R. Wayne Thorpe

R. Wayne Thorpe, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Lauryn Hall
T: 404-566-2157
F: 404-588-0905
One Atlantic Center, 1201 West Peachtree, Suite 2650, Atlanta, GA 30309

R. Wayne Thorpe is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


R. Wayne Thorpe, Esq. has substantial experience with arbitrations and mediations in a wide variety of financial services cases, involving consumer, commercial, trust and investment banking, and claims by the FDIC as receiver for several banks in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina against lawyers, insurers, and D’s and O’s. He has also handled many cases involving securities and other investments, including SEC enforcement cases, public company cases, and claims against brokers and investment advisers. He has also handled a number of employment disputes in financial services businesses.

Mr. Thorpe has been a full-time ADR neutral since 1998. He has served as mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, special master, and case evaluator in roughly  2000  cases in at least 15 states, including many high stakes and complex cases, class actions, MDL’s, and other large scale multi-party cases, and more than 500 arbitrations as sole arbitrator, panel chair, or party-appointed arbitrator.

Mr. Thorpe was named by the Best Lawyers in America publication as the 2015 Atlanta Arbitration Lawyer of the Year and the 2012 Atlanta Mediation Lawyer of the Year, and he has been recognized by International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation, Best Lawyers in America and Georgia Super Lawyers for a number of years.

He is Past Chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, and he has been a leader in ADR ethics and other policy matters both nationally and in Georgia for many years. He has also served as an adjunct professor and guest presenter in ADR courses in several law schools. Before he became a full-time neutral, Mr. Thorpe was a litigation partner in a large Atlanta law firm.

Representative Matters

  • Banking and other Financial Institution Cases:
    • Arbitrations of 75+ cases between community bank and borrowers; claims against bank for fraud, negligence, unfair and deceptive trade practices and banking and securities violations, etc. in connection with loans on investment mountain lots in North Carolina, arising from alleged $50+M ponzi scheme
    • Mediations of claims against insurers on financial services fidelity bonds for actions of outside closing attorney
    • Bank disputes with customers about high dollar debt including issues about collateral agreements and interest rate derivatives
    • Arbitration of claim by customer alleging bank wrongfully paid draws on line of credit based upon customer’s husband’s unauthorized signatures
    • Arbitrations in several states involving bank or assignee claims against borrowers and guarantors on multi-million dollar indebtedness, with various defenses and counterclaims based on bank alleged misconduct
    • ERISA and negligence claims against bank for alleged mismanagement of ESOP
    • Lender liability claims against financial institutions, including claim by borrower for impropriety in selling securities held as collateral
    • Mediation of consumer class actions against financial institution alleging violation of state Debt Adjustment statute
    • Alleged wrongful foreclosures on residences; attempted foreclosure on lien on condo
    • Claim against mortgage lender for alleged failure to disclose defects in secured property
    • Mediation of wrongful foreclosure case against major bank and FNMA at request of US District Court
    • Claims against trust departments and investment/brokerage divisions in banks
    • Dispute concerning aircraft engine lease and international letter of credit to Bangladeshi customer
    • Consumer class actions against financial institutions
    • Case against bank asserting fraud in connection with home mortgage refinance
    • Arbitration of claim against bank’s mortgage division for wrongful reporting of credit information
    • FDIC disputes with trustee for Alabama bank holding company
    • FDIC claims against lawyers for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with real estate deals for bank
    • FDIC claims against bank D’s and O’s
    • Mediations of claims by bank and by FDIC against insurers on financial services fidelity bonds for actions of outside closing attorneys
    • Mediations of SEC enforcement actions including a case against a bank officer
    • Dozens of mediations and arbitrations of customer claims against brokers, brought by individuals, retirement plans, trustee/executor under will, other fiduciaries, and non-profits against many different national brokerage firms, regional brokerage firms, banks, and investment advisers
    • Case brought by several trusts against bank as manager of $20 million investment accoun
    • Mediation of multi-million dollar claim arising from sale of municipal auction rate securities, including allegation brokerage firm did not disclose potential illiquidity in ARS market
  • Financial Services Employment Cases:
    • Mediation of dispute between investment bank and senior management employees who left to start competing business and took most of their department with them; non-compete, non-solicit, and trade secret issues
    • Arbitrations of various employment contract claims by private equity professionals and counterclaim for breach of confidentiality agreement
    • Age and gender discrimination case brought by senior female manager against national mortgage brokerage firm
    • Discrimination case brought by female broker against national securities firm
    • Multi-plaintiff, national origin discrimination case against bank
    • Suit by securities brokerage firm for collection on note from former broker; counterclaim for breach of employment contract
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • 2017 Recipient of The Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Annual Award, presented by the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution and the State Bar of Georgia Dispute Resolution Section, In Recognition of His Outstanding Contributions to Dispute Resolution in Georgia
  • Co-Author, What Is…ADR in Health Care Disputes?, ABA Book Publishing (Health Law Section), 2015
  • Recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2022
  • Identified by The Best Lawyers in America as the 2020 Atlanta Arbitration Lawyer of the Year
  • Identified by The Best Lawyers in America as the 2015 Atlanta Arbitration Lawyer of the Year
  • Identified by The Best Lawyers in America as the 2012 Atlanta Mediation Lawyer of the Year
  • Named in International Who’s Who Legal, Mediation; Georgia Super Lawyers; and The Best Lawyers in America for several years
  • ABA, Dispute Resolution Section. Section Chair, 2010-2011; Officer or Member of Section Council, 2001-2012; Co-Chair, ABA Task Force on Improving Mediation Quality, 2006-2008; Drafting Committee, Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators, 2003-2005
  • Liaison from DR Section to ABA’s Ethics 2000 Commission (providing testimony on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct provisions relating to mediation and arbitration), 2000-2002; Chair, ABA DR Section Ethics Committee, 1997-2002
  • Member, Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, 1997-2002, appointed by Supreme Court of Georgia
  • State Bar of Georgia, ADR Law Section. Chair, 2003-2004; Officer, 2000-2004; Executive committee, 2009-2012; Chair or Co-Chair, annual ADR Institute, 2000, 2003, planning committee, 2000-present; Atlanta Bar ADR Lawyers Section, past member, Board of Directors; Georgia Annual Arbitration Institute, Chair, 2018 and multiple prior years
  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators; Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators
  • Adjunct Law School Professor, University of Georgia and Georgia State University, Alternative Dispute Resolution Courses, 1998-2004; guest presentations in ADR classes at GSU, Emory University, Mercer University, and John Marshall law schools
  • More than 150 speaking presentations to Bar and ADR professional groups in more than 20 states; faculty member ABA Annual Arbitration Institute, 2010-2012, 2016 (and Co-Chair, 2010); faculty member ABA Annual Advanced Mediation Institute, 2010, ’11, and ’13; dozens of articles and papers on ADR topics
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association, Panel of Dispute Resolvers; US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution National Roster; CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Roster of Mediators
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Fellow, Atlanta Bar Foundation
  • Principal Benefactor, JAMS Foundation
  • JAMS, ADR Neutral, 1998-present
  • Litigation Partner and Associate, Alston & Bird, 1981-1998
  • Law Clerk to Chief United States District Judge Charles A. Moye, Jr., United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 1979-1981
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Georgia Law School, 1979; Georgia Law Review, Research Editor
  • B.A., with distinction, University of Virginia, 1976
  • Wayne is married to Jane Thorpe, who retired as a partner at Alston & Bird in 2014. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. Wayne and Jane own a cabin in West Yellowstone, MT near Yellowstone National Park, where they flyfish and hike as much as they can.

Counsel Comments

    • "Mr. Thorpe brings to his ADR work the same degree of energy, creativity and perseverance that good lawyers bring to their representation of clients."
    • “[Mr. Thorpe] did an outstanding job mediating our dispute…he clearly had a firm grasp of the issues, and worked relentlessly to help the parties resolve a hard-fought case.  I believe [he] facilitated open lines of communication that ultimately allowed the parties to settle. I would welcome the opportunity to have [Mr. Thorpe] mediate for me in the future and look forward to doing so.”
    • "[Mr.] Thorpe was an excellent mediator who was instrumental in moving both sides towards a mutually beneficial settlement.”




This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

Thorpe_R. Wayne_Banking_747