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R. Wayne Thorpe

R. Wayne Thorpe, Esq.

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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, Esq. has been a full-time ADR neutral since 1998.  He has served as mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, special master, and case evaluator in over 1500 cases in at least 15 states. These engagements have included mediations in class action, MDL, mass tort, and other large scale multi-party cases, as well as more than 400 arbitrations as sole arbitrator, panel chair, or party-appointed arbitrator.

Mr. Thorpe was named by the Best Lawyers in America publication as the 2012 Atlanta Mediation Lawyer of the Year, and he is listed in International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation, (less than 100 in the US), Best Lawyers in America, and Georgia Super Lawyers.  He is Past Chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, and before he became a full-time neutral, Mr. Thorpe was a litigation partner in an Atlanta-based national law firm.

Mr. Thorpe has substantial experience with arbitrations and mediations in a wide variety of cases involving securities and other investments, including SEC enforcement cases, public company cases, and claims against brokers and other financial professionals. He has also handled a number of employment disputes in financial services businesses.

Representative Matters

  • Securities and other investment cases
    • Mediations of SEC enforcement actions including a case against a bank officer
    • Dozens of mediations and arbitrations of customer claims against brokers and other investment professionals, 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 accounts
    • Mediation in Louisiana of securities and fiduciary duty claims by quasi-public pension fund against various financial institutions relating to mortgage backed assets in high yield investment fund
    • Securities cases against public companies and D’s and O’s
    • 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
    • State court fraud case brought by large individual investor against public company and officers arising from restatement of earnings; plaintiff had opted out of class
    • State court fraud case against attorney/escrow agent, accountant, and officers and directors arising from private sale of interests in mortgages on low-income housing
    • Public corporation claim against former CEO for alleged misappropriations; counterclaim for failure to provide defense in securities class action
    • Mediation of claims by multiple customers against qualified intermediary under IRS § 1031 (tax free real estate exchanges) for losses arising from deposits of exchange funds due to sudden illiquidity in ARS (Auction Rate Securities) markets
  • 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
    • 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
  • 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
  • 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 one really grand grandchild.  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.”

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