Michael D. Nilsson



Michael Nilsson solves problems for clients in the media industry. He represents these clients before the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, the U.S. Copyright Office, and foreign regulators—as well as in commercial negotiations. He also advises innovative smaller organizations on a wide range of legal issues.

Video Programming. Mr. Nilsson has particular experience with legal issues associated with video programming. His clients have included:

  • A coalition including some of the largest pay-TV providers.
  • The trade association of small- and medium-sized cable operators.
  • The largest U.S. satellite television provider, which he represented before the FCC, in renewals of copyright and communications legislation, and in anti-piracy matters in Latin America.
  • Programmers seeking to acquire and license video programming both domestically and internationally.
  • A cable operator with systems in multiple Caribbean jurisdictions.
  • Cable and satellite operators seeking rights to distribute video programming on their legacy and Internet-based platforms.
  • Various clients before the FCC in major media mergers and rulemakings.

Communications Licensing and Regulation. Mr. Nilsson advises communications companies on the licensing, deployment, and regulation of their services.

Commercial Negotiations and Business Law Counseling for Nonprofits and Startups. Mr. Nilsson provides a broad range of counseling and compliance advice—including serving as General Counsel—for nonprofits, startups, and other smaller organizations.

Mr. Nilsson has served as the principal telecommunications and technology adviser to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV. He has been recognized for excellence by Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other publications, and speaks regularly at bar association events and trade shows. Mr. Nilsson served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Sitar Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education center, where he also teaches saxophone. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Brown Broadcasting Service.

Mr. Nilsson was recently ranked by Chambers USA in the practice area of Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite. Nilsson is praised for being “simply one of the smartest lawyers that I know. He is extremely responsive and willing to jump into any issue and find a solution. He’s the one I would most trust to represent me when the stakes are high.”



Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., with high honors


Chambers USA, 2018: “Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite”

Best Lawyers in America, 2019: “Communications Law” and “Copyright Law”



At HWG, we’re always looking for smart, talented people to add to our team.


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