NEW YORK – Michael Isselin, a partner in Reed Smith’s Entertainment and Media Group, has been named to Variety’s Hollywood’s New Leaders list for 2023.  The list recognizes young leaders shaping the entertainment industry, from film and TV to talent representation to legal advisors. 

Rechtsanwälte: Michael S. Isselin

Hollywood Boulevard street sign

Isselin is recognized for his work on groundbreaking projects within the advertising industry, including negotiating some of the largest celebrity endorsement deals and counseling brands on shaping their endorsement deals. He is quoted discussing how brands have increasingly focused on storytelling through talent partnerships: “Storytelling has become even more important post-COVID because brands realized that the best way to communicate with consumers is through these stories,” he says. “There’s a drive for authentic creativity that I don’t think was there the last few years.”

This is the second time in the last three months that Isselin has been named as a leading young professional, having been named to Ad Age’s ’40 under 40’ in September.

Isselin’s profile in Variety can be found on www.variety.com.

Isselin’s practice covers the full spectrum of talent work for both emerging and global brands. From large-scale influencer campaigns to A-List celebrity deals, high-profile clients regularly rely on him to negotiate $10+ million endorsements. Advertising agencies also seek Isselin’s counsel on all aspects of advertising compliance. By providing invaluable insights to these creative agencies, he has played an integral role in shaping some of the most popular commercials to air recently.

Isselin also holds a key position as legal counsel for The Joint Policy Committee LLC, which is the collective bargaining unit representing the ad industry led by Reed Smith partner Stacy Marcus. Isselin played a critical role in negotiating the industry-changing $3+ billion 2022 commercials contract with SAG-AFTRA. The new contract revolutionized the way union commercials are produced and resulted in the most comprehensive updates to the collective bargaining agreement in decades.

Isselin’s practice also covers web3 and AI, where he provides advice to brands and agencies on how new tools and technologies will impact content creation and related legal considerations. Some of his work in this space includes helping brands release NFT product offerings, counseling on metaverse events and activations (e.g., a metaverse fashion show), and advising on AI-generated influencer marketing campaigns.