Extract from “Profiting from injustice: How law firms, arbitrators and financiers are fuelling an investment arbitration boom”

The boom in arbitration has created bonanza profits for investment lawyers paid for by taxpayers. Legal and arbitration costs average over US$8 million per investor-state dispute, exceeding US$30 million in some cases. Elite law firms charge as much as US$1,000 per hour, per lawyer – with whole teams handling cases. Arbitrators also earn hefty salaries, amounting up to almost US$1 million in one reported case. These costs are paid by taxpayers, including in countries where people do not even have access to basic services. For example, the Philippine government spent US$58 million defending two cases against German airport operator Fraport; money that could have paid the salaries of 12,500 teachers for one year or vaccinated 3.8 million children against diseases such as TB, diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

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