In the attempt to offer an alternative to court proceedings, by creating an independent body specialized in the fashion industry, a bunch of companies active in the field has recently created the Fashion Mediation Association (“FMA”).

FMA is an association created with the aim to solve civil and commercial disputes, which may arise between operators within the fashion industry both a national and international level. Mediation procedures will take place in Venice and have a voluntary basis. The most common way to assign the disputes to the FMA is by inserting a specific clause in the relevant contract.

Mediators before FMA are independent, impartial and neutral and appointed by the Fashion Mediation Board, which is an autonomous body, not linked with the FMA partners. Mediators are highly qualified, fluent at least in Italian and English, with a degree in law or economics and proved knowledge of the business, acquired at international level through professional or in house-experience for companies active in the fashion field.

The mediation procedure is governed by the FMA Mediation Regulations, aimed to ensure a fast, cost-effective and confidential solution of the disputes, which is satisfactory for all involved. In any event, choosing mediation does not prejudice the parties’ right to bring court proceedings or arbitrations.

FMA has entered an agreement with the Venice Court of Arbitration (VCA), which manages the administrative and logistic aspects of the procedure. In addition, if the parties expressly accept it, the agreements reached through the FMA are enforceable through the intervention of the VCA, as provided under Art. 10 of the FMA Mediation Regulations. Should the mediation prove unsuccessful, parties may decide to start an arbitration procedure before the VCA, which has also created a specialist division of arbitrators with an expertise in the fashion field.

We look forward to hearing the developments and we wish FMA every success for the future!

For further information on litigation in the fashion sector, please contact Elena Varese (elena.varese@dlapiper.com