Donald McKenzie


T 615.916.3221


A co-founder of McKenzie Laird, PLLC, Donald McKenzie has maintained a general corporate, securities, venture capital financing, and mergers and acquisitions practice in Nashville since 1982. He has represented public and private companies engaged in a range of industries, including bank holding companies, insurance companies, business services providers, and healthcare companies in a variety of financings and corporate transactions.

Donald was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. There, he was at the Office of the Attorney General and in private practice at the Bar in Salisbury, Rhodesia (Harare, Zimbabwe). He also served as an officer in the Rhodesian Army. After emigrating to the U.S. in June 1975, Donald worked in New York City before moving to Nashville. Donald was a litigation associate with Weil Gotshal & Manges in New York, Freeman, Rothe, Freeman & Salzman, in Chicago, and Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller in New York. Before founding McKenzie Laird, PLLC in 2010, Donald maintained his own law office from 2005 to 2010. Previously, he was with Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree, P.A. (now Adams and Reese, LLP), Sherrard & Roe, PLC, and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, PLLC.

Professional Affiliations

  • The Best Lawyers in America® (Each year since 1993) — Corporate, M&A Securities Law
  • Nashville Post’s “Best Lawyers in Nashville 2003” — Securities Law
  • Nashville Business Journal “Best of the Bar” (2003-2009)
  • Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2004, 2005)
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section: Mergers & Acquisitions Committee, Federal Regulation of Securities Committee

Speaking Engagements + Publications:

Donald has been a frequent speaker at continuing level education programs sponsored by the American Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, Nashville Bar Association, and other organizations on a range of corporate and securities law topics, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing, third party opinions, and corporate governance.

Charitable + Civic Involvement

  • The Family Center (Board Member, 2017-present)
  • Former Board Member at Cheekwood (2011-2015)
  • Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville (2005-2010, President 2008-2010)
  • A founder of the Economic Club of Nashville (ECON) in 2012
  • Previous Member of the Downtown Exchange Club (President 2010-2011)
  • Legal Aid Society, Annual Campaign Chair (1994)


  • University of Rhodesia, Harare, Zimbabwe, LL.B. (Hons), 1968
  • Cambridge University, England, LL.M. and diploma in comparative legal studies, 1974

Bar Admissions

  • Advocate of the High Court of Rhodesia (1969)
  • New York Bar Association (1977)
  • Tennessee Bar Association (1983)
  • United States Supreme Court (1987)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the
  • Second Circuit (1982), Third Circuit (1981), Fourth Circuit (1990), and Sixth Circuit (1985)
  • United States District Courts for the
  • Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (1977)
  • Middle District of Tennessee (1983)
  • United States Court of Claims (1979)

Practice Areas

  • Corporate & Business
    • Corporate Governance
    • Entity Formation
    • Financing (Venture Capital, Mezzanine, Capital Raises)
    • Nonprofits
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Equity and employment arrangements for executives