Once again, the ICC Institute of World Business Law held its Annual Meeting on a topic that concerns business the most: the bottom line.

During arbitral procedures, lawyers enjoy submitting sophisticated briefs, raising incidents on language, jurisdiction, challenge of arbitrators and so forth, followed by long hearings and, sometimes, interminable oral presentations. Under the auspices of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, a great effort has recently been made to reduce the duration and costs of arbitral proceedings, and the Institute contributes towards moving even faster in this direction, particularly through the training programmes it conducts.

Nevertheless, it is striking to note that, while no legal stone remains unturned in procedures, when it comes to calculating damages and auxiliary financial matters such as interest, liquidated damages, judicial penalties and, more globally, the amounts claimed, the arbitrator is at a loss most of the time because these issues, as important as they may be, often remain neglected.

This is quite regrettable, as auxiliary financial claims often represent huge sums. It is therefore essential to have a clear approach for rightly assessing the time value of money so as to adjust the amount of the damage suffered to reflect present-day monetary values. There are many facets to this evaluation - and the purpose of the present Dossier of the Institute is to cover as many as possible.

How far does the authority of the arbitrator go to control the amount of the damage and its full compensation? Add to this the sometimes emotional approach to interest and the interference of religious and social factors, which in certain cases are centuries old and deeply routed in various cultures. Approaches for awarding damages, in particular interest, may vary not only from one law to another but also depending on the background and the personal approaches of the arbitrator.

It is therefore essential to firmly establish the principles in this field and to study each item that needs to be taken into consideration when calculating and awarding interest, auxiliary and alternative remedies.

This is the ambition of this new Dossier, which forms the fifth volume of our series.

Welcome to our readers, who will, I hope, enjoy this book as much as I had the pleasure (and interest!) in listening to the speakers at our Annual Meeting, each a renowned specialist in his or her field.