The Insurance & Reinsurance Arbitration Society - ARIAS

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General Information

  • Official name: The Insurance & Reinsurance Arbitration Society - ARIAS
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • City: London
  • Type of organization: not-for-profit society
  • Date of creation: 1991
  • Interests: Arbitration - Mediation
  • Fields of expertise: Insurance and Reinsurance Disputes


ARIAS (UK) is a "not-for-profit" society formed in 1991 at the instigation of various members of the legal profession dealing with Insurance and Reinsurance disputes. Lawyers and their clients had expressed a need to improve arbitration procedures and create a source of trained, insurance-practitioner arbitrators from whom well reasoned awards might be forthcoming.


ARIAS (UK) was formed 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).

Arising from the relatively recent 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 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.


ARIAS (UK) acts, where required, as an appointor of an arbitrator or umpire (it is usual now for the institutions of Lloyd’s, IUA and the ABI, often named as the appointing power in older reinsurance contracts, to consult with ARIAS (UK)).

The Society has also made representations on behalf of the insurance markets on matters relating to arbitration and dispute resolution generally, including conveying our views to the then DTI advisory committee concerned with the introduction of the Arbitration Act 1996 (our former Chairman, Johnny Veeder Q.C. having been a prominent member of that committee).

The Panel of Arbitrators

The panel of arbitrators comprises persons who have in the main, occupied senior positions in the reinsurance market as underwriter, broker or claims executive. There are also some who have credentials in other areas of expertise relating to insurance and reinsurance: accountancy and legal. Most of the panel members are based in England but there are increasing numbers elected based in other parts of Europe, in USA and elsewhere. The panel members, now numbering more than 100 persons are also provided with tutorials on arbitration practice and are encouraged to attend the (annual) conferences to supplement their knowledge in this respect.

Arbitration Rules & Clause

The ARIAS Arbitration Rules were first published in 1994 and, to their knowledge, 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. 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 their 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 and the Association of British Insurers. 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.

Mediation Scheme

ARIAS (UK) operates a mediation scheme for the resolution of insurance and reinsurance related disputes, as a complement to its arbitration scheme.

ARIAS (UK) Mediation Panel Members

ARIAS (UK) Mediation Panel Members are all accredited on behalf of ARIAS (UK) by Nottingham Law School’s Faculty of Dispute Resolution, having completed the intensive and specifically tailored training programme of the Faculty.

They are all also ARIAS (UK) arbitration panel members and are all listed in the ARIAS (UK) Directory. Parties and their lawyers may appoint a mediator from the list directly, or request the Mediation Scheme administrator to make an appointment.

The ARIAS (UK) Scheme

The scheme is administered by the Hon. Secretary and Administration Secretary. Requests for appointment of mediators under the Scheme should be made in writing to ARIAS (UK). Mediations under this scheme are conducted by two mediators, a lead mediator and a co-mediator, and parties requesting mediation under this scheme agree to these appointments.

Parties may nominate their own mediators or request ARIAS (UK) to do so. Parties are free to use the services of any competent mediators of their choice. Mediators nominated by ARIAS (UK), however, will only be chosen from our own list of panel mediators accredited by us. Mediators nominated by ARIAS (UK) will charge a fixed fee as determined by ARIAS (UK); mediators appointed by the parties may sometimes charge differently, by agreement with the parties.

ARIAS (UK) reserves the right to charge a fee for its appointing service – current details are available from the Hon. Secretary or Administration Secretary on request.

Full details of the Scheme are contained in the ARIAS Guidelines for Mediation, the ARIAS (UK) Agreement for Mediation and associated documents.


ARIAS (UK), c/o IUA, London Underwriting Centre, 3 Minster Court, Mincing Lane. London EC3R 7DD - United Kingdom

Tel: 44 (0) 1732 832 475


Official Website

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