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AAA’s annual dinner at the Savoy Hotel

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Capt D R Kim, Andrew Paton, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers

Capt D R Kim, Andrew Paton, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers

Legal and insurance experts praise Association of Average Adjusters during its 2016 annual dinner for prioritising professional development.

A strong commitment to furthering top-flight expertise among marine insurance claims professionals has maintained the Association of Average Adjusters on course for a bright future, speakers at the 2016 annual dinner of the Association affirmed.
There was a buoyant spirit shared by the 260 people who dined in the magnificent setting of the Lancaster Ballroom of the Savoy Hotel in London. In a series of short speeches, members and guests praised the Association for lending the support of its most seasoned supporters to the in-depth education of the next generations.

Amy Dallaway

Amy Dallaway

Fellows, Associates and other members of the Association were at one with guests including underwriters, insurance brokers, members of the legal profession and representatives of the London and international maritime industry, in recognising that the average adjusting profession remained a vital element in the 21st century market.
After the loyal toast, proposed by the 2015/16 chairman of the Association, Andrew Paton (who had opened the proceedings by saying a grace attributed to Admiral Nelson), the speeches took on their customary mixture of light humour and reference to the role of the various disciplines in the market.
Amy Dallaway, a marine claims adjuster at Antares Underwriting and an Associate member of the Association, proposed a toast to the Bench and the legal profession. Ms Dallaway said that in the past five years, the number of Associates had quadrupled, which had been a huge achievement for the Association.
Matthew Cao

Matthew Cao

“What does the future hold for the Association?” she asked. She was confident there would be further advances, given initiatives such as “the new Senior Associate title which I am sure you will agree will encourage many people in the industry to take their studies further.” The qualification has just been established in response to demand from those who work in offices other than those specifically dedicated to adjusting, for pursuing courses to a point short of becoming fully qualified Fellows.

As an Associate, Ms Dallaway said that she had seen firsthand how much work goes into organising the annual dinner, the membership, the examinations, the training, “and I personally would like to thank the chairman and the management committee for all their hard work.
On behalf of the Bench and legal profession, Darryl Kennard, head of the London shipping team and member of the emergency response team at Thomas Cooper LLP, spoke of the qualities required of maritime professionals. They must work hard, understand the responsibility of the seafarer at the sharp end of the industry, and be resourceful. The insurer must ensure that professional standards were maintained at all times.
Matthew Cao of Richards Hogg Lindley Hong Kong, who is a Fellow of the Association, proposed a toast to the guests and Association subscribers, saying that the 2016 event was “a night to remember.”
Mr Cao realised that in the long history of the Association’s annual dinner, “I am the youngest Chinese to speak.” He said: “The membership has become truly international, with about 500 individual members resident in some 40 countries.

The Lancaster Ballroom at hte Savoy Hotel

The Lancaster Ballroom at hte Savoy Hotel

He expressed firm support for Mr Paton’s determination to strengthen the international and educational dimensions of the Association. The Association had been UK-centric but in recent times that had changed. Many members were not practising average adjusters, said Mr Cao, and that was clearly recognition that the examinations were the best way for others besides adjusters to build their marine expertise.
There was a period when “we lost a generation of practitioners who would otherwise have stayed in our profession. They were forced to find a new career. This is a global phenomenon and it is still affecting us today.”
Now it was pleasing that the number in Associateship had increased to 135 in 20 countries. “The Association has made good efforts in attracting people to this profession, ” Mr Cao observed. ” I hope those people continue their studies and I look forward to them joining the ranks of Fellows, not least from Hong Kong, from mainland China and Taiwan. I am sure there will be further qualified Fellows of the Association in China, ” he declared.
The future for average adjusting was bright “in that what we do is wanted by the insurance market, ” asserted Mr Cao.
Responding, Capt D R Kim, co-managing director of Korhi Average Adjusters & Surveyors, Seoul, brought greetings from industry participants in South Korea, and he proposed a toast to the Association, its Fellows and Associates.
Earlier, at the Association’s annual meeting – its 147th – the chairman Andrew Paton had said that the Association was continuing to perform positively in the interests of both its members and the wider marine insurance market. Mr Paton said that during his visits to several countries he had been met with approving comments about the work of the Association. “The status and profile of the Association is, I believe, at a very encouraging level.”
At the dinner, a highlight of the marine insurance calendar, there was as customary strong contingents from Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America.
Top table guests included Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers , an arbitrator and past president of the Supreme Court of England and Wales; Hal Watson, president of the US Maritime Law Association; Helle Hammer, managing director of the Nordic marine association Cefor; Roger Street and Charles Hebditch, honorary Fellows of the Association of Average Adjusters; Jonathan Spencer, president of the Association Mondial de Dispacheurs; Neil Roberts of Lloyd’s Market Association; Quentin Prebble, chair of the London Joint Cargo Committee; Andrew Taylor of the British Maritime Law Association; Julian Cooke, a leading authority on voyage charters; Andrew Bisbas, chair of the Chamber of International Shipping insurance committee; Keith Martin, vice-chairman of the Association of Average Adjusters; Lord Justice Tomlinson, a member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales; Brian Sales, chair of the Association of Average Adjusters of the USA and Canada; Dean Allen, chair of the Joint Marine Claims Committee; Jeroen Groninger, president of Verein Deutscher Dispacheure; Vibeke Kofoed of the Nordic Average Adjusters Association; and Stefano Cavallo of the Italian Average Adjusters Association.
The Association of Average Adjusterspromotes professional principles in the adjustment of marine claims, uniformity of adjusting practice, and the maintenance of high standards of professional conduct. Irrespective of the identity of the instructing party, the average adjuster is bound to act in an impartial and independent manner. The Association plays an important part in London insurance market committees, and has strong relationships with international associations and insurance markets.

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