Photo of Joao F. Magalhaes

Joao F. Magalhaes

Of Counsel


Joao F. Magalhaes is a versatile attorney who concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate law and general counseling, commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and regulatory affairs. 

Joao is experienced in representing business entities with matters ranging from initial formation and corporate structuring to operational needs involving contracts, financing, the advancement or defense of commercial litigation, and the acquisition, development, and management of real estate. Joao has often worked closely with governing boards and executives, as well as with in-house counsel, including having assisted an international telecommunications provider with preparation for nationwide site overhauls and technological upgrade initiatives.

Joao has also assisted corporate clients with later-stage concerns that may arise when performance declines, or insolvency concerns mount. He has effectively guided clients through difficult times by utilizing strategies involving capital infusion, asset sales, out-of-court workout negotiations, and formal bankruptcy proceedings. In the context of Chapter 11 reorganizations, Joao has represented entities ranging from national going concerns to local nonprofits, including entities in the sectors of healthcare and medical equipment, housing, retail, engineering and logistics consulting, hospitality, food and beverage, the automobile industry, and others.    

Within the bankruptcy law sector, Joao has also represented trustees, creditors, and other parties-in-interest across a broad spectrum of cases. He has worked alongside numerous trustees to administer bankruptcy estates through recovering assets, overseeing auctions and liquidations, prosecuting avoidance actions, negotiating and litigating claims disputes, and providing guidance on complex issues such as the impact of environmental laws and other governmental regulations. In his representation of creditors, Joao has served both creditor committees and single creditors, including warehousemen and carrier lienholders, in order to advance rights and maximize recoveries. Concerning individual debtors, he has worked with people from all walks of life seeking a fresh start and has served the community on a pro bono basis. 

As a litigator, Joao has engaged in federal, state, and multistate matters involving a wide array of issues, including contract disputes (private and governmental), debtor/creditor rights, partner or shareholder disputes, insurance coverage, landlord/tenant disputes, employment/labor laws, and legal ethics. Joao has also guided clients through the federal and state appellate processes, including successfully representing clients as far as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Within the governmental sector, Joao has assisted public entities in navigating concerns ranging from statutory interpretation to scope of authority concerns, litigation, housing sector regulations, labor and employment policies, collective bargaining negotiations, and public bidding guidelines. Also, before becoming an attorney, during his time with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Joao directly assisted the First Deputy General Counsel in researching and drafting memoranda of law, client advisories, and policy papers.

No matter the particular circumstances facing a client, Joao strives to proceed with an efficient goal-driven approach that respects each client’s specific needs, time, and resources.   


Community and Professional Affiliations

  • Supreme Court of New Jersey, District XB Ethics Committee (2018-2022)
  • Author and Coordinating Editor, American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Journal (2011 to present)
  • Presenter for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education
    • Co-creator of the program, “The Essential Attorney’s Guide to Bankruptcy & Restructuring in 2018 and Beyond.”
  • Portuguese American Bar Association
  • Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States, Inc. (2018-present)
  • Former Member of Board of Directors, Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Inc. 
  • Barrister, Bankruptcy Inn of Court in the District of New Jersey (2008-2016) 
  • Mock Trial Coach for James Caldwell High School, Vincent J. Apruzzese Mock Trial Competition (2008-2010)


"Intersection of the Bankruptcy Code and ERISA: A Post-2020 Case Survey," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, March 2023

"Barton Doctrine Limited by the Eleventh Circuit? Examining Keitel." American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2022

"Chapter 15 Revisited: Unpacking More Concepts from Recent Cases," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, September 2021

"Balancing Act in Abengoa Bioenergy: Revisiting the Equitable Mootness Doctrine’s Impact on Appellate Rights," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2021

"Third Circuit Revisits Stern: Bankruptcy Courts May Grant Nonconsensual Releases," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, June 2020

"The SDNY’s Exposition of the Code’s Asset-Sale Provisions," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, January 2020

Featured in Best of ABI 2019: The Year In Business Bankruptcy - "Chapter 15 Primer: Learning the Global Chess Game," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2019

"Another Piece of the Jurisdictional Puzzle: Bankruptcy Courts Not “Courts” Under 28 U.S.C. § 1631," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, March 2018

"Divided Circuit Denies Lenders Standing to Appeal under 'Persons Aggrieved' Doctrine," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, January 2017

"Section 541: Spotlight on Tenth Circuit’s Escrow Funds Ruling," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, February 2016

"McGladrey II: 7th Circuit Upholds Auditor’s in Pari Delicto Defense," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, December 2015

"Changing Faces, Continued Tradition in 'NJBankruptcyLand',” The Absolute Priority, May 2015

"Managing the Status Quo: Managing the Status Quo: Guidance on Equitable Mootness, Substantial Consummation, and the Diligent Pursuit of Appeals," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, February 2015

"Barring the Unknown Claimant," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, August 2014

"Seventh Circuit Denies Creditor Relief on Grounds of Inaction," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2014

"Re-Examining § 506(b): Spotlight on Post-Petition Interest," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, February 2014

"Averting Paths to Failure: Patriot Coal Court Authorizes Rejection of CBAs and Modification of Retiree Benefits,"American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, September 2013

"The Sword and the Shield: More on the Old Tale of Deepening Insolvency and the In Pari Delicto Doctrine,"American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, Dec. 2011/Jan. 2012

"Not Enough Hospitality to All Creditors? PSA Denied Between Innkeepers USA Trust and Lehman ALI Inc.," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2011

"Ninth Circuit’s Marshall Decision Denies Anna Nicole Smith’s Estate Millions by Placing Limits on Core Jurisdiction for Counterclaims," Bloomberg Law Reports, July 2010

"Actions for Accounts Receivable: Non-Core Proceedings? The Enduring Impact of Marathon," Journal of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, Spring 2010

"Solid Waste Removal Contract Held Unenforceable Due to Unlicensed Operator," NJSBA Construction Law Section Newsletter, August 2009

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements


New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Stars (2013-2021)

New Jersey Law Law Journal, New Leader of the Bar (2015)

Please see Honor and Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., 2008)

Villanova University (B.S., minors in English and Sociology, 2004)



  • Fluent in Portuguese and conversational in Spanish
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