Arbitration: Happy Endings Not Guaranteed

The process doesn't always live up to its billing

Kanematsu USA Inc. is on a roll. A $1 billion-plus subsidiary of a Japanese trading company, it has come out on the winning end of four arbitration cases in less than a year. In August, a South American customer that refused to pay Kanematsu for more than $1 million in telecommunications equipment was ordered by arbitrators to pay the bill, plus interest. And in June, a U.S. customer who had withheld payment on Turkish yarn was ordered to pay Kanematsu's claim. Richard K. Jeydel, the company's senior vice-president, couldn't have been happier. "They ended up paying considerably more than we would have settled for," he says.

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