From the courthouse back to the Catwalk
Susan J Model & Talent Management Reaches a Compromise with Giant IMG
Out of Court Settlement is Reached over Supermodel Daria
Toronto-ON (rushprnews) 10/03/2006 – From the catwalk to the courthouse is where Susan J. Burych known as “Susan J” relationship with International Management Group Inc. (IMG) ended up as a result of a dispute over a five-year commission agreement regarding the supermodel Daria Werbowy, whose career was launched in 1998 by Susan J Model & Talent Management. Finally, September 2006 the conflict ended and IMG and Susan J. agreed to settle out of court.
The dispute started when Susan J. Model and Talent Management, a boutique agency owned and operated by Susan J. in Toronto decided to fight the New York-based entertainment management giant over commissions owed to her for Daria Werbowy’s earnings. IMG claimed that no commission was owed to Susan J. since Daria had left IMG in 2001 to join another one, however returning to IMG in 2003, at which time her career finally took off to superstardom.
Daria Werbowy a polish-born Canadian now 23, is a childhood friend of Susan J’s daughter. She was a complete unknown until Susan J. groomed her for the ensuing success. According to papers filed at the Ontario Superior Court, Susan J. groomed Daria for a career in modeling, training her “as a runway model, developing her portfolio, arranging for test shoots and introducing her to the modeling world by traveling with her and parents to New York city to meet with several top modeling agencies in the industry, and also spending a great amount of personal time over her career”.
Settling on IMG as the agency to be placed with, Susan J. negotiated the deal and Daria’s transition in 1998. Susan J. signed a five-year commission agreement with IMG to provide Daria Werbowy with representation. In exchange, IMG agreed to pay Susan J. Model and Talent Management with 10% of its commission from Werbowy for five years
Following repeated refusal of IMG to pay up the commission and to supply Susan J. with an accounting of Daria’s gross earnings, IMG tried blatantly to silence Susan J. by mailing Susan J. a check for seventy dollars. This offence ignited Susan J.’s fire to fight the big fight and not back down. As she stated now that she is victorious, “If you’re a boutique agency don’t ever give up because the Mighty can fall too”.
IMG finally agreed to settle after two court cases in Ontario where IMG was not able to get an order dismissing Susan J’s lawsuit and a full trial was ordered. Settlement was reached whereby
IMG had to make a monetary payment to Susan J.
When asked if she is happy with the settlement, Susan declared “Very, otherwise I would not have settled. Finally I am being vindicated and recognized as being the one who launched this supermodel career”.
Does she have a word of advice for all the other small businesses out there, “Yes, make sure to have an airtight contract. Moreover, do not be afraid to fight for what is rightfully yours. Do not let yourself be intimidated”. One more thing, she added “Get yourself a kickass lawyer. All of my gratitude goes to Sandra Barton, formerly with Gilbert’s LLP and now with Heenan Blaikie who has done such an astounding job prosecuting this lawsuit.”
Finally, for Susan J. and IMG the courtroom drama is over and we can now turn our gaze to the catwalk and watch the magic of fashion enfold.
And what of Daria Werbowy? The young beauty took a breather from last season New York Fashion Week. As the It girl for Lancome, she is nevertheless far from out of sight. She will also be seen in various Prada ads with supermodel Kate Moss and others.