Lionel Spizzichino is a partner in the Business Reorganization & Restructuring Department, Managing Partner of the Paris office and co-Chair of the European Restructuring Group.

He has extensive experience in Lender-led and complex cross-border restructurings as well as French pre-insolvency and insolvency matters, including amicable restructuring, insolvency proceedings, restructuring litigation and distressed mergers and acquisitions.

Lionel also advises regularly on mergers and acquisitions with a particular focus on cross border acquisitions and complex carve-outs.


His clients include companies, creditors or investors in a wide range of sectors such as airlines, aircraft, media, chemical, financial services and automotive. He also advises investment funds, recovery funds and hedge funds.

Lionel has been involved in some of the most significant pre-insolvency proceedings, bankruptcy proceedings and high-profile M&A and distressed M&A cases in France.

Lionel has been recognized as the "2021 Lawyer of the Year" by Option Droit & Affaires, and as French Restructuring Lawyer of the Year 2020 by Option Droit & Affaires and is consistently recognized by Chambers Europe, Chambers Global, IFLR1000 and Legal 500 EMEA as a “Leading individual” in restructuring and insolvency law in France with clients noting that "We feel that client relationships run in his blood. He is extremely good at making people comfortable during negotiations and he knows how to dot the i's and cross the t's when needed. Everything with him goes very smoothly."

Lionel has also been recognized again by Best Lawyers in 2024 for Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Mergers and Acquisitions.

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Lionel is a member of Association pour le Retournement des Entreprises (ARE), Cercle du Retournement, Insol, Institut Français des Praticiens des Procédures Collectives (IFPPC) and Association Française en Faveur de l’Institution Consulaire (AFFIC).

He is also a lecturer in corporate restructuring law at Paris Bar School (EFB).

Lionel's representative matters include*:

  • The SteerCo of the unsecured bondholders (total amount of unsecured high yield notes and EMTN €2.2bn) in the €7.5bn financial restructuring of Casino Guichard Perrachon
  • The SteerCo group of unsecured creditors (total amount of unsecured debt €3.8bn) in the €9bn financial restructuring of Orpea SA
  • Cheyne Capital for the investment in CFC – Compagnie Française de Croisières
  • CMA CGM on the acquisition of La Provence, a French local newspaper.
  • OpenGate Capital on its sale of EverZinc, a global provider of specialty zinc materials to U.S. Zinc, a portfolio company of Aterian Investment Partners
  • Air France-KLM Group in its €2.256 billion rights issue
  • Air France-KLM Group in its long-term strategic air cargo partnership with CMA CGM Group
  • Searchlight Capital Partners on the recapitalization of Latécoère, a major player in the aeronautics industry
  • Fortil on the potential assets purchasing of certain assets and activities of the CNIM Group (listed in Paris) out of insolvency proceedings
  • Air France KLM and Air France on its €4 billion French State measures to recapitalize Air France and its holding company
  • The Carlyle Group as potential lender and new money provider to JJW Group in insolvency proceedings to support the refinancing of its indebtedness and the approval of a reorganisation plan
  • Air France KLM and Air France on securing funding of €7 billion to help overcome the COVID-19 crisis
  • The CoCom Bondholders on the financial cross border restructuring of Lecta’s €600 million senior secured notes and €65 million super senior revolving credit facility, implemented by way of an English Scheme of Arrangement, a U.S. Chapter 15 and including specific agreements for the future of Condat in France, the first private employer in the Dordogne area
  • Bondholders (1bn euros of Bonds in total) on the financial restructuring of JACCAR, the parent company of Bourbon, a leading offshore vessel listed operator in the oil and gas sector
  • Bpifrance as reference shareholder in connection with the €3.5 billion-plus financial restructuring of Vallourec.
  • Air France on the contemplated acquisition of activities and assets of Aigle Azur, second French airline company under insolvency proceedings
  • OpenGate Capital on its acquisition of Saint-Gobain’s worldwide silicon carbide division
  • Alès Group, a cosmetic company listed on Euronext Paris in the context of its financial restructuring
  • JP Morgan Asset Management in connection with the financing of Locamod Group, a construction equipment rental company
  • Attestor Capital in relation to a potential investment in Maranatha Group under insolvency proceedings, a leading French hotel group who owned or operated more than 55 hotels in France
  • Ateliers des Janves Group in the automotive sector in connection with its financial restructuring and subsequent insolvency proceedings
  • OpenGate Capital on the sale of NAKAN, a global PVC compounding solutions business headquartered in France to Westlake Chemical Corporation
  • HLD and Filorga on the acquisition of the Lazartigue Group
  • The Steering Committee of the High Yield Bond Holders on the debt restructuring of French oil services company CGG, one of the major financial restructuring in France with $3 billion of indebtedness and the first restructuring conducted under French and U.S. legal proceedings with a Sauvegarde in France and chapter 11 and chapter 15 cases in the U.S.
  • Sandton Capital as bidder for the asset of William Saurin (a French food company)
  • Verdoso as bidder for the asset of Groupe Flo, one of the leading restaurant chains in France
  • OpenGate Capital for the financing of the acquisition of EverZinc
  • BlueGem Capital Partners on the acquisition of DMC
  • Chenavari Investment Managers on the acquisition of PrimaVista
  • Compagnie Industrielle et Financière de Bussy on the acquisition of Aciéries Hachette et Driout to build the leading steel company in France
  • Borletti Group and Chenavari in connection with the restructuring of Gerard Darel
  • Masonite International Corporation, listed on the NYSE and one of the global leaders in manufacturing doors for construction, in connection with the proposed sale of Premdor France Group (Premdor SAS and its subsidiaries) to the distressed fund Perceva
  • Zodiac Marine, worldwide leader of the manufacturing and sale of inflatable boats, in connection with its insolvency proceedings
  • OpenGate Capital in connection with the restructuring of Kem One (chemical group with 2,600 employees, a turnover of €1.1 billion, 22 industrial sites over 10 countries)
  • Wilmington Trust in connection with the recovery of $1.75 billion bonds of Petroplus on bankruptcy liquidation
  • Restructuring issues in connection with the acquisition of Cœur Défense by Lone Star Funds
  • HLD in connection with the acquisition and the safeguard plans of Laboratoires SVR, French dermo-cosmetic skin care laboratory
  • Bpifrance in connection with the sale of Jardineries Delbard (161 shops, CA: €250 millions) to the cooperative group Gamm Vert
  • Attestor, an investment fund and one of the main creditors of Saur, in the restructuring of Saur "amounting to €1.8 billion," a major lenders-led restructuring of a leading French player in the water & outsourced waste management services for local authorities and industrial customers
  • HAGER, a European leader supplier of solutions and services for electrical installations in residential, commercial and industrial buildings (turnover: €1.6 billion) in connection with complex litigation related to the acquisition of Potentiel/Artys
  • Insert, a leader in city centre outdoor advertising, on its MBO, a pre-packaged sale subject to the opening of the safeguard proceeding –a first in France; the investment was made through a capital increase and a debt restructuring making the acquisition possible 
* Lionel advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.



Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., 2004 EMLYON Business School, MSC, 1998 Université Paris V - René Descartes, LL.M., 1995

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