Argentina Bound - International Arbitration Students Compete and Judge Investment Moot

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When Nawazish Choudhury heads to The University of Buenos Aires this November with Miami Law’s International Moot Court Team for the Foreign Direct Investment Moot, he sees the travel as another opportunity to expand his horizons.

Nawazish Choudhury

Prior to beginning his White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program, Choudhury had been a barrister in London for more than eight years, recently joining Lamb Chambers. “I love my job as a barrister because I can combine my academic interest in law with the thrill of being an advocate,” says Choudhury. “My strength has always been a determination not to give up; I go the extra mile and put my all into every case.”

When Choudhury set his sights on becoming an international arbitrator, Miami Law was the obvious choice because of the outstanding reputation of its international arbitration LL.M. program—and the chance to sit as an arbitrator in a moot was a scale tipper.

“A practice in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration has always appealed to me,” he says, “but I wanted to gain a thorough academic understanding of these difficult subjects by completing an LL.M. in this field.

“Naturally, the University of Miami was my first choice - its faculty is comprised of leading international arbitration practitioners in the world and I was attracted by the International Arbitration Practicum and the International Moot Court Program. I am convinced, now more than ever before, that the International Arbitration LL.M. at Miami Law will help me reach my goal to become a specialist arbitration practitioner,” says Choudhury.

Choudhury, who is a holder of Miami Law’s International Arbitration Institute Scholarship, will participate in the FDI Moot as an arbitration judge. Joining him in his judging duties will be fellow Miami Law scholars — Young ICCA scholar Supritha Suresh and White & Case scholar Madina Lokova. Most of Miami Law's international arbitration moot competitors are students in the White & Case International Arbitration LL.M. Program led by Professor Jan Paulsson.

This is the first time that Miami Law is competing in the FDI Moot and offering a half-tuition merit scholarship to a participant of the FDI Moot (student, coach, or arbitrator). “This competition is one of the leading moot courts in international investment law and brings together students, academics, and practitioners from all around the world. Investment arbitration is one of the legal areas students in our international arbitration program can focus on in their studies.  I am happy that this year, they also will have the opportunity to put into practice during the FDI Moot what they have learned in their studies," says Sandra Friedrich, Director of the International Arbitration LL.M. program.

At the FDI Moot in Buenos Aires, she will be joined by Paula Arias, Director of the International Moot Court Program. "We are very enthusiastic to participate in the FDI Moot for the first time and have been working extremely hard for many months to research and analyze the complex case scenario and underlying investment law issues. The competition will be challenging, but we are well-prepared and determined to make it a success.

"In the International Moot Court Program here at Miami Law, we try to replicate the work that a team of lawyers would do when representing an international client – a State, a multinational corporation or an individual – seeking redress for violations of its rights under international law. The Program is one of its kind and gives the students the opportunity to study international law through a practical moot experience with the support and guidance of practitioners and academics in the field as well as a network of former Miami Law ‘mooties’ located around the world, many of whom now practice in this exciting field of law.”

While Choudhury doesn't speak Spanish or Portuguese, he does not see that as an impediment to his future career practicing as arbitration counsel and eventually as an arbitrator. "America really is the land of hope and opportunity. The international arbitration field offers a wealth of options," he says. "Arbitration hubs exist all over the world. I could find myself in Dubai, London, or representing European or Middle Eastern clients in South America, where an increasing number of arbitrations are being conducted in English. It's really interesting stuff."

In addition to assisting in coaching the team, Choudhury is also currently completing his International Arbitration Practicum with GST LLP, a highly-ranked international arbitration boutique law firm with offices in Miami and Washington, D.C. and founded by Miami Law alumni Quinn Smith, J.D. ‘08, and Mauricio Gomm, LL.M. ‘06.

But in the short term, Choudhury wishes for “fair winds” in Argentina.