Legal eagles set to fly after competition success

University of Aberdeen law students Latifa El Shafei and David Ridley are set to represent Scotland on the world stage following their success in the National Negotiating Competition.

The pair, who are both studying for a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, pitted their legal wits against teams from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Robert Gordon universities to win the competition final in Glasgow.

They will now fly the flag for Scotland in The International Negotiating Competition, which is being hosted by the Law Society of Ireland.  The week-long event takes place in Dublin in July, and will see Latifa and David face competitors from across the world.

Reflecting on their experience of winning the national competition, David said: “We were first told about the competition by one of the tutors on the Diploma course, and saw it as a great opportunity to pick up skills which will benefit us in our future careers. 

“We were both delighted to win the Scottish final, particularly as the teams were all very strong and each had their own unique negotiation style.  I think we did well because we played to our strengths as a team and stuck to the plans we had formed in our preparation.”

Latifa added: “David and I have worked together in the past and knew it was something we would be good at as a team.  We went into the competition wanting to win, but we knew we had strong competition, which made the win even better.

“We were also very fortunate to have a coach, Adam Davies, who as a previous winner was able to talk us through the process and give us some first-hand experience.”

Looking ahead to the International Competition in Dublin, David said: “We certainly do not underestimate how tough the international competition will be. 

“There will be teams from top universities across the world, all with diverse negotiating styles.  Nonetheless I am confident in our abilities so hopefully we can do well enough to leave feeling happy with ourselves.”

Congratulating the pair on their success, former winner Adam Davies, who as a Diploma student won the national negotiation competition in 2011, said: “It was a privilege to coach Latifa and David and pass on my experience to help them get the most out of the competition.

“During the practice sessions it was clear they have a good team dynamic and we worked on this in order to utilise their attributes in the best way we could.  They should be very proud of their achievement and are a credit to the current calibre within the Diploma year."