How Much Does Arbitration Cost?

How much does an Arbitration cost?

In this article our agribusiness and disputes specialist Nina Winter explains the fundamentals of arbitration and the all important question – how much does arbitration cost? Nina has been is as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) and is able to act for you in an arbitration or be appointed as an arbitrator. Her contact details are below.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a method of resolving a dispute between parties. If both parties agree to arbitration, an independent and neutral arbitrator is appointed and the arbitrator gives a decision on the dispute. The arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parties.

For more information on the details of arbitration, read Nina’s blog What Is Arbitration And How Does It Work? 

To find out about the arbitration cost, read on. 

I’ve heard that arbitration is ADR; what is “ADR”?

Many disputes go to Court, but not all – sometimes the parties choose an “alternative” way of resolving their dispute. “Alternative dispute resolution” or “ADR” means resolving a dispute other than by going to Court. Parties choose ADR because Court proceedings can be lengthy and expensive, and there are strict procedural Court rules that the parties have to follow. Court proceedings are also held in public.

The parties might prefer to resolve their dispute privately, quickly, or with a view to saving costs. They might prefer a more flexible approach to the process compared to the strict rules of Court. That’s where ADR comes in.

The parties might choose mediation, for example, where the parties ask someone to help with their negotiations. But sometimes the parties want someone who is independent and neutral to given them a binding decision, having heard the parties’ arguments and seen their evidence, and that’s when the parties might choose to use arbitration.

What happens in the arbitration?

Depending upon the arbitration process that the parties have chosen, normally the arbitrator would hear arguments from both parties, consider evidence submitted by both parties and then come to a decision. There is usually a hearing but the parties can decide to have an arbitration based entirely on documents without a hearing taking place.

The arbitrator’s decision is called an award. The award is binding on the parties meaning they have to comply with it. This is one of the key reasons parties may choose arbitration over other forms of ADR; they get a certain and binding decision at the end of the arbitration.

How much does arbitration cost?

That depends! Although the parties have to cover the costs of the arbitration (including the arbitrator’s fees) and their own legal costs, the arbitrator can order one party (usually the losing party) to pay the other party’s legal costs and the arbitration costs. The parties can choose a procedure that’s quicker and more streamlined than Court proceedings, so arbitration is often seen as being cheaper than Court proceedings. That does depend on the nature and complexity of the dispute, though.

If you’d like to know more about arbitration, please contact Nina on 07826 201 576 or

About the Author

Nina Winter is a Senior Solicitor with 16 years post-qualification experience in litigation and dispute resolution, with particular expertise in judicial review challenges to government and public body decisions and an established reputation as a legal expert in the agricultural industry. Nina read law at Oxford University before training and qualifying at Eversheds, where she worked as a commercial litigator on contract disputes, IT litigation and product liability cases. In 2006 Nina joined the legal team of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the leading trade association representing farmers and growers in England and Wales. In 2009 Nina was appointed as the NFU’s Chief Legal Adviser, a position she held for 12 years before joining Prospect Law. Nina’s practice at the NFU included litigating disputes in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, EU General Court and the Court of Justice of the EU. Nina has an in-depth experience of judicial review claims, as well as experience advising on competition law, defamation, contracts, negligence, nuisance, harassment, environmental law, water law, insolvency, animal law, planning, utilities and FOIA/EIR. Having worked as in-house counsel for 14 years, Nina is able to quickly identify the legal issues at stake and to work pragmatically and seamlessly as part of a team to achieve the client’s objective. Nina’s expertise in agriculture means she brings a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing agri-businesses to her legal work. Nina was appointed as a Deputy District Judge to the Midlands Circuit in 2019. In her practice with Prospect Law, as well as dispute resolution work for clients, Nina offers a virtual in-house legal service to agri-business clients wanting on-demand, responsive and pragmatic advice, without having the expense of running an in-house legal team. Nina is also available to work as a consultant alongside other lawyers seeking to bring in-depth agricultural expertise to complement their work for agri-business clients.

Prospect is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, insurance and risk management specialists, and finance experts.

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This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.