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Living With the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act


Explore what is covered by UPMIFA and many common misunderstandings about its scope and limitations.

The Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) was released for State enactment in 2006, following five years of study and drafting by the Uniform Law Commission. Within three years, it had been adopted by a majority of all states, and within five years, it had been adopted by 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands leaving only two jurisdictions in the country where it is not the law governing the investment and expenditure.
Almost 20% of the labor force in the United States is directly affected or employed by charitable organizations, and since the Act governs the use, management, and expenditure of trillions of dollars, its importance and impact on our daily life cannot be overstated. This UPMIFA Update Program will review the origin and rationale of UPMIFA and explain its continued importance and popularity as the primary source of law governing this vital portion of the United States Economy.
This course will explore what is covered by UPMIFA and many common misunderstandings about its scope and limitations. We will also review some of the developments in the law since its 2006 creation, including variations in some state versions of the Act, several important appellate court interpretations of UPMIFA, and the ongoing legislative pressure to make further changes in this vital statute.



Barry C. Hawkins

Barry C. Hawkins

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

  • Of counsel with the office of Shipman & Goodwin LLP
  • Currently serves on the National Investment Committee of the Uniform Law Foundation and serves as the Connecticut Chair of Fellows of the American Bar Foundation; also serves presently as the co-chair of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Real Property acts and as the co-chair of the National Drafting Committee for the Elimination of Prohibited Restrictive covenants
  • In 2001, the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws (now known as the Uniform Law Commission) appointed him, along with three law professors who were noted and widely published experts on the 1972 Uniform Management of Institution Funds Act (UMIFA), to a national study committee to examine the then more than thirty-year-old UMIFA act and determine whether it needed to be revised or replaced; the study committee unanimously recommended to the ULC that the 1972 Act was badly outdated and needed to be replaced with an entirely new act based on more modern principles of prudence in the investment of institutional funds
  • In 2002, was appointed to and eventually chaired the nine-member drafting committee of uniform law commissioners from around the U.S. to draft the new act; the drafting committee was joined by three advisors from the American Bar Association and many observers from the communities of users of endowed gifts and other institutional funds; over the next four years and following many drafting committee meetings and three full readings of the Act by the entire Uniform Law Commission, the Uniform Prudent Management Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) was approved for enactment by the various state and territorial legislatures in 2006
  • In 2006, he chaired the ULC National Enactment Committee to manage the process of having UPMIFA enacted throughout the country; he spoke around the country, both in person and by conference call with many other state legislatures and legislative committees; during this process, UPMIFA was enacted into law by a majority of the states within three years and in every jurisdiction (51 in all) except Pennsylvania (which is reportedly considering this year adopting UPMIFA to replace a reasonably similar statute which was enacted prior to 2006) and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico which has a markedly different more religious-based charitable law tradition
  • Represented a number of national charitable organizations on UPMIFA issues as well as state and regional ones, regularly consulting for financial institutions and charities; served as the board chairman and prior to that as a six-year board member for a large community foundation; led the surviving foundation in a merger of near equals involving sizeable endowment funds for both of the merging entities; served on the boards of two college foundations, a community land trust, the Uniform Law Conference, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and on the governance committee of the American Bar Foundation; in 2012-2013 he served as President of the Connecticut Bar Association; from 2013-2015 he served on the Board of Governors of the National Conference of Bar Presidents; in 2015–2017 he served on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and thereafter served on the Advisory Board to its more than $100 million dollars in assets Pension Fund
  • Received the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory; listed in Chambers, USA, American’s Leading Lawyers (2002-2022); listed in the Best Lawyers in America® Real Estate Law and Real Estate Litigation (1993-2022); listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer® Real Estate (2006-2021); named Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers Hartford Region Litigation, Real Estate 2021; Who’s Who Legal®: Real Estate (2014 – 2022); Connecticut Secretary of State Public Service Award (2003); awarded the Bronze Star as a captain in the United States Army, Vietnam (1968 – 1970, Transportation Corps.)
  • As a Uniform Law Commissioner, he chaired the Committee that drafted the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) which is now the law in 51 jurisdictions of the U.S.
  • Lectures and writes nationally on UPMIFA matters, primarily representing nonprofits and financial institutions

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