Unlike the official ICC arbitration cost calculator, an authoritative tool to calculate administrative fees and estimated arbitrator fees for ICC arbitrations, this online tool calculates the same administrative and arbitrator fees on the basis of the ICC Scales of Administrative Expenses and Arbitrator’s Fees in force as of 1 January 2021, for expedited or ordinary ICC proceedings, while also automatically estimating other ICC arbitration costs, including legal fees, expert fees and anticipated witness, management and other party costs, from the filing of a Request for Arbitration through the rendering of a Final Award.
This is useful, as the majority of ICC arbitration costs do not relate to administrative and arbitrator fees, but instead to party costs, including especially legal fees, followed by expert fees. As indicated in ICC Publication 843, historically, average ICC administrative expenses account for only 2% of the cost per ICC arbitration and arbitrators’ fees and expenses account for approximately 16% of total party costs. The cost of international arbitration may be diminishing, however, with the increase of boutique arbitration law firms charging more competitive legal fees.
This ICC cost calculator is based on the ICC Scales of Administrative Expenses and Arbitrator’s Fees in force as of 1 January 2021, available in Appendix III to the 2021 ICC Arbitration Rules. The assumptions made are described below.
The following underlying assumptions are used in the ICC arbitration cost calculator:
- ICC and Arbitral Tribunal costs are based on the ICC Scales of Administrative Expenses and Arbitrator’s Fees in force as of 1 January 2021. Results should be identical to the official ICC Cost Calculator.
- Average legal fees range from USD 50 per hour (very low) to USD 600 per hour (high). Most law firms will charge far more than USD 50 per hour and legal fees are the primary cost of international arbitration.
- The average ICC arbitration requires between 1,000 and 5,000 hours of work, depending on its complexity. In case of doubt, enter 2,000 hours for the average amount of legal work per arbitration.
- Calculations are informed by ICC Publication 843, finding that 82% of costs in ICC proceedings relate to legal fees, expert fees and witness costs.
- In low-complexity cases (fewer than 2,000 hours of legal work) and cases with small amounts in dispute (less than USD 2,000,000), it is assumed that no quantum or legal experts are required. This may not always be the case.
- Expert fees are estimated on the basis of the external legal fees to expert fee ratio shown in the CIArb Costs of International Arbitration Survey (2011). Actual fees will, however, vary.
- Anticipated witness, management and other external costs are based on the ratio between legal fees and such costs in the CIArb Costs of International Arbitration Survey (2011).
- VAT is excluded, and may or may not be applicable.
- Each party is assumed to pay ICC administrative expenses and Tribunal costs equally. If a Respondent refuses to pay, however, its counterclaims will not be heard but the Claimant will need to bear the Respondent’s costs (which can then be claimed in the award on costs at the end of the arbitration).
- It should be recalled that a successful party may be reimbursed all or a significant portion of its legal costs by the losing party in the final arbitration award.