Putting the Brakes on Arbitration Cost: The Arbitrators’ Perspective

Webinar Information

Title: Putting the Brakes on Arbitration Cost: The Arbitrators’ Perspective
Date & Time: Wednesday, September 26th from 12:00 – 1:15 pm ET / 11:00 am – 12:15 pm CT
Location: Live online webinar
Continuing education: 1.5 NYCLE, Approved for initial certification and recertification
Webinar Panel: John D. Cole, Wiley Rein LLPChuck Ehrlich, Independent Arbitrator; and Mark Wigmore, Avalon Consulting, LLC
(Learn more about the panel below.)


Course Description

Arbitration isn’t going away but its cost keeps soaring.  Everyone talks about the problem—but what’s to be done? Three experienced arbitrators offer solutions to save time and money without compromising quality. Winston Churchill wrote, “war, which used to be cruel and magnificent, has now become cruel and squalid.” Arbitration, which used to be informal and inexpensive, is now, too often, painfully protracted and shockingly expensive.

Is there a solution?

It is unlikely that we will return to “the good old days.”  Yet there are many ways for not only counsel but a proactive panel to reduce cost and delay.  Some are easy; counsel need merely agree.  Others challenge perceived wisdom that arbitrators should be seen and not heard, that their proper role is as a passive receptacle.

John Cole, Mark Wigmore, and Chuck Ehrlich have hundreds of arbitrations under their belts as clients and as arbitrators.  Over the years, they’ve experimented with cost saving initiatives, and given much thought to the challenge of balancing fairness with economic good sense.  Join them in this webinar for a lively exchange of ideas on reining in the ever-spiraling cost of resolving disputes and getting back to business.


  • Opportunities for counsel to present their cases more cost effectively without affecting quality.
  • Opportunities for arbitrators to cost-consciously manage arbitrations without affecting the quality of decision-making
  • Opportunities for companies to reduce the cost of dispute resolution with confidence that their case will still be fully presented and considered.

Registration Information

Members Non-Members
$180 $250

Registration: Register today! Please contact the ARIAS team at info@arias-us.org or call 703-574-4087, for last minute registrations.

Refund/Cancellation Policy: The cutoff date for a full refund of the webinar registration is Wednesday, September 19th.   Failure to cancel by this date will result in forfeiture of the entire registration fee.

Questions? For questions about this seminar, please contact info@arias-us.org or call 703-574-4087.

Meet the Panel

Chuck Ehrlich
Independent Arbitrator

Chuck Ehrlich was a litigation partner in an AmLaw 100 firm when he joined the executive team organized to extricate Xerox Financial Services, Inc. from the property and casualty insurance business. He was responsible for resolving complex, volatile, high dollar matters as the team completed its assignment for Xerox and ultimately became part of the Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited family. Chuck’s corporate positions included: Senior Vice President & General Counsel; Senior Vice President, Claims; and Senior Vice President, Worldwide Special Counsel, as well as directorships of domestic and foreign insurance companies. Chuck was responsible for resolution of billions of dollars in disputes, and administration of legal budgets in the tens of millions annually. His portfolio included mass tort liabilities, pollution, class actions, products liability, and complex commercial coverages. He is familiar with all aspects of the property and casualty industry. Chuck has served as an umpire and a party arbitrator.

Mark Wigmore
Avalon Consulting, LLC

W. Mark Wigmore has 30 years of experience in the property/casualty insurance and reinsurance industries. Currently, Mr. Wigmore serves as Managing Director of Avalon Consulting, LLC, an insurance and reinsurance claims consultancy and dispute resolution firm. In addition to his role with Avalon, Mr. Wigmore joined the Board of Directors of Electric Insurance Company of Beverly, Massachusetts in February 2013 and has served as Chairman of the Board’s Audit Committee since March 2014.

Prior to forming Avalon in late 2004, Mr. Wigmore served as President and CEO of St. Paul Re, Inc., from 2002-2004. In that role, he managed all the assumed reinsurance run-off operations of the St. Paul Travelers Companies. In the United States, those run-off entities included St. Paul Re, F&G Re, Travelers Specialty Property Casualty Co., Constitution State Insurance Company and the assumed operations of Gulf Insurance Company. In the United Kingdom, Mr. Wigmore was Chairman of St. Paul Reinsurance Company, Ltd., and also headed St. Paul Specialist Services, Ltd., the run-off manager for St. Paul Re (UK), Unionamerica Insurance Company, Ltd. and St. Katherine’s Insurance Company.

Mr. Wigmore began his insurance career in 1988 in the Litigation Division of Travelers Law Department in Hartford, CT. For nine years he held various positions within Travelers Law Department, and in 1996 was appointed Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining Travelers, Mr. Wigmore was an Associate with the Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur law firm in its Columbus, OH and Washington, DC offices.

Mr. Wigmore received his B.A. from Wittenberg University, his J.D. from The George Washington University and his M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. He is admitted to the practice of law in Connecticut, the District of Columbia and Ohio.

Mr. Wigmore has served as a Lecturer in Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he taught Principles of Reinsurance, Insurance Litigation and An Introduction to the London Insurance Market in the Insurance Law Center’s LL.M. program. Mr. Wigmore is an ARIAS•US certified arbitrator and umpire under the new guidelines. He is also listed on the AAA Roster of Neutrals, its Panel of Reinsurance Arbitrators, and the CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, and is a FINRA arbitrator. He has served as arbitrator or umpire in more than 115 arbitration matters. Mr. Wigmore is an Accredited Mediator by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in London.

John D. Cole
Wiley Rein LLP

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.

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.

Continuing Education

ARIAS•U.S. Arbitrator Certification:
This webinar is eligible for 1/3 of a credit toward initial certification or renewal. For certification candidates, attendance at three live webinars will provide one credit toward Option C requirements. For ARIAS·U.S. Certified Arbitrators, attendance at three live webinars will satisfy the seminar attendance requirement for renewal. Click here for more information.

CLE Credit: ARIAS·U.S. is an accredited provider of New York State Continuing Legal Education training – 1.5 CLE credits are available to those who attend this webinar; all credits are for areas of professional practice.

Financial Hardship Policy

Financial Hardship Policy Statement: As required by the New York and Illinois CLE Boards, if a member of the state’s bar would like to attend an ARIAS•U.S. conference, but finds that he or she would incur a financial hardship by doing so, an application for waiver of the attendance fee may be made to the Board of Directors of ARIAS•U.S. Such application would be held in strict confidence.