uOttawa Team Takes First Place in National Negotiation Competition

Faculty of Law - Common Law Section
Experiential learning

By Common Law

Communication, Faculty of Law

Members of the uOttawa team for the Canadian National Negotiation Competition
Congratulations to two Common Law students who took first place at the Canadian National Negotiation Competition (the “CNNC”) on February 24-25, 2023, at McGill University, Faculty of Law.

Mark Day (3L) and Keenan MacNeal (3L) represented uOttawa in three intense rounds of negotiation against other law students from across Canada. The team was coached by Emily McMurtry and Heather Bonnell, both associates at the Ottawa office of Dentons Canada LLP.  

Last fall, Day and MacNeal won the Dentons Annual Negotiation Competition, a local competition hosted and sponsored by Dentons law firm. That win qualified them to move on to the CNNC. The CNNC is also sponsored by Dentons, as well as the Barreau du Quebec, and the Secretariat du Quebec aux Relations Canadiennes.  

David Little, Managing Partner of the Ottawa office of Dentons Canada LLP said:  

“Congratulations to Mark Day and Keenan MacNeal for their recent win as the top team at this year’s Canadian National Negotiation Competition, as well as to their coaches, Dentons lawyers Emily McMurtry and Heather Bonnell.  We wish the team good luck at the upcoming international competition.  For over 20 years, Dentons has partnered with the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Common Law Section to host an annual negotiation competition that gives law students an opportunity to gain valuable experience in representing different parties in a live setting as they land on terms to a commercial agreement.  We look forward to continuing to host this event with the Faculty going forward.”  

David Little-Dentons-4x4

“Congratulations to Mark Day and Keenan MacNeal for their recent win as the top team...We wish the team good luck at the upcoming international competition. ”

David Little

— Managing Partner of the Ottawa office of Dentons Canada LLP

This summer, thanks to their victory, Day and MacNeal have been invited to represent uOttawa, and Canada, at the International Negotiation Competition, in Europe. The International Negotiation Competition is the oldest and most renowned competition focusing on international legal negotiation for law students from all over the world.   

McMurtry and Bonnell were “incredibly impressed by the Team’s strategy and professionalism throughout the CNNC”. These coaches are eager to further the team’s training in preparation for the international competition.  

Each case involved common facts known to all parties as well as team-specific confidential client instructions. This year’s problems included the purchase of a wildlife preserve, contract negotiations for an up-and-coming animal handler, and a multi-party negotiation centered on future animal medicine research at the preserve. 

The CNNC invites law students from across Canada to showcase their negotiation, communication, and lawyering skills in realistic simulations of two-party and multiparty negotiation scenarios. The competition promotes lawyer competency in non-litigation dispute resolution forums and builds networks between Canadian teaching programs. Twenty-four teams of law students competed including, for the first time, six teams competing in French.  

Day and MacNeal are grateful to their coaches for their insight, guidance, and support throughout the competition, as well as the many practitioners and jurists who generously volunteered their time to judge the competition and whose feedback greatly contributed to the team’s success in later rounds.  

Our congratulations to the team, and best of luck with the competition this summer.