John J. Monaghan is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Boston office and serves as the co-national practice group leader of the firm's Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors' Rights Practice Group. Mr. Monaghan is particularly focused on representing major case participants in complex commercial insolvency and restructuring matters, with a particular focus on Chapter 11 cases. He represents both U.S.-based companies and non-U.S. companies in both in-court and out-of-court domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings. Mr. Monaghan's creditor representations focus on matters involving senior lenders, both in syndicated and bilateral deals. He also has extensive experience representing creditors' committees, equity committees, purchasers of assets, landlords, licensors, trustees, parties to prepetition contracts and leases, litigants in adversary proceedings and unsecured creditors. His experience crosses a broad array of industries, including finance, manufacturing, construction, real estate, higher education, energy, technology, telecommunications, retail, healthcare, resort and hospitality, franchise, food service, leasing, maritime and aviation. He advises clients on the business aspects of bankruptcy and workouts, and represents clients in matters in bankruptcy court, as well as in other state and federal courts.

Mr. Monaghan has extensive experience advising for-profit and not-for-profit boards in connection with governance issues, as well as in litigating director and officer fiduciary duty issues for estate representatives and for directors and officers. Mr. Monaghan's litigation experience also includes defending and prosecuting fraudulent transfer and other avoidance actions.

Matters in which Mr. Monaghan has been lead counsel have resulted in the issuance of more than 30 published opinions on topics ranging from the impact of rights of first refusal on sales under a plan of reorganization to the constitutional authority of bankruptcy courts to enter final monetary judgments in fraud cases. He has been named as a top bankruptcy lawyer by numerous ranking publications, and in 2008, Mr. Monaghan was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy (ACB) – a professional, educational and honorary association whose membership is limited to those in the profession who exemplify the highest standards of professional and ethical standards. In 2010, he was named as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). Mr. Monaghan was also named to the International Insolvency Institute (III) in 2016, an invitation-only institution consisting of the top cross-border financial industry professionals in the world.

A frequent lecturer on bankruptcy issues, Mr. Monaghan has presented seminars on the Bankruptcy Code safe harbors for financial industry transactions, the fiduciary duties of not-for-profit officers and directors in higher education, litigating contested plan confirmation proceedings, the purchaser's perspective in transactions with a Chapter 11 debtor, cross-border issues in energy industry insolvencies, and maritime insolvency issues for organizations, including the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), the International Bar Association (IBA), Marine Money and the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors (AIRA).

Media Coverage

Representative Experience

  • Represented Ector County Energy Center LLC, an ERCOT energy provider impacted by Winter Storm Uri, as the debtor in Chapter 11 proceedings that distributed the proceeds of a market-high per-megawatt price transaction resulting from a highly competitive 363 sale process through a confirmed Chapter 11 plan that invoked more than $600 million in negotiated claim caps to yield a 100 percent dividend to non-insider creditors
  • Represented a sand mining company in restructuring of $40 million senior secured debt facility and of $110 million in railcar lease obligations
  • Represented an international airline in obtaining order enforcing discharge provisions of German order confirming restructuring plan and enjoining pursuit of U.S.-based litigation, including putative national class action
  • Counsel to eight financially challenged, not-for-profit tuition-dependent colleges and universities in three states
  • Counsel to a 200-year-old iconic silver manufacturer in its Chapter 11 reorganization, resulting in a confirmed plan yielding a substantial dividend to all creditor classes
  • Represented the parent and multiple subsidiaries of a systems-design build company involved in projects such as the construction of the Washington Nationals Stadium, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Charlotte International Airport in an out-of-court restructuring
  • Represented a transportation industry technology company in Chapter 11 proceedings involving a sale of substantially all assets to a syndicate of senior debt holders
  • Counsel to an international tour and travel company, including its international subsidiaries located in seven countries across Europe and Asia
  • Represented a 2,000-acre residential golf and resort development in Chapter 11 proceedings

  • Represented a non-bank lender in connection with Chapter 11 case of a borrower engaged in the design and installation of naval sonar systems, including negotiation and documentation of debtor-in-possession financing establishing benchmarks for pursuing and closing a Section 363 sale and a full rollup of prepetition debt
  • Represented a collateral agent in connection with a 14-bank syndicate holding more than $140 million in aggregate debt secured by a fleet of barges flagged in the United States and Mexico
  • Represented the agent bank and lender steering committee as lead counsel to the syndicated lender group under a $1.1 billion credit facility in the Chapter 11 case of an international dry bulk maritime company and its ship-owning subsidiaries
  • Counsel to the lender in bilateral loan that funded construction of and was secured by one phase of a multiphase project, with each phase funded by separately documented and secured bilateral loans relating to a failed luxury hotel in Chapter 11 proceedings
  • Represented a private credit fund lender in connection with post-default realization on a collateral package consisting largely of a spectrum license for outer space communications and associated intellectual property and equipment
  • Represented the asset-based lending affiliate of a large international hedge fund in the receivership case of a regional printing company

  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in a Chapter 11 case involving a designer and manufacturer of inverters used in the solar power industry
  • Counsel to an ad hoc committee of retail tenants in the Chapter 11 cases of one of the largest mall owners in the world
  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 case of a company that designed and installed fiber optic compression technology

  • Represented a large publicly traded protein production company in connection with the $450 million acquisition of the debtor's pork assets as stalking horse bidder and ultimately acquirer through a Section 363 sale
  • Represented a publicly traded strategic acquirer of substantially all assets of an institutional subcontract pharmacy services provider
  • Counsel to an international manufacturing conglomerate as stalking horse bidder in the acquisition through a Section 363 sale of substantially all assets of a fiberglass manufacturing company

  • Counsel to the trustee in an adversary proceeding seeking damages for breach of fiduciary duty by officers and directors of a medical billing company
  • Defended officers and trustees of a small tuition-dependent, not-for-profit college in a class action brought by former students of the college alleging breach of fiduciary duty and violation of consumer protection and privacy laws
  • Represented equity holders in both civil fraudulent transfer litigation and a federal indictment centered on alleged involvement in a compounding company's production and sale of non-sterile injectable steroids


  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • Middlebury College, B.A., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Massachusetts
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • International Insolvency Institute
  • American College of Bankruptcy
  • American Bar Foundation
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Co-Chairman Northeast Conference
  • International Bar Association, Insolvency Section, Co-Chairman Regulated Industries Subcommittee
  • American College of Bankruptcy, Steering Committee
  • American College of Bankruptcy Board of Regents, First Circuit Regent
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2005-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2006-2024; Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2011-2024
  • Stand-Out Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2022, 2024
  • Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers, Lawdragon, 2020, 2022-2024
  • Who's Who Legal: Restructuring & Insolvency, 2011-2024; Restructuring & Insolvency: Global Leader, 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Boston Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Lawyer of the Year, 2018, 2021
  • IFLR1000, The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, Highly Regarded, Restructuring and Insolvency, 2019, 2022, 2023
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine, 2005-2023
  • Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2008-2009
  • National Business Edition Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2016
  • Boston's Best Lawyers, 2005-2019
  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • International Insolvency Institute
  • Top Lawyer, The Deal, Business Bankruptcies, Representation of Unsecured Creditors and Number of Engagements
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rating
  • Boston University Law Review, Editor


Speaking Engagements