Reed Smith Client Alerts

Authors: Lee A. Zoeller

The Reed Smith State Tax team was honored to receive the annual Award of Merit at this year’s Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization’s (“UPPO”) Annual Conference in Orlando. The award was presented in recognition of Reed Smith’s collaboration with UPPO’s efforts before the Uniform Law Commission (“ULC”) and before the Delaware Senate Task Force hearings on unclaimed property reform. Sara Lima led the Reed Smith team, which also included Daniel Dixon, Erin Mariano, Alexandra Sampson and Gordon Yu. In presenting the award, UPPO recognized the team’s outstanding work in drafting and compiling more than 100 pages of written recommendations, developed through nine UPPO working groups, to submit to the ULC’s Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (the “Uniform Act”) drafting committee.

UPPO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing industry best practices for unclaimed property holders and practitioners across a broad range of industries, and has taken a leading role advocating for holders in the ULC’s redrafting of the Uniform Act. This will be the ULC’s fourth attempt to revise and update the Uniform Act since 1954. The most current version of the Uniform Act was published in 1995, and has been adopted by a small minority of states. Citing technological developments and potential new property types, the ULC has launched another effort to revise the Uniform Act. Reed Smith and UPPO partnered to draft recommendations intended to assist the ULC in modernizing the Uniform Act, ensure the preservation of holders’ constitutional rights, and ultimately encourage that fairness and balance are the cornerstone of the revised Uniform Act.

In June 2014, the Delaware Senate, led by Senator Bryan Townsend, undertook to reexamine the fairness of Delaware’s unclaimed property program. It enacted Senate Concurrent Resolution 59, appointing a Task Force to hold hearings and make recommended changes. UPPO turned to Reed Smith’s Sara Lima to testify before the Task Force on its behalf. The Task Force presented its recommendations to the General Assembly and, earlier this year, the legislature passed legislation implementing some of those recommendations.

About Reed Smith’s Unclaimed Property Team Reed Smith’s State Tax team advises clients on all aspects of unclaimed property issues. From bringing organizations into compliance, to audit defense and planning opportunities, our attorneys are committed to defining, managing and minimizing clients’ exposure as holders of unclaimed property. Our lawyers are located in several offices across the country, and we have extensive experience representing clients in numerous industries, including financial services, retail, pharmaceutical, health care and energy. We regularly advise clients on unclaimed property issues arising during mergers and acquisitions, as well as during contractual negotiations with third-party administrators.

About Reed Smith State Tax Reed Smith’s state and local tax practice is comprised of more than 30 lawyers across seven offices nationwide. The practice focuses on state and local audit defense and refund appeals (from the administrative level through the appellate courts), as well as planning and transactional matters involving income, franchise, unclaimed property, sales and use, and property tax issues. View our State Tax team.


Client Alert 2015-072