Law students negotiate first Cardiff win at national competition

27 March 2018

Cardiff students Charles Wilson and Sophie Rudd (centre) with their fellow finalists at the National Negotiation Competition.
Cardiff students Charles Wilson and Sophie Rudd (centre) with their fellow finalists at the National Negotiation Competition.

A Law-studying duo are celebrating success after coming first at this year’s National Negotiation Competition.

Charles Wilson and Sophie Rudd, who are in their second and final years respectively at the School of Law and Politics, were named winners of the competition which took place in London on 24 March 2018.

The competition, which is sponsored by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), sees twelve teams pitted against each other in a variety of situations designed to test their negotiation skills. The competition focuses on collaborative-based discussion instead of legal argument and requires a confident awareness of wider interests, creative options, and how to persuade the other side of the mutual benefits of a proposed deal. While preparing for the competition the teams developed their teamwork, persuasion, and analytical skills

The competition is open to Undergraduate, Legal Practice Course, Graduate Diploma in Law, and Bar Professional Training Course teams and is always fiercely competitive.

For the competition, Charles and Sophie faced a three-way negotiation involving a serious personal injury claim at a drag-racing track and two other negotiations involving new management of a zoo and a potential dissolution of a company. To assist with their preparation, CEDR generously provided a training day where all twelve finalists were able to develop their skills.

Charles and Sophie had put huge effort into their preparations and received positive feedback from the judges throughout the day despite the challenge of conducting three high-pressure negotiations back-to-back.

Organiser Frederick Way, of CEDR, praised all of the teams and noted that the results were very close, with only one point separating the top three teams. With nine judges seeing each team over the course of the day, this demonstrated the depth of ability that was on display at the event. Every team received a certificate marking their qualification for the Nationals and the top three teams received additional prizes. They were announced in reverse order, with the University of Reading finishing third, the University of Plymouth finishing second, before Cardiff were announced as the winners and were presented with the trophy.

This is the first time that a team from Cardiff have won the competition and is recognition of the hard work that Charles and Sophie put into developing their skills and adapting them to the individual circumstances presented by the evolving scenarios.

The team will now go on to represent England and Wales in the International Competition which, by a twist of fate, will be hosted in Cardiff by the School of Law and Politics on 26 – 30 June 2018. They will be compete against teams from around the world, including the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Norway and Germany.

The team was coached by Matthew Parry, PhD student at the School of Law and Politics.