Michael is counsel in the Reed Smith Beijing office where he represents both foreign and Chinese companies and individuals in M&A transactions, media and entertainment projects, and private equity and regulatory matters in China across many industry sectors. Mr. Dardzinski advises clients on structuring complicated cross-border investments in regulated industries in China, including aviation, telecommunications, film and media, life sciences, publishing, mining, and real estate. He also represents clients involved in crisis situations that can require coordinated cross-border government relations strategies in connection with government investigations, IP theft, employee scandals, accounting fraud allegations, and Chinese regulatory issues and potential public scandals.
One of Michael’s key practice areas involves the representation of foreign and Chinese clients in the media and entertainment industry in China. He is the former Chair of the Media and Entertainment Forum of the American Chamber of Commerce, and has advised clients on (i) film and TV investment and production projects, (ii) investments, licensing and operations in the publishing and live events industries, (iii) regulatory and licensing issues in the music, sports and gaming industries, (iv) general regulatory issues in the advertising sector; (v) content review and censorship issues in the publishing and news information industry; and (vi) art law in China.
Mike also has broad experience outside the law firm. He co-founded a non-profit that brings under-served young Americans from more than ten U.S. cities to China for intensive Chinese language and culture study (www.apsaglobal.org). The organization’s work has been recognized by the U.S. State Department. Having served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee in 2008, Mike organized a first of its kind international pop charity concert in Beijing in 2011 to support President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative (which aims to increase dramatically the number of Americans studying in China). The concert included performances from will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend and several Chinese popular artists. Earlier in his career, Mike also founded the first annotated online Chinese legal research database, which he eventually sold to Thomson/Westlaw.
Michael has been with Reed Smith since 2008. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1999 and has practiced in Washington, D.C. and Beijing, China. He has more than six years of practice experience in Beijing and reads, writes and speaks Chinese. He regularly conducts negotiations and interviews entirely in Chinese and reviews Chinese language contracts and legal documents. He is a member of the D.C. Bar (2000).