Are you in for a challenge?

Join the UvA Vis Moot Team!

Why Participate?

real life experience

Forget about writing your thesis or a job as student-assistant: participating in a moot court is at the closest to the real lawyer work you can get. You will learn how to write legal arguments and plead your case convincingly in English. Your coaches are young lawyers themselves, and they will pass on their expertise and skills straight to you. This will make you highly qualified for any legal career you want to pursue.

It’s a team effort

Working in a team is sometimes challenging, often rewarding, and an absolute necessity if you want to pursue a legal career. Every single word you will write or plead during the moot is the result of a collective team effort. The best results are made by those teams that challenge each other, rather than just divide individual tasks. Besides, it’s just great fun – and chances are you will make friends for life!

Build your network

Over the years, the UvA team has traveled to Hong Kong, Vienna, Shanghai, Berlin, Stockholm and many more places. Due to COVID-19, (part of ) the competition will be held virtually. Even though it may not be possible to actually travel to all these places this year, competing in the competition is the closest you will be able to get to a trip across the globe in these times. You will be in (virtual) contact with different teams and cultures from all over the world. The final rounds in Hong Kong and Vienna are visited by the best arbitration lawyers worldwide, and performing well in the moot will open many doors.

It’s just really good fun

Can you think of any other activity that both kickstarts your career and gives you the chance to meet hundreds of other students from all over the globe? For many previous participants, it is the social part that brings back the warmest memories.

Vlog by the 2018-2019 Team

The UvA team is kindly sponsored by a number of law firms. They organize practice sessions and office visits for the UvA team, thereby giving the team members a unique opportunity to visit high profile law firms in an individual setting, and to learn directly from high-profile lawyers.

How Does it Work?

The biggest international commercial arbitration moot

In short, a moot court is a competition in which teams write legal arguments and plead on a fictional legal problem. In the Willem C. Vis Moot Court, the problem concerns an international commercial dispute between business parties that needs to be solved by an arbitral tribunal under the Vienna Convention for the Sale of Goods.

Each year at the beginning of October, the Problem is released. We will kick-off with the MOOT CAMP, during this weekend we will discuss the case, you will be prepared for the coming months and will have a chance to meet your team, your coaches and some of the UvA's old team members. After the MOOT CAMP your team (and all the other teams) will start preparing a memorandum for Claimant, making use of all the facts in the material that support the Claimant's position.

After submitting the memorandum for the Claimant at the beginning of December, all submitted memoranda are shuffled and re-distributed to the participating teams. This means that each team receives a memorandum supporting the Claimant's position from another team. Now the paper for the Respondent has to be drawn up in answer to that.

After the Respondent's memo is submitted, the oral preparations begin as each team has to defend its position in moot hearings. The oral preparations involve participating in (international) pre-moots in for example Shanghai and official competitions of Hong Kong and Vienna (usually in the weeks directly prior to Easter). It has been announced that due to COVID-19 the official competition in Vienna will be virtual this year. We will still be travelling to the pre-moot of Shanghai, the official competition in Hong Kong and potentially other places to the extent possible. However, it is uncertain if this will be feasible. If not, these competitions may be virtual as well. We are working on other replacement activities that will make your participation in the UvA Moot Court team as exciting and educational as it would have been normally.

The tribunals are made up of judges, solicitors, barristers, arbitrators, coaches and professors. Here you actually get to (virtually) meet the people who write all the big fat books about the Vienna Convention and arbitration that you have used for six months.

Awards are given for the best memoranda, the best individual pleaders and the best pleading teams, who manage to make it until (after) the elimination rounds...

  • Every team is allowed to participate in the general rounds in Vienna and Hong Kong. Out of the more then 350 teams that participate in Vienna, only 64 make it to the elimination rounds

  • Each team has 30 minutes pleading time, to be divided by the two oralists. Good oralists are responsive to the arguments of the other party and are able to change their oral submission on the spot, while using only as little notes as possible.

  • The written submissions must contain a maximum of 35 pages. Every year teams spend their last weeks trying to bring back the number of pages to 35 without losing any arguments. You will learn how to write concise and convincing.

  • Every year, dozens of international pre-moots are organized to allow teams to practice against each other. The Amsterdam team organises a pre-moot with over 16 international teams competing

Who Are We?

Mick Gerrits

UvA coordinator
Mick Gerrits is a lawyer at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Karmijn Krooshof

UvA Coordinator / Individual Coach
Karmijn Krooshof is a lawyer at Houthoff

Oliver Whitehead

Individual Coach
Oliver Whitehead is a lawyer at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Jasmin Garrett

Individual Coach
Jasmin Garrett is a lawyer at DLA Piper

Pim Siemons

Individual Coach
Pim Siemons is a lawyer at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Caroline Groefsema

Caroline Groefsema is a lawyer at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Individual Coaching

In the UvA team, every participant is assigned with an individual coach. There are weekly meetings between the team and the coaches to discuss arguments and practice pleadings. All coaches have previously participated the Willem C. Vis Moot Court Competition, and have served as arbitrators during the final rounds in Vienna or Hong Kong. The fact that all coaches are practicing lawyers is unique for the UvA team. Rather than the academic perspective that you have learnt for years, you will learn how to think, write and argue as a lawyer.

Successes of Our Team

Although the UvA only participates in the moot court since 2008, it has quickly gained a reputation as an excellent and social team in those years. The UvA team generally makes it to the elimination rounds in both Hong Kong and Vienna, wins prices for memoranda, team efforts and individual pleaders and the 2019 team even won the Hong Kong finals, as the first Dutch team to ever win the Willem C. Vis Moot Court!

You can find more about the results and experiences of previous teams here for Vienna and here for Hong Kong.

Virtual Kick-off Drinks

We will host virtual zoom kick-off drinks on 11 September 2020 to give you a chance to talk to previous participants and hear what it’s like to participate! Please send an e-mail in order to register.

Contact Us

Do you have any further questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us!