The Legal 500

Philippines

Editorial sections

Overview

The Philippines remains a bright spot in the global economy and has the highest GDP growth rate in Asia, reporting 6.8% growth in 2012, and 7.8% growth in the first quarter of 2013. With the economies of its two largest export partners Japan and the US, starting to send positive signals, this growth should hopefully continue, especially in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), manufacturing and mining.

This relative buoyancy has allowed the country’s top law firms, including Romulo, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW) and Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos, to flourish. The fact that they have little competition from international firms has also helped. Only Baker & McKenzie has a foothold in the market, through its top-notch correspondent firm Quisumbing Torres, which fields several excellent, top tier practices. The market remains relatively stable, with few changes affecting law firms. Nevertheless, 2013 did see the firm Villaraza Cruz Marcelo & Angangco, which had strong links to previous government administrations, split into two separate firms: Villaraza & Angangco and Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Philippines

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • The Philippine Design Competitiveness Act

    The Republic Act No. 10557, " Philippine Design Competitiveness Act " was signed by President Benigno Aquino III last May 15, 2013.  Contributed by SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan Partner Ricardo Ma. P.G. Ongkiko . The article gives us an insight about the objectives of the Act, the role of the newly formed Design Advisory Council, the Natural Design Policy, and its goals. Learn more about the Philippine Design Competitiveness Ac t. The article is available for online viewing from the SyCipLaw website.
  • Dissension in the Court: July 2013

    The article Dissension in the Court: July 2013 was contributed by SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan Partner, Rafael L. Encarnacion . The article gives us an insight on the petition for  certiorari  assailing the Commission on Elections of the Philippines' resolution to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Regina Ongsiako Reyes for the position of Representative of the district of Marinduque.  The article from Lexoterica: A Philippine BLAWG is also available for online viewing from the SyCipLaw website .
  • Bridging the Gap: Enhanced Basic Education through K-12

    The article  Bridging the Gap: Enhanced Basic Education through K-12   contributed by  Ricardo Ma. P.G. Ongkiko  talks about the new law regarding the Philippine Basic Education System which became effective on June 4, 2013. It includes information about its objectives, its salient features and the new procedure in training and hiring teachers.
  • Valuing Unlisted Shares

    The  April 2013 issue of IFLR  includes an update authored by Senior Associate  Arlene M. Maneja.   "Valuing Unlisted Shares"  discusses the implemented Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue Regulation No. 6-2013 (RR6-2013) and contains an overview of the rules involving the determination of fair market value of share of stock not listed and traded in the local stock exchange.  Download a copy of the article from the SyCipLaw website.
  • Publications by Domingo G. Castillo

    Publications by Partner Domingo G. Castillo  on " Repeatable Limitation of Liability in Maritime Accidents ," " Movement of Goods ," and " Various Aspects of Concealment & Representations " are now available for download from the SyCipLaw website. View the Related Links section of  Mr. Castillo's profile  to access the publications.
  • The Mergers & Acquisitions Review 7th Edition – Philippines

    The Philippines section of The Mergers and Acquisitions Review 7th Edition contains an overview of M&A activity in the country, general introduction to the legal framework for M&A, developments in corporate and takeover law and their impact, foreign involvement in M&A transactions, significant transactions, key trends and hot industries, financing of M&A, employment law, tax law, competition law, and outlook. The section was contributed by SyCipLaw Managing Partner Rafael A. Morales .
  • WLG Global Agenda Study Report: Issues & Priorities for Senior In-House Counsel Worldwide

    It has been a year since the  SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) LinkedIn Company Page  was launched and statistics show that the most clicked legal resource post is the World Law Group's "Global Agenda Study Report: Issues & Priorities for Senior In-House Counsel Worldwide," which was posted on 16 January 2013. The report highlights, among other things, current key challenges faced by chief legal officers, general counsel and other in-house law department leaders in some of the world's largest companies, as well as action plans they've found most effective to meet these challenges. It also points out some interesting differences by region.
  • ELA's Free Webinar on "Key Employment Issues for US Employers in the Hospitality Industry"

    The Employment Law Alliance's free webinar on "Key Employment Issues for US Employers in the Hospitality Industry" will be on 11 September 2013.
  • WLG's Quick Guide to Private-Copy Levy Systems

    The WLG Intellectual Property & Information Technology Group unveiled its "Quick Guide to Private-Copy Levy Systems" with contributions from 18 WLG member firms from different jurisdictions, including Australia, Canada, China, the EU, Japan, Singapore, UK and USA.
  • Philippine BIR adopts technological innovations

    The July 2013 issue of Bloomberg BNA's Tax Planning International Asia-Pacific Focus features an article co-authored by partner  Carina C. Laforteza  and associate  Grace Ann C. Lazaro  entitled "The Philippine BIR adopts technological innovations." The article discusses the recently implemented Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Regulation No. 18-2012 directing all persons to secure a new Authority to Print from the BIR and to print new receipts/invoices starting 1 July 2013. The article includes sections on the statutory basis, implementation, and the move towards computerized regulation.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014

    The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
  • Restructuring and insolvency in Luxembourg (part 2)

    RESTRUCTURING - COURT PROCEDURES
  • Enhancements to the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991

    On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ).  This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force.  The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
  • Joost Fanoy appointed partner at BarentsKrans

    The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
  • PineBridge Acquires 50% Stake in Romatem

    PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
    - Paksoy
  • Isbank Issued USD 750 Million Notes

    Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
    - Paksoy
  • Halkbank Issued USD 500 Million Notes

    Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million  with an interest rate of 4.765 %  and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
    - Paksoy
  • Turkiye Finans to Issue Ringgit Sukuk to Raise Up to MYR 3 Billion In Malaysia

    Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
    - Paksoy
  • Ziraat Bank Established GMTN Programme to Issue Bonds Worth USD 2 Billion

    Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to  USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank  pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
    - Paksoy
  • Vakifbank Sells EUR 500 Million Notes Under USD 5 Billion GMTN Programme

    Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.
    - Paksoy