What are the Costs and Duration of Arbitration?
A Survey of the SIAC, HKIAC, LCIA and SCC Case Statistics
On 15 December 2016, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) released its data on the costs and duration of an HKIAC arbitration, following the release of similar data by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) on 10 October 2016, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) on 24 February 2016, and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on 3 November 2015.
These statistics enable users to reach a more informed decision on the likely costs and time that would be incurred if they were to conduct arbitration under the arbitration rules of one of these arbitral institutions.
Notwithstanding differences in data collection methodologies and sampling, the following broad trends can be elucidated from a rough comparison of the statistics:
- The data confirms the common belief that arbitration proceedings generally take a shorter time to conclude at the SIAC and the HKIAC than at the LCIA and the SCC.
- The SIAC and the HKIAC are two of the most cost-efficient arbitral institutions.
- The administration fees of the SIAC are lower than that at the HKIAC.
- The tribunal fees for arbitration at the HKIAC are lower than that at the SIAC.
We now look at the various components of the data.
Comparison on Duration
- Overall, arbitration proceedings at the SIAC and HKIAC are concluded more quickly than at the LCIA and the SCC.
- However, for arbitration proceedings with a sole arbitrator tribunal, the statistics show that the SCC takes a shorter time to conclude than the SIAC, albeit only marginally.
- With the introduction of the Early Dismissal procedure in the newly revised Arbitration Rules of the SIAC, it is expected that the SIAC will continue to lead in terms of speediness in the conclusion of arbitration proceedings.
- It is also interesting to note that data released later in time tends to portray a shorter duration. As arbitral institutions continue to compete to attract more users, it would not be surprising to see a continuation of this trend.
Comparison on Administration Fees
- Overall, the administration fees of the SIAC are lower than that at the HKIAC.
- Further, the administration fees for a three-member tribunal at the SCC are more than three times that at the SIAC.
Comparison on Tribunal Fees
- Overall, the tribunal fees for arbitration at the HKIAC are lower than that at the SIAC.
- Further, the tribunal fees for a three-member tribunal at the SCC are almost twice that of the SIAC.
- Given that the arbitral institutions applied different variables in preparing the data, only general trends can be spotted.
- More importantly, costs and duration should only form one of the main aspects in deciding which arbitral institution to administer the arbitration.
- The main key considerations should be the legal considerations, such as the choice of lex arbitri, which has a direct bearing on:
- the extent of court supervision over the arbitration;
- the annulment standards adopted by the supervisory courts; and
- the availability of court assistance to parties.
- For other key considerations and how to manage the arbitration process favourably and in a cost-efficient way, please do contact the team at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow.