Mikhail Sokolov graduated from the International law department of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in 1985. After obtaining the degree he worked as the secretary of the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of the USSR. From 1988 till 1991 held the position of head of legal department of AKP Sovcomflot. In 1991 and 1992 Mikhail was the director of agency firms Seawave Agencies Limited and Fiona Maritime Agencies Limited in London. His practice included sale and purchase of vessels, shipbuilding, ship finance, marine insurance, etc.
In 1998 and 1999 Mikhail Sokolov worked as deputy head of legal department of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. In 2000–2001 he held the position of Vice-President of OAO Sovfracht.
At different times he taught and lectured at MGIMO. Since 1999 Mikhail has been an arbitrator of the Maritime arbitration commission at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries. Mikhail also acted and is acting as arbitrator in the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries, as well as in other international commercial arbitration institutions in Russia and abroad.
Mikhail is an author of several publications on matters of maritime law and international commercial arbitration. He speaks English and German.