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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. TMT
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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The team at Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila is experienced in matters relating to licensing, commercial advertising, content regulation, and libel law suits. It has acted for clients such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sear Telecommunications and Time-Life International. Felipe Gozon, Roberto Lucila and Magdangal Elma are key partners within the practice.

Disini & Disini Law Office’s ‘excellent’ practice provides ‘commercial and practical’ advice on a range of TMT matters, including licensing, privacy and data security and trade mark registration. The ‘extremely intelligent and knowledgeable’ JJ Disini heads the department alongside Rowena Disini, who is ‘very highly rated’. Both partners regularly handle matters involving start-ups, emerging mass-media entities, and mobile payment systems. Key clients include Samsung Philippines, UnionBank and PLDT.

Quisumbing Torres’ TMT practice has ‘commendable knowledge’ of the sector, with particular expertise in matters involving privacy, cybercrime, e-commerce and information security. It also advises on regulatory issues affecting the provision of telecoms services in the Philippines, including managed network services, co-branding, interconnection and IT outsourcing. Partners Bienvenido Marquez III and Divina Ilas-Panganiban regularly act for notable clients, such as Johnson & Johnson and Uber International.

The TMT practice at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan is headed by Rocky Reyes and Rose King-Dominguez, who provide expertise in data privacy matters, cyber security law, fintech, as well as information and communications technology services. The firm acts for clients such as the San Miguel Corporation and Thomson Reuters, and recently represented PLDT, Inc. in the landmark Supreme Court case on nationality requirements for telecoms entities and other public utilities.

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos is active in the telecoms and mass media sectors, and regularly advises internet providers and software developers; key clients include PLDT, Smart Communications, Nation Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Veritas. Antonio Picazo is a key partner.

Mario Bautista, Dino Tamayo and Nick Villaluz are key figures at Poblador Bautista & Reyes. The practice frequently advises clients on regulatory and compliance issues.

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso’s telecoms and mass media group is experienced in advising major television and radio broadcasting networks. Miguel Damaso and Ruelito Soriano specialise in compliance and licensing matters.

The TMT practice at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles advises clients on a broad spectrum of technology issues, as well as regulatory matters. Herminio Ozaeta, Jr heads the practice and regularly acts for software companies, online retailers, digital media companies, broadcasters, satellite operators and mobile networks.

Franchette Acosta leads the TMT practice at Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) and acts as counsel to a number of notable clients, including Globe Telecom and ABS-CBN Corporation. The practice acted for the former in its PHP26.4bn battle with the Philippine Competition Commission on its acquisition from San Miguel of a 50% equity stake in Vega Telecom and Brightshare Holdings.

Alex Fider, John Paul Gaba, Richmond Lee and Jose Genilo are the key figures within the team at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw). The practice is experienced in handling issues involving internet privacy, fraud and online commercial transactions, as well as providing advice on regulatory matters.

Anthony Peralta at Cochingyan & Peralta Law Offices has vast experience in technology matters, with particular expertise in e-commerce, IT-related business process outsourcing, as well as licensing and technology transfer agreements.

Puno & Puno Law Offices’ information technology and communications work is handled by Vincent Bayhon, who has expertise in e-commerce, and financing IT projects.

The team at Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako provides advice on different technology-related laws and regulations and is experienced in handling contracts for tech transactions and software licensing; partners regularly act on behalf of tech start-up and technology consultants, among other clients.

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Legal Developments in Philippines

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  • 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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