The West of England P&I Club celebrates 50 years in Greece

From left: Francis Sarre, Chairman of the West of England, Tom Bowsher, Group CEO and
Ian Clarke, Head of Claims & Regional Director (Hellas)

Mutual marine insurer The West of England was this week celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Greek office.

To mark the event, an evening reception was held at Balux, Glyfada and was attended by current and previous Club Members along with representatives from the West of England Board of Directors.

From relatively small beginnings, the Greek office grew steadily and began offering claims handling services in the late 1970s. Today, under the leadership of Ian Clarke, Head of Claims & Regional Director (Hellas), the office employs 15 members of staff and handles claims for approximately one quarter of the Club’s Membership. It is now regional claims service centre for Greece, Cyprus and UAE.

In fact, the Club’s association with the Greek shipping community goes back many more than 50 years – the Los family, for example, has been with the Club for over 100 years! Dealing with all types of ships, the Club is proud to have worked with some of Greece’s leading shipping companies. Over the years the office has been involved with large claims such as the Express Samina and Norman Atlantic and has broken new legal ground with the Aquafaith and Griffon cases.

Following on from a tradition of having Board Directors from Greece, today the country is represented on the West of England Board by Stelios Ioannou, Vassilis Bacolitsas, Thanassis Mazarakis and Dimitra Dandolos.

Explained Ian Clarke: “It is a great pleasure to work with the team here in Greece, a number of whom have been with the Club for many years. Together we, and previous employees of the Club, have built a thriving regional office which is determined that our members will always receive a first class service.”