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R. Michael Underwood
Of Counsel
101 N. Monroe Street
Suite 1090
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
T (850) 681-4238
F (850) 681-6036

Quick Look

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, mortgage brokers, financial institutions and affiliated individuals in civil litigation, arbitration, 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.  Mike's primary focus is assisting firm clients with state and federal securities, banking and insurance regulatory matters.  He is an officer of the American Bar Association Committee on State Regulation of Securities and Chair of its Subcommittee on Enforcement.  He has been published often on financial services regulation and lectures frequently on these topics.

Representative Experience

  • 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 law to broaden exemption of employee benefit plan offering through unregistered Florida branch offices.
  • 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.   

Presentations and Publications

  • "Just Send the ___ a Letter: Liability from Accountants’ Third Party Communications,” (with Steven M. Platau), Fowler White Boggs/SunTrust CPE Extravaganza, May 23, 2012
  • "Managing Parallel Proceedings in Securities Investigations," American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Spring Meeting, 2006

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Chair, Business Law Section Committee on State Regulation of Securities, Subcommittee on Enforcement, Litigation and Arbitration, 2003-present; Secretary, Business Law Section Committee on State Regulation of Securities, 2005-2008; Chair, CLE Program Committee, 2007
  • Association of Registration Management: Member, 2005-present
  • The Florida Bar: Member, Chapter 517 Task Force, 2006-2008
  • Securities and Insurance Licensing Association: Member, 2005-present
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