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"I was always attracted to cross-border international aspects of commercial law."

Deakin Law School alumnus Andrew Sykes has recently been appointed to the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) panel - one of only seven Australians to do so.

The new appointment will see him utilise his skills and expertise in intellectual property law.

Mr Sykes completed his Deakin arts and law degree in 2006. He says that while studying close to home in Geelong was a bonus, it was the experiential learning opportunities he enjoyed the most.

‘Being in a small class was a real advantage for me while studying, as I could immerse myself into the course and have the time for one-on-one learning,’ Mr Sykes says.

‘Participating in the Vis Moot competition was a highlight for me. I was always attracted to cross-border international aspects of commercial law, which remains a strong part of my present practice now. It is also highly relevant to my new appointment and gives a useful grounding to such roles.’

Being appointed to the ADNDRC panel is not a straightforward process. An applicant must have extensive knowledge, experience and practice in arbitration and intellectual property, as well as good character and an internationally recognised reputation.

Mr Sykes ticks all the boxes.

‘I practice in intellectual property law, including domain name law and trademark law,’ he says.

‘Domain name law is regulated through a number of policies, one of them being the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).  It is used to determine disputes in relation to .com domain names.  Other policies in relation to other domain names are often modelled off the UDRP. 

‘My role on the panel will involve deciding upon proceedings of domain name disputes and determining whether to rule that the domain name, or names, in question are to be transferred, cancelled or dismissed.

‘I will be doing all this, while still maintaining my normal practice as a barrister.’

The support and direction of DLS’ passionate, dedicated staff helped put Mr Sykes on the path he is walking now – and he hasn’t looked back.

He says the most important advice he gives to students, is making the most of every available opportunity and seeking guidance from those who are closest.

‘Both the staff and alumni who assisted with the Vis Moot competition preparation and experience really helped me discover my interest for international dispute resolution and commercial law.

‘I would encourage any students interested in such fields to always put their hand up, take the opportunity and find out what you enjoy the most.’