ARIAS (UK) was formed in 1991, mainly at the instigation of John Butler (then Legal Officer of the Mercantile & General Reinsurance Co and then Barlow Lyde & Gilbert prior to his retirement). A working party comprising John Thomas QC (now Lord Thomas), John Powell (then of Lovells), Hugh Thompson (then an independent consultant with a reinsurance underwriting background) and John Butler established ARIAS (UK) as a non-profit making Society with the support of over 20 founding members comprising law and accounting firms. In addition, substantial initial support was received from three market institutions (also founding members): Lloyd’s, LIRMA (now IUA) and BIIBA (now BIBA).
The Society was established under the aegis of AIDA (Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances) and is one of the two UK-based Chapters of AIDA (the other being the British Insurance Law Association).
Arising from the growth of disputes in the world-wide insurance and reinsurance markets, it was felt there was a need for a body to encourage current and retired market practitioners with sufficient skills, experience and integrity to become part of a panel of independent arbitrators who have been suitably trained in arbitration procedures. This was and remains the prime objective of ARIAS (UK).
Additionally, and in general, the Society aims to promote and assist in the development of insurance and reinsurance dispute resolution through arbitration, and to make this more responsive to the needs of the industry worldwide. Although much of the work of ARIAS (UK) is presently concerned with arbitration in London, it is the Society’s aim to facilitate dispute resolution wheresoever required.
In 1992 an ARIAS Arbitration Clause was drafted. Appointments are made pursuant to ARIAS Arbitration Rules, first published in 1994. Since 2014 the Third Edition of ARIAS Arbitration Rules have applied. In response to a need raised by the insurance and reinsurance industry for arbitral disputes to be resolved more quickly and at lower cost, ARIAS (UK), after much consultation with the industry, devised in 2013 its ARIAS Fast Track Arbitration Rules (AFTAR). Further model clauses were also drafted for use in conjunction with such Rules. ARIAS (UK) has also established a mediation scheme together with a panel of accredited mediators.
By ARIAS (UK)’s Constitution, ARIAS (UK) operates as a not-for-profit members’ subscription-paying unincorporated association with its activities directed by a Committee elected each year at an AGM. Membership of ARIAS (UK) is a pre-requisite for election to the Committee. The Chairman and Officers of the Society are ex-officio of the Society and Management Committee.
The Officers comprise the Chairman, one or more Vice Chairpersons, a Secretary and such other officers as the Society shall from time to time decide. These persons are elected at the Annual General Meeting and the Chairman and Officers hold office until the conclusion of the AGM of the Society next after their election but are eligible for re-election.
ARIAS (UK) engages a Secretariat and appoints external auditors to approve its annual accounts.
As well as arranging its Annual Conference/AGM, the Society’s activities also extend to organising tutorials for its panel members and occasional dinners for its membership as a whole.
Details of ARIAS (UK)’s activities can be found on its website: http://arias.org.uk/
ARIAS (UK) MAIN CONTACT
- Mr Adrian Ballardie Administration Secretary
- +44 (0) 7710 799886