CIArb survey into the ‘Costs of International Arbitration’


The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) recently carried out a survey from November 2010 to June 2011 into the ‘Costs of International Arbitration’. The survey was completed by completed by lawyers and international arbitrators from five continents. Information on 254 international arbitrations conducted between 1991 and 2010 was considered to be useful for statistical analysis. Over 50% of respondents were from the UK (32%) and the rest of Europe (20%). The remaining 48% came from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America, Australasia and other locations.

Amongst other findings, the survey results indicate that: 

  • The average length of an arbitration was between 17 and 20 months. 
  • Whatever the nature of the dispute, at least 50% of claims were between £1,000,000 and £50,000,000, while at least 75% of arbitral awards were for £10,000,000 or less. 
  • The costs of international arbitration vary depending on where the arbitration takes place, with the UK as the most commonly chosen arbitral seat for survey respondents. 
  • Party costs averaged around £1,348,000 in common law countries and £1,521,000 in civil law countries, a difference of nearly 13%. 
  • 74% of party costs were spent on external legal costs. 
  • Claimants spent 12% more than respondents. 
  • Claimant costs noted in this survey averaged nearly 10% higher in the rest of Europe compared with in the UK 
  • External legal fees were over 26% higher in the rest of Europe. 
  • Common costs, such as arbitrators’ fees, were reportedly over 18% higher in Europe than in the UK. 
  • Party costs were returned as around 13% higher in civil law countries than common law countries.

Download the survey PDF at

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