Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

Serrano Law‘s ‘lawyers are versatile and provide practical and innovative legal solutions to complex issues. They are very diligent, easy to work with and accessible at reasonable times to provide any necessary legal opinions’. Elmer Serrano heads up the department.
Ma. Joycelyn L. Guirnalda and Maria Patricia Alvarez, who are both based in Makati City, co-lead the practice at Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza & Binay (SPCMB Law Offices) which is recommended for its work on a variety of projects and deals for domestic and international banks.

Banking and finance in Philippines

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw)

Led by Judy Hao, the team at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw) has a solid reputation for its advice to many banking clients on a variety of regulatory and compliance matters. It is well-regarded for its work on preparing loan, financing and security agreements as well as other debt instruments (such as advising on the issuance of notes). The group is also skilled in helping both local and foreign borrowers and lenders. Andre Navato is another key figure, who advises both borrowers and lenders on loan agreements and security documents.

Practice head(s):

Judy Hao

Other key lawyers:

Andre Navato

Key clients

Philippine Airlines

The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd.

Standard Chartered Bank

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad is regularly retained by many leading local and foreign banks and financial institutions to advise on various matters. The agile team has particular expertise in providing regulatory advice and is adept at advising on loan syndications in addition to acquisition and project financing work; the group also assists with debt restructuring matters. Mark Vergara has considerable strength in project finance, while Manuel Gonzalez is recognised for his work on project finance and public infrastructure projects. Rosalia S. Bartolome-Alejo is a known name for her work on debt restructuring, consumer banking, credit card operations and credit and security transactions, while Erika Paulino is well-regarded for her work on project and corporate financing mandates. Elmer Serrano is now at Serrano Law.

Practice head(s):

Mark Vergara; Rosalia S. Bartolome-Alejo

Other key lawyers:

Manuel Gonzalez; Erika Paulino


‘The law firm has indepth knowledge of the law and its practical applications’.

‘I would like to commend the following lawyers for their exceptional skill sets in drafting financing arrangements: Mark Vergara; Erika Paulino and Rosalie Bartolome-Alejo’.

‘The MVGS team is very professional in handling clients, delivering results as promised’.

‘People of MVGS think out of the box, providing solutions to deals/transaction. Special mention to Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo for this’.

Key clients

BDO Unibank, Inc. – Trust and Investments Group

Asia United Bank, Union Bank of the Philippines

Steniel Manufacturing Corporation; Greenkraft Group of Companies

Citicore-Megawide Consortium, Inc.

RISA Partners Inc.

Development Bank of the Philippines, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation – Trust and Investments Group

Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc.

Bank of Commerce

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan fields a versatile team that is well-equipped to advise foreign and local banks and financial institutions in addition to borrowers and issuers on the full spectrum of issues. It regularly advises on acquisition and project financing work, syndicated loans and refinancings as well as the issuance of securities, corporate notes and bonds. The practice is also well-placed to advise on renewable energy projects, infrastructure and real estate developments. Under the leadership of Vicente Gerochi, the group also has niche expertise in aviation financing as well as e-money, cryptocurrency and different payment services. Jan Celine Abaño-Ranada has extensive experience in project financing matters including hotel, gaming and real estate developments. Bhong Paulo Macasaet is also recommended. Senior partner Marievic Ramos-Añonuevo retired in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Vicente Gerochi

Other key lawyers:

Jan Celine Abaño-Ranada; Bhong Paulo Macasaet


‘Very professional –  works as a top tier law firm in the Philippines’.

Key clients

BDO Unibank, Inc./BDO

Philippine National Bank/PNB

Bank of the Philippine Islands/BPI

Standard Chartered Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited




Mizuho Bank

Deutsche Bank

San Miguel Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to BPI Capital Corporation as mandated lead arranger and Bank of the Philippine Islands as lender in connection with PHP26.9bn term loan facility to be granted to ISOC edotco Towers, Inc., a subsidiary of edotco Investments (Labuan) Ltd., to finance its acquisition of a portfolio of 2,973 towers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao from the PLDT Group.
  • Acted as counsel to the MLAUB and lender in connection with a PHP20bn term loan facility to be granted to Comworks Infratech Corp., a subsidiary of Edgepoint Infrastructure, to finance its acquisition of a portfolio of 2,934 towers in Luzon from PLDT Group.
  • Represented the lenders in negotiations for an amended and restated loan agreement for the purposes of refinancing SLTEC’s outstanding P9.8bn loan facility, to fund the partial redemption of capital in SLTEC held by AC Energy, Inc.

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

With Jaime Renato B. Gatmaytan at the helm, Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)'s banking and finance practice focuses on transactional work. The skilled team regularly acts for local and international borrowers and lenders on major financing transactions and regulatory issues, and is recommended for its work on the financing aspects of energy and infrastructure projects as well for its work on green financing mandates. The group also has considerable experience in assisting technology companies. Annalisa J. Carlota is a project and finance lawyer who is experienced in energy and infrastructure developments in the Philippines and Asia.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Renato B. Gatmaytan

Other key lawyers:

Annalisa J. Carlota

Key clients

SN Aboitiz Power – Benguet, Inc.

Lendable SPC; Lendable Asset Management LLC

The Export-Import Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Advising and assisting Lendable SPC and Lendable Asset Management LLC with a $20m term loan facility for First Digital Finance Corporation.
  • Advising and assisting the Export-Import Bank of China with a RMB2.3bn loan to the government of the Republic of the Philippines.
  • Advised and assisted SN Aboitiz Power – Benguet, Inc. with an PHP18bn notes facility.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

Ramil Bugayong, Pearl Grace Cabali and Elaine Marie Laceda lead the banking and finance practice at Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices, which has an excellent reputation for its work on a broad range of matters such as advising on the securitisation of bonds and key M&A deals. It is also recommended for its work on the sale and purchase of distressed assets and for its capital markets expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ramil Bugayong; Pear Grace Cabali; Elaine Marie Laceda

Work highlights

  • Acted as Philippine counsel to a client which led a Series C funding for Filipino social entertainment platform Kumu.
  • Acted as legal counsel to a client in its Series C funding round for Voyager Innovations – the owner and operator of financial technology firm PayMaya.

Quisumbing Torres

Quisumbing Torres fields a nimble team that is recommended for its work on all aspects of banking and finance transactions from acquisition and project financings to advising on derivatives and real estate financings. It is also recommended for its advice on a broad range of financial products. With Maria Christina Macasaet-Acaban and Alain Charles Veloso at the helm, the group has an established reputation for its work with international banks and corporate entities in addition to advising financial sponsors on a wide range of banking and finance transactions. Ramon Miguel Bacani was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Maria Christina Macasaet-Acaban; Alain Charles Veloso

Other key lawyers:

Ramon Miguel Bacani

Key clients


Prudential Plc

Manulife Philippines


APG Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advising a US fintech company on the applicable Philippine regulatory framework for its online lending platform.
  • Assisted a Japanese global financial services company with the preparation of a legal opinion for a bond issuance.
  • Advising a leading consultant, manager and investor in the global aviation market with investments in a Philippine international airport project on an omnibus loan and security agreement for equity financing from a leading Philippine bank.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

The team at Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) has recently advised on some large cross-border project financing agreements and has also been busy providing regulatory advice on a range of financial services products to ensure compliance with various government agencies including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The team, which is led by Raoul Angangco, Sylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta, is also increasingly advising on data privacy issues that arise for banking and non-bank financial institutions. Another core area of focus is advising foreign businesses on the procedures for setting up financial services companies locally.

Practice head(s):

Raoul Angangco; Sylvette Tankiang; Franchette Acosta

Key clients

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

Grand Agri Rural Bank, Inc.

FSG Capital, Inc.

Volopay Philippines Inc.

TendoPay Inc.

GPay Network PH Inc.

Alternergy Holdings Corporation and its Affiliates

AMZing, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Grand Agri Rural Bank, Inc. regarding the requirements and process for the liquidation of a bank and the modes of liquidation.
  • Routinely advises Sea Group, one of the leading internet companies in the Greater Southeast Asian region, in relation to its e-Commerce “Shopee” platform.
  • Provided comprehensive advice to GPay Network PH Inc. on the regulatory requirements for the application for a Virtual Asset Service Provider license before the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Abuda Asis & Associates

The banking and finance practice at Abuda Asis & Associates has a strong focus on energy and project finance mandates and has recently been advising lenders and project developers on several energy projects. The group also has considerable strength in water infrastructure projects and is currently acting as lead counsel on a number of bulk water supply and wastewater sanitation joint venture projects with local government units and water utility companies. Cornelio Abuda, Jehremiah C. Asis and Jose Jaime V. Cruz head up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Cornelio Abuda; Jehremiah C. Asis; Jose Jaime V. Cruz

Key clients

Almana Power Corporation

BPI Capital Corporation

Development Bank of the Philippines

Land Bank of the Philippines

PNB Capital and Investment Corporation

Powersource First Bulacan Solar, Inc.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

Security Bank Corporation

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a local energy developer with respect to its planned energy transition financing, which involves the early decommissioning of its coal fired plant by 2040.
  • Advised a syndicate of local lenders in relation to the financing of the expansion of a 32MW ground-mounted distributed solar power generation plant and related ancillary facilities in Luzon by 68MW.
  • Advised a Philippine lender on the financing of a run-of-river hydroelectric power plant and associated facilities with a capacity of 12MW in the Northern Mindanao region.

Disini & Disini Law Office

Disini & Disini Law Office works with universal banks and digital banks as well as remittance companies and electronic money issuers. Under the direction of JJ Disini, the team is equally as adept at working with traditional banks as those that are engaged in blockchain and cryptocurrency matters, and regularly advises local and international technology platforms on their expansion into payments and virtual assets products. The practice is also recommended for its work with clients on a range of dispute resolution, regulatory and compliance matters. Special counsel Louis Marshall Lo joined the practice recently from an in-house position.

Practice head(s):

JJ Disini

Other key lawyers:

Louis Marshall Lo

Key clients

Unionbank of the Philippines

PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies

Eastern Securities and Development Corporation

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation

Petnet Inc.

FoodPanda PH

Sea Group


Kumu, Inc.

Sukiplus Money Lending Corp.

Work highlights

  • Advising ING Bank NV Manila Branch on various regulatory concerns.
  • Providing critical legal support for cutting-edge cryptocurrency projects for PDAX.
  • Provided legal support for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Open Finance Framework as part of World Bank Group/International Finance Corporation Project.

Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra

The banking and finance practice at Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra spans both regulatory and transactional work as well as advising on all aspects of digital banking for a broad client base including fintech companies. Head of the department is Mark Gorriceta who is the firm’s managing partner. Anthony Edsel Tupaz and Kristine Torres also play a pivotal role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mark Gorriceta

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Edsel Tupaz; Kristine Torres; Lianne Stella R. Candelario


‘Deep knowledge and experience in their space, strong work ethic. Kristine Torres –  was hardworking and she was patient in explaining and taking time to get the deal done’.

‘When it comes to Banking and Finance, the Firm has a very strong relationship with the regulating agency and is being asked for comments on draft regulations‘.

‘Knowledgeable and specialises in fintech. Trust their analysis as we explore new services. They helped us since incorporation’.

‘Mark Gorriceta remains a trusted advisor of our company and he remains available at all hours of the day.’

‘Cohesive team, readily accessible and responsive, experts in their fields, and efficient with time and effective in their work. Mark Gorriceta is very professional yet still easy to connect with on a personal level, making the relationship feel more than just about business’.

Key clients

UnionBank of the Philippines

UBX Philippines Corporation (a UnionBank subsidiary)

Binance Capital Management Co. Ltd

dLocal, LLP



Investree Philippines, Inc

Appsolutely Inc.

Plentina Lending, Inc.

F(Dev) Digital Innovations and Ventures, Inc.


Binance Investments Co. Ltd.

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) has a diverse banking practice that is increasingly advising on cross-border security agreements as well as advising clients in the digital banking sector. It is also skilled at handling the financing aspects of public-private partnerships and project financing matters (especially those involving infrastructure financing). Aris Gulapa and Jose Maria Angel Machuca co-head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Aris Gulapa; Jose Maria Angel Machuca

Key clients

Infracorp Development, Inc. (an affiliate of Alliance Global Group, Inc.)

Altus Capital Corporation

GoTyme Bank Corporation

MFT Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Advising the Altus group of companies on the proper implementation of a comprehensive corporate and debt restructuring.
  • Assisted a Philippine borrower on the drafting and review of a working capital loan, governed by Singaporean Law, that it intends to obtain from a third-party financier based in Hong Kong.
  • Advised GoTyme and drafted the agreements regarding its partnership with the Robinson’s Group.

Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (a member firm of the KPMG Law network)

Felix T. Sy leads the offering at Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (a member firm of the KPMG Law network) which has been notably acting for a client roster of fintech start-ups and cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The team is also well-regarded for its work in advising on foreign remittance platforms; other areas of focus include structured finance deals, derivatives and financial products.

Practice head(s):

Felix T. Sy