MLS duo compete in New Delhi negotiation contest

MLS students Karina Bradley and Jeremy Roe have been selected to attend the 2016 Herbert Smith Freehills/National Law University of Delhi International Negotiation Competition.

Karina Bradley & Jeremy Roe

Formally rivals who competed against one another in the Grand Final of the Law Student Society-coordinated Allens Linklaters Negotiations Competition in 2014, Bradley and Roe came together to apply for the invitation-only competition based on their complimentary negotiation styles and long-term friendship.

Taking place in September, the pair will meet students from universities around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge and Hong Kong University in New Delhi for the two-day competition.

The competition is structured to simulate international negotiations, with participants assuming the roles of international lawyers to resolve a series of legal problems.

Developing negotiation skills

Bradley and Roe have developed their negotiating skills through both competing in and judging the Negotiations Competition at the Law School. Jeremy and Karina both emphasise the importance of “soft skills” such as intuition and dynamic responsiveness when negotiating.

Bradley has learnt a lot from being a judge “watching from a birds eye view how the mechanics worked,” and is raring to get back to competing in an international forum. Roe coordinated the Law School’s competition in 2015 for the benefit of other students, also gaining an insight into the behind-the-scenes of negotiations.

Associate Professor Jeannie Paterson sees negotiation competitions as a “valuable way for law students to develop skills that they will use in almost all legally related careers.” Given that “most of what lawyers do involves negotiation,” she encourages students to get involved with the Negotiations Competition here at the Law School.

The countdown to New Delhi

In preparation for the competition, Bradley and Roe have been reading negotiation psychology books such as Getting to Yes and Never Split the Difference to inform and refine their negotiation strategies.

To put these strategies into practice, the team recently completed a “mock negotiation” under the same conditions that will be enforced in New Delhi, receiving feedback and assistance from students and academics at MLS.

Associate Professor Paterson and MLS have been working with the Law Students Society to support the pair, and says “we are sure they will be wonderful ambassadors for MLS in New Delhi, making new connections and learning new skills that they will bring back to share with the wider MLS community." Both Bradley and Roe have found the preparation to be a “collegiate experience, with everyone prepared to help out.”

Neither Bradley or Roe have travelled to India before. Bradley says she is “looking forward to meeting other competitors from around the world, and to see how different cultural environments impact on negotiation styles.” She believes it will be a stand out experience whilst at MLS, and Roe agrees.

“We will never get an opportunity like this again – to travel to the heart of New Delhi, to participate in a competition in an entirely new and different country,” he says.

By Georgia Westbrook