Unlike the official ICC arbitration cost calculator, which is an authoritative tool to calculate administrative fees and estimated arbitrator fees only, 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 March 2017, for both expedited and regular ICC proceedings, while also automatically estimating all other ICC arbitration costs per arbitration, 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 costs of the ICC’s administrative fees and arbitrator fees typically make up only a small fraction of actual ICC arbitration costs. As indicated in ICC Publication 843, on average ICC administrative expenses account for only 2% of the cost per ICC arbitration, and arbitrators’ fees and expenses usually account for only 16% of total party costs. The ICC found that the remaining 82% of the cost of arbitration was made up of costs borne by the parties to present their case. The most significant cost in ICC arbitrations is legal fees for external counsel, given the number of hours of work generated per arbitration, and the CIArb Costs of International Arbitration Survey has for instance found that approximately 74% of a party’s external costs are, on average, spent on legal fees. There are many techniques to reduce the time and cost of international arbitration worth considering, however, when cost is an issue.
* The following underlying assumptions are used in this automatic 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 March 2017. Results should be identical to the official ICC Cost Calculator
- Average legal fees range from USD 150 per hour (very low) to USD 600 per hour (very high)
- The average ICC arbitration requires between 1000 and 5000 hours of work, depending on its complexity. In case of doubt, enter 2000 hours for the average amount of legal work per arbitration
- Overall calculations are informed by ICC Publication 843, finding that 82% of costs in ICC proceedings relate to lawyers’ fees, expert and witness costs
- In low-complexity cases (fewer than 2,000 hours of legal work) and small amounts in dispute (less than USD 2,000,000), it is assumed that no experts are required. Expert fees are estimated on the basis of the external legal fees to expert fee ratio shown in the CIArb Costs of International Arbitration Suvery (2011)
- 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 as costs vary between countries
- Each party is assumed to split ICC administrative expenses and Tribunal costs equally