Can interest be included on the principal claim and costs incurred?

International Arbitration

Austria Small Flag Austria

The question, whether an arbitral tribunal can award interest on the principal and the costs is determined by the claims raised and the law applicable to the substance of the dispute. Without a specific request, an arbitral tribunal cannot award interest neither on the principal nor on the costs.

Under Austrian civil law the statutory interest rate for default payment amounts to a minimum of 4% per year. Special interest rates exist for reproachable default between entrepreneurs (9.2% above the base interest rate) and for bills of exchange (6%).

Interest for costs cannot be included in an award under Austrian law: A party’s claim for reimbursement of costs falls due and payable at the same time when the arbitral award is enforceable. Under Austrian law, hence, interest on the costs of the arbitration start to accrue after the award is rendered and can only be recovered, if at all, in the enforcement proceedings.

France Small Flag France

The question of whether interest should be applied on the principal claim and costs incurred is normally regarded as a substantive rather than procedural question. Under French law, nothing precludes including interest on any monetary claim. Generally, in France, the interest rate is fixed annually by statute and should be respected unless the parties agree to apply a different rate.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

Yes, according to the general rules.

Romania Small Flag Romania

The parties are entitled to recover interest on the principal claim upon such request, but not also interest to the costs incurred.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

Interest on the principal claim will be included on request of a party.

Interest may also be included on a party’s costs from the date of the award until payment is made.

UAE Small Flag UAE

Arbitrators have the power to order interest in accordance with the rules of the substantive law. The typical rate of interest awarded by tribunals acting under UAE law is 9% or 12% (for merchants) per annum.

There are no restrictions under the DIFC Arbitration Law on awards of interest, regardless of their rates and whether they are simple or compound. The ADGM Arbitration Regulations expressly provide that a tribunal may award simple or compound interest at such rate as it deems appropriate.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

The payment of interest on principal claims and costs is governed by the applicable substantive law to the matter in dispute (art. 187 para 1 PILA). If Swiss law is the applicable substantive law to the matter, interest can be included on both, the principal claim and the costs incurred.

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

Yes. It is customary for pre-award interest to be added to the principal claim. Unless the parties agree otherwise, a sum directed to be paid by an award shall carry post-award interest from the date of the award and at the same rate as a judgment debt (article 31(5) of Schedule 1 of the Act).

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Section 33(6), AA enables an arbitral tribunal to award interest. In Malaysia, arbitrators have commonly granted post-award interest, which may only be given if specifically pleaded. It has also been the practice in Malaysia to grant pre-award interest. The long established right to award non-contractual pre-award interest has recently been challenged and is being re-considered by the Federal Court.

United States Small Flag United States

The FAA is silent on this issue, but U.S. courts have recognized the authority of the arbitral tribunal to award interest.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

Under Section 20 of the IAA, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, an arbitral tribunal may award simple or compound interest from such date, at such rate and with such rest as the arbitral tribunal considers appropriate, for any period ending not later than the date of payment on the principal claim and costs incurred.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

Yes, because there is no restriction in Law nº 9.307/96 regarding the inclusion of interest on the principal amount and on the amount of costs incurred by the parties in arbitration.

Canada Small Flag Canada

A tribunal may order interest on the principal claim and costs.

Panama Small Flag Panama

The general practice in Panama is to claim interests and costs incurred in addition to the principal.

Spain Small Flag Spain

In Spain that is a matter of substantive law and will depend on the law applicable to the dispute.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Parties may agree on the interests. Under Turkish law, the interests will be added to the costs if there is no compromise between the parties.

Germany Small Flag Germany

The arbitral tribunal may award interest as part of the principle claim provided that the applicable substantive law allows for a claim for interest. If German law is applicable and if the parties have not agreed otherwise, certain legal interest rates on the principal claim are to be applied: For example, in nonconsumer contractual relationships a claim for remuneration bears interest of 9 percentage points above the base interest rate (sections 288, 291, 247 Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB). The interest is calculated from the first day of the default.

Italy Small Flag Italy

According to Italian law, interest can be awarded by the arbitrator.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Yes (section 49). Interest on costs is not usually awarded, unless the losing party is in breach of the award. Interest may run on costs from the date of breach.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

Yes, section 18 of the 2010 Act allows the parties to agree on the powers of an arbitral tribunal in relation to interest. In the absence of any agreement in respect of interest, the arbitral tribunal may grant simple or compound interest which it deems fair and reasonable. This interest can be on any amount awarded by it, for any period up to the date of the award until payment.

Poland Small Flag Poland

An arbitral tribunal may only award interest if allowed by the substantive law applicable to the dispute. Under Polish substantive law, there are statutory interest rates which apply unless the parties agreed on a different rate.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

Pre-award interest may be included in the award if the Tribunal deems it appropriate to do so, usually pursuant to relevant provisions of the contract on the basis of which the dispute arose. Unless otherwise provided in the arbitral award, an award issued on the basis of Cap.4 shall bear the same legal interest as the one relevant to judicial judgments, from the day of the issue of the award until final repayment. Currently the legal interest is at 3,5% per annum.

Updated: October 17, 2017