The Legal 500

Philippines

Editorial

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
  • Hengeler Mueller advises BSkyB on takeover offer to Sky Deutschland

    BSkyB announced on 25 July 2014 that it had entered into agreements with 21st Century Fox to acquire 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland AG (SkyD) on a fully diluted basis and its 100% stake in Sky Italia. BSkyB also announced its intention to make a voluntary public takeover offer to the shareholders of SkyD for the purchase of their ordinary registered shares with no par value in SkyD against payment of a cash consideration of €6.75 per SkyD Share. The acquisition of 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in SkyD is for a consideration of €3.6bn, valuing SkyD at €6.75 per SkyD share. The total consideration for the acquisition of Sky Italia is £2.45bn with approximately £2.07bn to be paid in cash and the balance to be satisfied through the transfer of BSkyB's 21% stake in National Geographic Channel International to 21st Century Fox at a value of £382m. Subject to the number of SkyD minority shareholders that accept the offer, the total cash consideration overall may be up to approximately £7.0bn. The transactions are subject to regulatory and independent BSkyB shareholder approval.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Adam Opel AG on Single OEM Structure in Europe

    Newly-established Opel Group GmbH assumes full responsibility as Single OEM Manufacturer for the Opel/Vauxhall business in Europe including Russia.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises DONG Energy on the divestment of a 50 per cent stake in Offshore Wind Farm

    DONG Energy signed an agreement to sell 50% of the German offshore wind farm project Gode Wind 2 to a consortium of Danish pension funds (PKA, Industriens Pension, Lærernes Pension and Lægernes Pensionskasse). The total purchase price amounts to approximately €600m. According to the agreement, the wind farm will have a total capacity of 252 MW. DONG Energy will construct the wind farm, provide operation and maintenance services and will provide a route to market for the power production of Gode Wind 2. The purchase is subject to approval by the cartel authorities.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises ZEISS on syndicated loan

    Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen has concluded a €500 Mio. syndicated loan for the purpose of refinancing existing financing. ZEISS is an internationally leading technology group in the fields of optics and optoelectronics with more than 24,000 employees and about €4.2bn in revenues.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Dürr on acquisition of HOMAG shares

    Dürr AG, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Dürr Technologies GmbH, has reached agreement with several major shareholders of HOMAG Group AG (HOMAG) to acquire a total of 53.7% of HOMAG shares. The purchase price for the 53.7% of the HOMAG shares is € 219 million. An agreement was also reached with the Schuler family and the Klessmann foundation, who have so far held a 25.1% stake in HOMAG in the form of a share pool, on Dürr joining the pool. The share pool will consent to the completion of a control and/or profit and loss transfer agreement by Dürr. The execution of the purchase contracts is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. Dürr will submit a voluntary public takeover offer to the HOMAG shareholders to acquire all of the shares.
  • Pepeliaev Group Impresses in the IFLR 1000 Ratings

  • Gide advises KGHM Polska Miedź on financing worth USD 2.5 billion

    Gide's Warsaw and London offices have successfully completed another project for KGHM Polska Miedź. The largest Polish mining company officially announced an investment loan agreement for USD 2.5 billion for general corporate purposes which was signed on 11 July 2014. This is one of the most significant transactions of its type carried out in Europe this year.
  • A Guide to Arbitration in the Cayman Islands

    Arbitration is a mechanism of binding dispute resolution which entails resolving disputes outside court in accordance with procedures and standards as determined by the parties in dispute. Arbitration is therefore an alternative to traditional litigation and is distinct from non-binding forms of dispute resolution such as mediation.
  • The Cayman Islands Enacts implementing Legislation to comply with its international obligations

    As part of the Cayman Islands longstanding commitment to tax transparency and meeting international standards (most notably reflected in the fact that the Cayman Islands are on the G-20's 'white list' of compliant jurisdictions), the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (United States of America) Regulations, 2014 (US Regulations) and the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (United Kingdom) Regulations, 2014 (UK Regulations and together the Regulations), were gazetted and therefore brought into force in the Cayman Islands on 4 July 2014.
  • Lakatos, Köves advised Al-Habtoor on buying Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest

    The Gulf-based investor, Khalaf Al-Habtoor chose Lakatos, Köves and Partners again for a new hotel transaction in Budapest