This ICSID arbitration cost calculator automatically estimates the total cost of an ICSID arbitration, from the registration of a Request for Arbitration until a Final Award is rendered. While this cost calculator is based on historical data, the minimum realistic cost to resolve an ICSID arbitration in 2021 is likely USD 1 million.
The ICSID Schedule of Fees sets forth the cost of ICSID administrative costs and the fees of arbitrators. Under the ICSID Schedule of Fees effective 1 January 2021, a USD 25,000 fee for lodging a request for arbitration must be paid when filing, and an administrative charge of USD 42,000 will also be levied by the ICSID upon registration of a request for arbitration, as well as annually afterwards. ICSID arbitrators are paid USD 3,000 per day of meetings or work performed in connection with the proceedings.
While ICSID administrative costs and the fees of arbitrators are expensive, the largest costs of ICSID arbitration have historically been party costs, especially the cost of legal fees and expert fees. This may be changing with the explosion of boutique arbitration law firms.
The ICSID cost calculator below is based on statistics concerning the average cost and duration of ICSID arbitration but actual costs can and will vary. Assumptions used in this cost calculator are indicated below.
The following assumptions are used in this ICSID arbitration cost calculator:
- Average ICSID Arbitral Tribunal Costs and the duration of ICSID arbitration is based on a 2016 study of ICSID awards.
- Calculations are based on the ICSID Schedule of Fees effective as of 1 January 2021.
- An administrative charge of USD 42,000 is levied by the Centre upon the registration of a request for arbitration, and annually thereafter. It is assumed that the average duration of an ICSID arbitration will be 3.25 years.
- Average legal fees range from USD 50 per hour (very low) to USD 800 per hour (high). Most law firms will bill far more than USD 50 per hour.
- The average ICSID arbitration requires between 3,000 and 5,000 hours of legal work, depending on the complexity of the dispute, the tactics of adverse counsel and the procedure devised by the Arbitral Tribunal. In case of doubt, enter 3,000 hours for the average amount of legal work per arbitration.
- In low-complexity cases (fewer than 2,000 hours of legal work) and where there are small amounts in dispute (less than USD 2,000,000), it is assumed that no experts are required. It would be highly unusual, however, for an expert not to be required in an ICSID arbitration, or to make a claim of less than USD 2,000,000.
- 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). They will 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). They will also vary.
- VAT and taxes are excluded, which may or may not be applicable.
- Each party is assumed to share ICSID Administrative Charges, Arbitral Tribunal Costs and expenses equally.
- It must be noted that the successful party may be reimbursed all or a portion of its legal costs by the losing party in the final arbitration award, a possibility which is not factored into this model.