Contractor Liens

In most states, the law provides design professionals, contractors, and material suppliers with special lien rights to provide them with security in the event of an up-chain payment default. The contractor’s lien (or mechanic’s lien) has priority over several other types of previously recorded liens, making it a powerful tool in any payment dispute. However, it is important for contractors to understand that, because these liens grant special rights, they have a limited life and obtaining one requires strict compliance with statutory and common law procedures. Often, these procedures are not well-known to those who are inexperienced in preparing and filing them.

heavy machinery excavator against a sunset background
Two engineers working on the construction site

For most of my career, I have been advising clients on the proper use, preparation and filing of contractor liens. I have filed countless mechanic’s liens and I frequently lecture to both attorneys and contractors on the rules, procedures, priorities, and potential pitfalls of the process. Additionally, I understand when it is worthwhile for a client to invest in obtaining a mechanic’s lien, and when it is not. My goal is to steer clients toward liens only when it will increase their chances of getting paid and improve their negotiating position.

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At times it helps to understand some of the legal concepts that affect the construction industry on a deeper level. I have collected a few articles of interest to share with you. Remember, however, that this is a general resource to assist you in understanding concepts, not legal advice on a specific matter. If you have questions about how these general concepts apply to a particular situation, I strongly urge you to contact your counsel to discuss the particulars of your situation.

The Anatomy Of A Payment Bond Claim

The Anatomy of a Payment Bond Claim

In the quest to get paid, subcontractors and suppliers often overlook their rights under payment bonds applicable to public and private work. The vast majority of…
The Impact of Supply Chain Issues on New Hampshire Construction

The Impact of Supply Chain Issues on New Hampshire Construction

Pricing construction goods and services during the pandemic has become a roll of the dice. Early manufacturing lockdowns and a downturn in the economy caused labor…
Understanding “No Damage For Delay Clauses” in Construction Contracts

Understanding “No Damage For Delay Clauses” in Construction Contracts

Unforeseen delay tops the list of risks project owners want to eliminate by contract.  Typically, this is accomplished through a “no damage for delay” (NDD) clause. …