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R. Michael Underwood

R. Michael Underwood

Of Counsel

Tallahassee, FL

Mike Underwood was a key official at the predecessor of the Florida Department of Financial Services and authored many provisions of Florida’s securities and banking laws.

Since leaving government, he has become recognized as a national leader in financial services regulation, especially in Florida. He represents securities broker-dealers, investment advisers, insurance companies, financial institutions and affiliated individuals in civil litigation, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. His experience includes defense of class actions, multi-district litigation and regular appearances before self-regulatory organizations as well as state and federal financial regulators. He has assisted insurance carriers, agents and agencies to become admitted or licensed in Florida and defended them in regulatory inquiries.

Mike's primary focus is assisting firm clients with state and federal securities, banking and insurance regulatory matters. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Florida Securities Dealers Association and an officer of the American Bar Association Committee on State Regulation of Securities and Chair of its Subcommittee on Enforcement. He is the author of a white paper on annuity contracts and is published often on financial services regulation.

Mike has a limited knowledge of French.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained Florida admission of multiple foreign insurance carriers.
  • Negotiated agreement with Florida securities regulator for expansion of large independent broker-dealer.
  • Successfully defended broker-dealer in $20 million class action for alleged sales of securities through unregistered Florida branch offices.
  • Obtained revision of Florida administrative regulations to broaden registration exemption for employee benefit plans.
  • Designed Strategy to transfer large network of securities branch offices between unrelated brokerage firms and defended same in litigation brought by Florida securities regulator.
  • Advised international financial institution on U.S. federal and state financial privacy laws.