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Gavin Smith


Gavin heads up DLA Piper's Restructuring practice in Ireland. He has practised as a solicitor exclusively in the areas of restructuring, insolvency and complex commercial dispute resolution for over 20 years. He has excellent technical and practical knowledge and experience of large complex restructurings and insolvencies, with a particular specialism in dealing with contentious and cross-border issues.

He also has extensive experience in advising banks and other security holders in relation to distressed loans, the enforcement options and remedies available and in the implementation of the preferred options as we as acting for appointed receivers.

Gavin also has wide experience in examinerships and liquidations, as well as advising on formal and informal restructurings and reorganisations. He is listed by Global Restructuring Review (GRR) as one of the 'Names to know in Ireland'.

He currently sits on the executive council of Restructuring & Insolvency Ireland (RII), chairing its Law Reform Sub-Committee.

Gavin also has significant experience in relation to Irish High Court, Commercial Court and Supreme Court proceedings and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration and mediation.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor regulated by the Law Society of Ireland


  • Acting as local counsel for a large US based aircraft manufacturer in the examinership of the Norwegian Air Shuttle group in respect of its position as NAS’ largest creditor and counterparty to billion-dollar US litigation*
  • Acted as Irish counsel to the senior secured lenders in the restructuring of a Dublin and London listed oil and gas plc which went through examinership*
  • Advised the Joint Special Liquidators of a financial services business in relation to the adjudication of a highly complex multi-million euros creditors claim*
  • Represented the New Zealand High Court appointed Joint Liquidators of an insurance provider in relation to various insolvency enforcement and recognition arising in relation to its Irish subsidiary which went into administration and subsequently liquidation*
  • Represented the landlord in a landmark Irish judgment successfully challenging the enforcement and recognition of a retail sector UK CVA as it pertains to commercial leases*
  • Lead the team acting as Irish restructuring counsel on the global restructuring of a major airport ground and cargo handling services group via a pair of Part 26 English schemes of arrangement and a pre-pack administration for its Luxembourg parent*
  • Lead the team acting as Irish restructuring counsel on the global restructuring of a well-known car rental business in respect of eight Irish group entities which successfully emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings in the US*
  • Advised a High Street retailer through a restructuring of their Irish stores through the examinership process*
  • *denotes experience at a previous firm.
  • English


    • Global Restructuring Review (April 2020), one of "Ireland's Names to Know" for Restructuring and Insolvency by Global Restructuring Review.
    • 2020 Chambers Europe - "Gavin Smith frequently acts for insolvency practitioners on liquidation and examinership processes. He is noted for his activity in international mandates."
    • Legal 500 2020 - "Gavin Smith is an experienced Irish insolvency and litigation lawyer - he approaches complicated issues creatively and effectively resulting in excellent outcomes. His availability and work ethic is exceptional."
    • Legal 500 2020 - "Gavin Smith is a very knowledgeable lawyer. Gavin’s advice is well considered and clearly articulated. He is a very conscientious solicitor and always gets to the right answer."
    • 2020 IFLR 1000 - Highly Regarded - "Gavin is technically excellent. He has a deep knowledge of insolvency law and procedure. He thinks carefully about solutions and how to avoid pitfalls."

    Memberships And Affiliations

    • Currently sitting on the executive council of Restructuring & Insolvency Ireland (RII), chairing its Law Reform Sub-Committee.