For folks in the construction industry, a mechanics lien is one of the most valuable tools for getting paid. Every state has mechanics lien laws that protect construction professionals facing nonpayment by granting them the right to file a lien.
A construction business’s lien rights depend on their ability to follow their state’s mechanics lien requirements. These include deadlines and important steps like sending preliminary notices and notices of intent. Though this process can look different depending on what state you’re in, the importance of lien rights in securing your business is universal.
With this in mind, we asked construction lawyers across the country to weigh in on the importance of protecting lien rights. These lawyers have been helping their construction customers get paid for the work they do for years, and here they share their experience and insight on a range of topics, from developing good workplace processes, to pitfalls of missing deadlines, and how to best empower your business to get paid. Read on to see what they have to say.
Chris Ng | Los Angeles, CA | 19 years of experience
“It’s about leverage and security. In our business, where we have a lot of handshake deals—and that’s how it’s been done for many, many years—lien rights give you the ability to maintain your security, [and] make sure that you get paid if for any reason the wheels come off the bus.
“[It] gives you the leverage to make sure you control the outcome. So anytime you decide to forgo those rights by not doing a preliminary notice or engaging in a required step in the process to make sure that you have lien rights, you are putting yourself at risk, and in this day in age that’s not generally a good or wise thing to do.”
Christopher Ng is an equity partner, executive committee member, and the managing partner of Gibbs Giden. Chris primarily represents companies in a wide range of business, commercial and construction negotiations and disputes. Chris is a member of the State Bar of California and District of Columbia and licensed to practice in all California state and federal courts. Chris is also an educator, active speaker, published author and frequent contributor to local, regional and national legal publications. For his achievements, Chris has been named to the “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyers” lists by Los Angeles Magazine and Super Lawyers® (Thomson/Reuters) regularly since 2009 (including again in 2020), a distinction conferred upon less than 5% of all California attorneys. Chris was also named the 2015-2016 “Educator of the Year” by Credit Management Association (CMA).
The content contained herein is published online by Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP (“Gibbs Giden”) for informational purposes only, may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements, and does not constitute legal advice. Do not act on the information contained herein without seeking the advice of licensed counsel.