In a spectacularly successful conclusion to this year's mooting calendar, University of Oxford teams have won two of the UK's largest and most prestigious national mooting competitions. On 24 June, Emily MacKenzie (Lincoln) and Hannah Noyce (Wadham) defeated the BPP Law School in the ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition and, exactly one week later, on 1 July, Joshua Folkard and Daniel Khoo (both of University College) outclassed the Universities of Birmingham and Chester and Sheffield Hallam University to win the OUP and BPP National Mooting Competition.
Oxford wins the Silver Mace
Hannah Noyce (Wadham) and Emily MacKenzie (Lincoln) holding the Silver Mace outside Essex Court Chambers following their victory in the 2010 ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition
In the Grand Final of the ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition, Emily and Hannah won the coveted Silver Mace for Oxford for the first time in the thirty-nine year history of this prestigious mooting contest. Mooting in the President’s Court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Emily and Hannah appeared before a bench consisting of the Hon Justice Garry Downes AM of the Federal Court of Australia and Mr David Mildon QC and Mr Tim Eicke, both of Essex Court Chambers. The problem, framed as an appeal and cross-appeal to the House of Lords, involved issues of dishonest assistance in a breach of fiduciary duty and liability to an account of profits.
Earlier in the day, the team defeated the University of Hertfordshire in their semi-final moot, held at Dartmouth House in London. The grand final moot itself was of an exceptionally high standard. The judges had nothing but praise for the polished performance, careful research and persuasive development of argument of mooters from both teams but were unanimous in awarding the moot to Oxford.
In addition to the Silver Mace, Emily and Hannah each received prizes of £1,000, as did the Faculty of Law. Although Oxford teams have competed in this contest for a number of years, this is the first time a team from the University has won the competition. The team’s achievement is all the more noteworthy because Emily and Hannah sat their final exams only days before written submissions were due. The pair were selected to represent the University in the moot because they were the winners of the internal Shearman & Sterling LLP University of Oxford Mooting Competition in 2009. Hannah was also a participant in the inaugural Oxford French Law Moot in 2008.
Founded in 1972 as the Observer Moot, the ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition is the largest and oldest of its kind in the United Kingdom. The contest is administered by the English-Speaking Union and has been sponsored by Essex Court Chambers for the last ten years. The competition involves knock-out rounds held throughout the academic year and hosted by competing universities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Oxford wins the OUP and BPP crown
Daniel Khoo (University) and Joshua Folkard (University) holding their winners' plaques following their victory in the 2010 OUP and BPP National Mooting Competition
Joshua and Daniel appeared as respondents in the first moot of the Grand Final of the OUP and BPP National Mooting Competition, held in a moot courtroom at BPP Holborn. Although mooting directly against the Sheffield Hallam team, the Oxford team was in substance competing against all three other finalists in the traditional four-way Grand Final format, with two consecutive moots argued before His Honour Judge Gratwicke of the Chelmsford Crown Court. The University of Birmingham team was awarded the Runner-up prize.
The problem for the moot required teams to engage with the somewhat obscure tort of intentionally causing emotional harm (see Wilkinson v Downton  2 QB 57) and the difficult conceptual issues involved in the award of damages in tort for the loss of opportunity following Greg v Scott 2 AC 176.
An Oxford team last won the OUP and BPP competition in 2006-2007. In addition to certificates, trophies and substantial cash prizes, Joshua and Daniel earned the opportunity to participate in BPP Law School's pro bono programme.
The pair was chosen to represent the University in this competition from a field of some 18 applicants on the basis of their outstanding record of academic performance, mooting, debating and public speaking. Joshua and Daniel have just completed the second year of the four-year Law with Law Studies in Europe programme. Joshua was a participant and Finalist in the Freshers’ Mooting Programme and a member of the victorious Oxford team in the Oxford v Cambridge Clifford Chance LLP Roman Law Moot Court Competition in 2009. Daniel represented the University in the 2009 International Roman Law Moot Court Competition held in Kavala and Philippi and was also a judge and co-author of the problem for this year’s instalment of that contest.
More than 60 teams from across the United Kingdom now compete in the OUP and BPP moot each year. Three preliminary moots and semi-final round, held between December and June, preceded the Grand Final in this year’s competition.
We congratulate Hannah, Emily, Daniel and Joshua on their signal mooting achievements this year. Their victories in these two national mooting competitions conclude a very full and exceptionally successful year for mooting for the Faculty of Law. In 2010, Oxford achieved its highest placing ever – sixth in the world – in the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (as well as being Runners-up in the UK national rounds), held Cambridge to a draw in the annual Oxford v Cambridge Clifford Chance LLP Roman Law Moot Court Competition, reached the semi-final of the UK Environmental Law Association Student Prize Moot and performed very well in the Oxford Intellectual Property Moot and the Weekly Law Reports Annual Mooting Competition. This year has also seen the reach of the Faculty's three main internal competitions extended to some 350 undergraduate and postgraduate students and the entrenchment of mooting as an element of the compulsory Legal Research & Mooting Skills Programme for first-year undergraduate students.