LIVE: 11th edition of the NUJS-HSF National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition

4:50 pm – Good evening! The 11th edition of the NUJS National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition 2019 to be held in association with Herbert Smith Freehills LLP will be conducted in the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) campus from the 25th of January to the 27th of January, 2019. Over the last decade, the NUJS-HSF Moot has gained a reputation as one of the foremost corporate law moots in the country.

The 11th edition will witness the participation of teams from 24 leading law schools from across the country. Like previous editions, the moot will be judged by a stellar pool of judges which will include legal practitioners excelling in the field of corporate law, litigation, academia, etc and will serve as a unique opportunity for students to showcase their understanding of corporate and commercial laws before them. This panel will include Mr. Chris Parsons (Partner and Chairman of the HSF India Group) and Mr. Nicholas Peacock (Partner and Head of India Disputes). It aims to provide a platform for law students to learn about the rich and complex field of Indian corporate law and sharpen their advocacy skills.

The moot problem has been drafted by Rhodes Scholar and Barrister at One Essex Court, Mr. Niranjan Venkatesan, and is based on contemporary issues in corporate and commercial law in India.

The registration has started and people from different colleges are entering the campus. The colleges that will be participating in the tournament are:

  1. NALSAR University of Law
  2. Government Law College, Mumbai
  3. National Law University, Delhi
  4. National Law Institute University, Bhopal
  5. National Law School of India, Bangalore
  6. Indian Law Society Law College,
  7. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar
  8. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur
  9. O.P. Jindal Global University
  10. National Law University, Odisha
  11. Amity Law School, Delhi
  12. Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi
  13. Symbiosis Law School, Noida
  14. School of Law, Christ University
  15. The National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi
  16. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala
  17. Symbiosis Law School, Pune
  18. School of Law, SASTRA
  19. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi
  20. Maharashtra National Law University, Aurangabad
  21. Institute of Law, Nirma University
  22. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow
  23. NMIMS SOL (KPMSOL)
  24. National Law University, Jodhpur

Welcome!

7:04 pm – Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of the participating teams. Mr. Chris Parsons, the partner and chairman of the HSF India group and Mr. Nicholas Peacock, Partner and Head of India Disputes graced the occasion with their presence. The welcome address was delivered by Ms. Paramita Dasgupta, faculty advisor of the NUJS Moot Court Society. Mr. Aryan Agarwal the convenor of the NUJS Moot Court Society thanked her for the inspirational and insightful speech after which he declared the conference formally open.

Day 2

11:20 am – Happy Republic day!

After the judges briefing, the judges have been escorted to their courtrooms. All teams are ready and willing to present their cases. We wish the participating teams all the best! As I said, “May the odds be ever in your favour!”

12:31 pm – Preliminary round 1 has ended. The judges and participants are off to lunch.

2:14 pm – Preliminary round 2 is underway. Some participating teams used the lunch break as an opportunity to prepare for the next round. That is some grit that this live blogger envies. 🙂

4:03 pm – Preliminary round 2 has ended. A range of emotions across faces from confused to content can be seen. Best of luck to the participating teams for the results. 8 teams will qualify for the quarterfinals.

5:36 pm – The quarterfinals have started. 8 teams move on to fight for the title of winner of the 11th edition of NUJS-HSF National Moot Court Competition. The colleges are –

  1. NLIU
  2. NLU, Jodhpur
  3. Nirma
  4. NUALS
  5. NLSIU
  6. School of Law, SASTRA
  7. NLU, Odisha
  8. NLU, Delhi

Congratulations to the quarterfinalists!

8:00 pm – The quarterfinals have ended and the participants are off to dinner. The judges are interacting with NUJS MCS members, and an occasional laugh or two can be heard. Best of luck to the participating teams.

9:00 pm – The teams that have advanced to the semifinals are

  1. NLIU
  2. NLU, Odisha
  3. School of Law, SASTRA
  4. NUALS, Kochi

Congratulations to the teams!

Day 3

Semifinals

9:30 am – The judges’ briefing has ended, and the stage for semifinals is set up. This is going to be exciting.

10:00 am – The semifinals is off to a good start here at room number 208. Speaker 1 from the appellant’s side has taken the stage confidently.

10:02 am – The confidence has crumbled as one judge points out a fatal flaw in the argument and another judge points out that a case crucial to the argument has neither been cited nor does the team have a copy of the case. The judges are furious, and the speaker is mumbling. The judges are taking down every argument.

10:05 am – The judges have gone easy on speaker 1 now. He is citing cases and stating facts without referring to notes and the judges are listening intently.

10:09 am – Speaker 1 has regained confidence, and there is a faint trace of a polite smile as he states the cases to the judges.

10:13 am – The judges’ line of questioning is probing, and speaker 1 is answering one judge’s questions with more arguments. The judge is unimpressed.

10:19 am – The judges are shocked that there is no case law in India or even in common law regarding a submission. Speaker 1 stated that there is US precedent. The judges have called the argument, “This is far-fetched.”

10:21 am – Speaker 2 has taken the stage, and she has started with a confident assertion. The judges are keen to hear arguments about this.

10:24 am – The judges are listening and some of the judges are nodding their heads in agreement with some arguments.

10:27 am – Speaker 2 has put forward an argument based on facts. The judges have torn the argument to shreds. The judges are speaking now.

10:30 am – This bench is what some experienced mooters would call a “hot bench”. One judge is pushing Speaker 2 to a corner by arguing technical details of attribution. Speaker 2 has stayed calm and is responding to each assertion of the judge. The judge has become silent now. Is this the calm before the storm?

10:36 am – Another judge has posed questions to Speaker 2 based on a question of law. The speaker has answered, but it seems like that was a trap. The judge has pointed out inconsistencies that necessarily have to follow if that position was adopted by Speaker 2. Now, Speaker 2 is in a fix. She tries to explain the position by citing a British case. The judge wants an Indian case, but Speaker 2 has none. The trap has shut. Has it taken the team with it?

10:41 am – The judges’ interests piqued when Speaker 2 stated a case. They pointed out that the facts are not similar to the case at hand. Speaker 2 explains away the difference on technical grounds, and the judges are satisfied with that explanation.

10:45 am – We are into overtime territory here, and the judges have graciously extended 5 more minutes to argue one issue.

10:48 am – The judges have cut Speaker 2 off abruptly when one case law cited has not been adopted in India.

10:51 am – Speaker 1 from the Respondent’s side has started speaking. One judge asks Speaker 1 to explain a point immediately and reiterates that when Speaker 1 stated that he would get to the point when he would deal with another point. The judges are unimpressed so far.

10:53 am – When Speaker 1 was asked to explain a point of authority, Speaker 1 did not have the required material, and was graciously extended the material by the opposing team. One judge remarked, in part-humour part-seriousness, on the irresponsibility of the team of Speaker 1, “You just lost 16 marks there”.

10:58 am – The judges have raised points which have often led Speaker 1 to become silent for a few moments to gather his thoughts. The judges seem pleased with the result of their questions.

11;03 am – As time ticks by, the body language of Speaker 1 has become assertive and impatient. The judges respond to that with more questions.

11:06 am – The judges have referred to a point of the opposing team and asked Speaker 1 to counter it. Speaker 1 tries to do that but the judges just shredded every argument to pieces.

11:09 am – Speaker 1 has concluded, and the judges seem to be glad.

11:10 am – Speaker 2 has started speaking.

11:12 am – The judges suddenly miss Speaker 1. Speaker 2 is fumbling right off the bat.

11:18 am – The judges have pointed out way too many inconsistencies in the arguments. Speaker2 is unable to answer for those to the judges’ satisfaction.

11;25 am – It is the same show which is being played on loop, One judge has curtly pointed out a statement that has gone against one statement of a previous issue. Speaker 2 is attempting to backtrack, to no avail.

11:32 am – The judges have curtly thanked Speaker 2 for his submission, thus ending the bloodbath that was this speaking round.

11:45 am – The rebuttal and reply to rebuttal have ended with not a lot of fireworks. A lot of arguments were rehashed, and the judges have noted that.

12:00 pm – It is time for the final break. Judges and participants have dispersed for lunch. All the very best to the teams for the results.

 

2:00 pm – And the results are out, folks. The teams that have moved on to the finals are

  1. NLIU, Bhopal (Appellants)
  2. NLU, Odisha (Respondents)

2:45 pm – The stage is set for the grand finals of the 11th edition of the NUJS-HSF National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition. The judges for the finals are

  1. Mr. Chris Parsons
  2. Mr. Nicholas Peacock.
  3. Ms. Shruti Rajan
  4. Justice Arindam Mukherjee

An enthusiastic audience has tuned up at the MCS hall

2:57 pm – Speaker 1 from the Appellant’s side has started speaking.

2:59 pm – No questions yet, as the judges have not noticed any problem in the arguments yet.

3:00 pm – The judge is asking the speaker to repeat an argument because his point was unclear.

3:03 pm – No questions asked as Speaker 1 continues to make point after point. Is it the calm before the storm?

3:04 pm – Mr. Peacock is asking questions on the issue of stay. Justice Mukherjee is adding to the question. Is there a trap in the offing?

3:06 pm – Speaker 1 has responded to the question with grace. But has he answered the question? Mr. Peacock does not think so, and he asks the same question again.

3:10 pm – Justice Mukherjee posed another question. Speaker 1 has tackled it gracefully, and the judges seem satisfied.

3:14 pm – Mr. Peacock has raised the point that the arguments on the second issue are heavily reliant on the applicability of the arguments on the first issue, and has asked if that was the best argument that can be made on this. Speaker 1 is slightly thrown off.

3:19 pm – Speaker 1 has tackled one more question and his co-counsel, Speaker2, will start speaking.

3:21 pm – Speaker 2 has started with confidence, and the judges are in agreement with what has been said so far.

3:23 pm – Mr. Peacock has asked a probing question which has been deflected by Speaker 2 on the basis that it shall be addressed by a later point. Mr. Peacock has graciously acquiesced.

3:26 pm – Assertions made by Speaker 2 have gone unquestioned by the judges, as they occasionally nod their heads in agreement.

3;28 pm – Justice Mukherjee has raised a pertinent question about the issue of fraud.

3:30 pm – A barrage of questions was thrown the way of Speaker 2. All members of the panel are involved in the questioning now.

3:34 pm – Speaker 2 has moved on the third issue now. This bench is a mix of a “hot” and a “cold” bench, to use mooting language.

3:36 pm – Speaker 2 is focused on the issue of ratification.

3:37 pm – Justice Mukherjee and Mr. Peaocock have asked questions in turns. Speaker 2 has answered the questions, and the judges have no more questions.

3:40 pm – Mr. Peacock has characterised an argument as circular and absurd, and Speaker 2 is valiantly trying to explain the inconsistency.

3:42 pm – Speaker 2 is concluding her arguments.

3:44 pm – There is a question by Mr. Parsons. As soon as Speaker 2 answered was there another follow-up question.

3:46 pm – Justice Mukherjee has also asked a question. Speaker 2 has answered the question.

3:49 pm – Ms. Rajan asks a probing question and asks the answer to be backed by case law. Speaker 2 has answered the question but Ms. Rajan has a mixed reaction to it.

3:52 pm – Mr. Parsons has also asked a follow-up question. Speaker 2 has answered the question and stated the prayer as well.

3:54 pm – Speaker 1 of the Respondents has started speaking.

3:56 pm – There are no questions yet. If the previous 40 minutes is any indication, the questions are almost exclusively reserved towards the end.

3:58 pm – Justice Mukherjee has asked the first question and has effectively said that the case law cited is old and the latest statute might not be as favourable to their case.

3:59 pm – Speaker 1 has pointed out that the statute is effective in England, and stated that it is not applicable.

4:00 pm – Mr. Peacock has asked a question. When Speaker 1 thanked him for the question, Mr. Peacock stated, “You do not need to thank me for the question, counsel”, eliciting some laughs in the MCS Hall.

4:04 pm – Speaker 2 is heard asking “Do I sense a question, your Lordship?” and pat came the reply from Mr. Parsons, “Yes, you do sense a question, counsel”. Mr. Parsons posed a question and it is likely to box in the position of Speaker 1.

4:06 pm – Speaker 2 is trying to evade that problematic position by clarifying,

4:09 pm – Mr. Peacock has come directly to the point and asked a question which, if answered right, would effectively impress all the judges. The answer does not seem to have cut ice with the panel.

4:11 pm – Justice Mukherjee has also asked another question by pointing out particular provisions of an act.

4:13 pm – Seemingly dissatisfied, Justice Mukherjee has asked another question along the same line.

4:15 pm – Still unhappy with the answer, Justice Mukherjee clarified but tells Speaker 1 to move ahead.

4:17 pm- Speaker 1 seeks a few minutes to sum up his submissions.

4.18 pm – Before the counsel could rest his case, Shruti Rajan fires a question.

4.19 pm – Speaker 1 dodges the question but offers to answer it in two lines as the question is supposed to be dealt by the Speaker 2.

4.20 pm – Speaker 1 seeks permission to depart to his heavenly seat.

4.21 pm – Speaker 2 awaits permission to begin.

4.22 pm – Nick throws a question. Speaker 2 faces problems in answering it. Justice Mukherjee questions the speaker’s ability to understand the question.

4.27 pm – Speaker 2 submits a point of authority to establish his case. Further, he attempts to bring more relevant case laws to the Bench’s attention.

4:30 pm – The judges have asked Speaker 2 to clarify, and Speaker 2 shows signs of impatience and weariness.

4:32 pm – The judges share the same feeling too as expressions range from confused to annoyed.

4:34 pm – Speaker 2 tried the same question with Mr. Parsons: “Do I sense a question, your Lordship?” However, Mr. Parsons wears a tight smile and says no.

4:35 pm – “Is the counsel trying to buy time by not answering the question?” asks Mr. Peacock. Speaker 2 is taken aback.

4:38 pm – Mr. Parsons is dissatisfied and is asking questions and follow-up questions.

4:40 pm – Speaker 2 seems like he wants to get out of the Hall.

4:42 pm – The judges have graciously given an extension of 4 minutes.

4:51 pm – The rebuttals by Speaker 1 of the Appellant’s side has commenced.

4:57 pm – The reply to rebuttals has started.

5:04 pm – And the finals have come to an end, folks! Stay tuned for the result.

6:00 pm – The winner of the 11th edition of NUJS-HSF National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition is National Law University, Odisha! Congratulations to the team!

Congratulations to the runners up – National Law Institute University, Odisha!

Best memorial (Appellant) goes to National Law University, Jodhpur.

Best memorial (Respondent) goes to Nirma.

Best speaker award goes to Riya Singh from National Law Institute University, Bhopal!

 

 

 

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