Michael W. Ridgeway

Michael W. Ridgeway

Norman, Oklahoma
(405) 701-1863

Michael Ridgeway's legal experience ranges from representing individuals and companies to serving as General Counsel for both domestic and foreign government financial regulatory agencies. In addition to general litigation and appeals, Michael has prosecuted and defended state and federal administrative proceedings, written and lobbied for legislation, initiated and supervised numerous insurance company receiverships, successfully challenged the constitutionality of a state tax, served as a mediator and arbitrator, served as an expert witness in insurance-related cases, participated in the development of international financial regulatory standards, and advised on corporate governance, ethics and business/legal strategy.

From 2011 through 2015, Michael served as General Counsel and Board Secretary for the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Dubai government agency that regulates financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre. In that role, he was the primary legal advisor for the Chief Executive and Board of Directors and represented the Government of Dubai in a wide variety of matters. He was also Dean of the DFSA's two-year financial regulator training program for newly-hired university graduates.

Michael previously served the State of Oklahoma as General Counsel for the Oklahoma Insurance Department and counsel for the Real Estate Appraiser Board. He has also been self-employed in private practice, where his focus has included general business and insurance law, including as a consulting or testifying expert for other law firms.

A 1994 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Michael was Editor- in-Chief of the American Indian Law Review, an Associate Editor of the Oklahoma Law Review, and an intern for a U.S. Magistrate Judge and Cleveland County Legal Aid. During his second and third years of law school, he was employed by the law school as a Teaching Assistant for Appellate Advocacy and Legal Research and Writing classes. He has a B.A. in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and more recent postgraduate training in leadership and corporate governance from Queen’s College (Canada), Ashridge School of Business (UK), and Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance (UAE).

Michael's wife, Judy, is also an attorney. They have five adult children who have embarked on their respective careers from San Francisco to South Carolina. Michael and Judy live in a log house on a small ranch in far east Norman, Oklahoma.

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Oklahoma
  • Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court and all District Courts
  • Supreme Court for the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes
  • Absentee Shawnee Tribal Supreme Court
  • Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (2012-2015)


  • University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  •     o B.A., Public Administration
        o Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society
        o Public Administration Club, President
  • University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma
  •     o J.D., 1994
        o American Indian Law Review,
        o Associate Editor 1991-93; Editor-in-Chief 1993-94
        o Oklahoma Law Review, Associate Editor 1992-94
        o Student Bar Association Board of Governors Representative
        o Spradling, Alpern Award: The Outstanding Legal Research and Writing Student
        o American Jurisprudence Award, Legal Research and Writing
        o Native American Law Student Association National Moot Court Competition: Best Brief Honorable Mention
        o Luther Bohanon American Inn of Court
  • Queen’s School of Business, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  •     o Certificate: Queen’s Leadership Program
  • Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, Dubai, UAE
  •     o Certificates: Corporate Governance and Board Dynamics
  • Ashridge Business School (UK), Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE
  •     o Certificates: Leadership, Teambuilding, and Talent Development

Representative Cases

  • Holland v. State ex rel. Okla. Health Care Auth., 2010 OK 60 (action originally filed in Oklahoma Supreme Court and argued before the full Court to successfully challenge a state tax as unconstitutional).
  • Christian Care Ministry, Inc. v. State of Okla., ex rel. Kim Holland, Okla. County Case No. CJ-2008-2093 (appeal from Okla. Ins. Dept. Case No. 06-1190, settled in accordance with administrative ruling and dismissed by Appellant).

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Leadership Oklahoma Class XIX
  • Freedom of Information Oklahoma, Board Member
  • Food and Shelter, Inc., Board Member, President-Elect
  • Sooner Rotary Club, President
  • Little Axe Chamber of Commerce, Past President
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre Advisory Committee, Member
  • Dubai Financial Services Authority’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors’ Legislative Committee, Former Member
  • Dubai International Financial Centre Courts’ General Counsel Forum, Courts’ Users Committee, Law Society Committee, and Education Subcommittee, Former Member
  • Dubai International Financial Centre Companies Registrar Advisory Committee, Former Member
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Federal and International Enforcement Coordination Working Group, Past Chairman
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Anti-Fraud Task Force, Past Vice-Chairman
  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ Governance Committee and Market Conduct Subcommittee, Former Member
  • Little Axe Independent School District Board of Education, Former Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Dubai Financial Services Authority
  • State of Oklahoma
  • Ridgeway Law Office
  • Commercial and residential real estate
  • Restaurant owner
  • Private Investigator
  • Insurance Adjuster