Legal Firms for Online Sellers

Starting an online business can feel like navigating a legal minefield. One misstep could land you in a heap of trouble. And let's face it, dealing with legal issues costs time and money.


For example, using copyrighted images or patented products without proper authorization could cost you a fortune in damages. Customers might also sue over misleading advertisements or unmet return policies, dragging out for months in court.


And let’s not forget about suppliers—they can sometimes kick up a fuss over contract terms too.


So, how do you protect yourself and your business?


You should hire a legal firm, of course.


But where do you find one, and how do you know they're reliable?


This article answers these questions by introducing 10 of the most trustworthy legal firms for online sellers. Some are general practices, while others specialize in specific areas of commercial and consumer law. I'll give you the lowdown on each one to help you figure out which suits your needs.


How do legal firms protect online sellers?


Before we dive in, let's take a quick look at what a legal firm can actually do for online sellers like you. Are they just there to defend you in court, or do their services go beyond that?


The truth is, legal firms, especially those focusing on consumer and commercial laws, provide a variety of essential services. Here are some of the most common ones.


  • Intellectual Property Protection: They assist with registering and protecting trademarks and copyrights, obtaining patents for unique products, defending against IP infringement claims, and taking action against infringers.


  • Regulatory Compliance: They ensure you're following local, national, and international e-commerce regulations, including laws about returns, refunds, warranties, and consumer rights to avoid legal issues.


  • Privacy and Data Security: They advise on compliance with privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA, help protect customer data, and implement measures against data breaches and cyber-attacks.


  • Contract Drafting and Review: They help draft clear terms of service, privacy policies, and other website agreements, and ensure your agreements with suppliers and partners are legally sound.


  • Dispute Resolution: They handle disputes with customers, suppliers, or competitors effectively, and help resolve conflicts out of court to save time and money.


  • Advertising and Marketing Law: They ensure your marketing practices comply with truth-in-advertising laws and adhere to the advertising policies of e-commerce platforms.


  • Business Structure and Formation: They assist in forming your business entity (like LLCs or corporations), obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and structuring your business to protect personal assets from liabilities.


  • International Trade and Taxation: They help navigate international shipping, customs regulations, and import/export laws, and ensure compliance with sales tax, VAT, and other tax obligations.


  • Employment Law: They draft employment contracts, ensure compliance with labor laws, address workplace issues, and manage relationships with freelancers and contractors to avoid misclassification.


  • Consumer Fraud and Counterfeiting: They help take action against counterfeiters and those engaging in fraudulent activities that harm your brand.


My Top Picks for Legal Firms for Online Sellers


There are about 430,000 legal firms in the US, ranging from small specialized practices to large multinational firms. Only a few focus on representing and advising online businesses. Let's take a look at the top ones.


Perkins Coie LLP


Founded by Harold Preston and Jacob Coie, Perkins Coie is a major player in the legal scene of the Pacific Northwest. Known for its stellar work with tech giants like Amazon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Boeing, this firm has a strong foothold in Silicon Valley.


For online businesses, Perkins Coie is a go-to for tackling legal issues like intellectual property and consumer protection. They expertly guide online sellers through complex regulatory landscapes, ensuring compliance with both federal and state laws.


Need advice on mergers, acquisitions, corporate governance, or securities? Pick Perkins Coie. They also excel in handling employment disputes and labor relations. With a robust litigation practice, especially for tech companies, they're your best bet for data protection, cybersecurity, and privacy regulation issues.


Foley & Lardner LLP


Foley & Lardner LLP has been around since 1842 and is based in Milwaukee. With over 1,100 lawyers in 24 offices worldwide, they cover all your legal needs: corporate law, litigation, IP, regulatory affairs, labor and employment, and real estate. They shine in healthcare, life sciences, and environmental law.


They’ve worked with big names like Harley-Davidson, the Milwaukee Bucks, Tesla, and Abbott Laboratories. This shows their skill in handling everything from corporate governance to patent litigation.


In the field of online business, Foley & Lardner excels in digital marketing, online advertising, and e-commerce regulations. They’ll protect your brand and products with strong IP services and guide you through mergers, acquisitions, and growth with their expertise in cybersecurity and corporate law. Foley & Lardner is known for its innovative approach and commitment to diversity, making it a perfect partner for thriving in the digital marketplace.


DLA Piper


Next up is DLA Piper, a top-notch legal firm with over 4,000 lawyers in 40 countries. They cover everything from corporate law and litigation to intellectual property and real estate. Whether it's mergers, patents, or complex regulations, they've got you covered.


They've handled major cases like Google’s patent disputes, Facebook’s IPO, and Bayer’s big acquisition. They also supported Volkswagen and BP during their crises.


Known for innovation and diversity, DLA Piper uses the latest tech and fosters an inclusive environment. Their expertise in safeguarding digital assets and bolstering cybersecurity makes them an ideal choice for representing online sellers.


Morrison & Foerster LLP


MoFo is a standout name when you're searching for a top-notch law firm to represent your online business. Whether you need advice on acquiring another brand or representation in commercial disputes, they're your best bet.


This law firm has made waves by handling some of the biggest cases in recent history, like Apple's patent battle with Samsung, Qualcomm's high-stakes antitrust and licensing disputes, and Uber's intense IP litigation with Waymo.


But it's not just about litigation and dispute resolution. MoFo offers a suite of services tailored for online sellers, including e-commerce advisory, protecting your intellectual property, ensuring data privacy and cybersecurity, and negotiating technology licensing agreements.


They even assist with tax planning and compliance, as well as venture capital and financing. With MoFo in your corner, you can focus on growing your business while they handle the legal complexities.


Greenberg Traurig LLP


Greenberg Traurig LLP, founded in 1967 in Miami, is a global legal powerhouse with over 2,200 attorneys in 40 offices worldwide. Their services cover corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, finance, and other areas essential to e-commerce. Their client-focused approach and broad expertise make them a top choice across many industries.


They've tackled big cases like representing clients after the BP oil spill, advising Royal Caribbean, and helping NBA and MLB teams with legal matters. For online sellers, Greenberg Traurig offers everything from corporate structuring to IP protection and international expansion support.


Known for innovation and diversity, they use technology to enhance client service and foster an inclusive workplace. If you’re an online seller seeking a reliable, forward-thinking legal partner, Greenberg Traurig is an excellent choice.


Baker McKenzie


Baker McKenzie is your go-to if you need help with corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, tax, employment, real estate, and regulatory affairs. This Chicago-based law firm has over 6,000 lawyers in 77 offices across 46 countries, serving clients in tech, healthcare, finance, and consumer goods.


They’ve handled many big cases, including representing Apple in IP disputes, advising Amazon on international tax, helping Coca-Cola with cross-border deals, and assisting Uber with regulatory and employment issues.


They’re experts in tech and IP law, which is key for protecting your digital assets. Plus, they offer a full range of services, from corporate structuring to tax planning, making them a one-stop shop for all your legal needs.


Cooley LLP


Founded in 1920 in San Francisco, Cooley LLP started as a small firm and grew into a major player in Silicon Valley, especially during the tech boom. It is known for its focus on technology and life sciences, sectors central to Silicon Valley's economy.


Cooley has a strong reputation for supporting startups, offering legal advice from inception through IPO, making it a go-to firm for emerging companies. It is deeply embedded in the venture capital community, representing both startups seeking funding and venture capitalists looking for investment opportunities.


The firm has been recognized multiple times for its efforts toward creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. It also provides scholarships and fellowships to law students, encouraging the next generation of lawyers, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds.


Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati


Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) is a top law firm based in Palo Alto, California, with over 900 lawyers in 16 offices worldwide. Founded in 1961, they specialize in technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises. Their services include corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, regulatory and government affairs, employment and compensation, and real estate.


They've handled major cases like Google’s IPO in 2004, helped Tesla with corporate governance and litigation, guided Twitter through its IPO, and worked with Netflix on legal matters. These examples show they can tackle complex legal challenges for major tech companies.


For online sellers, WSGR is a great choice. They have deep expertise in technology and IP law, crucial for protecting digital assets. They offer comprehensive services, covering everything from corporate structuring and venture capital to litigation and regulatory compliance. Plus, they understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by startups and growing online sellers.


WSGR stands out for its innovative culture and commitment to diversity. They’ve been a pioneer in Silicon Valley’s legal scene, always adopting new technologies to improve client service. They’re also dedicated to pro bono work and creating an inclusive workplace. If you’re an online seller looking for a reliable and forward-thinking legal partner, WSGR is an excellent pick.


Fenwick & West LLP


Here's another legal firm you should check out: Fenwick & West LLP, based in Mountain View, California, specializes in tech and life sciences. They operate in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Shanghai.


Their services encompass corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, regulatory affairs, employment, and tax. Unlike other law firms, they primarily cater to high-growth companies. They've handled significant cases, including representing Apple in major patent disputes and corporate deals, guiding Facebook through its landmark IPO, and assisting Uber and Cisco Systems with various legal matters.


This law firm offers comprehensive services, from corporate structuring and venture capital to litigation and regulatory compliance. Their experience with startups means they understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by new and growing online sellers.


Despite their focus on big cases involving prominent companies, this firm has a strong pro bono program, dedicating resources to causes like civil rights and social justice.


Hogan Lovells


Like other big legal firms, Hogan Lovells is capable of handling most aspects of commercial and consumer law. These include corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, regulatory affairs, employment, real estate, and finance.


Among its biggest cases to date are representing Volkswagen in the emissions scandal, advising Facebook on its $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition, and working with Apple on IP matters. They've also helped Google with antitrust and regulatory compliance.


Hogan Lovells knows technology and IP law inside out, which is crucial for protecting your digital assets. Plus, they offer a full range of services, from corporate structuring to litigation and regulatory compliance, covering all your legal needs.


Get the Best Legal Protection for Your Online Business


No matter how careful you are with your online business, legal risks are always present. These risks can be even more complex than those faced by physical stores due to the nature of e-commerce. That's why having a good legal firm is crucial to navigate this legal minefield.


The firms listed above are top-tier, but their services can be pricey. If you're a startup or small business with a tight budget, consider smaller firms. Just make sure to do your research to find one that suits your needs.