SMU edges out NUS in Sydney moot contest

Singapore Management University students (from left) Pang Weng Fong, Gary Leow, Benedict Chan and Goh Yong Ngee with their championship trophy after winning the inaugural Ian Fletcher International Insolvency Law Moot Competition, held in Sydney, Aus
Singapore Management University students (from left) Pang Weng Fong, Gary Leow, Benedict Chan and Goh Yong Ngee with their championship trophy after winning the inaugural Ian Fletcher International Insolvency Law Moot Competition, held in Sydney, Australia.PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

It is the first time that two Singapore teams make it to the finals of an international moot competition

A quartet from the Singapore Management University (SMU) edged out a National University of Singapore (NUS) team in the inaugural Ian Fletcher International Insolvency Law Moot Competition held in Sydney, Australia.

It was the first time two Singapore teams were in the finals of an international moot competition.

The students from both Singapore varsities had out-talked their peers from foreign law schools in India, Canada and Australia, among other countries, to reach the finals.

SMU law school's international moots programme head Chen Siyuan said: "The win is significant as cross-border insolvency is one of the areas of law that is growing and our Government has also expressed an interest for Singapore to develop an expertise in it."

The win helps burnish the SMU law school brand. It recently won two other moot competitions.

A week before the Sydney win, an SMU team became the first Singapore team to win a moot competition involving investment arbitration in Frankfurt, Germany.

And another team beat rivals from the University of Oxford in a moot competition in England just last week.

A SIGNIFICANT WIN

The win is significant as cross-border insolvency is one of the areas of law that is growing and our Government has also expressed an interest for Singapore to develop an expertise in it.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR CHEN SIYUAN, who heads the SMU law school's international moots programme, on the team's win in the inaugural Insolvency Law Moot competition in Sydney, Australia.

Assistant Professor Chen said doing well in international moots is more than just a university endeavour. "I would say it is a national one, as part of nation-building. If we as a country want to be serious about being a world-class dispute resolution hub, we must continue to invest wisely in our students and coaches to match that ambition."

The Ian Fletcher International Insolvency Law Moot competition aims to encourage students to learn about the complexities in international insolvency law and commercial litigation, by challenging them with various legal scenarios.

The competition featured 14 international teams. SMU's team comprised students Benedict Chan, Goh Yong Ngee, Gary Leow and Pang Weng Fong.

Mr Benedict Chan was named the best mooter in the competition. He said the award was " a pleasant surprise" and thanked his teammates and others for providing helpful feedback.

The judging panel comprised Federal Court of Australia Chief Justice James Allsop, United Kingdom Lord Justice of Appeal David Richards and former US Bankruptcy Court judge Allan Gropper.

Both the SMU and NUS teams left a deep impression on the large audience at the competition, which included judges, lawyers, academics and members of the insolvency profession, said Queensland University of Technology law school visiting fellow Michael Murray.

"All judges - local and international - spoke at the end giving feedback on the students' efforts, and spoke extremely highly of the quality of their legal preparation and knowledge, and their mooting skills," said Mr Murray.

Meanwhile, in the Price Media Law Moot Court competition held in Oxford last week, SMU became the first university to snag the winning trophy for the third time, after bagging it last year and in 2010.

The competition revolves around issues of human rights - specifically freedom of expression - and draws about 100 teams from around the world each year.

The SMU team comprised students Chia Chen Wei, Lyndon Choo, Tracy Gani, Kara Quek, Jacintha Gopal and Saw Teng Sheng.

Prof Chen thanked local law firm WongPartnership for supporting its teams.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2017, with the headline 'SMU edges out NUS in Sydney moot contest'. Print Edition | Subscribe