Melbourne University Law Students' Society

2018 Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition

Join the 2018 Negotiation Facebook Group HERE.

Thank you for registering for Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition. The Competition is now fully subscribed.

Negotiation is the most popular Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR') mechanism in legal practice today. Negotiation is not only used a way to resolve disputes. It occurs everywhere in the commercial context, especially when negotiating terms of a contract. Basic skills of negotiation are important and necessary for commercial and legal practice.

The 2018 Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition mimics a mediation session between two teams of lawyers, each representing a hypothetical party in an attempt to negotiate through and resolve a dispute. Teams consist of two members each, who shall remain together for the duration of the competition.  After preparing, the teams will come together to discuss the various issues and attempt to come to an agreement that best meets their client’s instructions. The problems could include various scenarios such as negotiating a damages settlement for health problems caused by toxic waste from a nearby factory (like in ‘Erin Brockovich’), or negotiating for a train driver’s seat to have a cup-holder or armrest (like in the Metro trains and train drivers’ union negotiation). 

To ensure that all competitors have the opportunity to put their negotiation skills to the test against other law students, all teams will be guaranteed participation in at least two fixtures (Rounds 1 & 2). From Round 2, the competition will take the form of a knockout style competition.

2018 Results

Congratulations to Pia Mitchell and Sarah Watling for winning the 2018 Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition. Congratulations to Sabine Johnson and Danielle Davidovits who were runner up of the Competition. 

Pictured (Back, Left to Right): Karan Desai (Director of Competitions), Alice Sawers (Negotiation Competition Officer), Sabine Johnson (Runner Up), Panagiota Houpis, (Negotiation Competition Officer), Sarah Watling (Winner), Ken Kiat (Director of Competitions). Pictured (Front, Left to Right): Pia Mitchell (Winner) and Danielle Davidovits (Runner Up).


Grand Finalists of the 2018 Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition. Pictured (Left to Right): Pia Mitchell (Winner), Sarah Watling (Winner), Danielle Davidovits (Runner Up) and Sabine Johnson (Runner Up).

Registration Details

Time commitment: The brief will be released at 1:00PM the day before teams are scheduled to compete. Teams are expected to read over the briefing and devise a strategy.  It is important that teams have a detailed knowledge of the problem, so that they do not need to refer to basic information during the negotiation.  The more practice and preparation teams undertake, the better. The brief received by the competitors will contain a given set of common facts, which set out the background of the scenario.

Team size: 2 members

Attire: Business

Additional Information:

  • The brief received by the Competitors will contain a given set of common facts, which set out the background of the scenario.
  • In addition, teams will also be given confidential information, known only to their side.
  • Teams will compete in a 40-minute negotiation session the following day. During this time, they will discuss the various issues and attempt to come to an agreement that best meets their client’s instructions and interests outlined in the confidential information.
  • Following the 40-minute negotiation, each team will have an opportunity to reflect upon their performance with the judge/s. This gives competitors an opportunity to explain their tactics as well as gain invaluable feedback.

Registration: Will open Friday 2 March 2018, 7:30PM.

Key Dates

Information and Skills Session: 

Thursday 1 March 2018, Room 102, 1:30–2:00PM (the information session is held directly after the Client Interview Information Session).

  • You can download the workshop slides here.

Round 1:

Semester 1, Week 4: Monday 19 and Thursday 22 March 2018

Round 2: 

Semester 1, Week 6: Monday 9 and Thursday 12 April 2018

Round 3:

Semester 1, Week 8: Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 April 2018 (Note: Due to Law Ball on Thursday 26 April, the competition time is different this week.)

Round 4: 

Semester 1, Week 10: Monday 7 and Thursday 10 May 2018

Quarter Final: 

Semester 2, Week 2: Monday 30 July 2018

Semi Final:

Semester 2, Week 5: Monday 20 August 2018 (TBC)

Grand Final: 

Semester 2, Week 9: Monday 17 September, 6:30pm at Clayton Utz Melbourne office


Sample Problem

Download a sample Negotiation scenario from the 2012 competition here


Download the 2018 MULSS Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition Guidebook here.

Scoring Sheet

Download the 2018 MULSS Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition Score Sheet here.

Previous Winners

2018: Pia Mitchell and Sarah Watling

2017: Grace Bilham and Alisha D'Souza

2016: Thomas Diaz and Matthew Caldow

2015: Hector Sharp and Emma Reed

2014: Karina Bradley and James Gray

2013: Cyril Cotterall-Debay and Daniel Wright

2012: Antony Freeman and Nicholas James Baum

2011: Andrea De Souza and Daniel Holmes

2010: Jiaying Zhang and Julia Wang

2009: Nicholas Liau and Samantha Jreissati