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Scott A. Underwood

Scott A. Underwood


Chair, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights Practice Group

Tampa, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Scott A. Underwood has experience in bankruptcy, distressed business situations and business workouts, with a focus on chapter 11 bankruptcies and related litigation. He has represented clients in bankruptcy cases, insolvency-related litigation, director and officer liability litigation, assignments for the benefit of creditors, receiverships and out of court workouts and restructurings. In that capacity, Scott has represented distressed businesses, chapter 11 debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, bankruptcy trustees, creditors’ committees, liquidating trustee and parties acquiring assets from bankruptcy cases. Scott is Chair of the firm's Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights Practice Group.

Some of Scott’s significant representative experience includes:

  • His debtor side representative experience crosses many industries within chapter 11 and various roles in bankruptcy cases. He has represented chapter 11 debtors in the healthcare industry, hospitality, real estate, utilities, waste management and manufacturing. He has confirmed several cases over the last five years, including nine separate entities that were able to truly reorganize and preserve hundreds of jobs for employees of those companies.
  • Served as lead counsel for the largest secured creditor and equity holder in the nationally recognized bankruptcy of TLO, LLC, a leading data mining company. Scott played a key role in advancing the sale of that business for more than $150 million and obtaining a favorable recovery for his client. This sale transaction and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s role in the transaction have received national awards for distressed transactions and acquisitions.
  • Represented lien creditors, bond holders and bond trustee’s in connection with some of the largest bankruptcies ever in Florida, including TOUSA and Fiddler’s Creek, wherein his clients’ claims exceeded several hundred million dollars.
  • Represented purchasers of assets within bankruptcy cases, including assets exceeding $40 million in value.
  • Represented debtor-in-possession financers involved in cases that span the health care field, academic institutions, manufacturing and real estate development.

Within the Florida bankruptcy system, Scott has more experience with chapter 15 international insolvencies than many practitioners, having actively litigated substantial issues concerning comity, fairness of foreign systems to United States’ creditors, and other key elements of chapter 15 relief available to foreign representatives. He has litigated these issues before both the bankruptcy court and district court.

Beyond core chapter 11 matters, Scott represents clients in various high stakes litigation matters. He has been involved in substantial products liability litigation against enterprise resource planning software systems, director and officer liability litigation, bond holder litigation, seizures of yachts and other commercial disputes.

Scott has substantial experience with assignments for the benefit of creditors, having represented assignees, assignors and creditors in such proceedings throughout Florida.

Prior to Fowler White Boggs P.A.'s merger with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Scott led the firm's statewide Business Litigation Practice Group, where he managed attorneys and paralegals from the firm’s five offices. He was also the leader of the firm’s Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice.

He is a member of, among other organizations, (i) the American Bankruptcy Institute - where he sits on the leadership committee of the Real Estate section as the Special Projects Chair, (ii) the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the Southern District of Florida and (iii) the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, where he heads a subcommittee to study insurance company receivership reforms. He is also a member of Buchanan's Associates Committee, which plays a key role in developing associates and senior attorneys in the firm.

Scott is a frequent speaker on bankruptcy topics, including debtor in possession financing, representing Chapter 11 debtors, involuntary bankruptcy strategies and Chapter 15 international insolvencies.

Scott was a contributing writer to Inside the Minds: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Restructuring Strategies, 2014 ed., having drafted a chapter concerning strategic analysis of and planning for chapter 11 filings.

He has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings. He has also been recognized each year as a leading bankruptcy lawyer in Florida by Chambers USA (since 2012), selected for inclusion by Florida Super Lawyers (since 2009) including Top 50 Layers in Tampa in 2019, and named to Florida Trend Magazine Legal Elite (since 2013). He was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2018, 2019 and 2020 editions) in Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights and Insolvency & Reorganization Law.

In addition to legal recognition, Scott has been recognized within his local community. In 2013, Scott was recognized as one of the leading “Up and Comers” under 40 years old in the Tampa Bay area’s business and civic community.