Greenberg Traurig, LLP

  • Established in 1967
  • Firm Size 2041
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    4.8/5.0 (924)
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Unclaimed Property & Escheat

Unclaimed property laws require the remittance or escheat of certain types of tangible and intangible property to the state for safekeeping if the holder of such property is unable to contact the owner of that property after a specified period, known as the dormancy period. Each of the 50 states has its own unique set of laws that defines the types of property subject to escheat, sets a dormancy period for each category of property, determines the timeframe for reporting, and establishes penalties, fines, interest (and even criminal liability) for the failure to report. Examples of items that can constitute unclaimed property include unused gift cards, uncashed payroll checks, uncashed stock dividend checks, abandoned corporate stock, abandoned trust funds, unused bank accounts and safe deposit boxes (see a more comprehensive list on the next page). States have the ability to audit companies to determine their compliance with unclaimed property laws.

Many states look to unclaimed property as a source of “revenue” in the face of budget shortfalls. In part due to the fact that there is no applicable statute of limitations, the failure to comply with these laws can mean millions of dollars in interest and penalties for a holder. This can negatively impact a company’s bottom line, as well as have an effect on the accuracy of a company’s financial reporting. As a result of states’ increased focus on unclaimed property, companies need to be proactive in monitoring and, if necessary, improving their unclaimed property compliance practices. It is believed that a significant percentage of businesses are not currently in compliance with unclaimed property laws. Attention to unclaimed property compliance now can save valuable company resources later.

Greenberg Traurig’s Unclaimed Property and Escheat Practice Group offers clients a multidisciplinary approach to unclaimed property/escheat matters. The group includes lawyers from our corporate and securities, litigation, governmental affairs, and tax practices to provide comprehensive solutions. Greenberg Traurig attorneys are experienced in the full spectrum of unclaimed property issues, from counseling clients in unclaimed property law compliance to providing legal support for audit defense. Several of our attorneys are members of a national organization of unclaimed property practitioners.

Our attorneys are experienced:

  • Counseling clients on compliance with the unclaimed property/escheat laws of all 50 states.
  • Drafting unclaimed property policies and procedures.
  • Defending single-state and multi-state audits.
  • Negotiating voluntary disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements, and settlement agreements.
  • Advising clients on complex legal issues pertaining to unclaimed property/escheat laws, including emerging trends and changing laws.
  • Counseling clients in planning and restructuring of business operations, especially with respect to gift card operations.
  • Litigating unclaimed property/escheat matters.
  • Advocating to further clients’ unclaimed property policy objectives.
  • Assisting buyers in analyzing and mitigating unclaimed property liabilities in acquisitions and mergers.
  • Assisting sellers in limiting indemnity obligations and managing unclaimed property liabilities in sale transactions.
  • Recovering unclaimed property held by states on behalf of clients.
  • Counseling clients on whether federal law preempts state unclaimed property laws.

Types of Unclaimed Property

  • Uncashed travelers checks and money orders
  • Uncashed rebate checks and other customer credits
  • Unused gift certificates and gift cards
  • Uncashed employee payroll checks
  • Uncashed vendor checks
  • Uncashed dividend checks and the underlying stock or other evidence of an ownership interest in the business
  • Abandoned trust funds
  • Amounts due and payable under insurance policies or annuities
  • Amounts distributable from employee benefit plans
  • Certain pre-payments, credit balances, deposits and layaway items

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Peer Reviews

4.8/5.0 (924 reviews)
  • Legal Knowledge

    4.8/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    4.8/5.0
  • Judgment

    4.8/5.0
  • Communication

    4.8/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    4.8/5.0
  • 5.0/5.0 Review for Ginger Pigott by a Partner on 05/16/13 in Products Liability

    Ginger is a very experienced litigator. She carefully analyzes and prepares her cases. She is a tough litigator and negotiator. In addition, she has a nice touch with witnesses on both sides of the case. Would recommend her to any client, and I'd... Read more

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    Ginger is a very experienced litigator. She carefully analyzes and prepares her cases. She is a tough litigator and negotiator. In addition, she has a nice touch with witnesses on both sides of the case. Would recommend her to any client, and I'd work with her on any case. Read less

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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for David Freylikhman by a Of Counsel on 09/16/12 in Real Estate

    Mr. Freylikhman is a creative thinker, and his expertise in his practice area increases every day. He is passionate about his work and it phous.

    Mr. Freylikhman is a creative thinker, and his expertise in his practice area increases every day. He is passionate about his work and it phous. Read less

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Diversity

At Greenberg Traurig, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual attorneys at Greenberg Traurig are committed to nurturing diversity throughout the firm and creating an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively.

For us, diversity is about taking action - opening doors for lawyers.

That commitment is reflected by the fact that overall, 40 percent of Greenberg Traurig's attorneys worldwide are women or minorities as defined by the American Bar Association. As of Dec. 31, 2014, our U.S. employees, including attorneys and staff, who met the definition of minority persons reflected a total of 29 percent of our employment base. Approximately 32 percent of our U.S. attorneys and 52 percent of our U.S. employees are women.

Greenberg Traurig's commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond any single committee. Committees cannot nurture; they cannot mentor; they cannot create an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively. Committees do not lead. Our diverse attorneys however, can and do.


* We welcome and reflect the communities we represent better than any other major law firm in our markets.

* We do not simply rely on a "committee" to achieve this.

* We do so through a commitment to providing a fair opportunity for each of us to reach our full potential.

* We have the personal dedication of many at Greenberg Traurig who identify and bring into our firm this very special diversity.

* The Minority Law Journal 2014 Diversity Scorecard has recognized us as follows:
o No. 1 Ranking, African American Partners
o No. 1 Ranking, Hispanic American Non-Partners
o No. 2 Ranking, Hispanic American Partners


* The National Law Journal has previously recognized our attorneys as among:
o No. 2 Ranking, Female Partner Numbers, Female Scorecard (2013)
o "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" (Three) (2008)
o "The 50 Most Influential Women Attorneys" (Two) (2007)
o "The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America"
(Two diverse attorneys; three total) (2006)


Diversity in Action: Fostering Diversity in the Profession and Preserving the Pipeline

Greenberg Traurig's Diversity Leadership Community has initiatives that focus on fostering an environment within the firm that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, and increasing diversity in the profession by increasing access to a legal education for minority students. Helping today's law students and lawyers become tomorrow's business and legal leaders means a larger, more diverse marketplace and a greater pool of talented professionals. And that means more business opportunities for everyone - our firm, our colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.
 
In this way, our approach to diversity and inclusion mandates a high-level of personal responsibility with regard to the recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys. Attorneys in recruiting, hiring and supervisory roles are continuously made aware of the progress of our efforts. Our personal approach to diversity and inclusion means that Greenberg Traurig lawyers are active at their alma maters and at law schools local to their offices, participating in such programs as career panels; "Meet the Employer" days; and mock interviews, among others.

It has been, and continues to be, our goal to create a well-balanced workforce that contains a significant presence of minorities and women.

Greenberg Traurig creates and supports partner programs with women, minority, gay/lesbian or disability-focused bar associations. We attend and sponsor events at these organizations regularly throughout the United States. The firm works closely with national and local minority bars to address the fostering of diversity and inclusion in the profession on many levels. We support the work of several organizations, including MCCA, NAPABA, NASABA, NBA, NLGBTBA, HRC, HNBA and others.

Additionally, we provide funding through the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation for lawyers and law students to work with public interest groups. Through the Foundation, Greenberg Traurig serves as the largest sponsor of Equal Justice Works Fellowships in the United States and has invested approximately $8 million to support, in whole or in part, almost 127 Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.

We invite clients to join us as we work towards:

* Cultivating strategic partnerships with clients and potential clients to leverage our diversity platform to create and deepen relationships and cultivate business opportunities.

* Encouraging our lawyers to facilitate opportunities for our diverse and women lawyers to develop relationships with clients before and after new matters are received.

* Broadening the pipeline of diverse attorneys by expanding relationships with minority bar associations and other legal diversity organizations through our combined support of these networks.

* Focusing on strengthening mentoring programs for female and diverse attorneys at every level.

* Instituting a program that provides a variety of mentoring, rainmaking and training opportunities that can be accessed by a wide range of diverse attorneys across a variety of underserved communities.

* Engaging our Affinity Groups and their allies as a forum for professional development and business development opportunities, as well as for recruiting and retention assistance and as a social exchange to promote inclusion.

Diversity in Action: Employee Resource Networks

Greenberg Traurig's Employee Resource Networks (Affinity Groups) have the goal of addressing the needs of our attorneys and professionals who are diverse. We support Affinity Groups for our attorneys who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, LGBT and women, and we continue to gauge opportunities to expand those groups as our needs and demographics dictate.

The firm's Affinity Groups are as follows:

* African American Affinity Group

* Asian Pacific American Affinity Group

* Hispanic American Affinity Group

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group

* South Asian American Affinity Group

* Women's Initiative

Our goals include:

* Mentoring of junior attorneys within the specific group;

* Recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys;

* Active participation in organizations addressing specific groups; and

* Serving as a forum for group members to discuss and explore issues and opportunities that will add value to client relationships.

Women's Initiative

As an example of our approach, Greenberg Traurig's firm-wide Women's Initiative focuses on retaining and supporting women attorneys through professional development and work/life balance initiatives, as well as through business development training programs and networking opportunities.

We work with like-minded organizations to address these issues on a broader scale in a variety of industries and communities.

Our program targets:

* Attracting and retaining talented women attorneys.

* Supporting business development for women attorneys.

* Serving as industry leaders.

* Impacting the community through leadership and service.

* Maintaining a culture that benefits women attorneys.

Diversity in Action: Suppliers

Greenberg Traurig is committed to the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Small Business Enterprises (DBE & SBE) suppliers.

As such:

* All business concerns, large and small, majority- or minority-owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete.

* A national director of procurement within the firm supports this practice.

* We are committed to diversity with respect to our vendors and suppliers.

* We are amenable to using diverse vendors and suppliers recommended by clients.

Diversity from the Top Down

Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig, leads our diversity efforts. This is a matter of personal responsibility for him, having entered the U.S. as an immigrant with humble beginnings.

He has previously been honored as follows:

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Hispanic National Bar Foundation

* "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "Top Most Powerful Hispanics," The Black Book of Poder

* "25 Best Latinos in Business," Hispanic Magazine, The Power Issue

* "President's Award of Merit for Diversity Efforts," The Florida Bar

* "Spirit of Excellence Award," ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Chambers USA Awards for Excellence

* "CEO of the Year" award, Multicultural Law Magazine

* "Attorney of the Year Award," Hispanic National Bar Association

 

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