Announcing the winners of the Ciarb’s 2023 YMG Writing Competition

The Ciarb Young Members Group (YMG) Global Steering Committee is delighted to announce the three winners of its 2023 Writing Competition. 

Last year’s competition invited participants to step into the shoes of the Secretary General of an arbitral institution, acting as appointing authority in an investor-state arbitration seated in London, England, under the 2013 UNCITRAL rules. 

While all the entries were well written and researched, there were three that stood out to the editorial jury, and all the honorary jury as well. The winner was Anna Avdulova ACIArb, while the first runner up is Ng Li Shan Iris ACIArb, and the second runner up is Nicolás Alarcón Loayza MCIArb. 

Read Anna Avdulova’s winning entry here 

Anna Avdulova is a Russian qualified lawyer specialising in international dispute resolution. Anna is an Associate at Ivanyan & Partners (Moscow, Russia). She has experience representing the respondent state in the UNCLOS arbitration and investment treaty cases. Anna has also advised clients with respect to commercial arbitration proceedings and disputes in foreign jurisdictions. 

Anna holds a bachelor’s degree in Law as well as a master’s degree in International Commercial Arbitration from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia). She has also completed the Online Winter Course on International Law at the Hague Academy of International Law. At present, Anna is studying at the LL.M. program in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution at the National University of Singapore. 

Anna is deeply involved in a moot court community. She participated in Vis Moot in 2019 (Hong Kong) and 2020 (Vienna), and she has been coaching the Higher School of Economics Vis Moot team ever since. Anna routinely acts as an arbitrator at both Russian and international moot court competitions. Additionally, she is a member of the Steering Committee of the Russian Women in Arbitration and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 

Read Ng Li Shan Iris’ first runner up entry here 

Iris Ng is a Senior Associate with Helmsman LLC’s Commercial Disputes Practice Group (Singapore). Prior to joining Helmsman, Iris was a Justices’ Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Singapore and State Counsel at the Attorney-General’s Chambers where she worked on a broad range of contentious matters. Iris obtained her LL.M. from Harvard Law School and her LL.B. from Singapore Management University. She is qualified to practice Singapore and English law.  

Read Nicolás Alarcón Loayza’s second runner up entry here 

Nicolás Alarcón is a Peruvian qualified lawyer, currently working as Associate at the Litigation & Arbitration Team of Rodrigo, Elias y Medrano (Lima, Perú – Madrid, Spain). Nicolas has extensive experience in domestic and international commercial and investment arbitration, both institutional and ad hoc. He also represents clients in domestic court proceedings relating to arbitration proceedings (recognition, enforcement, and annulment of awards) and constitutional court proceedings. As part of his practice, Nicolas acts as secretary and assistant to arbitration tribunals. He currently serves as Regional Ambassador for HK45 (Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre) and lead a pro-bono initiative related to the protection of LGBTI rights. Nicolás holds a Law Degree from Universidad Catolica San Pablo, where he graduated summa cum laude.  


Ciarb’s YMG Writing Competition was judged by an editorial jury and honorary jury composed as follows: 

Editorial jury Manuel Franco, Cuatrecasas, Wenny Huang FCIArb, Shanghai Arbitration Commission, Benson Lim FCIArb, Simmons & Simmons, Sara Nadeau-Seguin, Teynier Pic, Dr Zeina Obeid FCIArb, Obeid Partners, Khushboo Shahdadpuri, Al Tamimi & Company, Caroline Swartz-Zern FCIArb, SMEC.   

Honorary jury 
Chiann Bao FCIArb, Arbitration Chambers, Professor Makane Mbengue, University of Geneva, Andrea Pinna, Pinna Legal, and Guilherme Santos Silva, Abreu. 

Anna is awarded a £100 voucher to attend one of Ciarb’s events in 2024, and the three authors will be invited to moderate one of Ciarb’s Let’s Discuss virtual networking sessions. 

Find out more about YMG here. 

Read about last year’s competition winners