vis Vienna) v NLU Jodhpur (Vis Vienna) Respondents look fully prepared, but here comes the barrage of questions from the arbitrators! Questions are being raised on every claim. The courage of the Respondents is truly commendable under these circumstances.

9:45Tensions are mounting, as there is an increase in the incisiveness of questioning across all rounds.

Moot Court HallDeakin University, Australia (E-Moot) v NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna) And the rebuttals begin! Both teams argue on facts regarding a certain letter of credit we all have become familiar with. Misstep by NUJS as the speaker fumbles and mistakes the letter for an email! Looks like the heat is on!

202NLU Delhi (Vis East) v NLU Jodhpur (Vis East) The Respondents answer a flurry of questions posed by the tribunal regarding joinder of an additional party. Her co-counsel mentions certain inconsistencies regarding the Claimant's conduct, which seems to have caused some confusion on the Claimant's bench! Sheets are being ruffled!


204: NLU Orissa (Vis East) v UILS Punjab (Vis Vienna) Claimant argues that mere signature does not raise the presumption of consent to arbitration. They lose a couple of vital seconds in guiding the tribunal to certain pages in the problem. No major interjections so far!

201: NLS Bangalore (Vis East) v Nalsar Hyderabad (Vis Vienna) Respondent starts by contextualizing the economic position of Global Minerals, and the need for them to become an Additional Party. He then proceeds to argue on the basis of the group of companies doctrine. The speaker maintains a façade of calmn even in the middle of intense questioning. 


10:05: Lets take a look across other courtrooms!

102: NLU Delhi (Vis Vienna) v NLU Jodhpur (Vis Vienna) Lakshman RS from the Claimants proceeds, and the arbitrators seem to agree with him on every count. Quite the charmer, eh? Wait, a barrage of questions, and the Claimants have their case torn apart! Grins from the Respondent, who are brought back to reality with a flurry of questions aimed at them. The only people having the last laugh are the arbitrators, Ms. Medha Shrivastava and Ms. Poorvi Satija.

105: ILS Law College (Vis Vienna) v MS Ramaiah College, Bangalore (Vis Vienna) Not much happening here. Claimants seem to be sailing smoothly. A wild question appears, and is brushed aside with apparent ease.

103: SLS Pune (Vis East) v University of São Paulo (Vis East) The Respondent speaker has been impressively persuasive, and every question is dealt with convincingly. Yours truly thinks that we have an early Best Oralist contender on our hands. All attempts to break their calm remain ineffective.

And thus we end with the first rounds of the day! And no, we are not going to put up Control Room selfies, despite some vapid protests by our very own 'SidG'. Sigh.


12:00And the Ragnarök continues (yours truly may or may not have been reading Thor instead of liveblogging faithfully)!

201ILS Law College (Vis Vienna) v NLS Bangalore (Vis East) Respondents have begun, but Arbitrator Aritra Roy is making life difficult for the team. The tribunal does not seem satisfied with the group of companies doctrine explanation. Ow!

104: University of São Paulo (Vis East) v GNLU Gandhinagar (Vis East) And the incessant stream of questions of continues, as the Respondents are grappling with paucity of time here. Things don't look very well here.

202: NUJS Kolkata (Vis East) v NLU Delhi (Vis East) With the Respondent's running out of time, we proceed to the submissions by the Claimant. The counsel from the Claimant's side seemed to have adopted a strategy of referring to the record to prove her points. She goes on to cite examples to show how Global Minerals was not a party. But, Arbitrator Abhinav Bhushan seems to have trapped her in her own game by referring to counter-examples from the record itself! 


Moot Court Hall: NLUO Cuttack (Vis East) v Deakin University, Australia (E-Moot) Counsel for claimant looks daunted and is caught flat-footed by a question of parole evidence and begs ignorance. He withers before the next salvo as the arbitrator brings up a fundamental inconsistency in their case regarding which law to apply. The counsel is unable to satisfy the Arbitrator in this regard.

105: Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis Vienna) v MS Ramaiah College (Vis Vienna) The first speaker from the respondents jurisdiction is making her submissions. Her arguments seem to be pretty convincing to the arbitrators. The arbitrators are questioning the Respondents' speaker occasionally. The arbitrators seem to have put the Respondents' speaker in a spot of bother with one of their questions but the speaker has handled it well.

203: NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) v NLU Jodhpur (Vis East) Counsel on Claimants' behalf states that the doctrine of group of companies is against the basic principle of privity of contracts and further goes on to show how the conditions laid down in this doctrine are not met in the particular case. The arbitrators' faces remain inscrutable as opposing counsels betray a flicker of emotion and cast a glance at each other. What does this mean?


102: Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis East) v NLU Delhi (Vis Vienna) The Arbitrators don't seem to pause for breath as their flurry of questions continues. The Claimants seem to get flustered, and address the tribunal as Mr. President. Major oops!

Our sources interrupt to pass on a very important message from the Control Room: "Kabhi kabhi jeetne ke liye kuch haarna bhi parta hai ... aur haar kar jeetne waale ko baazigar kehte hai." Yes, yours truly is still wondering how they cracked the AILET.

12:55And that leads to the conlcusion of another set of rounds! Teams are moving towards the Auditorium to have lunch. We'll get back to you with more inane attempts at humour from our Control Room! Stay tuned!


14:55Amidst discussions regarding the veracity of Wikipedia in the Control Room, our correspondents have taken their positions in the courtrooms on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

202: ILS Law College (Vis Vienna) v Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis Vienna) The counsel form Respondent's side starts off well with making numerous references to the Record to prove his point. The Arbitrators seem to be taking his arguments well, and asking only limited questions which he handles easily. He also seems to have mastered the art of brevity, as he finishes within time!


104: University of São Paulo (Vis East) v HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) The Respondents' speaker has begun putting forward her submissions. She seems to be having a tough time in answering the barrage of questions posed by the arbitrators.

204: NLUO Cuttack (Vis East) v NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna) The arbitrator with a penchant for questioning has his guns blazing as he tries to understand the relation between financial independence and the legal existence of Vulcan as stated by counsel. He grants the counsel some respite and lets him speak for some... nope. The inquisition is on! The counsel is informed that he is five minutes overtime when he requests for two extra minutes. Ouch.

103: HNLU Raipur (Vis East) v GNLU Gandhinagar (Vis East) The Claimants forgot to mention the time frames in their introductory remarks. What is it with teams and blunders today! Arbitrator Ethelwald Mendes is giving the Claimants' speaker a hard time, refuting almost all of their contentions with respect to jurisdictional issues in joinder of parties. 

202NLU Delhi (Vis East) v NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) The counsel from the Respondent's side has been faced with a flurry of questions by both the Arbitrators. He tries to put forward his final arguments but runs out of time. The counsel from the Claimant's side then takes over. He starts off well while putting put a proper road-map to guide the Arbitrators but is suddenly hit by a barrage of questions as he puts forward his first submission. He tries to address them but the Arbitrators don't seem satisfied and are hungry for more.


105: MS Ramaiah College (Vis Vienna) v NLS Bangalore (Vis East) The judges don't seem satisfied with the Respondents' argument and have termed it "really puzzling". The day doesn't seem to be going very well for most teams.

Moot Court Hall: NLU Jodhpur (Vis East) v NLIU Bhopal (E-Moot) The Counsel for Respondent pleads attachment of third party to the arbitration proceedings. He pleads the status of Vulcan Ltd as a guarantee provider on the basis of a letter of credit. The Arbitrators point out that such a letter didn't exist within the problem. The counsel is unable to provide an answer.

101: NLU Jodhpur (Vis Vienna) v Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis East) The rebuttals begin. The claimants adopt an aggressive approach to the procedural rebuttals. The arbitrators' response cannot be gauged. Meanwhile, proponents of the multiverse theory argue in the Control Room that this rebuttal was accepted in another parallel universe. 

102: SLS Pune (Vis East) v NLU Delhi (Vis Vienna) Arbitrator Sougat Sinha directs the teams to the three main issues of the problem and requests them to not go further into the merits of other issues. The Respondents lay down an explicit road map of their arguments, which seems to impress the arbitrators. The Respondents have a smooth ride with no questions being asked by the arbitrators.

And thus we conclude another round. One more to go, then off to our social networking event at Lodi!


17:15And after an exhausting afternoon, we finally begin with our final round of the day.

102: HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) v Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis East) The Respondents' first speaker seems utterly exhausted with the day's rounds. His sore throat, confusion while referring the tribunal to the contract on proving implied consent is all evidence of that tiredness. The Claimants are so well versed with their arguments that they don't even need to look at the ICC Rules or the moot problem while referring to specific clauses and quoting them. The arbitrators seem to be at loss of comments and questions (how often do we see that now!).

201: Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis Vienna) v University of São Paulo (Vis East) Rounds starts off with the Counsel from Respondent's side putting forward her submission with brilliant articulation skills. She goes on with her entire submission of the first argument when the Arbitrators ask their first question, that too when she prompted them to seek any clarification! Looks like even the Arbitrators are in awe of the Counsel!


104: GNLU Gandhinagar (Vis East) v UILS Punjab (Vis Vienna) The Respondents have begun putting forth their submissions with intermittent questioning by the arbitrators. They seem to be struggling a bit to answer the arbitrators' queries. One of the arbitrators has questioned the argument made by the Respondents saying, "Do you mean to say that just because you have made it in your argument it is true?". However, the arbitrators have allowed the Respondents to proceed with their arguments.

Moot Court Hall: NLIU Bhopal (E-Moot) v NLU Delhi (Vis East) The first counsel makes argument of attaching third parties to the arbitration through examination of those conduct. The exact implication of being an endorser is thoroughly examined in the arbitrators line of questioning. The arbitrator is relentless in his enquiry but the counsel is equally perseverant in clarifying his arguments. The result of the process is as yet opaque.

202: NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) v MS Ramaiah College (Vis Vienna) After a slight delay, the round has started with the counsel form the Respondent's side starting off with his arguments. Things would have been fine with him had it not been for Arbitrator Ethelwald Mendes. With his continuous questioning, he has managed to put the counsel off track who doesn't seem to satisfy the tribunal at all with his answers.

204: NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna) v NLU Jodhpur (Vis East) Claimant's counsel tackles the arbitrator's questions with ease and begins every third sentence with ''The Respondent was wrong to..." Looks like smooth sailing for him. In another first, the arbitrator grants some grace time to counsel in the interests of fairness and equity.

103: NLU Jodhpur (Vis Vienna) v NLUO Cuttack (Vis East) The arbitrators assume a central role and direct the Claimants to passages in the problem that shake their contentions. In this moment of confusion, the speaker for Claimants addresses Mr. Harshad Pathak as madam. Major oops again! The speaker gathers his wits and apologises immediately. No doubt he would have an even harder time convincing the arbitrators now.

And we come to an end. Thank you to the arbitrators who took their time to help the participants! And now off to Lodi for the social networking event! We'll announce the breaks over dinner and drinks. 


09:45: The teams that have qualified for the quarters are (in order of their scores):

1) NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna)

2) NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna)

3) University of São Paulo (Vis East)

4) Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad (Vis East)

5) HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna)

6) NLS Bangalore (Vis East)

7) NLU Jodhpur (Vis East)

8) Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad (Vis Vienna)

506: Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis East) v HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) Ishita Mathur starts off the proceedings from side Respondents. She picks up a good rhythm as she goes about her first set of arguments. The Arbitrators seem to have taken a lenient approach here, allowing her to complete her entire argument before they begin their line of questioning. The counsel starts by putting forward arguments in favor of joining Global Minerals as a party to the Arbitration. She puts forward cases such as Stella Shipping and bases her claim on the group of company doctrineShe mentions how the doctrine is not opposed to the idea of 'consent' but actually propagates 'implied consent'. She relies on evidences found in the Record to support her claim. As she proceeds, the Arbitrators are now questioning her on every step. What a way to start the quarter-finals!


201: NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna) v Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad (Vis Vienna) The quarters have started off with the Respondents' counsel putting forth his submissions. He seemed to be at ease inspite of repeated questioning by the arbitrator Ms. Shraddha Deshmukh. However, he had to sum up his arguments due to paucity of time.

203: NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) v NLU Jodhpur (Vis East) A brisk stream of questioning from the tribunal, counsel directing the arbitrator to a particular page, the arbitrator returning the favour, and a citation of case law in almost every answer given by Ms. Isha Jain, counsel on behalf of the Respondent. We have a steady dialogue happening here with Ms. Jain deftly handling all the volleys thrown at her by the tribunal.

406: University of São Paulo (Vis East) v Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad (Vis Vienna) Nisha Chantna is addressing procedural issues regarding joinder of parties and emergency arbitrator. She cites Stellar Steamship v. Hudson and is cross questioned by Arbitrator Sneha Jain. Arbitrator Bilya Lokova engages Ms. Chantna'a attention to economy in joining parties to a dispute and appropriateness of arbitration as a redressal forum in the present case. Ms. Chantna, however, persists with her arguments despite the constant interruptions by the tribunal. The Respondents are generously given four additional minutes by the tribunal considering the active questioning they were subjected to.

10:30: And the rounds continue, and the high-pressure atmosphere seems to be getting to the teams!

506: Nalsar University, Hyderabad (Vis East) v HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) After an engaging round of rebuttals, we move on to Arpita, the co-counsel from side Claimants. She starts on a strong footing as she goes on about her submissions with almost no interruptions, arguing that her client, Vulcan Co, had only understood the change in quantity of 30 tons to 100 tons of Coltan under good faith, and were ready to drop the amendment. She questions where a "substantial detriment" has been caused to he client of the Respondents under Article 25. She mentions how the letter of credit by her clients covered the costs of the Respondent's clients, and that they had the option of accepting it partially. Arguments are flowing strong in this courtroom, and we can't wait to her the Respondents respond to this!


203: NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) v NLU Jodhpur (Vis East) Counsel on behalf of the Claimants seems to lack a certain few documents necessitating the tribunal sharing it with them. Couple this with some incisive questions from the tribunal, and time simply running out, madam counsel seems to be in a tight spot here.

11:15: And we have come to an end! A brief pause before we announce the results...

The teams that have qualified for the semi-finals are:

1) HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna)

2) NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna)

3) NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna)

4) University of São Paulo (Vis East)

12:35And we begin with the semi-finals! Only two teams will survive. Well.

406: HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) v NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) The semi-final begins with the counsel Isha Jain from side Respondents putting forward her submissions. She starts off by highlighting the precarious position of their client, and that of Global Minerals and arguing for their Joinder as Party to this Arbitration. Before she starts delving into the arguments based on group of companies doctrine, Arbitrator Smitha Menon wished for her to base her argument on ICC Rules. Having provided the answers, she moves ahead citing how Global Minerals has 100% ownership of Vulcan Co., the Claimants' client. 


506: NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna) v University of São Paulo (Vis East) Counsel on behalf of the Respondent Ms. Raquel begins her submission with a recantation of the facts and dives straight into why Global Minerals should be a part of the arbitration process. Tackling questions easily while referring them to the documents, she goes ahead to show how the group of companies doctrine is satisfied by Global Minerals. Next, the good faith principle. It is apparent how they are in control and leading the tribunal through their roadmap of arguments.

406: HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) v NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) From side Claimants we have Ida Lakhmani as the Counsel. She starts off by arguing that express rejection by Global Minerals should override implied consent which the Respondent's are trying to prove. She starts off by citing New York Convention and UNCITRAL Model Law. She then proceeds to use a US Supreme Court Case to prove that mere knowledge of an arbitration agreement does not make one a party to it. She seemed on the right track when a question by Madam Arbitrator Biliya Lokova left her a bit stumped, although to her credit she recovered just in time. The way ahead looks only tougher since the panel of Arbitrators are continuing their flurry of questions and are hungry for more!


406: HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) v NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) Rahil Pereira, the counsel from side Claimants now takes the floor. He begins by providing a background to the facts of the case, to contextualize his submissions. He then provides a structure to his submission, dividing it between the two Letters of Avoidance, where Arbitrator Smitha Menon wishes him to clarify why have there been two such letters. He then proceeds to examine Article 25 of the CISG. He argues that a party can claim avoidance in case of a fundamental breach or non-fulfillment by the other party. He then proceeds to cite examples from the record to prove how his client, Vulcan Co., had done neither of the two.

506: NUJS Kolkata (Vis Vienna) v University of São Paulo (Vis East) The counsel on behalf of the Claimant conceding that conduct and behavior should be a considerable fact, they are put in a spot by Arbitrator Vajani who seeks to understand how based on past behaviour, counsel's client cannot be a part of the proceedings. With the president of the tribunal and the other members firing questions one after another, the going gets tough for the counsel, who plods ahead with the next item on his submission. There certainly are more questions being raised by the members of the tribunal. Strictly 30 seconds are granted to the counsel to demonstrate his last point post which he is cut off by the president of the tribunal.

406: HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) v NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna) Lastly, we have Aniruddh Basu as the counsel from side Respondents arguing in front of this tribunal on matter. He begins by mentioning on the Respondents' first Letter of Credit was not valid, and even the second one did not comply with Time and Documentary ideals set under the contract between the clients. On a question by Arbitrator Smitha Jones, the counsel elaborates how CISG Article 20(1) us used to calculate the period of time. He further highlights how difference of time zone provides ambiguity to the issue, but proposes the use of UNIDROIT Priciples (specifically 1.12 (3)) to show how the time zone of the party which sets the time is used. The co-counsel is showing his vast knowledge in answering all the questions thrown at him. His calm demeanor only adds to his charm!

13:30: And we come to an end. Teams will now break for lunch where the finalists will be informed.


And the matchup for the finals is HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna) v University of São Paulo (Vis East). The bench for the finals is Mr. Harish Salve, Justice AK Sikri and Christopher Lau.

16:00And the Respondents are being questioned incisively by Mr. Harish Salve, who offers an alternative interpretation of the word 'exclusive' regarding the emergency arbitrator and interim measures. The Respondent speaker handles the question deftly by referring the tribunal to the Model Law.

16:05: After bouts of intensive questioning, the tribunal allows a generous three minutes to the Respondents, who conclude with impeccable composure. Really impressive! The procedural speaker for the Claimants has commenced, as there is a moment of humour as the tribunal interjects her to ask if she "will establish" or "try to establish" her case.

16:10The Claimants are citing a plethora of cases to establish that there is a requirement of explicit consent for arbitration, also establishing the facts. Smooth sailing so far, as no questions are raised. Arbitrator Lau breaks the calm by referring to an exhibit, and this situation is adeptly handled by the counsel.

16:15Justice Sikri raises the question that it is tacit in the group of companies doctrine that every company is individually incorported, and an individual was not acting for both the companies. The counsel answers by referring the tribunal to certain facts. However, Arbitrator Lau raises another question. Arbitrator Salve interjects with a hypothetical alternate situation. The tribunal is leaving nothing to chance!

16:20: Another round of laughs as the counsel asks for an extra three minutes, and Justice Sikri assures her that he will apply Article 14 of the Indian Constitution and would give her three minutes as well! The tribunal is impressively active. Arbitrator Salve seems quite convinced by the counsel's argument, as she deftly concludes.

16:20And the Respondents and Claimants structure their rebuttals around consent to the arbitration. The Claimants are quoting cases left, right and center to negate the procedural rebuttals. Now, the case for merits has commenced, with Rahil Pereira addressing the tribunal on behalf of the Claimants.

16:30The counsel articulately advances his arguments regarding the foreseeability. He is interrupted by Arbitrator Salve who asks whether there was a breach of contract or a novation. While the counsel concedes that he is not aware of the exact terminology, he is still able to offer a convincing reply.

16:35And the counsel is allowed an uninterrupted stretch of argumentation, and the tribunal seems pretty convinced. The counsel ties in several rebuttals against the Respondent and manages to direct the tribunal's attention to several documents as well. Nice! The counsel for Respondents, Paulo Coelho, has begun by highlighting the volatility of the Coltan market.

16:40When questioned on facts by Arbitrator Sikri, the counsel is able to direct the attention of the tribunal to several exhibits. However, he doesn't seem satisfied and offers an argument to the Respondents, who agree with him, telling him that the letter of credit had elapsed, and this was pointed out in a voicemail left to the Claimants.

16:50The tribunal aside, yours truly is quite impressed with the counsel's articulation and his knack for building up a factual background to be more persuasive. Whatever questions are being thrown up are being deftly answered with appropriate citations involving the ICC Rules and the UNIDROIT Principles. 

16:50The rebuttals are centred around whether there has been a substantial harm or not, and regarding the communication of the letter of the credit. Both sides refer to facts and certain principles to pillar their arguments. With the conclusion of the orals, the decision of the tribunal is awaited as they discuss amongst themselves.

17:00And the feedback commences. Justice Sikri comments that the difference in moots and real cases lies that in real cases the merits of the case is judged, but in moots the merits of the participants are judged, and how difficult it is for him to differentiate between the merits of the participants in this case. He mentions how marriage is the end of romance. Yes.

17:15Mr. Lau, who has travelled from Singapore for the competition, offers that he has judged the finals in both Vienna and Hong Kong, and how the quality of the final is very high. Harish Salve begins by quipping that he can finally say that he can agree with his fellow arbitrators. Laughs all around the courtroom. 

And the winners of the 5th Indian Vis Pre-Moot are HNLU Raipur (Vis Vienna). The Best Oralist of the moot is Aniruddha Basu, NLS Bangalore (Vis Vienna). Congratulations! 

Thank you for following the event. We hope to be back to you next year. See y'all! 

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