Journal Article

The Cost Conundrum

in Arbitration International

Published on behalf of The London Court of International Arbitration

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 221-250
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0957-0411
Published online September 2014 | e-ISSN: 1875-8398 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/arbitration/26.2.221
The Cost Conundrum

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The huge growth in the number, complexity and size of international arbitrations since the 1980’s coupled with the rise of a veritable “arbitration industry” has been accompanied by increasing complaints that arbitration has become too costly and is out of control. Yet one of the ironies of a number of cost-focused reforms of arbitration procedure is that they also provide a further platform for additional expensive arbitral motions and practices. This article provides a practical analysis of a variety of procedural developments, arbitral trends and institutional initiatives, and critically reviews a number of proposals for simplifying arbitration. The reality is that there is no easy reform of arbitral practice; it always involves significant procedural tradeoffs. Arbitration cannot be returned to some—real or imagined—past simplicity of cooperative procedures. Although reform is possible, the excesses of the arbitration industry will be best met by a slow contagion of procedural good.

Journal Article.  15382 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Company and Commercial Law ; Competition Law ; Employment and Labour Law ; Settlement of Disputes

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