Changes to PA Mechanics’ Lien Law in 2017

Changes to PA Mechanics’ Lien Law in 2017

As this blog as been reporting, significant amendments to Pennsylvania’s Mechanics’ Lien Law will become effective on December 31, 2016, creating new rights and obligations for owners, contractors, and subcontractors. These additional requirements are the result of the passage of Act 142 in 2014.

Specifically, Act 142 establishes a structured notice procedure for owners, contractors, and subcontractors to follow, as well as a central repository to file notices under the Mechanics’ Lien Law. The specific notices established by Act 142 must be filed on an internet-based directory that will be maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. These amendments apply only to “searchable projects,” or projects consisting of the construction, alternation or repair of an improvement costing at least $1.5 million.

Before the amendments set forth in Act 142 become effective on December 31, 2016, owners, contractors and first-tier subcontractors should evaluate their form contracts to ensure compliance with a number of new requirements for applicable projects. Notably, all contracts for searchable projects must include a written notice stating that a subcontractor’s failure to comply with the Act’s notice requirements will result in the loss of lien rights. Act 142 sets forth the exact language that must be included in the contract. Furthermore, the owner and general contractor on a searchable project must now make reasonable efforts to ensure the “Notice of Commencement” – a new type of notice filed by the owner or its agent – is made a part of the contract documents provided to all subcontractors awarded work on the project. Failure to comply with these requirements could potentially constitute a violation of the amended Mechanics’ Lien Law. Owners and contractors should also consider adding flowdown clauses in their contracts that impose requirements on contracting parties to include the necessary written notice in subcontracts and include the Notice of Commencement as a contract document for any subcontract.

Any person who requests, encourages or requires a subcontractor not to comply with the Act’s notice provisions may face civil and criminal penalties, including payment of attorneys’ fees and court costs. The person may also be liable for actual damages resulting from the subcontractor’s resulting failure to comply with the new notice provisions.

With the effective date of the amendments to the Lien Law fast approaching, Babst Calland recommends that owners, contractors, and subcontractors review the amendments and update their standard form contracts to ensure compliance with the Act. Failure to comply with Act 142 could have significant consequences and create exposure to unanticipated liabilities.

Babst Calland is offering a seminar to help those in the construction industry navigate these new obligations and begin using the new notice directory website. This seminar will provide a more comprehensive overview of the Lien Law amendments.

For more information on the changes to the Lien Law or modifying your standard contracts to comply with the amendments please contact D. Matthew Jameson III at mjameson@babstcalland.com or (412) 395-5491.

Babst Calland’s Construction Law Year in Review seminar

Babst Calland’s Construction Law Year in Review seminar

Final reminder — it is not too late to RSVP to Babst Calland’s annual Construction Law Year in Review seminar, which will be held tomorrow, Thursday, March 10, 2016 at the Doubletree Hotel in Greentree, beginning with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by the seminar from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Speakers will include Kurt Fernsler, Matt JamesonJim Miller, Rich Saxe David White, John McCreary and Kevin Douglass. This seminar qualifies for two (2) PA CLE credits.  We hold this annual seminar as a service to our clients and prospective clients.  This complimentary seminar will provide an overview of 2015′s significant construction law developments (both statutory and case-law). This year’s topics include:  contractor claims against design professionals, legal issues impacting closely-held construction companies, mechanics’ liens, revisions to the AAA Rules for Construction Arbitration, Public Construction Project issues, and Pennsylvania Payment Acts.

For more information or to RSVP, please e-mail Matt Jameson.

PBX Lunch-and-Learn webinar re construction law

PBX Lunch-and-Learn webinar re construction law

At noon on Wednesday, April 22, the Pittsburgh Builders Exchange (PBX) is hosting its first “Lunch and Learn” webinar which is free to PBX members.  This will be the first in a series of PBX webinars covering relevant construction law issues facing the industry.  The webinar will cover  indemnity provisions, payment terms (including “pay-if-paid” clauses) and liquidated/consequential damages – three of the most important considerations for contractors in their project contracts.  The discussion will include practical considerations on how best to address these issues in construction contracts from the contractors’ perspective and will include the opportunity for questions.   This webinar will be conducted by Kurt F. Fernsler, Esq. a partner in the Construction Services Group of Babst Calland.  If you are a PBX member, click to REGISTER.

Construction Law 2014: A Year in Review – RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER

Construction Law 2014: A Year in Review – RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER

Due to the weather for Thursday, March 5, 2015, Babst Calland’s Construction Law 2014:  The Year in Review seminar has been rescheduled and will now be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and we hope that you will be able to join us on this new date.  We hold this annual seminar as a service to our clients and prospective clients.  This complimentary seminar starts with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by the seminar from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. which will cover an overview of 2014′s significant construction law developments (both statutory and case-law). This year’s topics include:  mechanics’ liens (including the recently enacted amendments to the Lien Law), CASPA, payment bonds, construction law impacts on the energy sector, the new AAA Supplementary Rules for Fixed Time and Cost Construction Arbitration, and Public-Private Partnerships (P3). The seminar will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Doubletree Hotel in Greentree, beginning with a   Speakers will include Kurt Fernsler, Matt Jameson, Rick Kalson, Rich Saxe and John McCreary. This seminar qualifies for two (2) PA CLE credits.

For more information or to RSVP, please email Matt Jameson.

Construction Law 2014: The Year in Review

Construction Law 2014: The Year in Review

As a service to its clients and prospective clients, the law firm of Babst Calland will provide a complimentary “year in review” breakfast seminar which will cover an overview of 2014′s significant construction law developments (both statutory and case-law). This year’s topics include:  mechanics’ liens (including the recently enacted amendments to the Lien Law), CASPA, payment bonds, construction law impacts on the energy sector, the new AAA Supplementary Rules for Fixed Time and Cost Construction Arbitration, and Public-Private Partnerships (P3). The seminar will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Doubletree Hotel in Greentree, beginning with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by the seminar from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  Speakers will include Kurt Fernsler, Matt Jameson, Rick Kalson, Rich Saxe and Dave White. This seminar qualifies for two (2) PA CLE credits.

For more information or to RSVP, please email Matt Jameson.

Construction Law 2013: A Year in Review – March 5, 2014

Construction Law 2013: A Year in Review – March 5, 2014

Due to (yet another) winter storm last week, Babst Calland’s Construction Law 2013:  The Year in Review seminar has been rescheduled and will take place on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.  This complimentary “year in review” breakfast seminar will cover an overview of 2013′s significant developments (both statutory and case-law) in the area of construction law. This year’s topics include:  CASPA, mechanics’ liens, payment bonds, pipeline construction, the Procurement Code and Public-Private Partnerships (“P3″). The seminar will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Greentree, beginning with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by the seminar at 8:00 a.m. For more information, please email Matt Jameson.  Speakers will include Kurt Fernsler, Matt Jameson, Rick Kalson, Dave White, Nino Legeza, and Dave McKenery.