Health & Wellness

We focus on the future of the booming fitness and wellness industries, addressing client and investor needs at every stage of development.

Our approach

Now more than ever, people are taking preventative measures and changing the way they live and work to stay fit, energetic and healthy. From healthy eating to exercise, the focus on wellness, in all aspects of personal and corporate life, has increased dramatically. Fitness- and health-related businesses have expanded into a trillion-dollar market.

Shifting consumer behaviors and trends and evolving nutritional standards and health care policies are driving growth in the health and wellness industry and bringing new opportunities to companies in a variety of sectors. We leverage our breadth of experience, across several practice areas, to provide counsel and guidance attuned to the specific needs of the broad range of fitness and wellness companies and entrepreneurs, including:

  • Corporate formation, structuring and acquisitions
  • Branding, licensing and intellectual property
  • Regulatory guidance concerning fitness and wellness products, foods and beverages
  • Advising on investment issues
  • Employment issues for fitness and wellness companies
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Privacy issues related to health and personal data
  • Franchising issues

Who we work with

  • Health and sports clubs
  • Boutique fitness studios
  • Exercise and fitness equipment manufacturers
  • Fitness video production companies
  • Nutritional supplement manufacturers
  • Wellness entrepreneurs
  • Natural food, beverage and products manufacturers
  • Wellness-related software developers
  • Hospitals and health care providers
  • Life sciences companies
  • Investors focused on fitness and wellness

Representative experience

  • Providing intellectual property counsel for evaluating wearable technology that measures physiological data, such as glucose levels, blood-oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and heart rate
  • Advising an employer-sponsored health plan with its contracting and HIPAA issues related to a wellness management solutions vendor
  • Advising reproductive health care company on compliance with U.S. and international privacy laws
  • Securing dismissal of a lawsuit attacking a fitness franchise’s transgender-friendly locker room policy
  • Assisting a life sciences company focused in the natural wellness sector in acquisition restructuring of a therapeutic healing creams company
  • Assisting a physical therapy organization in securing agreements and permissions to provide its services in various locations of a national fitness center
  • Serving as outside general counsel to a vegan snack company
  • Securing trademarks for a natural cosmetics and skincare company
  • Representing a private equity-backed physical therapy company in pursuing mergers and acquisitions and addressing regulatory issues
  • Representing a family office in its investment in a healthy gourmet snack food company
  • Providing legal counsel for a roll-up of cold-pressed juice retail operations in the United States and Canada
  • Providing legal counsel to a cold-pressed juice company on its equity raise

Employers have a lot to legally consider in starting a wellness program

Buffalo Business First | December 06, 2018

Buffalo Corporate associate Alexandra Lugo is interviewed on how companies can create employee wellness programs that benefit workers, boost the bottom line and comply with regulations.

How Franchising and Licensing Can Be Avenues to Expand Your Fitness Business

Club Industry | October 31, 2018

In the second part of this two-part column, Nixon Peabody attorneys Kristin Jamberdino, Keri McWilliams, and Tarae Howell discuss potential avenues of expansion for fitness studios, including licensing and franchising. Click here to read Part Two.

How to expand your fitness business through brand management and careful investment

Club Industry | October 22, 2018

New York City Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kristin Jamberdino, Washington DC Corporate partner Keri McWilliams and Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associate Tarae Howell co-wrote a two-part contributed article advising boutique fitness entrepreneurs on best practices for expanding their brands. Click here to read Part One.

Automated telemedicine is coming, for everyone

TechCrunch | September 21, 2017

Los Angles IP counseling and transactions associate Erik Birkeneder authored this column about the future and benefits of health care mobile applications.

Virtual assistants like Amazons Alexa could change the way care is delivered

Modern Healthcare | July 30, 2017

Chicago health care partner Valerie Montague provides third-party commentary in this article about the potential for Alexa and other voice assistants to be used as a health care tool.  Valerie speaks to what needs to happen for these devices to become compliant under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

How your minor health incentives can leave you wide open to major legal trouble

HRMorning | May 29, 2017

This article is about company wellness programs and highlights a recent presentation by Rochester labor and employment partner Kate Saracene which outlined employers’ compliance obligations and issues they may encounter.

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