University of Houston Law Center wins ICC Mediation Competition 2015

University of Houston Law Center winners Rose Badruddin and Brandon Schrecengost
University of Houston Law Center winners Rose Badruddin and Brandon Schrecengost

The University of Houston Law Center has won the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)’s 10th International Commercial Mediation Competition, taking the title after a thrilling final against the University of Sao Paolo.

The competition, which ran from February 6-11 in Paris, is ICC’s biggest educational event and the only moot devoted exclusively to international commercial mediation and is open to law and business schools worldwide.

Featuring some 150 mock mediation sessions based on real commercial disputes, the 2015 Competition tested the problem-solving skills of 67 teams from 34 countries, making it the biggest and most diverse yet.

University of Houston Law Center was represented by students Rose Badruddin and Brandon Schrecengost, who won internships at the ICC International Center for ADR, and the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution, as part of the Competition prize.

“I’m ecstatic!” said Schrecengost. “To get this far and eventually win is beyond anything we could have hoped for.”

Badruddin added: “Lawyers are usually taught to be independent but I think one of the biggest lessons of this competition for me is: trust yourself, but also trust your partner.”

The team was selected for their “good social dynamics” during their university’s series of mediation, negotiation, and arbitration competitions, according to coach Kevin Hedges, a practicing attorney who teaches at the University of Houston and has been a moderator, mediator and arbitrator. He added: “The competition has gotten much more competitive every year. It’s invaluable for the students to meet their peers from around the world and interact with them both socially and professionally.”

Throughout the competition, professional mediators drew on their own experiences of resolving business disputes to act as mediators and judges, while students played the roles of client and legal counsel. The final session involved a complex dispute over the low yields of a newly acquired vineyard on a South Pacific Island.

Read more on ICC’s website.

Staff contact: Josefa Sicard-Mirabel

Staff Contact:   Nancy Thevenin

General Counsel
Tel: 212.703.5047

Nancy Thevenin supports the USCIB Arbitration Committee and coordinates the work of the U.S. Nominations Committee. She works closely with USCIB’s Business Development team in ensuring a more comprehensive policy, legal and arbitration membership outreach to both law firms and corporations. Thevenin previously served as deputy director of the ICC Court of Arbitration’s North American marketing office. During her tenure, the group helped launch the ICC International Mediation Competition and developed USCIB Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF), with Thevenin drafting the proposal for the ICC to make YAF a global organization. Nancy then joined Baker & McKenzie as a special counsel in and global coordinator of their International Arbitration Practice Group. She left Baker in 2014 to start her own practice as arbitrator and mediator and continues to teach the spring semester international commercial arbitration course at St. John’s Law School.
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