Interview with NLUO Team : Ranked 12th in the 6th Herbert Smith Freehills Competition Law Moot 2020

Sushmit Mandal, Ananya Satish , Yasaschandra Devarakonda & Prajna Dasmohapatra - NLUO




Congratulations to all four of you. This is really a huge win.

  1. What was the primary motivation behind choosing to do the 6th Herbert Smith Freehills Competition Law Moot 2020?

It started off when some of our members worked to discover their interest in the field of commercial law, which culminated in a knack for competition law. We looked at the best possible outlet for mooting in this sphere at a world stage, which obviously led us to this moot. Considering there was no particular precedent or buzz in our campus about it, we found a bunch of like-minded team-mates and dived right in!

  1. How was the process of preparation? How did you go about the entire stage?

Again, we did not have a lot of precedent on this moot, although our university has fared very well at several national competition law moots. So we did talk to such batchmates and seniors about some basic groundwork, which then progressed to other resource persons, even via LinkedIn till we found a coach. We utilised our even semester for a whole lot of voracious reading from the ground up, which then advanced to poring over prior moot problems and finally working at cracking our own in the odd semester. The patience we built up helped immensely when tackling semester preparation and juggling through class readings, moot readings and finally our own mock qualifying session at college.

  1. How was it like working with the team? What do you think are your team’s fortes? What were the roadblocks?

It was an emotional rollercoaster with a lot of positive takeaways and memories to cherish forever! We found ourselves with complementing thought-processes and individual strengths that helped in picking up the morale whenever it was needed, and allowed intensive academic brainstorming to arrive at the most reasoned response. We ensured all members had an equal voice in the team, which is key to avoiding inefficiencies and trivial tussles.

  1. How many teams were you up against in the competition ?

39 registered teams.

  1. Students mostly are too scared and hesitating while participating in moot court due to intense research work. What are the basics of researching? 

Well, that is a key stepping stone to success in mooting, and if you are unable to put in the solid effort at research, it shall never be as rewarding! That being said, do not avoid it out of mere apprehension. Master the use of legal databases, be honest and sincere in owning up to mistakes, be thorough in your readings and use the intra moot, college projects and research papers as good crutches for applying your practical skills here.

6.   How important is mooting in a law student’s career? What message would you like to pass on to the mooters and the non-mooters?

It is not the end of the world, and the grass is definitely greener on the other side! We think it is something that every law student must try once and then decide on whether or not to pursue – the college intra moot is usually a good yardstick. It is a blend of inculcating multiple useful professional skills but definitely not the only source, so introspect and shine!

Sushmit Mandal – Keep up the spirit if you haven’t had the desired results in whatever you are pursuing, it’ll take you a long way and never be afraid of seeking help, its often around us just waiting to be found.

Ananya SatishEvery moot is a journey and experience in itself. It might be intimidating in the beginning, but take baby steps towards honing your skills in the right direction and stay motivated and investedin the process. That being said, if you feel you are not cut out for it, then discard that option and pursue your chosen field of interest. Law school has a plethora of opportunities and you will find your passion sooner or later. Cheers!

Prajna Dasmohapatra – To the mooters, I hope you all can find the joy of researching and finding out things amidst all the stress that a moot comes up with. Remember, Consistency and hardwork is the key. To the non-mooters, don’t stress about it. It is okay if you don’t want to do it. The world doesn’t end at a moot. Find your area of interest and be good at it. Good luck.

  1. Final comments on the level of competition and the organisation of the competition ?

Much appreciation for the organisers for keeping us in the loop at all stages, even when the moot made a switch from its usual format, and for being very responsive with all queries. The bar was always set high and it is a good place to whet your appetite for high quality submissions that are judged by the best practitioners and academicians in the field.

  1. Any other thing you would like to mention about the moot and how Covid 19 will affect the Moot Court Scenario in upcoming days ?

Definitely the new normal, at least for this calendar year. A lot of moots made a shift to online video conferencing as a reaction to the pandemic along with multiple cancellations, but we expect a more well rounded experience when organisers plan it out for the coming months. International moots are likely going to be virtually organised to minimise travel restrictions.

  1. Are there any tips/pointers you could share with the future participants and aspirants ?

Do your readings well, and do not approach the problem too rigidly or with mere case-law like in other areas of law. Think from the perspectives provided and keep business interests at the forefront while applying economics and the application of the relevant law. Have a good mix of policy, updated case-law and other sources.

  1. How would you describe the mooting culture in NLUO ?

It is especially vibrant and uber-competitive at our University, with a sole criteria for doing it well – merit, hard work and some patience. You will be recognised if you do this well, and even first years who perform well find their place in senior teams, without any hierarchy. Plus, we really have an excellent culture of fine-tuning memorials,with successive batches passing it down to ensure an unbroken streak.

Team Members

Sushmit Mandal, Third Year , Commercial Law and IPR

Ananya Satish, Second Year, Commercial Law, International Law and Public Policy

Yasaschandra Devarakonda, Third Year, Arbitration and Commercial Law

Prajna Dasmohapatra, Third Year, Competition Law and Public Policy


Connect with the Team ( Linkedin )

Sushmit Mandal  Ananya Satish Prajna Dasmohapatra  Yasaschandra Devarakonda


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Read More Interviews

In Conversation with the Runner – Up of Asia-Pacific Rounds of Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition 2020 ( NLUO Odisha Team )

Interview : In Conversation with the Winner of 27th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot 2020 ( NUJS Kolkata Team )

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