The Hamiltonian treatment for the collapse of thin shells for a family of Lanczos-Lovelock theories is studied. This formalism allows us to carry out a concise analysis of these theories. It is found that the black holes solution can be created by collapsing a thin shell. Naked singularities cannot be formed by this mechanism. Among the different Lanczos-Lovelock theories, the Chern-Simons theory corresponds to an exceptional case, because naked singularities can emerge from the collapse of a thin shell. This kind of theory does not possess a gravitational self-interaction analogous to the Newtonian case.