Making Commercial Law: Essays in Honour of Roy Goode

By Ross Cranston; Royston Miles Goode | Go to book overview

24
Interest on Money Awards in International Arbitration
JULIAN D. M. LEW1
A. Introduction
One of the most common factors in arbitration is the request by one or both parties for interest to be added to the amount of their claims. This exists regardless of the nature or character of the arbitration: whether institutional or ad hoc, wherever the siège or seat of the arbitration, and whatever the subject matter. If money is claimed, whether because of non-payment or compensation for breach or contract or defective performance, interest is sought to be added, and arbitrators invariably accept and add an amount of interest to the substantive amount awarded. Increasingly, in recent years, the amounts involved in international arbitrations are extremely high. International transactions now involve enormous amounts, and are major sources of national state income, i.e., invisible exports. These transactions include not only the purchase and sale of goods, and shipping and carriage of goods by air, sea, and land, but financing, joint ventures, investments, construction contracts, the purchase or licensing of intellectual property, turn-key contracts, etc.The increase in the size of international arbitrations is well illustrated in the statistics of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce ( ICC). In 1995 the percentages of cases exceeding various amounts were as follows:2
(i) under US$1m, 3.8%;
(ii) exceeding US$1m, 37.1%;
(iii) exceeding US$10m, 10.7%;
(iv) exceeding US$50m, 2.7%.

As a result of these increased amounts and the fact that arbitration proceedings are often only started after lengthy negotiations have broken down, and that they frequently last for years, the issue whether and on which basis interest is awarded can have a crucial impact. Interest of double

____________________
1
The author acknowledges the assistance of Stefan Kröll in the research and preparation of this article.
2
ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin, May 1996, p. 4.

-543-

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