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Noted for its ‘excellent service’, the dispute resolution practice at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw), led by Ana Arnaldo-Oracion, acts for a range of notable clients, including Manila Electric, Standard Chartered Bank and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. Recent highlights include advising Manila Electric in challenging the constitutionality of several issuances of the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission, and subsequently filed a petition for declaration of relief with application for temporary restraining order.

The team at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia is experienced in the full range of dispute resolution matters, with particular expertise in commercial, banking and tax litigation, corporate rehabilitation, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Practice head Rodel Cruz recently represented the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) in a petition seeking to declare a city ordinance, which banned aerial spraying by agricultural entities, constitutionally void; the supreme court unanimously affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals and declared the city ordinance unconstitutional.

Poblador Bautista & Reyes is active in civil, commercial, administrative and criminal litigation, representing local and international clients. Alexander Poblador, Gilbert Reyes, Dino Tamayo and Nick Villaluz are the key contacts.

The dispute resolution team at Quisumbing Torres acts in arbitration proceedings, commercial disputes and civil and administrative litigation, representing clients such as Uber Systems, UHS Essential Health Philippines and Publicis Groupe. The key partners within the practice are Donemark Calimon, Ramon Quisumbing, Rodrigo Quimbo, Miguel Galvez and Mia Imperial.

Ricardo Ongkiko heads the ‘excellent’ dispute resolution practice at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, with strong support from Emmanuel Lombos and Carlos Lopez. The team provides ‘impressive legal analysis and strategic thinking’, with particular expertise in civil, criminal and administrative litigation. Most recently, it successfully defended PLDT in a high-value landmark Supreme Court case on ownership of public utilities.

The ADR practice at Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose has expertise in commercial and specialised arbitration, mediation and conciliation. Key partners include Ancheta Tan and Roberto Dio.

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)’s ‘excellent’ dispute resolution team includes key partners Ben Yap, Anthony Gutierrez, Jess Lopez and the ‘fantasticJesus Protacio. The practice is experienced in a broad range of litigation and dispute resolution matters, with particular expertise in complex and high-value commercial disputes.

The team at Ortega Bacorro Odulio Calma & Carbonell has expertise in civil and criminal litigation, and is active in a broad range of sectors including banking, mining, real estate and intellectual property. Elizer Odulio is the key contact.

Peter Bantilan and Arturo Selim head the dispute resolution and litigation practice at Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño, which continues to act for Chevron Philippines Inc in a number of court cases involving constitutional issues and tax litigation matters.

Joshua Paraiso, Roy Santos and Fidel Valeros, Jr jointly lead the practice at Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices, which recently acted as counsel to LG International on a $443m corporate rehabilitation case filed with the commercial courts. Other notable clients include Hewlett-Packard Philippines Corporation, First Sovereign Asset Management and Uber Systems.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles advises clients on a broad range of civil, criminal, administrative and regulatory issues, with particular expertise in handling international commercial arbitration matters. Tranquil Salvador III and Louie Ogsimer jointly head the practice.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) provides ‘an excellent service’ coupled with ‘prompt and clear advice’ to its clients, which include Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Globe Telecommunications and Banco De Oro Unibank. The practice is jointly led by ‘the experiencedJoseph Lopez and ‘excellent’ Thea Daep, with strong support from Alejandro Navarro and Augusto San Pedro, Jr. In recent months, the firm has been engaged in the high-profile defence of RCBC against the cyber-heist on the Central Bank of Bangladesh, in which $81m was remitted to one of its branched.

The litigation practice at Custodio Acorda Sicam De Castro & Panganiban Law Offices is led by managing partner Demetrio Custodio, Jr, who is experienced in handling litigation of criminal cases, civil disputes, family law cases and administrative cases for corporate and individual clients. The firm is also particularly strong on the ADR side and provides services in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and neutral case evaluation.

Estelito Mendoza at Estelito Mendoza & Associates leads a small litigation and arbitration team.

Led by Roderick Salazar III, the disputes practice at Fortun Narvasa & Salazar regularly handles civil cases relating to land estate disputes, and has particular expertise in fraud, corruption, crime and civil liberty violation cases.

Eduardo Martinez leads the litigation practice at Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano, with strong support from Reynaldo Dizon and Shirley Alinea. The ‘dedicated’ partners provide ‘strategic legal advice’ and specialist expertise in civil, criminal and commercial litigation.

Angelo Advincula, Antero Caganda and Jorge Melo are the key partners at Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula. The firm acted for Air Philippines Corporation in a $8.8m refund claim of specific taxes paid for imported aviation fuel.

Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila’s dispute resolution practice handles a broad range of litigation matters, including criminal, civil, commercial and administrative cases; the firm provides counsel to both domestic and international clients.

The dispute resolution practice at Cochingyan & Peralta Law Offices regularly engages in the full range of litigation work, with particular expertise in commercial arbitration and commercial litigation. Jose Cochingyan III and Anthony Peralta are the key contacts.

Del Rosario & Del Rosario handles a variety of litigation matters and frequently advises on civil, corporate and criminal dispute cases. Ruben Del Rosario and Arturo del Rosario, Jr lead the practice.

JGLaw’s litigation department has expertise in civil, criminal and commercial litigation, working across a broad range of practice areas including banking, insurance, intellectual property and family law. Gregorio Fernandez leads the litigation and arbitration team.

Mosveldtt Law’s litigation practice is particularly strong on the ADR side, with expertise in criminal, administrative, real estate and land disputes, among other areas. Aldrich Dy frequently acts in mass tort actions, arbitration matters, ejectment cases, and petitions for declaratory relief.

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim’s litigation practice has experience in civil, criminal and labour-related disputes, and is particularly strong on the ADR side. Managing partner Manolito Manalo leads the practice.

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos handles the full range of dispute resolution matters, with particular experience in civil, commercial, administrative and criminal litigation. The firm also acts in commercial restructuring and corporate rehabilitation-related matters.

Orencio Ibarra, Jr heads the litigation practice at Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso, which acts for individuals and corporate clients in major commercial litigation cases, as well as being active in civil, criminal and administrative cases.

The dispute resolution practice at Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako is led by Mario Andres and is active in the full range of civil, criminal and administrative litigation matters.

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Legal Developments in Philippines

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • SyCipLaw TMT Bulletin: “More Philippine Data Privacy Act: Are you Ready for Phase II?”

    Controllers and processors who have completed Phase I registration with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) will now have to gear up for Phase II. Phase II involves providing the NPC certain information on the organization’s compliance with the Data Privacy Act (DPA).
  • Getting the Deal Through: Appeals 2017

    The Philippine chapter of Getting the Deal Through: Appeals 2017 was contributed by SyCipLaw partner Ramon G. Songco and associate Kathleen Kay A. de Guzman . The chapter provides key insight into the appellate stage of dispute resolution in the Philippines.
  • The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Patents 2018

    The Philippine chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Patents 2018 was contributed by SyCipLaw partners Enrique T. Manuel and Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan . The chapter answers key questions on patent enforcement, patent amendment, licensing, patent term extension, patent prosecution and opposition, border control measures, and antitrust laws and inequitable conduct. It also gives an overview on current patent developments in the country.
  • IBA Taxes Committee: “Developments in Philippine Tax Laws and Regulations”

    The International Bar Association’s (IBA) Taxes Committee published its annual update on tax developments by jurisdiction for 2017. The 2017 update includes a Philippine report by SyCipLaw partner Hiyasmin H. Lapitan entitled “Developments in Philippine Tax Laws and Regulations”. The Philippine report summarizes recent updates related to tax treaty relief, passed-on gross receipts tax, alternative modes of paying taxes, reduction of real property tax on independent power producers, and case law, as well as upcoming tax reform developments.
  • ALB: “Enforcement Update: Philippine Competition Act”

    The August 2017 issue of the Asian Legal Business (ALB)  includes a Philippine regional update by SyCipLaw partner  Arlene M. Maneja entitled, “Enforcement Update: Philippine Competition Act”. The article summarizes the administrative, civil and criminal penalties that apply to companies that have yet to comply with the Philippine Competition Act (PCA). The transitional clause of the PCA to enable parties to renegotiate agreements or restructure their businesses to comply with the law expired on August 7, 2017.
  • CPO: “Philippines: To Be or Not To Be a Data Protection Officer (DPO)”

    Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) Magazine, an online publication owned by Data Privacy Asia, featured an article by SyCipLaw partner Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez . Entitled “Philippines: To Be or Not To Be a Data Protection Officer (DPO) ”, the article discusses the qualifications and responsibilities of a DPO as outlined in the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012. It also outlines difficulties companies may experience in the appointment of a DPO.
  • ALB: “Guidelines on Related Party Transactions for Insurers in the Philippines”

    The July 2017 issue of the Asian Legal Business (ALB) includes a Philippine regional update by SyCipLaw partner Hiyasmin H. Lapitan and associate Jo Margarette W. Remollo entitled, “Guidelines on Related Party Transactions for Insurers in the Philippines ”. The article summarizes the Insurance Commission’s compliance guidelines on related party transactions, as set out in Insurance Circular Letter No. 2017-29. The Circular covers insurers, reinsurers, branch offices of foreign insurers, mutual benefit associations, pre-need companies, and health maintenance organizations and their intermediaries.
  • Philippines Chapter in The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review - Edition 5

    The Philippines section of The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review - Edition 5 contains information on commencing disputes, including national and local taxes; courts and tribunals; penalties and remedies; tax claims, including recovering overpaid taxes, challenging administrative decisions, and claimants; costs; alternative dispute resolution; anti-avoidance; double taxation treaties; areas of focus; and outlook and conclusions. The section was contributed by SyCipLaw partner  Carina C. Laforteza  with support from associate  Mark Xavier D. Oyales .
  • IFLR: “Philippines: Acquiring insurance brokers”

    The April issue of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) includes an international briefing article by SyCipLaw partner  Hiyasmin H. Lapitan  entitled “Philippines: Acquiring insurance brokers”. The article discusses the new requirement by the Philippine Insurance Commission (IC) for advance approval to acquire a stake in a Philippine corporation that is licensed as an insurance broker or reinsurance broker. This requirement is noted in the IC’s circular letter number 2017-09 dated February 14, 2017, which prescribes guidelines on the documentation requirements for acquiring a domestic insurance or reinsurance broker.
  • SyCipLaw Tax Bulletin: Philippine BIR Rules on Proper Tax Treatment of Passed-on Gross Receipts Tax

    On June 13, 2016, the then Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 62-2016 purporting to clarify the proper tax treatment of percentage tax or gross receipts tax (GRT) due on transactions covered by Sections 1211 and 1222 of the Tax Code which are shifted through contractual stipulations to borrowers/customers/clients (“passed-on” GRT). Banks, non-bank financial intermediaries performing quasi-banking functions are subject to GRT under Section 121 while financing companies and other financial intermediaries not performing quasi-banking functions are subject to GRT under Section 122. The effectivity of this circular was suspended on July 1, 2016 by the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue. However, on November 15, 2016, the suspension was lifted by RMC No. 127-2016 rendering RMC No. 62-2016 effective immediately.

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