ARIAS (UK)

Rules & Clauses including Fast Track

The ARIAS Arbitration Rules were first published in 1994 and are being used increasingly in arbitration cases. Following the enactment of the English Arbitration Act 1996, the Society, via the expert assistance of editor-in-chief John Powell, produced a second edition which was formally launched on 30th May 1997. This edition has now been brought up to date by the issue of the third edition which will be adopted in its place as from 1st January 2014. This new edition contains no major changes but has been adopted to remind arbitrators of their powers to limit costs and to ensure expedition. ARIAS arbitrations commenced on or after 1st January 2014 will be conducted under the third edition of its Rules.

The ARIAS Arbitration Rules are designed to be the preferred procedural rules for arbitrations of insurance disputes not just in England but wherever the seat of arbitration may be. In our view, adherence by arbitrators to recognised sound rules greatly enhances the safety of arbitration awards and minimises the danger of awards being appealed.

In 1992, ARIAS (UK) produced a recommended arbitration clause and this was approved by Lloyd’s, LIRMA (now the International Underwriting Association of London) and the British Insurance Brokers Association. A new version, known as the ARIAS Arbitration Clause, was published simultaneously with the second edition of the ARIAS Arbitration Rules – largely to cater for and dovetail with the ARIAS Arbitration Rules and to take account of the provisions of the English Arbitration Act 1996. Despite that, the Clause and the Rules are appropriate for use in any jurisdiction worldwide.

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) has, after much consultation with the industry, issued new ARIAS Fast Track Arbitration Rules (known as “AFTAR” for short). These are effective from 3rd October 2013 and are available for parties to adopt to ensure a speedy and cost effective determination of disputed issues. The key points within the AFTAR Rules are:

  • The reference will be to a sole arbitrator to be appointed by ARIAS (UK) in default of agreement
  • The issue will proceed on documents alone unless the arbitrator considers that a limited oral hearing is required
  • Directions will be given at a preliminary meeting to be held within 7 days of the arbitrator being appointed
  • The directions will, unless the arbitrator considers this is not possible, ensure that the arbitration is concluded within 4 months of the appointment of the arbitrator
  • The recoverable costs will be at the discretion of the arbitrator and will be strictly controlled and limited.

ARIAS (UK) recommends that all parties who have agreed to arbitrate under its Rules consider further whether any dispute that has arisen could better be resolved in a speedy and cost effective manner by agreeing to use AFTAR. To assist with this process, two new clauses have been drafted. The first, called the ARIAS Fast Track Arbitration Clause, stipulates that all disputes shall be submitted under AFTAR whereas the other, the AFTAR Option Clause, directs parties to consider, once a dispute has arisen, the appropriateness of using AFTAR. AFTAR Frequently Asked Questions are also available.

Copies of the second and third editions of the ARIAS Arbitration Rules, the ARIAS Arbitration Clause, the Appeal Amendment Clause, the ARIAS Fast Track Arbitration Rules, the ARIAS Fast Track Arbitration Clause and the AFTAR Option Clause can be viewed and downloaded using the links below.

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