A hallmark of our field is the need for, and for many the desire and stimulation that comes from, ongoing learning and skills development. In addition to the multiple resources it makes available, Delos offers various training, including on oral advocacy:

In his well-known verses popularising an old adage, the poet and writer Carl Sandburg wrote in 1936 that "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell". A variant would encourage the advocate, in last resort, to pound or hammer opposing counsel.

But is it always that clear-cut, or about 'playing the man'? Harvey Spector claims that "you wanna lose small, I wanna win big". Oral advocacy is indeed more than about just the content: there is strategy involved, structure and cadence, there is persuasion and expertise, engaging your audience and maybe even charm.

The Delos course on oral submissions seeks to help you with all of this and more. Whether you are from a civil or common law tradition, your role as an advocate is to persuade the tribunal, notably by speaking on behalf of your client at the hearings and procedural meetings that are a common feature of international arbitration proceedings.

Delos offers two courses on oral submissions: one dedicated to commercial and investment matters, and the other dedicated to construction matters, as part of the Delos Remote Oral Advocacy Programme (ROAP). The courses take place annually, last about six months, and involve the following:

1.   small-group interactive teaching by the leading practitioners on the faculty (scheduling takes into account your availability);

2.  practice sessions on the basis of published awards in real cases, before mock-tribunals followed by detailed faculty feedback (scheduling takes into account your availability). The practice sessions provide participants with the opportunity to take the claimant and the respondent perspectives, and also see advocacy from the perspective of the tribunal;

3.  practising the preparation of skeleton arguments ahead of practice sessions in conjunction with another participant acting as your co-counsel;

4.  mentoring by the faculty;

5.  networking with peers across a wide region, including online social events;

6.  insights into the particularities of appearing remotely at a hearing; and

7.  the opportunity to participate in public finals before a tribunal of world class arbitrators (see examples here).

For the training related to commercial and investment matters, four editions are on offer (click on the links to find out about the faculty for each edition): Americas, which typically runs from September to April; Asia, from February to July; EMEA, from April to October, with a break for the summer; and LATAM, in Spanish, from June to November. The Construction edition takes place between September and April.

You can sign up here to be notified when applications open, which is usually six weeks prior to the start of an edition. Priority is given to colleagues from the geographical region for that edition (if applicable) with at least 3 years of experience practising international arbitration as an associate. The average and median seniority of each cohort is 4-6 years PQE, and the range is about 1-15 years PQE.

Explore our ROAP Public Video Library