Association of Authors Agents

Constitution

1. Aims

The aims of the Association shall include:

  1. To maintain a code of professional practice to which all members of the Association shall commit themselves.
  2. To discuss matters of common professional interest.
  3. To provide a vehicle for representing the view of authors' agents in discussion of matters of common interest with other professional bodies, the media industry and to the public.

2. Structure

The Association shall comprise eligible and duly elected members. Such members shall in turn elect a Committee which shall be responsible for making and implementing day to day decisions in relation to the affairs of the Association and on its behalf. The Committee shall consist of seven members, four "Officers", being a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary and a Treasurer, two "Ordinary Members" and the Retiring President (or sometimes an additional Ordinary member).

Members of the Committee of the Association shall be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Association at two-yearly intervals and shall serve for two years on a voluntary unpaid basis with the exception of ordinary members who shall serve for three years. The President may not serve two consecutive terms. The Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer may be re-elected to the Committee but not to the same office, and may not serve on the Committee for a consecutive term of more than six years unless elected to the position of President. The Ordinary Members of the Committee may only be re-elected for two consecutive terms if they are re-elected as Officers. No member may serve for more than six consecutive years, except in the case of a seventh year as ex-officio President.

All members of the Committee shall be elected by written ballot by a majority vote of those agencies represented at each Annual Meeting of the Association; each agency will have one vote. Unless expressly authorised at an Annual or Extraordinary Meeting of the Association, no two members of the same agency shall be elected to the Committee at the same time. Any agent of a member agency shall be eligible for election as President so long as s/he has been a full-time authors' agent for not less than seven years, and any agent of a member agency shall be eligible for election as any other officer on the Committee so long as s/he has been a full-time authors' agent for not less than five years, such restrictions to be subject to the discretion of the Committee.

In the event of the resignation, death or incapacity of the President mid-term, the Vice-President shall automatically become President and elections for Vice-President shall be held at the next meeting of the Association. Upon the resignation, death or incapacity of any other Committee Member(s) other than the President mid-term, election(s) shall be held at the next meeting of the Association.

The President, or in his/her absence the Vice-President, shall preside at all meetings of the Association. At the Annual Meeting of the Association, the President, or in his/her absence the Vice-President, shall present to the meeting a report of the activities of the Association during the year. This shall include a summary of matters recommended for action by the Association.

The Secretary shall give notice of no less than two weeks of all meetings of the Association, keep the minutes of such meetings, and conduct the correspondence and keep the records of the Association. Such records shall be passed on to the Secretary's successor and other Committee Members shall also pass on relevant correspondence and documents to the Secretary within one month of leaving office.

The Treasurer shall keep the books of the Association, collect all dues, pay all outgoings, and render a proper annual account of the Association to the Annual Meeting.

The Constitution of the Association may only be changed by a ¾ majority in a ballot of members of the Association present at any general meeting with a quorum of not less than half the number of member agencies. Any proposed changes shall be notified in writing to all members in advance. Actual changes shall also be confirmed in writing to all members.

3. Membership

Any agency or individual independent agent who has been actively engaged in representing authors and other individuals engaged in the profession of creating copyright works ('clients') for a period of at least two years shall be eligible for membership. Applicants for membership must have a place of business within the United Kingdom although exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Committee and must be able to give satisfactory evidence to the Committee of their ability to offer the full service of an authors' agency in the handling of all literary, drama, media, subsidiary and related rights. Each applicant should have a list of clients who are actively engaged in writing and who produce a commission income of not less than £25,000 (or such other figure as may be determined from time to time at an Annual or Extraordinary Meeting). An agency or agent who is also employed by publishers or purchasing principals, other than for selling rights, shall not be eligible for membership.

Applicants must undertake to the Committee that they have read and will abide by the constitution and code of practice of the Association as published on the Association's website. They shall furnish the Association with a statement of their commission rates and, if elected, notify the Association of any changes in such rates, which shall be recorded by the Committee.

Election to membership of the Association shall be approved by a majority of the full Committee. The Committee reserves the right to refuse membership to any agency or individual who may qualify technically under the conditions set out above. Any applicant for membership who does not technically qualify under the conditions set out above may be accepted for full membership at the Committee's discretion or may be given Observer status for no more than two general meetings if such an applicant is approved by a majority of the full Committee. A prospective member may attend up to two general meetings only as an Observer before deciding to seek membership or otherwise. Observer status shall not confer an automatic right to future full membership.

Payment of the annual subscription shall constitute acceptance of the Association's Constitution and Code of Practice.

4. Dues

The fee structure of the AAA is a tiered system, with the tiers defined according to the number of staff at each member agency:

1-3 staff: £300pa

4-9 staff: £500pa

10-19 staff: £750pa

20+ staff: £1000pa

For the purposes of this calculation a member of staff is anyone who works more than two days a week.

Annual fees are payable after the AGM in January, upon receipt of an invoice from the Treasurer. 

5. Meetings of the association

The Annual Meeting of the Association shall be held on a Wednesday in January in each year. Ordinary meetings of the Association shall usually be held on a Wednesday in the months of March, June and September. Extraordinary meetings of the Association may be called at any time by the President or within two weeks' notice by no fewer than nine members. The Committee shall meet by arrangement and may also appoint special subcommittees of the Association to consider and report on particular questions of interest to members.