Costs in international arbitration
Produced in partnership with Ben Sanderson

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Ben Sanderson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs in international arbitration
  • What are the costs incurred in international arbitration?
  • Legal fees, expenses and disbursements
  • Costs of the arbitration
  • Institutional fees
  • The tribunal’s fees
  • Allocation and recoverability of costs
  • The law of the seat
  • Arbitration rules
  • Agreement between the parties
  • More...

Costs in international arbitration

This Practice Note considers the role of costs in international arbitration proceedings.

Further guidance on this topic can be found in Practice Notes: AA 1996—costs, Interest on costs and damages in arbitration, Costs and fees of key arbitral institutions and the ‘Related documents’ pod.

What are the costs incurred in international arbitration?

The costs involved with resolving any dispute by international arbitration can be significant. Broadly speaking, the costs of running an international arbitration fall into the following categories:

  1. a party’s legal fees, expenses and disbursements—these will include lawyers’ fees, fees paid to expert witnesses, disbursements incurred in obtaining witness statements and costs relating to hearings (eg, any travel costs, room hire, technology platform costs, translations, interpreters, transcription services)

  2. the costs of the arbitration—these will include the tribunal’s fees and expenses as well as fees charged by any relevant arbitral institution to commence and administer the arbitration

It is important to bear in mind that not all international arbitration proceedings will involve substantial costs. For example, in order to—among other aims—reduce costs, parties may elect to adopt an expedited procedure presided over by a single arbitrator and forego the need for any hearings (ie have the dispute determined on the documents only), or employ other measures in their proceedings aimed at reducing costs.

Legal fees, expenses and disbursements

The legal fees of running some international arbitration proceedings

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