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John Lyons

John Lyons


John K. Lyons represents major US and global corporations, committees, lenders and boards of directors in complex business reorganizations, acquisitions and divestitures, typically in distressed situations, in a broad variety of industries.

John has served as counsel in many significant business reorganizations, including as counsel for the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 reorganization of American Airlines and merger with US Airways. This transaction was recognized in the Corporate & Commercial category in the Financial Times' 2013 US ''Innovative Lawyers'' report. He also has represented companies in numerous other high-profile chapter 11 cases across many business sectors.

John also represented club lenders Rabobank NA, Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank in the Pacific Andes/China Fishery chapter 11 cross border restructuring that was recently recognized in the Asia Legal Awards 2017 Finance Deal of the Year: Restructuring and Insolvency and one of the Deals of the Year in the Asia Business Law Journal.

In 2017, John also represented Katy Industries, Inc. (M&A Advisor/Distressed M&A Deal of the Year (Over $50MM to $100MM)) and Rupari Food Services, Inc. (M&A Advisor/Consumer Staples Deal of the Year ($10MM to $100MM) in connection with their successful chapter 11 sale efforts. 

In 2019, John was appointed to the State Universities Retirement System Board of Trustees (SURS). SURS administers retirement plans for employees and retirees that work or have worked in the Illinois higher education system, including the state universities and community colleges, serving more than 232,000 beneficiaries and managing over US$19 billion in assets.

Bar admissionsIllinois


John K. Lyons represents major US and international corporations, committees, lenders and boards of directors in complex business reorganizations, acquisitions and divestitures, typically in distressed situations.

Notable representations:

  • Served as counsel for the official committee of unsecured creditors of American Airlines and its affiliates in their chapter 11 reorganization, including representation of the committee in connection with fleet restructuring efforts with aircraft suppliers, financiers and lessors. This transaction was recognized in the Corporate & Commercial category in the Financial Times' 2013 US ''Innovative Lawyers'' report.
  • Represented various companies in high-profile chapter 11 cases, including VeraSun Energy Corporation, one of the largest ethanol producers in the US; Delphi Corporation, a leading global technology innovator and Tier 1 supplier to nearly every major automotive original equipment manufacturer; Interstate Bakeries Corporation, one of the largest wholesale bakers and distributors of fresh baked bread and sweet goods in the US; Exodus Communications, Inc., the world's largest Internet data center provider, in the sale of its international business to an affiliate of Cable & Wireless plc for US$575 million through a fast-track chapter 11 process; US Airways, Inc., one of the nation's largest airlines, in the successful restructuring of its business in the wake of the events of September 11 and the economic downturn in the airline industry; Favorite Brands International, Inc., a manufacturer of candies and confectioneries, in connection with its successful restructuring and consequent sale of its business; Einstein/Noah Bagel Corp., a national bagel restaurateur with more than 400 stores; Montgomery Ward, LLC in connection with the nation's largest retail liquidation, which generated proceeds in excess of US$1 billion; Air Transport International, LLC in connection with its sale to BAX Global through chapter 11; and the Special Committee of Triangle Petroleum Corporation in connection with the chapter 11 cases of its subsidiaries.
  • Represented a number of private equity and distressed investors, including Black Diamond Capital Management, LLC as a majority term lender in connection with the Boomerang Tube chapter 11 restructuring; Goldman Sachs in a number of matters; Avalon Capital Group, Inc. in connection with litigation and consensual resolution of its investment exit from Rainbow Production Services; Health Evolution Partners, as a sponsor and secured lender, in the wind down of one of its portfolio companies; Verizon Capital Corporation in the restructuring of two investments in power facilities in Massachusetts and Mississippi; Calliope Capital Corporation and affiliate lenders in connection with the chapter 11 case filed by PPM Technologies and subsequent credit bid purchase of PPM's business; and CenterPoint Properties in connection with an investment.
  • Represented several clients in connection with fraud investigations and asset recovery efforts, including Jonathan D. King, Chapter 7 Trustee in the Zetta Jet Pte., Ltd. and Zetta Jet USA, Inc. bankruptcy cases, the special committee of the board of directors of PRC-based ShengdaTech, Inc. to complete the committee's investigation of ShengdaTech and to safeguard assets through chapter 11 and foreign proceedings; Paliafito America, Inc. in connection with the successful collection of millions of dollars of assets from international debtors and principals through prejudgment seizure of assets and prosecution of preference actions; and a large commodity supplier in connection with the tracing and civil seizure of millions of assets from a top executive that embezzled money.
  • Represented clients with respect to a wide array of out-of-court and cross-border transactions in distressed situations, including club lenders Rabobank NA, Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank in the Pacific Andes/China Fishery chapter 11 cross border restructuring; Silver Airways in connection with the sale of its business; a global microfinance company and its Central Asian subsidiary in connection with restructuring efforts; Express Group Holding in its wind down efforts; Forge Group Inc. in its sale to South Africa-based DRA Global; Australia-owned Marion Energy, Inc. in its US restructuring efforts; Bankruptcy Management Solutions, Inc. in its successful out of court restructuring and subsequent sale of its business to Stone Point Partners; and Faurecia N.A., a French automotive conglomerate, in the purchase of AP Automotive, Inc., a large American automotive parts supplier.
  • J.D., Villanova University School of Law 1989
    cum laude
  • B.S., School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University 1986


  • Chambers USA
    Band 3, Illinois Bankruptcy/Restructuring (2016-2017, 2020-2023)
    Band 2, Illinois Bankruptcy/Restructuring (2018-2019) 
  • The Legal 500 United States
    Recommended, Restructuring (including Bankruptcy): Corporate (2019)
  • Selected as a Lawdragon Global 500 Leading Restructuring & Insolvency Lawyer (2020)
  • Selected as Lawdragon 500 Leading Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyer (2022-2023)
  • Recognized in the 27th and 28th editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law category
  • Selected by his peers and the Board of Leading Lawyer as a "Leading Lawyer" (2021)


  • "Berau May Expand US Restructuring Options for Foreign Issuers," Westlaw Next Practitioner Insights (with Adrian J. S. Deitz and Jay M. Goffman) (April 7, 2016)
  • "Treatment of Make-Whole Provisions in AMR Corp. Chapter 11 Case Raises New Concerns for Lenders," Financier Worldwide (March 2013)
  • "Bankruptcy Practice and Procedure," Commercial Bankruptcy Litigation (January 2012-2018)
  • "Executory Contract Litigation," Commercial Bankruptcy Litigation (January 2012-2018)

Prior Experience

Prior to joining DLA Piper, John was a partner for an international law firm's corporate restructuring group. In addition to his practice, John is involved in the community and serves as a director and vice president of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and co-chairs the annual fundraiser for the Sunshine Through Golf Foundation.

Civic and Charitable

  • Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center – Board Member
  • Sunshine Through Golf Foundation – Co-Chair
  • Chicago District Golf Association – Board Member
  • Not for Profit Rock Band – Co-Founder and Band Member

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Turnaround Management Association (1997-present) 
  • American Bankruptcy Institute