Paul Rafelson is a founding partner in one of the Nation’s leading eCommerce law firms, Rafelson Schick, PLLC (“RS”), specifically focused on Amazon, eBay, Shopify and other eCom platforms. A former eCom seller himself, Paul leads RS’ Mergers & Acquisitions (representing sellers looking to exit their Amazon or eCom businesses), corporate, tax and litigation practices.
As the world of eCommerce has changed the landscape of what it means to be a small-business, and in fact creating for the first time in history what Paul refers to as the “Global Small Business” Paul focuses his practice on providing small and mid-market clients a unique blend of the most up-to-date eCommerce insight mixed with Paul’s “big law” legal experience. Specifically, Paul’s practice focuses on providing clients with advice on matters pertaining to tax, litigation, intellectual property matters, and representing both buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions, all with an eCommerce mindset.
Prior to forming RS, Paul spent 12 years working for some of the world’s largest corporations assisting complex tax litigation and complex multi-national corporate transactions, serving as in-house counsel for Microsoft, Walmart and General Electric. Since entering into private practice, Paul has used his multinational corporate and tax law experience to pioneer his practice of serving Global Small Business clients; helping small to mid-sized eCommerce businesses navigate the complexities of interstate and international commerce. Paul’s practice motivation is based on his firm belief that all businesses, not just the Fortune 500, deserve competent, interstate-commerce minded legal counsel who are trained to think about their business with a worldview, not just a local view.
In addition to his law practice, Paul is the founder of an online trade association called Online Merchants Guild (“OMG”), where he volunteers as the executive director. As the executive director of OMG, Paul fights to make sure eCom sellers’ voices are heard and that their rights are protected by writing and submitting amicus briefs to the Supreme Court; advocating for business owners as the Supreme Court decides cases that affect online merchants worldwide. Led by Paul, OMG recently filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against California’s Department of Tax and Fee Administration challenging the CDTFA’s prolonged illegitimate pursuit of eCommerce Sellers for uncollected sales tax. Also spearheaded by Paul, OMG was recently granted a preliminary injunction by a United States District Court Judge which blocked Kentucky’s Attorney General from investigating Amazon sellers for price gouging pricing, which the court ruled was unconstitutional, since Amazon was the only party that could control prices on a state by state basis. And, in the recent congressional antitrust investigation of Amazon, Paul/Online Merchants Guild was one of, if not the most, cited committee resource in the final report.
Paul’s reputation as an advocate for the eCommerce community has led to him being regularly featured and quoted in articles in major publications such as Bloomberg, The New York Times, the WSJ, CNN, and many others, as reporters regularly reach out to Paul for his opinion on matters impacting Amazon sellers and eCommerce in general.
Paul has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a Law Degree and M.B.A. from Villanova University, and he holds a masters of tax law (LLM) from New York University. Paul is also an adjunct professor at Pace Law School in New York, where he teaches a constitutional law course on state and local taxation.