John Cole

Wiley Rein

John Cole is an attorney, insurance professional, and active ARIAS•U.S. Certified Arbitrator and Umpire, whose 30 years of property-casualty experience, the majority as a senior Claim and Legal executive, has concentrated in management of complex litigation and reinsurance issues.  Prior to entering private practice in 2002, Mr. Cole served as Executive Vice President and Chief Claims Officer for Zurich Group, responsible for all North American claim operations for the U.S.’s third largest commercial insurer.  These responsibilities included management of the group’s largest claim exposures for all lines of commercial business through a dedicated Claim Division staff of approximately 3,500.  During this period, Mr. Cole co-created Zurich’s first Reinsurance Claim Department and jointly managed executive responsibility for Zurich’s reinsurance recovery, arbitration, and dispute resolution policy.

Previously, Mr. Cole served as Senior V.P. and General Counsel of Maryland Casualty Company, including the period when Maryland was an active assuming reinsurer.  This position included contract, reinsurance counseling, and regulatory duties.  Subsequently, Mr. Cole was appointed Senior V.P. and Chief Claims Officer for Maryland Casualty following its acquisition by Zurich.

Mr. Cole was among the industry’s early managers of asbestos, pollution, and toxic tort claims.  In 1981, he was named to the first governing committee of the newly created Asbestos Claim Managers Association.  In 1986, he was elected by his peers as founding Chairman of the Insurance Environmental Litigation Association (now Complex Insurance Claims Litigation Association), which represents major commercial insurers’ interests as amici in emerging complex coverage disputes and appeals.  In 1992, he testified before Congress at the request of the American Insurance Association board, advocating industry views concerning Superfund reauthorization.

As a senior Claim and Legal executive, Mr. Cole maintained management responsibility for asbestos, environmental, and mass tort claim management and reinsurance issues at Maryland and Zurich for more than 20 years. Currently a partner in Wiley Rein’s Insurance group, Mr. Cole has served as arbitrator, designated neutral or umpire in more than 195 reinsurance/insurance arbitrations to date in the U.S. and Great Britain. His practice also entails selective engagements as a testifying expert witness, management and complex arbitration/litigation consultant.  He is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (Vice President-Insurance, 1994-1996), and the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.

Session Information:

Thursday, November 5th | 2:35 – 3:25 PM & 3:30 – 4:20 PM

Breakout Three | Covid-19 Pandemic Reinsurance Issues From The Arbitrator’s Perspective – What Companies and Counsel Should Know To Prepare For Potential Disputes
The panel will address what types of reinsurance disputes might arise, involving what types of losses, and the factors that arbitrators could consider relevant to the outcomes of such disputes, as well as whether such proceedings could or should be conducted virtually.

Moderator: Mark Gurevitz, MG Re Arbitrator & Mediator Services LLC & Heritage Reinsurance Company Ltd.
Panel: Charles Ehrlich, ARIAS•U.S. Certified Arbitrator
John Cole, Wiley Rein LLP
Paul Dassenko, AzuRe Advisors, Inc
Jonathan Rosen, Arbitration, Mediation and Expert Witness Services