The National Veterinary Law
Group at Mandelbaum Barrett

The National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett consists of a nationally experienced group of attorneys that provides strategic and legal counsel to veterinarians across the country.

Our services include assisting practice owners in forming efficient business entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies and professional limited liability companies.  We also prepare, review and negotiate business transaction documents such as offer letters, letters of intent, confidentiality agreements, and term sheets.

We also facilitate structuring and negotiating associate buy-ins; specialty, multi-specialty and general practice governance and management partnership agreements; and partner succession and withdrawals from veterinary practices.

Additionally, we provide counseling with employment law issues, including drafting practice personal policy handbooks; resolving employee/employer disputes; drafting and negotiating owner, associate, practice manager, and employee agreements; and drafting non-solicitation, confidentiality and other restrictive covenants. Our team of attorneys also advises and guides our veterinary clients on how to properly hire, terminate and manage employees.

Peter Tanella, Esq. authors article for Today’s Veterinary Business titled “How Groomer Clients Become Adversaries”

August 2, 2022

“Pets can be injured — or worse — through sheer negligence or unforeseen events. Learn to reduce the risk and your legal exposure.” Pet grooming in the United States is an $8 billion-a-year industry with untapped growth potential, especially in the veterinary profession, but it’s also ripe for mishaps and liability claims. Mandelbaum Barrett Veterinary Law […]

Peter Tanella, Esq. authors article in Today’s Veterinary Business titled “When an Infection Triggers a Lawsuit”

June 17, 2022

Peter Tanella, Esq., Chair of the National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett has authored an article in the June/July issue of Today’s Veterinary Business titled “When an Infection Triggers a Lawsuit.” The article is featured in Mr. Tanella’s regular column called “Legal Lingo” and reviews a New York court case that serves as a cautionary tale […]

Peter Tanella, Esq. and Dennis Alessi, Esq. Co-Author Article in Today's Veterinary Business Titled "Fair Share"

April 12, 2022

Peter Tanella, Esq., Chair of the National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett and Partner Dennis Alessi, Esq. have co-authored an article in the April/May issue of Today's Veterinary Business titled "Fair Share." The article is featured in Mr. Tanella's regular column called "Legal Lingo" and discusses how granting equity interest in a hospital is a great way to beef up employee compensation and enhance loyalty.

Peter Tanella and Dennis Alessi to present at the VHMA 2022 Virtual Legal Symposium

April 7, 2022

National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett Chair, Peter Tanella. Esq. and Partner Dennis Alessi, Esq. will be giving two presentations at the VHMA (Veterinary Hospital Managers Association) 2022 Virtual Legal Symposium on April 7th, 2022 from 1pm to 4:15pm ET.

Topics include:
Incentivizing Employees with Equity Interest – New Opportunities in Non-Traditional Methods
Everything You Wanted to Know About Management Services Organizations (MSO) (And why veterinary professionals should establish their own)

Peter Tanella is Guest Speaker on Harbor Business Experience Podcast

March 3, 2022

Peter Tanella, Esq., Chair of the National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett is thrilled to be this week's guest speaker on the Harbor Business Experience Podcast with Robert J. Trimble DVM.

If you're hoping to learn and grow in the world of practice ownership, don't forget to join the Harbor Business Experience! Once a month, Rob Trimble, DVM and the team at will be taking a deep dive into the things you need to know to find success in the business side of the veterinary industry.

Peter Tanella authors article for Today's Veterinary Business titled "Stay Away, Please"

February 16, 2022

"Common in veterinary practice transactions, restrictive covenants are designed to prevent the seller from soliciting clients and competing with the buyer after the sale. Through such restrictions, buyers aim to protect themselves and ensure that the acquired business does not lose value due to the seller's re-entering the market. To fulfill those objectives, a purchase agreement's restrictive covenants should be negotiated, clearly stated, endure for a reasonable period (for example, two to five years) and be practical in geographic scope."

Chair of the National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett, Peter Tanella, Esq. authors a regular column in Today's Veterinary Business called "Legal Lingo." In the current February/March 2022 issue, his article titled "Stay Away, Please" discusses how restrictive covenants serve a critical purpose in a newly purchased clinic's continued success.

National Veterinary Law Group attorneys to attend Western Veterinary Conference

February 16, 2022

Peter Tanella, Esq., Chair of the National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett, and attorneys Melody Lins, Esq. and Justin Wade, Esq. will be attending the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) in Las Vegas from March 6th to 9th, 2022. They are looking forward to connecting with industry friends and colleagues and will be at Booth 1351.

Congratulations to Peter Tanella, Esq. for Being Appointed to the Board of NYSAVE.

February 14, 2022

Peter is a strong animal advocate and is committed to helping the pets and the people in his community by volunteering for this great cause. NYSAVE is a non-profit organization which provides emergency funding for the veterinary care of sick or injured companion animals owned by low-income NYC residents who are unable to pay the […]

Peter Tanella authors article for Today's Veterinary Business titled "When Clients Sue"

February 8, 2022

"Empathy and communication go a long way when heading off litigation. Unfortunately, a New Jersey case shows what can happen in their absence."

Peter Tanella, Esq., Chair of the National Veterinary Law Group at Mandelbaum Barrett is the also the "Legal Lingo" columnist for Today's Veterinary Business. In the current issue, Peter writes an article titled "When Clients Sue" where he analyzes a recent appellate case followed up with important takeaways for all Veterinarians.

Winter 2021 Veterinary Newsletter

February 15, 2021

Spring 2020 Veterinary Newsletter

May 29, 2020

Mandelbaum Barrett's Summer 2019 VetNews

June 7, 2019

Check out our latest issue of VetNews, a must read for the veterinary community! Read about legal issues surrounding the treatment of veterinary patients with cannabis, pets and inheritance and the opioid crisis in veterinary medicine.

Spring 2019 VetNews

March 15, 2019

Our latest issue of VetNews, a publication for the veterinary community that provides valuable articles on topics that impact your practice. In this issue you'll read about the corporatization of veterinary medicine and how to survive as an independent practice, things to consider when leaving a practice and information on the upcoming minimum wage increase in New Jersey. For more information about the Firm's Veterinary Law Practice, contact Chair Peter Tanella, Esq. at

Peter Tanella to Speak at Bank of America Practice Solutions' "Veterinary Office Construction 101" Event

September 14, 2018

Peter Tanella, Chair of the Firm's Strategic Veterinary Counsel and Business Law Practice Groups is speaking at Bank of America Practice Solutions' "Veterinary Office Construction 101" event on October 24th in New Brunswick. This valuable seminar is for veterinarians looking to build, construct, renovate or relocate. Register by contacting or calling 614.753.1603. Click here to learn more.

Mandelbaum Barrett's Strategic Veterinary Group Releases First Issue of VETNEWS

August 14, 2018

Mandelbaum Barrett's Strategic Veterinary Counsel Group, led by Peter Tanella, Esq., is excited to share the 1st issue of its new publication VETNEWS. As always, if we can be of assistance to your practice, please don't hesitate to contact us. Peter can be reached at

What Should Veterinary Businesses Know About the New Ban on Forced Arbitration of Employee Sexual Abuse Claims?

June 17, 2022

There is a general belief that arbitration favors employers and large businesses. However, an important change in the law, backed by bipartisan support, has advanced employee rights significantly by increasing their access to courts for certain claims. Specifically, the new law affects an employer’s ability to enforce an arbitration agreement and handle sexual harassment/assault claims […]

The First-Time Practice Owner

March 24, 2022

Today’s Veterinary Business October 2020 By Peter H. Tanella Starting a veterinary practice is an exciting endeavor for any clinician, but trials and tribulations are a normal part of the process. I’ve found that the following seven steps will help establish the foundation for a successful start-up. 1. Develop an Airtight Business Plan Creating a […]

Do I Really Need a Partnership Agreement for My Veterinary Business?

March 23, 2022

The key question here is: "do I need a partnership agreement if I am going into business with my veterinary partner?" Many veterinary business partners who form a legal entity under which they will operate their practice decide not to adopt a partnership agreement to save on expenses early in the life of their practice. Here, the term "partnership agreement" is being used generally to refer to an agreement between the owners of a veterinary business. Excited by the prospects of a new business and all the opportunities they foresee, the partners also believe there is no time to waste; they are convinced that negotiating a partnership agreement will slow their momentum and create unnecessary legal obstacles. Like many people they think "what could possibly go wrong if we operate our company without a partnership agreement?" The right answer: "Lots of things could go wrong" and this one decision could lead to significant financial consequences, not to mention the mental stress of a dispute among partners.

What are you selling? Regulatory Considerations for Veterinary Practices Selling Dietary Supplements for Animals

March 16, 2022

With integrative veterinary care becoming increasingly common, many veterinarians are utilizing dietary supplements and prescribing them to their patients for a variety of different reasons. Naturally, many veterinary practices may want to streamline the treatment process by selling dietary supplements and other over the counter ("OTC") products directly to their patients. While this seems like a routine progression, it is important for veterinarians and veterinary practice owners to understand how these products are regulated, in order to ensure they maintain compliance in marketing and selling products from their practice.

Four Employment Law Issues Small Business Owners Need to Be Aware of in 2022

March 1, 2022

1) Marijuana Use by Employees: While the federal government is not going to legalize recreational marijuana, states and local jurisdictions continue to propose and pass legislation that addresses decriminalization of marijuana, recognition of medical marijuana use and legalization of recreational marijuana. Currently 34 states permit medical use of cannabis products, and 18 states and the Washington D.C. permit recreational use of marijuana. The laws in some of these states prohibit employers from taking adverse action against an employee.

New Trends in Pet Ownership: Pandemic Pups and a "Return to Normalcy"

February 18, 2022

For over two years Americans have continuously grappled with the unprecedented economic and social uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While each individual was forced to face their own unique trials and challenges, many sought to cope with the ongoing isolation in a similar fashion: pets and companionship. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 23 million American households have welcomed new pets into their homes, nearly 1 in every 5 nationwide. As a result, American pet ownership has reached an all-time high, with household ownership rates exceeding 70% for the first time in U.S. history. This extraordinary surge in animal ownership has been accompanied by a significant uptick in pet-related spending. In 2020 alone, total pet spending in the U.S. reached nearly $84 billion, a 6.8% increase from the previous year, with expenditures on pet food, training, supplies, veterinary expenses, and more all experiencing considerable increases.

Key Terms You Should Know When Buying or Selling a Veterinary Practice

February 18, 2022

It may be your first time buying or selling a veterinary practice. During this process, you will undoubtedly stumble upon terms that are unfamiliar to you and admittedly confusing. While learning all the terminology and legal jargon of the mergers and acquisitions industry should not be your goal, it is important that you understand the meaning of some key terms that will help you confidently navigate the course of buying or selling a veterinary practice.

Below we have compiled a number of key terms which will likely rear their head at some point in the acquisition process. We have condensed the meaning of these terms and organized them in a way that should follow the natural progression of a veterinary practice transaction. However, please be mindful that transactions are driven by the parties and their unique needs. Therefore, this is not an exhaustive glossary of words or issues that arise, but rather a sampling of terms practice owners and buyers will likely encounter during the sale.

9 Items to Consider When Contemplating the Sale of Your Veterinary Practice

October 27, 2021

For many veterinary practice owners, aspirations of selling your practice may be tempered by the unknowns of the acquisition process. Even when the circumstances of a potential sale are ideal, unfamiliarity with the market and sale procedures can lead to hesitancy. While timidity toward the unknown is certainly justifiable, owners should not let it stop them from becoming a participant in the rapidly growing market for veterinary practice acquisitions. While each veterinary practice sale is unique in its own right, there are also a number of procedural commonalities that appear in nearly every deal.

Can My Practice Enforce A Non-Competition Agreement?

October 27, 2021

The enforceability of non-competition agreements (NCAs) has been a hot topic in many industries since President Biden issued his July 9, 2021 Executive Order. The Executive Order does not bar or even limit NCAs. Rather it is a directive to the Federal Trade Commission to analyze the issues surrounding NCAs and promulgate rules. Although the media has framed this section of the Executive Order as seeking to ban non-competition agreements in employment contracts, the plain language of the Order makes clear that the Administration at this time is seeking to target what it feels are "unfair" uses of NCAs that "unfairly" limit worker mobility.

A "Paw"tionary Tale: Construction Counsel Can Save You Time and Money When Building or Renovating

October 22, 2021

We recently represented a veterinarian client in a construction contract dispute. He had contracted with a very sophisticated builder to build a brand-new veterinary hospital. He was a solo, and had a well-established, but relatively small practice. In the course of growing his practice and taking it to the next level, our client determined to build a new ground up facility. He contacted a reputable builder which held itself out as very experienced in this specialized type of construction. The builder developed a three- part program, with several different contracts governing each phase of the project. Our client signed the contracts and invested over $100,000 in preliminary budget discussions and design concept meetings. Our client told the builder that his budget was $ 4 million.

When Pet Owners File Litigation against Veterinarians, It's Rarely over Money

October 20, 2021

As if running a business isn't hard enough, veterinarians often worry about getting sued for malpractice or negligence. One reason to be fearful is obvious – a well-publicized lawsuit can quickly ruin a veterinarian's career and practice. Another reason to be fearful is less obvious – absolutely no one in the world, not even an attorney, can predict the outcome of a lawsuit with perfect certainty. That's because the outcome of litigation depends on many factors, including the facts and circumstances of the case, the personal ideology of judges and juries, and the type of lawsuit brought by a pet owner. To illustrate that point, and uncover a few best practices you can follow to safeguard against lawsuits, let's dive into a recent appellate case in New Jersey.

Potential Capital Gains Rate Increase May Supercharge the Veterinary M&A Market

August 17, 2021

At certain points in time, there have been unique windows of opportunity, where market factors have driven veterinary practice valuations upward. For example, in 2012, America approached a fiscal cliff, due in large part to George W. Bush’s expiring tax cuts. If Congress and President Obama failed to act, which it appeared they might, it […]

Employee Handbooks for Veterinary Practices

August 4, 2021

A handbook is an important resource that every veterinary practice should have, whether it has five, 25, or 50 employees. That's because the key to healthy relationships between employers and employees is clear and consistent communication.

Mut Do's If Thinking of Selling

June 22, 2021

The purchase or sale of a veterinary practice can be an overwhelming journey. Even seasoned clinicians will encounter numerous potholes — emotional, financial and legal issues — on the road to closing what in many cases can be a multimillion-dollar transaction. Here are eight gaffes that frequently occur in the veterinary world and suggestions for […]

When Wil I Get My COVID-19 Vaccination?

February 24, 2021

The FDA began issuing COVID-19 vaccines in December. With distribution determined by “phase” classifications, many members of the veterinary industry have been left wondering when their vaccines will be made available. Vaccination distribution plans have been primarily left at the discretion of state governments, thus resulting in some differences from one state to the next. […]

Fair And Square

February 2, 2021

Today’s Veterinary Business February 2021 By Peter H. Tanella Federal antitrust laws are discussed when transactions between corporate titans are in the news, such as the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Such laws, however, are the foundation of modern American capitalism and a subject that veterinary businesses need to understand, at least in principle. In […]

Selling Your Practice In A COVID Market

August 3, 2020

Today’s Veterinary Business August 2020 By Peter H. Tanella So, you’ve decided to sell your veterinary practice after a lifetime of hard work, but the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally impacted the process. From new contractual provisions and buyer financing delays to due diligence issues, you’ve encountered numerous roadblocks. However, with better planning and the right […]

Succeed With A Succession Plan

June 3, 2020

Today’s Veterinary Business June 2020 By Peter H. Tanella One of the most challenging exercises that veterinarians go through is planning for what will happen to their business if they die unexpectedly or become disabled. Emotional considerations and the stress of detailing a future business transaction can cloud the process. Unfortunately, COVID-19 highlighted the importance […]

Veterinary Telemedicine Options During and Beyond COVID-19

May 15, 2020

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended temporarily the enforcement of certain regulations governing veterinarian-client-patient relationships (VCPRs), a move that helps veterinarians examine and treat animals using telemedicine, while limiting human interaction and the potential spread of COVID-19. This is welcome news if you’re considering telemedicine for your practice, but […]

Life After COVID-19: Preparing to Reopen Your Veterinary Practice

May 15, 2020

Stay at home orders and social distancing may be the current norm, but eventually businesses will re-open and gradually come back to life. In the rush to return to normal, veterinary practices must carefully plot the safest and smoothest path forward. In this article, we address many of the issues veterinary practice owners need to […]

Beware The Evergreen Clause

April 2, 2020

Today’s Veterinary Business April 2020 By Peter H. Tanella Veterinarians will enter into dozens of contractual relationships throughout their professional careers. They can reasonably expect to sign employment agreements, purchase orders, client payment and IT service contracts, property and equipment leases, real estate deals, and so on. The paperwork can vary in sophistication and complexity, […]

When Should Veterinarians Consider Forming a Management Services Organization?

March 12, 2020

A Management Services Organization Adds a Layer of Structural Complexity to a Veterinary Practice but Offers Non-Veterinarians and Even Family Members the Opportunity to Reap the Financial Rewards Veterinarians, investors and executives who want to form a management services organization (MSO) often do so without fully exploring the reasons. One revolutionary change in the veterinary industry […]

At Your Service

February 1, 2020

Veterinarians, investors and executives who want to form a management services organization (MSO) often do so without fully exploring the reasons. One revolutionary change in the veterinary industry over the last decade was heightened interest in MSOs, which resulted in a lot of newer market entrants, including, but not limited to, private equity.

Close The Deal

December 3, 2019

Today’s Veterinary Business December 2019 By Peter H. Tanella Managing your veterinary practice can be overwhelming, but protecting your business is of the utmost importance. That’s why having a solid employment agreement with an associate veterinarian — one delineating pay and responsibilities — is critical. For an employment agreement to be enforceable, what need to […]

Avoiding Malpractice Liability

October 6, 2019

Avoiding Malpractice Liability: A Guideline for Veterinary Practices What is Veterinary Malpractice? Veterinarians are regulated by state board of examiners and a few governmental agencies, such as the DEA and OSHA. Veterinary malpractice refers to a situation where a veterinarian has failed to meet the reasonable standard of care when providing healthcare to an animal. […]

Surviving the Corporatization of Veterinary Medicine as an Independent Practice

October 5, 2019

Surviving the Corporatization of Veterinary Medicine as an Independent Practice While the veterinary industry remains comparatively fragmented to other parts of health care, the area has seen substantial consolidation over the last five years. The consolidation has largely been led by Mars, Inc., who are considered by many to be the lone strategic buyer in […]

Maximizing your "Paw"-Fits

October 4, 2019

Maximizing your “Paw”-Fits: Structuring Your Veterinary Practice the Right Way Choosing the right business structure for a veterinary practice is a vital decision that can have significant consequences for the future of your practice. If a veterinarian selects the wrong structure, it can cost their business a significant amount of money. Choosing a correct business […]

A Handshake Isn't Enough

August 2, 2019

Today’s Veterinary Business August 2019 By Peter H. Tanella After extensive deliberations, you take a leap of faith and decide to dive into a veterinary practice partnership. While excitement compels you to rush into the venture, taking a step back to evaluate the implications and properly structure the business arrangement will greatly benefit you and […]

A Guide on the Upcoming Minimum Wage Increases in New Jersey

July 1, 2019

In early January, Governor Phil Murphy and Democratic leaders of the Legislature struck a deal that would raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour in New Jersey. On Monday, February 4, Governor Murphy followed through on his campaign promise, signing the legislation that will increase the state’s minimum wage over the next few years.[1] […]

Legal Issues Surrounding the Treatment of Veterinary Patients with Cannabis

June 30, 2019

Pot for Spot?: Legal Issues Surrounding the Treatment of Veterinary Patients with Cannabis California has become the first state to give veterinarians the legal protection to discuss medicinal cannabis as a form of animal treatment, but the question is should other states follow suit? Under federal law cannabis is strictly illegal and is considered a […]

Independent Contractor or Employee

June 29, 2019

Independent Contractor or Employee: What’s the Difference? It’s a vexing question for practice owners: How do you classify a potential new veterinarian who is joining your practice? Is the veterinarian an independent contractor or an employee? The misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor can result in serious financial ramifications, including taxes, fines, and […]

Opioid Epidemic

June 28, 2019

When Two-Legged Epidemics Reach Our Four- Legged Friends: Veterinarians and the Opioid Crisis It is common knowledge that an opioid epidemic has been sweeping the nation, but many veterinarians do not realize that they have a responsibility to help curve the abuse of pain medication in their practice. Opioids are extremely powerful pain-relieving medications, that […]

What to Consider When Leaving a Veterinary Practice

June 26, 2019

The Veterinary Divorce: The Considerations When Leaving a Veterinary Practice While departing from a veterinary practice may seem like a trivial task, it can often be a complex decision and process. When dealing with a “veterinary divorce”, both parties should engage in careful considerations to protect both the clients and the veterinarians.  This article will […]

Mandelbaum Barrett's Summer 2019 VetNews

June 7, 2019

Check out our latest issue of VetNews, a must read for the veterinary community! Read about legal issues surrounding the treatment of veterinary patients with cannabis, pets and inheritance and the opioid crisis in veterinary medicine.

Spring 2019 VetNews

March 15, 2019

Our latest issue of VetNews, a publication for the veterinary community that provides valuable articles on topics that impact your practice. In this issue you'll read about the corporatization of veterinary medicine and how to survive as an independent practice, things to consider when leaving a practice and information on the upcoming minimum wage increase in New Jersey. For more information about the Firm's Veterinary Law Practice, contact Chair Peter Tanella, Esq. at

We have known others that went into corporate negotiations with their personal lawyer only to realize that a specialist in the Veterinary industry, such as Peter Tanella, Esq. and the team at NVLG was needed. You will love this firm. They've been nothing short of miraculous.
Bob Brust, DVM and Alyssa Brust, DVM
We are very grateful to Mandelbaum Barrett for their counsel during our recent veterinary hospital acquisition. Not only were they incredibly knowledgeable and answered all our questions promptly, but we were always made to feel as though they had enough time for us even when given very short notice.
Jeffrey Barrow, DVM and Donna Barrow
I couldn't imagine going through the sale of my business without the guidance of Mandelbaum Barrett. Their attention to detail and responsiveness to my concerns helped reassure me during this once in a lifetime process. I will forever be grateful for their expertise and human kindness during this pivotal moment in my professional life.
Pam Bendock, VMD
I was referred to Peter Tanella by a colleague to facilitate the sale of my practice. Peter and his team's experience in veterinary buy-sell transactions was invaluable. He kept the sales process moving forward at all times and the closing occurred on schedule without a hitch. I have recommended Peter's firm to other colleagues and will continue to do so.
Charles Dolin, DVM
One of the things I appreciate most about the National Veterinary Law Group is how responsive they are. When I reach out for help, I know I will get a response in short order.
Eric Boshoven, DVM
I felt like I had a whole team on my side, each person with a different area of expertise, which is very important when you're trying to get the best deal possible and also protect yourself legally.
Brian Abraham, DVM
Peter Tanella helped me to sell my professional practice. My accountant recommended him, and it was the best advice he ever gave me.
A.P. Scriffignano, DVM