Did you read this article in the Post about Ford and Next modeling agencies? I am reading that an up and coming runway model Kendra Spears, who "sent Ford a fax last month telling them she was leaving, despite a contract that goes to December 2010 and is now being sued." Leaving her contract early the model is now managed with Next.
Fighting over a model is sort of like copyrght of a product, usage of a person.
Here is some news I've found on the story:
I would be upset at the model most. I mean Ford got her much of her opportunities as a model and there was not enough information on why she went on to be with Next but it does seem a bit fishy. Signing a contract is a serious thing and while many shorter models, working within commercial print, will not have to deal with contracts until they are more established, with a strong portfolio and credits, the fashion modeling world is different. However, you might end up signing a contract for an ad campaign and usage rights.
No matter what, a contract of any form is serious, and do think ahead, know what you are doing and getting into before you sign on the line.