Charles L. Stutts is a partner in Holland & Knight's Tampa office. Mr. Stutts practices in the firm's Business Law Department, with an emphasis on securities and banking law. As former general counsel to the Florida Comptroller's Office and the Department of Banking and Finance, he helped develop the agency's policies on banking, mortgage lending and securities regulation. Mr. Stutts also directed the agency's securities enforcement efforts and coordinated prosecutions under Florida's "antifraud" provisions with its federal counterparts including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He also helped draft revisions to Florida's banking laws in 1988 and 1989, and served on the Comptroller's Task Force on Banking Sunset. He was a registered lobbyist for the Comptroller and testified on his behalf before the Florida Legislature and the U.S. Congress.
Since joining Holland & Knight in 1989, Mr. Stutts has devoted a substantial portion of his practice to matters involving the federal and state supervision and regulation of banks, trust companies, securities broker-dealers and investment advisers. He has participated in civil and criminal proceedings in which the applicability of the banking, trust and securities laws has been at issue, and offered opinion testimony concerning the compliance of individuals and corporations with these laws. Mr. Stutts also has served as equity receiver by appointment of the United States District Courts and Florida Circuit Courts in multiple proceedings brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Comptroller's Office. As equity receiver, Mr. Stutts has been responsible for the management and liquidation of a variety of business enterprises, for the pursuit of claims of the receivership estates, and for the evaluation and disposition of claims of creditors. He has been successful in securing the turnover of assets by defendants located in both foreign states and foreign countries, including the Cayman Islands.
A significant amount of Mr. Stutts' work also has focused upon the requirements of state and federal banking laws and regulations, and he currently provides legal representation on behalf of domestic banks and savings associations, international banking corporations and trust companies. In this capacity, he has been responsible for structuring capital enhancement initiatives, branch acquisitions and sales, including a unique "swap" agreement involving multiple branch offices of separate institutions, and the formation of bank holding companies and nonbanking subsidiaries. He also represents troubled banks and thrifts before the regulatory agencies.