What is the Cost?

There is a fixed price for The Alternative Courtroom which covers the arbitrator's fees and all other expenses involved in setting up the arbitration, and submitting the decision for registration by the Court.

The cost can be as low as $3500 per person for a case which is dealt with largely on the papers with a teleconference to clarify issues.

This is typically a small fraction of what many people eventually spend to get a decision from a judge. It is also a fraction of what it costs to sell a house through a real estate agent.

If a hearing is required, then there is an additional cost for the hearing room or video-conferencing facilities and for the additional time of the arbitrator.

Payments are in two instalments. An initial fee of $1000 per person is payable on signing the arbitration agreement. The balance is due two weeks before the scheduled date of the arbitration.

Payments are made online and in advance through BPay and can be made either by debit from a bank account or via a credit card (Visa or Mastercard).

Each party will also need to pay their own costs of legal representation.

Hearing Options

Standard cases

A ‘standard case’ is one in which there are two parties and each party's affidavit or other documentary evidence is less than 20 pages long, including the annexures, and assets are not held in complex company or trust structures.

If the documentary evidence is in excess of 20 pages, that party must pay an additional charge of $8 per page.

On the papers

The case is dealt with ‘on the papers’ with a teleconference of up to half an hour with the parties and/or their lawyers to clarify any issues. If the case does not require a trial about the facts, and the parties just need a decision on the basis of the material and documentary evidence provided, this may be a suitable option.


per person

On the papers with brief hearing for submissions

This involves a hearing (in person or by video-conference) for each person to present their case and clarify issues. The hearing will last up to 1.5 hours.


per person

Half day hearing

This involves a hearing of up to 3.5 hours with time for examination of witnesses.


per person

Full day hearing

This involves a hearing of up to 7 hours with time for examination of witnesses.


per person

Extra hearing day


per person

Non-standard cases


Cases involving more than two parties

$1000 is added to the standard pricing for each additional party.

Cases involving company and trust structures

For cases where some assets are held in complex company or trust structures, there will need to be an addition to the standard fee to take account of the greater difficulty of such cases and the greater length of time needed to provide written reasons for decision. If, for example, we estimate that the reading and writing time involved is a day longer than for a standard case, this extra day will be charged at the extra day rate of $2250 per person. Any such additional costs will be quoted and agreed in advance of the arbitration hearing.

Other complex cases

The Alternative Courtroom’s fixed price service is not suitable for cases which:

  • may take more than three days of hearing time or
  • require additional processes to compel disclosure or the attendance of witnesses.

The Alternative Courtroom can arrange an arbitration with one of our arbitrators at a price to be determined based upon the time and complexity involved.