A lien is a right to hold someone else’s goods as security for sums that are due to you. Because warehouse keepers are in the business of storing other people’s goods nowhere are liens more commonly used.
In order to exercise a lien you usually need your contract to give you the right to do so and for this reason making sure your contracts are properly formed at the outset of a relationship with a customer is vital. We recommend that you use industry standard terms that include tried and tested liens (for instance the UK Warehousing Associations conditions of storage, though of course to use their terms you have to be a member) but if you prefer to have bespoke terms we can prepare these including an appropriate lien and can advise as to how to ensure that your terms are incorporated in your contract with your customers.
Liens are used where your customer does not pay, either because they have gone bust or for some other reason. Applying liens against companies in administration (though not liquidation) can be difficult and requires specialist legal advice which we regularly provide. Getting it wrong in these situations can be very costly.
Applying a lien can also be complicated where your customer is not the owner of the goods that you are storing and these situations also require specialist advice to avoid costly mistakes. Our logistics team has extensive expertise of these situations and acted for one