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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Tax clients in Philippines using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw)’s practice counts BDO Unibank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Allegro Microsystems Philippines and Masinloc Power Partners among its clients. Ruby Yusi and Eric Recalde head the department.

The ‘very quick’ Anthony Gutierrez and the ‘careful, attentive’ Jesus Protacio are the key partners at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio. The ‘highly knowledgeable, responsive’ team advised Metro Railway Transit Corporation in a claim against the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) regarding a wrongful tax assessment.

Hector Martinez heads the department at Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño, which includes Anthony Abenir, whose clients include Chevron and La Suerte Tobacco Company. The team handles tax audits for numerous clients, including G4S Holdings.

Wilfrido Sanchez and Benedict Tugonon lead the team at Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra & Sison, which includes Ruelito Soriano. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Levi Strauss and Lopez Holdings are among its clients.

Quisumbing Torres counts Texas Instruments and Uber International among its clients. Dennis Dimagiba leads the two-partner team, which has strong contentious capabilities, and regularly assists clients in obtaining tax refunds worth millions of dollars. Ronald Bernas is also recommended.

Priscilla Valer and Jayson Fernandez jointly lead the team at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles, with support from Exequiel Javier and Reynaldo Geronimo, who is a strong litigator.

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako handles all aspects of tax work, including tax litigation. Jose Crisostomo, Jr, Ferdinand Hidalgo, Raniel Dimayuga and Ma Corazon del Castillo are the key figures.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan’s department is led by Rolando Medalla, Jr and includes Hector de Leon and certified public accountant Carina Laforteza. The firm acts for California Energy, Manila Electric Company, Maynilad Water Services and Döhle Shipmanagement Philippines Corporation.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)’s department, headed by Sylvette Tankiang, acts for a client base that includes Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and BayWa re Solar. Franchette Acosta and litigation specialist Fritzzie Español are also recommended.

At Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula, Angelo Advincula successfully assisted Puregold Duty Free with a $60m refund for VAT and excise taxes wrongly paid between 1998 and 2004. Lily Gruba, Antero Caganda and Juan Miguel de la Fuente are also recommended.

Baniqued & Baniqued is a widely respected tax boutique that counts British American Tobacco, Smart Communications and Sun Cruises among its clients. Carlos Baniqued, Angel Baniqued and Terence Bello are the key tax experts.

At Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose, Ma Victoria Sarmiento and Joseph Castillo are skilled at obtaining tax exemptions for clients, and have experience in implementing tax strategies.

The team at Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim assists clients with estate planning, compliance issues and corporate tax structures. Carlos Ocampo and Manolito Manalo are the key contacts.

At Ortega Bacorro Odulio Calma & Carbonell, tax practitioners Gregorio Ortega and Renato Calma act for a multinational client base.

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos’ tax expertise includes estate planning and tax litigation. Antonio Picazo and Cynthia Ligeralde-De la Paz are the key partners.

The team at Poblador Bautista & Reyes has particular experience in tax matters relating to property and estates. Raymund Rodriguez, Meghan de Guia, Joseph Perez and Anzen Dy are recommended.

Virginia Viray leads the team at Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices, with support from associates Pearl Cabali and Ruben Ricasata III. Clients include North Luzon Renewable Energy.

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Legal Developments in Philippines

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  • 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.
  • Philippine Court of Appeals Denies Issuance of Environmental Protection Order Against Mining Company

    In a decision issued on March 8, 2017, the Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) denied the petition by NGO Ang Aroroy ay Alagaan, Inc. and certain individuals, for the issuance of a writ of kalikasan against Filminera Resources Corporation, and its directors and officers. The petitioners have claimed that Filminera, which operates in the Philippine province of Masbate, had been causing environmental damage in the conduct of its mining operations in violation of local law, and that a writ of kalikasan should be issued.
  • SyCipLaw TMT Bulletin: Philippine Central Bank Issues New FinTech Rules

    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) (the Philippine Central Bank) has issued two new circulars that will be of interest to companies engaged in remittance services, e-money, digital currency, and other fintech businesses. Both circulars amend portions of the BSP Manual of Regulations for Non-Bank Financial Institutions.
  • IFLR: “Philippines: Foreign equity ownership decision”

    The March issue of the International Financial Law Review ( IFLR ) includes an international briefing article by SyCipLaw partner  Jose Florante M. Pamfilo  entitled “Philippines: Foreign equity ownership decision”. The article discusses the Philippine Supreme Court decision on the case of Roy v. Herbosa (GR no. 207246) to invalidate the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Memorandum Circular no. 8-2013 (MC 8-2013) on the guidelines on compliance with the Filipino-foreign ownership requirements prescribed in the Philippine Constitution and/or existing laws by corporations engaged in nationalized and partly nationalized activities.
  • Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All

    The World Bank Group has released its Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All report. This is the 14th in an annual series of reports providing objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement in 190 economies. The report focuses on measuring regulations affecting 11 areas: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.

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