After 30 months, members of the Association of Average Adjusters and their guests gather for a special occasion again – in a new ‘informal’ setting
London: Tuesday 7th December 2021: The Association of Average Adjusters gathered on December 1, 2021, for a historic and novel occasion: its first “informal” dinner for a century and a half.
The informal get-together was by way of compensation for the cancellation of the Association’s last two planned annual dinners, which would have been in the splendour of the Lancaster Ballroom at London’s Savoy Hotel, on dates in May. What would have been two highlights in the international marine, law, and insurance calendar had to be cancelled because of pandemic curbs.
Committee members of the Association were determined that the long tradition of the annual dinner should be honoured albeit in a reduced format, and there was an ebullient atmosphere as chairman Michiel Starmans welcomed more than 100 attendees to the Savoy’s Abraham Lincoln Room, smaller than the usual banqueting venue but no less illustrious.
The chairman said it was especially pleasing to see colleagues make the journey from Continental Europe and North America, given continuing restrictions in international travel which prevented or deterred several others from flying to London.
In his short address to the gathering, Mr Starmans, who is director of the legal department at the Amsterdam-based Spliethoff Group, said it was a great pity that there was no in-person celebration in May 2020 when the Association’s 150-year anniversary would have been celebrated by the formal dinner.
He praised the accomplishments of three members attending for the first time as new Fellows of the Association: Nanami Hara of Richards Hogg Lindley London, and Rui Hao and James Willan of that firm’s Liverpool office. All had qualified during 2020 and 2021.
The 2021 exams further resulted in three members becoming senior associates: Phillip McCabe of Richards Hogg Lindley UK, Christian Freuling of Richards Hogg Lindley Greece, and Julia Roumanou of Independent Average Adjusters Greece. Mr Starmans said that the achievements of the five members amid the pandemic disruption to commercial life set an excellent example for the future generation of average adjusters.
Association vice-chairman Burkhard Fischer of Albatross Adjusters, Limassol, joined in welcoming the guests including Sir Nigel Teare, an Honorary Fellow of the Association who became an arbitrator at 10 Fleet Street chambers following his retirement as judge in charge of the Commercial Court and as the Admiralty Judge.
Subsequent reaction to the evening, in what was the original banqueting room of the hotel (gaining its name when it was used by the American community in London during World War I) deemed it to have been a great success.