About ARIAS (UK)
ARIAS (UK) was formed in 1991, mainly at the instigation of John Butler (then Legal Officer of the Mercantile & General Reinsurance Co and recently retired from Barlow Lyde & Gilbert). A working party comprising John Thomas QC (now Sir John Thomas), John Powell (now of Lovells), Hugh Thompson (an independant 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 has been 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). As described in the Society’s constitution, it is established for:
2.1.1. the advancement and promotion of the education of persons who are or who wish to be arbitrators in the London and international insurance and reinsurance markets and
2.1.2. the advancement and promotion of arbitration as a means to resolve disputes in the London and international insurance and reinsurance markets.
Arising from the growth of disputes in the world-wide insurance and reinsurance markets, there is 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 is 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.