We Know Business


Concentrating in business and transactional work, McLachlan, Rissman & Doll (“MRD”) is dedicated to providing strategic, creative and cost-effective representation in corporate matters. Our record of success in acquisition and financing transactions, company formation and restructuring transactions, matters involving railroads and rail equipment finance, matters involving information technology, and complex corporate matters has attracted a varied roster of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, private equity funds, closely held businesses, and foreign entities. Clients rely on MRD for excellent representation in their important business matters.

We bring a focused team approach to solving our clients’ legal issues and brainstorm ideas that ultimately lead to their business success. Our lawyers have top-tier experience and academic credentials. All of our attorneys have participated in ownership and management of companies, have worked in high-level strategic positions, and understand the operation of companies on an intimate level. As experienced negotiators, practical problem solvers, and seasoned corporate lawyers, the firm’s attorneys also have experience in business norms and industry standards, which helps us understand a client’s business needs. In our team-oriented approach, we staff corporate matters with attorneys who understand not only the client’s goals but also the business and legal context in which our clients will achieve their objectives. We believe that a small team of the right lawyers with the right strategy offers value that cannot be matched by large law firms.



Many of MRD’s clients require financing, whether a start-up company seeking growth capital or an established business seeking to finance a new plant or a fleet of vehicles or railcars. MRD has extensive experience structuring financing transactions of all sorts, from equity to bank financing to debt and leasing transactions.

MRD’s rail leasing activities require special mention–we have been involved in the financing of billions of dollars worth of rail equipment, representing both lessors and lessees.


MRD’s practice has counseled both clients who are providers and clients who are consumers of information technology services. We have helped a number of clients implement digital and data-driven strategies, and we understand how to monetize “big data” and Internet of Things technologies.

Several of our lawyers have worked as consultants and in-house legal counsel for outsourcing providers and in business or technical roles for leading outsourcing, technology and supply chain companies. We use this experience to advise clients on market-competitive terms and practices. MRD has advised clients on many technology transactions, which allows us to offer extensive experience and deep market knowledge.


MRD has been involved in advising clients in the railroad industry since our formation in 1987. Our work has concentrated on regional and shortline railroads, rail equipment, rail supply and international rail transactions. Our experience covers both the operating aspects of railroads and rail finance, including extensive experience with locomotive and railcar leasing. We have also been involved in a number of innovative start-ups, including those seeking to apply rail technologies to materials handling and robotics technologies to railroading.


MRD provides advice on corporate law issues to a wide range of privately held corporations and partnerships. Our clients include manufacturing and consumer products companies, companies in service industries, and companies involved in high technology and a variety of other fields.

MRD has extensive experience in areas such as initial company formation, ownership and management transitions, executive compensation, corporate governance, stockholder relations, initial public offerings and financing transactions.


MRD’s mergers and acquisitions practice has advised public and private companies on many types of M&A transactions, including negotiated acquisitions, domestic and cross-border public company transactions, going private transactions, spin off transactions, acquisitions of majority and minority interests, tender and exchange offers, and joint ventures.

Our M&A practice is enhanced by our experience in corporate governance. We counsel boards, board committees and executives regarding significant transactions, including fiduciary duty, disclosure issues and board independence.



Tom Rissman is one of the founders of the firm and its managing partner. Mr. Rissman graduated from Cornell University in 1979 and from The Law School at the University of Chicago in 1982. He then was associated with Isham, Lincoln & Beale before founding MRD in 1987 with Donald J. McLachlan. Mr. Rissman focuses on mergers and acquisitions, company formation and related financing transactions. He has extensive experience in information technology, railroads and related products and in international transactions.

Mr. Rissman has served as a director of numerous public and private companies, including Electro-Motive Diesel, Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation, English Welsh & Scottish Railways, Tranz Rail Holdings, Australian Transport Network, Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, Gateway Western Railroad, Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, Hallcrest, ShopperTrak RCT Corporation, Rail-Veyor Technology Global Corporation and Excalibur Technology Corporation.


Tony Rothschild joined MRD in 2005 and became a partner in 2006. Mr. Rothschild graduated from Harvard College in 1979 and Northwestern University School of Law in 1983. He then clerked for the Honorable Wilbur F. Pell, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, before joining the Chicago firm of Butler, Rubin, Saltarelli & Boyd, where he practiced corporate law from 1985 until 1999. Mr. Rothschild then served as General Counsel of Entrade, Inc., and CenterPost Corporation before joining MRD.


Alison Madauss is a partner at McLachlan, Rissman & Doll. Ms. Madauss received a B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 2000. She received a J.D. from the University of Chicago in 2003 and joined MRD immediately after graduating from law school.

Ms. Madauss’s practice concentrates on representing domestic and international clients in general corporate and commercial matters. She has substantial experience with complex mergers and acquisitions, rail equipment finance, company formation and restructuring, joint ventures, negotiation of complex commercial contracts, and capital-raising activities. Her legal experience spans a wide range of industries, including rail, transportation, manufacturing, chemical products and information technology.


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McLachlan, Rissman & Doll
676 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 2800
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 266-2444
Fax: (312) 266-3330