Negotiation Competitions Information Pack by MichaelCoughlin


									      Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
     Negotiation Competition
Participant Information Pack

                               Philipp Gnatzy
                               Vocational Officer
                                UCL Law Society
                               Phone: +44 (0)7988 730797
                                                               Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                           Negotiation Competition
  General Information

Why you should take part

    The negotiation competition is a great opportunity to hone your advocacy skills as teams of
    ‘lawyers’ sit down and try to negotiate the best deal for their ‘clients’. You and your partner will
    represent one party in a dispute of some kind and will be given a scenario and confidential facts
    to read half an hour in advance of the first round. It is your task to reach a compromise with
    ‘the other side’. This will not only be an excellent practice for a career as a solicitor or barrister
    but is also extremely useful in training contract interviews when you certainly have to know
    how to negotiate.

    There is no preparation required, and you do not need to know any law in advance, simply sign
    up, turn up, read the handouts you will be given, and off you go! The game is great fun and
    gives you the chance to ‘talk the talk’.

    Most disputes which lawyers are asked to sort out do not end up in the courts, instead they are
    solved by way of some form of compromise between the parties – a negotiated agreement.
    Getting the best deal for your client can often involve some skilful negotiation, and it is some-
    thing which you will have to do on your LPC/BVC and as part of your trainee solicitors’ legal
    skills courses.

Format of the Competition

    In the Negotiation Competition, a team of two law students representing one part/client nego-
    tiates either a transaction or the resolution of a dispute with an opposing team of students.
    Just before the start of the round participating teams will receive a common set of facts and
    some confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side.
    You may have to negotiate a settlement in a divorce case, sponsorship deal, etc.

    After reading your facts, planning your argument and deciding which areas you will be willing
    to compromise on, you will face another team for 30 minutes. The aim is to leave the negotiat-
    ing table feeling that you have done the best to promote and protect your client’s interests,
    remaining professional at all times of course!

                                                                                                             Philipp Gnatzy
                                                                                                             Vocational Officer
                                                                                                              UCL Law Society
                                                                                                             Phone: +44 (0)7988 730797
                                                                       1/10                                  E-Mail:
                                                          Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                      Negotiation Competition

Teams will be assessed on their own performance, with the top scoring teams going on to the next

The assessment criteria listed below are those used for the regional competition. We follow these in
the internal competition as well. After each category I have written the questions the judges are
asked to consider when evaluating the performance of each team. You should bear these in mind
during the competition, to ensure the judges answer the questions positively with regards to your

      Negotiation planning
        Judging from its overall performance and apparent strategy, how well prepared for the nego-
        tiation did this team appear to be?
      Flexibility in deviating from plans or adapting strategy
        How flexible did this team appear to be in adapting its strategy to the negotiation as it devel-
        oped; reacting to new information or to unforeseen moves by he opposing team?
      Team Work
        How effective were these negotiators in working together as a team; sharing responsibility
        and providing mutual backup
      Relationship between the negotiating teams
        Did the way this team managed its relationship with the other team contribute to or detract
        from achieving this team’s client’s best interests?
      Negotiation Ethics
        To what extent did this negotiating team observe or violate the ethical requirements of a pro-
        fessional relationship?
      Outcome of Session
        Based on both the negotiation and the self-analysis and regardless of whether agreement
        was reached, to what extent did the outcome of the session serve the goals of the team’s cli-
      Self-analysis*
        Teams should begin this 10-minute period by answering the following questions:
         (a) “In reflecting on the entire negotiation, if you faced a similar situation tomorrow, what
         would you do the same and what would you do differently?”
         (b) “How well did your strategy wok in relation to the outcome?”
         Based on the team’s review session, how well has the team learned from today’s negotia
         tion and how adequate was their process of self-analysis?
         * Due to time constraints, the self-analysis period will be omitted from the earlier rounds.
         Hopefully this will be introduced by the Quarter-Final stage, but I shall let you know in ad

                                                                                                     Philipp Gnatzy
                                                                                                     Vocational Officer
                                                                                                      UCL Law Society
                                                                                                     Phone: +44 (0)7988 730797
                                                                  2/10                               E-Mail:
                                                         Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                     Negotiation Competition
A few Tips

    Be firm but fair – you must be willing to give a little; you can’t reach a compromise if you
      refuse to budge on any points!

    Be professional – greet the other side, introduce yourselves – use words like ‘my col-
      league’ – say which firm you are from and who you are representing.

    Tackle the issues arising in the set of facts one by one, most important first.

    Try to lead the discussion and be pro-active – avoid awkward silences if you can! Let the
      other side make their points as well though.

    There is not much need for ‘real law’ to be quoted – what needs to be sorted out should
      be obvious from the facts.

    Don’t talk over your partner – good teamwork is essential.

    You may have questions which you need to ask the other side, and some problems may
      involve financial matters to be settled.

    Always remember that you must act in your client’s best interests at all times – there may
      be some facts to which you are privy that the client does not want you to disclose to the
      other side.

    At the end, sum up what you have agreed and highlight anything that needs being con-
      sidered as a ‘follow-up’ to your meeting.

Useful Phrases

   “Our client has advised us/has specified…”
   “Can we just return to the previous point…”
   “I’m afraid that is as much as we are prepare to say on the matter…”
   “We feel it is necessary to compromise with you on this point – it is in both our clients
     best interests to successfully resolve this issue.”

To look at some past scenarios, go to the national website at:

                                                                                                     Philipp Gnatzy
                                                                                                     Vocational Officer
                                                                                                      UCL Law Society
                                                                                                     Phone: +44 (0)7988 730797
                                                                3/10                                 E-Mail:
                                                         Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                        Negotiation Competition
A final reminder

REMEMBER TO WEAR SUITS – get into character as the spectacularly skilled lawyers that you
will one day be! Enjoy yourselves and have fun.

The prize money is £150 per person for the winning team, and £100 per person for runners-up.
This is courtesy of our sponsors Shearman & Sterling.

If you have any further questions or for further information, please email me at .
I think we will again have lots of fun learning some new skills. You will certainly enjoy the com-
petition and gain from it. Being UCL Lawyers it will once again be an opportunity for all of us to
show drive, determination and commitment.

Vocational Officer, UCL Law Society


       Introductory Talk                  13 January                         1-2pm
            st                              th
            1 Round                       19 January                      6.00-8.30pm
           2nd Round                     26 January                      6.00-8.00pm
            rd                             nd
           3 Round                       02 February                      6.00-7.30pm
           Semi-Final                    09 February                      6.00-7.30pm
                 Final                   11 February                      6.00-7.30pm

                                                                                                     Philipp Gnatzy
                                                                                                     Vocational Officer
                                                                                                      UCL Law Society
                                                                                                     Phone: +44 (0)7988 730797
                                                                4/10                                 E-Mail:
                                                          Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                      Negotiation Competition
      Official Rules

1. Eligibility
i. Each law school is eligible to enter a team of two law students in the appropriate regional com-
     petition. Where an institution has undergraduate and post graduate courses a team may be en-
     tered from both the undergraduate and the postgraduate courses. The students may be under-
     graduates taking a law degree programme which includes the core subjects or postgraduate stu-
     dents who are undertaking full-time legal research or a CPE, LPC, BVC, BCL, masters course or a
     graduate Diploma in Law course. (1)
ii. A student may take part in the competition on one occasion only (2). Additional teams may be
     entered pursuant to Rules 15 and 16 only.
iii. To enter the competition the approval of the Head of the relevant law school must be obtained
     and a faculty member must agree to serve as an adviser (3)
iv. There will be a non-returnable entry fee of £75 per team.

2. Communication
All communication concerning the competition will be by e-mail.(4)

3. The Competition

i. There will normally be regional heats (5) from which teams will go forward to the national final.
      The number of teams qualifying for the national final from each heat will depend upon the num-
      ber of entries overall and the number of regional rounds. The Negotiation Competition Commit-
      tee reserves the right not to hold regional heats. All the following rules relating to the number of
      participants and teams going forward to subsequent rounds should be read in the light of this
      provision. The number of teams qualifying from a regional round will be notified before the re-
      gional round takes place.
ii. The Negotiation Competition Committee will divide participating schools into regions for the re-
      gional competitions.
iii. The winners of the competition in any year will be expected to host the national competition the
     following year. The Negotiation Competition Committee, in consultation with the sponsors and
     the host convenor, will administer the national competition. The national finals may be video-
4. Competition format

i. The regional competitions will consist of two concurrent rounds and the national competition
    will consist of three concurrent rounds. Each team will negotiate twice in the regional competi-
    tions. Normally 12 teams in total will go forward to the national competition. In the national com-
    petition each team will negotiate in all three rounds (6)
ii. Each negotiation will consist of a 50-minute negotiation session, during which each team may
    take one break of no more than five minutes. The 50-minute period will continue during any such
    break. If the team calling the break specifically requests, both teams must leave the room during
    the break. At the end of the 50-minute period each team will have a ten-minute period to analyse
    their performance in private and a ten-minute self-analysis period (ten minutes per team) in the
    presence of the judges. The team with the letter designation closest to the beginning of the al-
    phabet will go first in the self-analysis.

                                                        Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                    Negotiation Competition
iv. Supplemental materials may be used by the participants. However, no supplemental materials
    prepared prior to the session may be used until each member of the opposing team has been
    given a complete copy of the materials. Supplemental materials, other than those used during the
    negotiation session, may not be introduced or used during the self-analysis portion of the compe-
    tition. Only materials actually used during the negotiation may be shown to the judges. Partici-
    pants are not required to show materials to the judges (7).
v. Judges will give feedback to both teams before the next negotiation.
vi. Responsibility rests with the student participants for timekeeping and for adherence to allotted
    time periods and breaks. Decisions by the judges as to elapsed time are final and non-reviewable.

5. Distribution of materials
i. Approximately two weeks before the regional competition the common and confidential facts of
    each scenario will be distributed by e-mail. Each scenario will consist of: A common set of facts
    known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing
    a particular side. Judges will have access to all scenario materials provided to participants.
ii. Approximately two weeks before the national competition the common facts and confidential
    facts will be distributed by e-mail as for the regional competitions.

6. Self-analysis
Following the ten-minute preparation for self-analysis, each team will have ten minutes in which to
analyse the team's performance in the negotiation. This will take place outside the presence of the
opposing team. Students will begin this ten-minute period by answering, in the presence of the
judges, the following questions:
 In reflecting on the entire negotiation, if you were to be faced with a similar situation tomorrow,
what would you do the same and what would you do differently?
 How well did your strategy work in relation to the outcome?
The team should also be prepared to respond to questions from the judges concerning the team's per-
formance. In addition, the team may use this as an opportunity to explain why it chose a particular ap-
proach or even a specific tactic. The judges may take into consideration for scoring purposes anything
said during this session.

7. Competition format and progress to the national competition
i. The competition consists of two concurrent rounds in the regional competitions and three concur-
     rent rounds in the national final (8). [See Annex II for agreed pairings and scheme]. Notice of the
     schedule to be used in a regional competition must be given to all participating schools at least
     two weeks prior to the competition (9).
ii. Where two teams from the same law school participate in a regional competition or the national
     competition they will always represent the same side and must negotiate the same scenario at the
     same time.
iii. Only two teams from any one institution can proceed from the regionals to the national. In the
      event that three teams from one institution in a regional are placed among the highest scoring
      teams to qualify for the national competition, only the two highest placed teams will go forward
      and the next highest scoring team from an other institution will go forward instead.
iv. In the event that either two undergraduate teams or two postgraduate teams from the same law
      school, who have participated pursuant to rules 15 or 16, are placed in the three highest scoring
      teams in the national competition, only the higher scoring of the two teams will be placed and the
      next highest scoring team from another law school will be placed instead.

                                                         Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                     Negotiation Competition
8. Team briefing
i. Every effort will be made to ensure that the simulations and rules are clear. The competition con-
    venor shall organise concurrent briefing sessions at the start of the competitions. All student par-
    ticipants representing a particular side should meet together and be given the opportunity to ask
    questions. This session should be held while the judges are being briefed. No one other than the
    student participants and person(s) conducting the briefing session will be permitted to attend. The
    competition convenor will have complete discretion in answering questions related to the simula-
    tion and rules. However, no new facts may be added to the simulations. Since teams representing
    each side will meet separately, if one group raises a question that exists in the general background
    information (i.e. the information known by both sides), the clarification will be communicated to
    the other group and to the judges. As in any negotiation session, the facts are subject to reason-
    able interpretation by the parties. Whether a team's interpretation is reasonable is not a matter
    that should be resolved by the person conducting the briefing. Questions of reasonableness of an
    interpretation are entirely within the discretion of the judges and are not reviewable.
ii. Submission of inquiries relating to the simulated fact patterns in advance of the briefing must by e-
    mail. Under no circumstance will additional facts be provided, and inquiries will be accepted only if
    absolutely necessary - as determined by the Negotiation Competition Committee - to clarify a bon-
    afide and fundamental question. In no event, however, will the Negotiation Competition Commit-
    tee entertain a request for clarification unless received by e-mail by 3 p.m. on the date that is seven
    calendar days before the negotiation event.

9. Judges
i. Each round (consisting of two negotiation sessions in the regional competitions and three sessions
     in the national competition) will be observed and evaluated by a panel of three judges, at least two
     of whom must be lawyers. These judges will evaluate the performance of the participants accord-
     ing to the standards and criteria provided.
ii. To the extent possible, the host school is responsible for selecting judges who are experienced
     and knowledgeable in negotiation skills. Any non-lawyers serving as judges must have negotiation
iii. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if there is an insufficient number of judges on the day of the com-
     petition, negotiations may be observed and evaluated by panels consisting of either two or three
     judges. If any negotiation in a round is observed and evaluated by a panel of two judges their
     scores will be averaged and added as a third set of marks for that round and will be entered on the
     score sheet in the column otherwise reserved for the scores awarded by the third judge.
iv. Judges will be briefed before each round in conformity with the Negotiation Competition Instruc-
     tions for Briefing Judges.

10. Permissable assistance
i. The faculty adviser may advise the team in its planning and preparation for all rounds of the com-
ii. No one, including faculty advisers, however, may give advice or instructions to, or attempt to com-
     municate in any way with, any of the participants during the period from beginning of the partici-
     pants' negotiation session to the completion of the self-analysis period for that negotiation ses-
     sion. Observers, faculty advisers and other persons identified with a participating team may only
     observe heats in which that school's team is participating.
iii. No participant or other person identified with a participating team may attend a negotiation ses-
     sion of any other team, except a faculty adviser serving as a judge. Nor may the participants, fac-
     ulty advisers, or any other person connected with a team communicate with another of its school's
     teams, if a school has more than one team entered in the competition, until all of the school's
     teams have completed all negotiations.
                                                          Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                      Negotiation Competition
iv. Where a faculty adviser is serving as a judge, s/he may not judge a heat containing a team from
    that adviser's school.
v. The mere act of communication, receipt of information, or attendance proscribed by this rule will
    constitute a breach of the rules, regardless of the substance thereof and regardless of whether
    initiated by a participant or by any other person. Breach of this rule will result in disqualification.

11. Team identification and pairing
i. Each team will be assigned a letter by the national committee co-ordinator. If a judge asks a team
     member which school the team member represents, the member should respond that the rules do
     not allow that information to be given until the competition is completed. (11)
ii. The competition pairings and scheme [see Annex II] is such that no team will negotiate directly
     against another team more than once. Where an institution has more than one team in the compe-
     tition [see rules 1, 15 and 16] the national committee co-ordinator and the covenor shall ensure that
     both teams will conduct the same negotiation at the same time and the letter designations will be
     assigned accordingly.

12. Breaches of the Rules
i. Any breach of the rules that may affect the results will be resolved on the day of the competition
     by an appeals panel appointed by the competition convenor.
ii. Competition participants and faculty advisers waive the right to appeal any matter arising in the
     course of a competition round if they fail to make a complaint before the end of the final judges'
     feedback period in the round in which the matter occurred.
iii. The appeals panel will consist of at least one but not more than three faculty advisers and/or
     judges. No member of the appeals panel may be a person identified with a complaining school, the
     alleged offending school, or the school currently placed next behind the alleged offending school.
iv. The appeals panel will not meet before conclusion of the regional competition and will only hear a
     complaint that has a bearing on the results of the competition.
v. In respect of issues that arise in the presence of the judges, the appeals panel has full discretion to
     determine whether to rank the offending team fourth in the heat of a regional competition, or
     sixth in a heat of the national competition or impose no penalty. The rankings of the other teams
     in that heat shall, when a penalty is imposed, be adjusted upwards accordingly.
vi. The decision of the appeals panel is final.

13. Participant expenses
Travel, accommodation and incidental costs incurred by participants in the competitions will not be
reimbursed by the Negotiation Competition Committee and will be the responsibility of the partici-
14. Host school expenses
i. A subsidy will be provided to help the schools hosting the regional heats defray the costs of hold-
    ing the competition, providing refreshments during the day and a reception after the competition.
ii. A subsidy will be provided to help the school hosting the national finals defray the costs of holding
    the competition, providing refreshments during the competition and a competition dinner.

15. Additional team: uneven number of registered teams
i. In the regional rounds, the competition convenor, in consultation with the Negotiation Competi-
    tion Committee, may permit one or more additional eligible teams to participate in the competition
    if the number of teams registered does not equal a multiple of four. At the option of the competi-
    tion convenor, such additional teams may represent any school participating in the competition,
    including the host school. Any additional team must otherwise qualify for participation in every re-
    spect; however, students competing for the same school should represent only one side of the ne-
    gotiation scenario.
                                                           Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                       Negotiation Competition
ii. Where additional teams are needed so the national competition will have a number of teams equal
     to a multiple of six, the Negotiation Competition Committee, in its sole discretion, may allow addi-
     tional team(s) to go forward.
iii. Where a team qualifies for the national competition from a regional competition but is unable to
     participate in the national competition, the next ranked team in that region will qualify for the na-
     tional competition.

16. Failure of registered team to appear on the day of the competition
There is always the possibility that because of illness or other emergency a team or one member of a
team will not appear on the day of the competition. In this unlikely event:
i.    The competition convenor will seek another registered team to split apart to compete as single
      person teams during that round of the competition. The number of teams required to split will be
      such as to achieve the next number equal to a multiple of four.
ii.   Only those teams representing the same side of a negotiation as the team that failed to appear
      will be eligible for participation as individuals. If more than one team volunteers, the team will be
      chosen at random. If no team volunteers, the team will be chosen at random from among all
      teams representing the side of the team that failed to appear.
iii. n the event that a single-person team under this rule begins competing, the absent team forfeits.
     In the event that a single-person team under this rule qualifies for the national competition both
     team members will proceed to the national as a two person team.
iv. In the case of a team which has qualified for the national competition and it becomes known that
    one member of the team will not be able to attend the national, a substitute may be used pro-
    vided that the Negotiation Competition Committee has been notified in advance of the national
v. In the case of a team where only one team member appears on the day of the competition and no
   substitute is available, that team will be considered to have forfeited and the rules that apply to
   total non-appearance shall prevail.
17. Scoring
In the regional competitions each panel of judges will observe four teams in any one round. Judges
will rank the teams from one to four in order of effectiveness in the negotiating session. (See Rule 9
(iii) concerning an uneven number of judges on the panel in any round.) In the case of the regional
competitions, the best ranking teams, i.e. those with the lowest cumulative ratings overall, (the num-
ber will depend upon the overall competition entry) will advance to the national finals, subject to Rule
7(iii). In the national competition the best ranking teams are those that have the lowest cumulative
ratings overall after three rounds. The winning team, the second and third placed teams will be an-
nounced following calculation of the results (based on the score sheets from the judges in all three
rounds and, if necessary, the application of Rule 7(iv)) at the competition dinner.
18. Tie-breaking procedure
i. If it is necessary to break a tie to determine the teams advancing to the national competition or
     determine the first-, second- and third- place rankings in the national competition, the tie will be
     broken by computing the team with the lowest total score on the seven scoring scales on the
     judges' score sheets, using only the score sheets of the teams involved in the tie.
ii. If the tie breaking calculation still results in a tie, the winner will be determined from among those
     tied by choosing the team achieving the best (lowest) score in the OUTCOME OF THE SESSION
     category, calculated in accordance with the provisions of this rule.
iii. If a tie still remains, the tie shall be broken by tossing a coin.

                                                         Shearman & Sterling LLP - UCL
                                                     Negotiation Competition
19. Prizes
i. All participants receive certificates of participation.
ii. The twelve qualifying teams from the regional competitions are eligible to attend a one-day Ad-
     vanced Negotiation Skills course provided by trainers from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolu-
iii. The winners will receive a trophy to be held in their Law School until the next competition and
     each member of the winning team will receive £250.
iv. Each member of the second and third placed teams will receive £75.
v. The winners of the competition will also be invited to represent England and Wales in The Interna-
     tional Negotiation Competition; their Law School will receive a £750 travel grant to enable them to
     represent England and Wales.

                                                                                                   Philipp Gnatzy
                                                                                                   Vocational Officer
                                                                                                    UCL Law Society
                                                                                                   Phone: +44 (0)7988 730797
                                                                10/10                              E-Mail:

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