ICC Arbitration Commission Report on Techniques for Controlling Time and Costs in Arbitration

No. 861-2 ENG

ISBN : 978-92-842-0159-4

Costs incurred by the parties constitute the largest part of the total cost of international arbitration proceedings. It follows that if the overall cost of the arbitral proceedings is to be reduced, special emphasis needs to be placed on steps aimed at lowering the costs connected with the parties’ presentation of their cases. Such costs are often caused by unnecessarily long and complicated proceedings with unfocused requests for disclosure of documents and unnecessary witness and expert evidence. Costs can also be unnecessarily increased when counsel from different legal backgrounds use procedures familiar to them in a manner that leads to needless duplication.

The increasing and, on occasion, unnecessary complication of the proceedings seems to be the main explanation for the long duration and high cost of many international arbitrations. The longer the proceedings, the more expensive they will be. The 2012 ICC Rules of Arbitration (the “Rules”) have expressly addressed these concerns.1

These Techniques for Controlling Time and Costs in Arbitration (the “Techniques”) are designed to assist arbitral tribunals, parties and their counsel in devising tailor-made procedures for individual arbitrations pursuant to Articles 22−24 of the Rules.

In particular, the Techniques may be of benefit to the parties and the tribunal when preparing the case management conference and seeking agreement on procedures suitable for their case. If the parties cannot reach agreement, the Techniques may also assist the arbitral tribunal in adopting procedures that it considers appropriate, taking into account its obligation to conduct the arbitration in an expeditious and cost-effective manner. The Techniques are freely accessible online on the ICC’s website and in the ICC Digital Library. They are in no way prescriptive. Rather, they provide suggestions that may assist in arriving at procedures that are efficient and will reduce both cost and time. Certain procedures will be appropriate for one arbitration, but inappropriate for another. There may be other procedures not mentioned here that are well suited to a particular case. In all instances, it is for the parties and the arbitral tribunal to select the procedures that are best suited for the case. The table of contents to this document can serve as a checklist of points to consider.

While the main focus of the Techniques is to provide guidance on the procedure during the arbitration, the first two sections give suggestions on the drafting of arbitration agreements and the initiation of arbitral proceedings.

Code ISBN : 978-92-842-0159-4
Number of pages : 20
Publishing date : 2018-03-01
Language : English





1 Keeping clauses simple

2 Use of the ICC model clause

3 Selection and appointment of arbitrators

4 Fast-track procedures

5 Time limits for rendering the final award

6 More detailed arbitration agreement after the dispute has arisen


Selection of counsel

7 Counsel with experience

8 Counsel with time

Selection of arbitrators

9 Use of a sole arbitrator

10 Arbitrators with time

11 Selection and appointment by the ICC

12 Avoiding objections

13 Selecting arbitrators with strong case management skills

Request for Arbitration and Answer

14 Complying with the Rules

15 Setting out a detailed statement of case

16 Submitting additional information

Language of the arbitration

17 Determination of the language by the arbitral tribunal

18 Proceedings involving two or more languages


Terms of Reference

19 Summaries of claims and relief sought

20 Empowering the president of the arbitral tribunal on procedural issues

21 Administrative secretary to the arbitral tribunal

22 Need for a physical meeting

23 Counterparts

24 Compliance with Article 23(3) 

Case management conferences

25 Timing 9 26 Preparation

27 Use of the Techniques

28 Providing information in advance of the conference

29 Scope

30 Client attendance

31 Need for a physical meeting

32 Use of discretion in apportionment of costs

33 Further case management conferences

Procedural timetable

34 Compliance with the procedural timetable

35 Need for a hearing

36 Fixing the hearing date

37 Pre-hearing conference

38 Short and realistic time periods

39 Bifurcation and partial awards

40 Briefing everyone involved in the case


41 Arbitral tribunal’s role in promoting settlement

42 Settlement initiatives taken with the parties’ agreement


Written submissions

43 Setting out the case in full early in the proceedings

44 Avoiding repetition

45 Sequential or simultaneous delivery

46 Specifying form and content

47 Limiting the length of submissions

48 Limiting the number of submissions

Documentary evidence

49 Organization of documents

50 Producing documents on which the parties rely

51 Establishing procedure for requests for production

52 Managing requests for production efficiently

53 Avoiding duplication

54 Selection of documents to be provided to the arbitral tribunal

55 Keeping hard copies to a minimum

56 Translations

57 Authenticity of documents


58 Correspondence between counsel

59 Sending correspondence to the arbitral tribunal

Witness statements

60 Limiting the number of witnesses

61 Minimizing the number of rounds of witness statements

Expert evidence

62 Presumption that expert evidence not required

63 ICC expert services

64 Clarity regarding the subject matter and scope of reports

65 Number of experts

66 Number of reports

67 Meetings of experts

68 Use of single expert


69 Minimizing the length and number of hearings

70 Choosing the best location for hearings

71 Telephone and video conferencing

72 Providing submissions in good time

73 Cut-off date for evidence

74 Identifying core documents

75 Agenda and timetable

76 Avoiding repetition

77 Need for witnesses to appear

78 Use of written statements as direct evidence

79 Witness conferencing

80 Limiting cross-examination

81 Closing submissions


82 Using allocation of costs to encourage efficient conduct of the proceedings

Deliberations and awards

83 Anticipating the time required

84 Prompt completion of the award


Multiparty and multicontract arbitrations

85 Conditions imposed by Articles 7−9 of the Rules

86 Adapting procedures to multiparty and multicontract cases


87 Consider consolidating related cases

Emergency arbitrator proceedings

88 Issues to consider before initiating emergency arbitrator proceedings

Prepared by the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR.

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