Negotiations Team Earns Third Place in International Competition

Negotiations team members with Coach SitteBlewett School of Law students Frans Andersson and Kirsi Luther recently took third place at the International Negotiation Competition held in Oslo, Norway.

The competition, which was hosted by the University of Oslo, invited 32 teams from 28 countries worldwide to negotiate simulated oil drilling agreements between various entities. The third round included a unique four-way multilateral scenario.

“That was such a fascinating session,” Luther said. “We had so little time to consider the complexities of multiparty negotiations. We needed to apply all we had learned and more to do well in that round.”

Competition week in Oslo began with a master class taught by renowned educators from around the world, and the final award ceremony was held in the historic Nobel Peace Center. The third-place finish by Luther and Andersson completed a North American sweep of the top teams, with the other U.S. team finishing first and a Canadian team placing second.

The UM negotiation team’s season began in September with the regional negotiation competition in Chicago, followed by more than 10 weeks of practice sessions. Last November the UM team competed against law schools from the Midwest and earned a first-place finish at regionals. The first-place finish earned the Andersson-Luther team an invitation to the American Bar Association’s national negotiation competition in Chicago once again in February.

“What a finish to an incredible year,” Andersson said.

The UM law school negotiation team is coached by Klaus Sitte, an adjunct faculty member who teaches negotiations and alternative dispute resolution. Sitte has coached the law school’s negotiation team since 1990, with seven teams competing at nationals and now two at international competitions.