UNSW Law students have recently claimed victory in two prestigious intervarsity negotiation and mediation competitions.

The UNSW team of Alexander Field and Jessica Shao won the 2018 Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) Negotiations Competition in Adelaide, contested between 30 teams from law schools across Australia and the Pacific. UNSW were also champions of the second ICC Asia-Pacific Commercial Mediation Competition, hosted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne. They defeated 12 other teams from across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and India.


The ALSA team competed in three preliminary rounds of negotiations, representing parties in mock commercial disputes and business ventures. They were judged on their ability to represent their clients’ interests, whilst attempting to best understand and incorporate the interests of their opponents into their final settlements.

After an intensive two days of preliminary rounds, and another two days of competing in knock-out quarter-final and semi-final rounds, UNSW advanced to the grand final against Deakin University. UNSW represented an international fast food chain attempting to open an outlet in a disapproving inner-city suburb.

The judging panel, consisting of an academic from Flinders University, an Adelaide-based barrister, and a Queensland-based solicitor, awarded UNSW the win, declaring them the 2018 ALSA Negotiations Champions.

Team members Alexander Field and Jessica Shao said: “It was an absolute pleasure to represent UNSW at the ALSA competition against so many strong competitors from across the country. We would like to thank the UNSW Law School, the UNSW Law Society and the organisers of our internal negotiations competitions for preparing us so thoroughly. All in all, it was an incredible experience.”

[Winning team: Jessica Shao and Alexander Field]


The ICC Mediation team competed in four preliminary rounds of mediations, representing parties in mock international disputes. They were judged by the region’s best mediators on their ability to advance their client’s interests and devise creative solutions to resolve commercial disputes with the opposing team.

After two and half days of competition, the team advanced to the grand final where they competed against O.P. Jindal Global University. The scenario in the final involved a designer clothing supplier accused of shipping counterfeit products and a boutique fashion retailer facing customer complaints as a result.

In a close decision by a panel of five judges, the UNSW team of Anne Wang, Sunny Xu, Minnie Wu and John Lidbetter were declared winners of the competition and recipients of the Victorian Bar’s Henry Jolson Commercial Awareness Award.

As part of their prize, the team received a training course from the Australian Disputes Centre as well as guaranteed entry into the invitation-only ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition, the global edition of the competition taking place in Paris in February 2019. UNSW has also performed strongly in Paris, taking first place in 2016 and 2018.

Team member Anne Wang said: “It was an honour to have taken part in this competition. We really want to thank our coach, Steve Lancken, who volunteered so much of his time, and all those who assisted us in training sessions.”

[Winning team: (From left) Anne Wang, John Lidbetter, team coach Steve Lanken, Sunny Xu and Minnie Wu. Photo: ICC Australia]