Fashion Modelling Agreements
4 tips on fashion modelling agreements
Most clients try to cobble together precedents, that they find on the Internet, of modelling agreements. This appears sensible as it is far cheaper than paying a solicitor. The trouble with the template agreements you find online is that they are almost completely useless. They just do not reflect the commercial drivers nor do they deal adequately with basic contractual principles.
There are 3 main agreements that you need to be aware of. These are: modelling mother agency agreements, model representation and management agreements, and mother agency/associate agency agreements.
(1) The mother agency agreement – These vary in length. The mother agent is usually unable to market the model in a particular niche or geographical region because they just don`t have the contacts, resources or capital. So they act as a mother agent. Mostly these contracts should address:- managing the model within their limited territory; adequately protect the model; deal adequately with the models fees; contain realistic interest rates and charges; deal with image rights; and adequately deal with the execution of the agreement, especially where the model is a minor.
There are many more issues but the above are just a few to have in contemplation when writing these agreements.
(2) The model management and representation agreement – These vary in length. These are agreements that set out the relationship between the model agency and the model when the agency is actively managing the model i.e. sending her for bookings; updating her composites and collecting payments and taking invoices. They should deal with exclusivity, advances and expenses, fees, power of attorney and other issues that fall outside the scope of a mother agency`s priorities.
(3) The mother agency/associate agency agreements – These are agreements between the mother agency and the niche or local agency. They are usually one page long. There is nothing to say that you cannot have a more comprehensive agreement, however it is not usual. Usually the local agency will take the model on with the understanding that they will keep that model. They would argue about any termination of the agreement. Also where the model is a new face (say 12 years old), it takes at least 2-3 years of working on a portfolio before most models start making good money. Obviously this changes from girl to girl depending on their marketability. So any attempt to hold the local agency to a fixed minimum return within say 3 to 5 years will be resisted.
Most agencies will resist paying mother agents monthly. Most prefer to pay twice yearly. Interest on commission will also be resisted. However that is what normally happens. If you have a really special model you could negotiate another deal.
(4) All the agreements should, describe the parties correctly – Not doing this, leaves you open to accusations of deliberately trying to mislead as to the identity of your business. Further websites should always comply with Article 5 of the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002. If you use a company to run your affairs then you need to state what that company is under the Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008; and ss 82-84 Companies Act 2006 which imposes criminal and civil liability for not describing your trading status. If you are going to litigate the other side would attack your trading status. If you get a commercial judge this could be the end of your claim. You may have discovered a model who starts to earn millions after a period of time for which you do not receive a penny. Your claim against the model or the agency could fail under s83 Companies Act 2006. Additionally, all agreements should deal with the exact date of commencement and duration.
Conclusion: You are better off getting solicitors that specialise in these agreements to either look them over for you or to prepare them. You will be charged for their time spent doing this but it might bring you a far greater return on your investment than you might think.
To book a face to face consultation for commercial legal advice you should contact a specialist fashion & modelling solicitor (charge rates may apply and may vary).