Griffith Law students have just topped the world’s best students in the field of international commercial arbitration – an area of law vital to the increasingly global business sector.

Final year students Eammon Atkinson and Mathew Shelley recently won the Vis East International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition held in Hong Kong, beating more than 50 international teams, from England, America, Germany and Italy to name a few.

The students were also honoured for their presentation skills with Mathew announced as Second Runner-Up Best Oralist and Eammon also receiving an honourable mention.

Team spokesperson Mathew Shelley said the experience was amazing.

“We really enjoyed meeting other students and arbitrators from across the world, and mooting before leaders in the International Commercial Arbitration field and international jurists,” he said.

“One of the challenges of the moot was the requirement to argue both sides of the dispute, often having to switch between claimant and respondent arguments within the hour.”

The students prepared for the six months leading-up to the competition and recognise the contribution of the mentors who assisted them along the way.

“The most beneficial aspect of our preparation was the variety of arbitrators we had the opportunity to moot in front of during our preparation in Australia,” Mathew said.

“This allowed us to thoroughly test our arguments to ensure they would stand up in real life situations. Also critical to our success was the fantastic efforts of our two Griffith Law School (GLS) coaches Therese Wilson and Professor Justin Malbon.”

Team coach and GLS Senior Law Lecturer Therese Wilson said the team wanted to thank all the people who gave time to hear practice moots and provide valuable insights and feedback.

These include: Queensland Court of Appeal Judge Justice John Muir QC, John McKenna SC, Mallesons Partner Justin McDonnell, Commercial Barristers Gregory Sheahan and Chris Wilson, Sydney-based Barrister Michael Evans and retired judge Neil McLauchlan QC, GLS Alumni Cameron Low and Michael de Waard, and GLS Associate Professor Mary Keyes.

“Minter Ellison partner Khory McCormick has also steadfastly supported and sponsored our teams for the past four years, and we are most grateful to him,” Ms Wilson said.

“Eammon and Mathew performed amazingly well and proved themselves as fine advocates.”

Grififith also participated in the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition held in Vienna, with students Suzannah D’Juliet and Peter Swan also performing well, placing fifth overall out of more than 200 teams and receiving individual honourable mentions.