HKIAC's annual two-day practice moot for the 11th Frankfurst Investment Arbitration competition ran from 22-23 February. Numerous teams hailing from a variety of both Chinese and international universities attended including: Wuhan University; Northwest University of Political Science and Law; Shandong University; Southwest University of Political Science and Law; Peking University; Shanghai University of Political Science and Law; and the National University of Singapore.
The fun, educational and hotly contested proceedings were concluded with a visit by participants to the offices of Clifford Chance Hong Kong.
Visit to Clifford Chance
On 23 February, Clifford Chance Hong Kong kindly hosted the contestants in the HKIAC pre-moot for the Frankfurt Investment Moot. Following a brief introduction from Asia-Pacific managing partner Geraint Hughes, four members of staff – Cameron Hassall, Thomas Walsh, Dominique Yong and Feifei Yu – led a panel discussion on their career paths, what they look for in prospective team members and their thoughts on international arbitration.
Geraint Hughes emphasised that Clifford Chance's strength lies in its diversity, and that its staff's key strength is creating a client connection. He provided valuable advice on how to achieve this, and on how to best examine firms when applying for work.
The panel's diverse backgrounds, hailing from Australia, the UK and Mainland China, allowed for a range of views on the questions they asked. Key points included that arbitration can differ between jurisdictions, as can the underlying legal training and theory, and that initially finding your direction in legal work can be challenging; rotating between firm sectors, or taking secondments, is of great use.
The panel agreed that the most important skills for prospective team members are their ability to think holistically, and create solutions that understand the law, their clients and the global context they work in. They emphasised that grades are not the only factor, rather expertise over a range of areas and an ability to provide compelling submissions and analysis. They also emphasised the importance of a passion for dispute resolution, and that multilingualism is a real asset.
The panel also emphasised the international nature of arbitration, and the travel and career opportunities it offers. In particular, they emphasised that exposure to different offices and legal systems exposes you to a wider ambit of law, which in turn improves your ability as a lawyer. After briefly discussing some of their more notable experiences as lawyers, the panel session concluded with some brief questions before a networking cocktail reception.