Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

Danny E. Bunyi is a senior partner at Divina Law and heads the department. The 'customer centric' team receives a steady flow of instructions on a variety of banking and finance mandates.
The team at Sarmiento Loriega Law Firm advises on a wide range of banking transactions, as well as on various compliance issues. Maria Elizabeth Peralta-Loriega, Bryan A. San Juan and Recolito Ferdinand N. Cantre Jr collectively head the department.
Tiongco Siao Bello & Associates sports 'a good team of partners and associates with diverse backgrounds‘, headed by John Philip Siao (a ‘seasoned lawyer‘) and Greg Joseph SJ. Tiongco.

Banking and finance in Philippines

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

The team at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) continues to be busy advising local and international borrowers and lenders on various lending and financing transactions, as well as on a wide range of securities deals. The group, which is co-led by Jaime Renato B. Gatmaytan and Annalisa Carlota, also excels in advising on banking regulations and frequently supports clients on various registration requirements and other applications for approval from the Philippines’ Central Bank. In addition, the practice is skilled at advising on the financing aspects of energy and infrastructure projects further to being highly regarded for its work on green financing mandates, transactions involving the non-performing assets of banks, and matters relating to the technology sector. The firm is also a member of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, and as such is well-equipped to work on complex multi-jurisdictional matters.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Renato B. Gatmaytan; Annalisa Carlota


‘The practice responds to us with quality feedback timely and effectively.’

‘Annalisa Carlota always provides professional services for us.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a bank on a RMB2.3bn loan to the government of the Republic of the Philippines to finance the implementation of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project.
  • Advising on $20m term loan facility for a Philippine-based fintech company.
  • Advised on a $20m loan to an agribusiness company.

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad

Headed by Mark Vergara  and Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo, the team at Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad receives a steady flow of instructions from leading local and foreign banks as well as financial institutions, with a  core area of focus being on regulatory compliance. The team also excels in advising borrowers and project proponents on major deals spanning loan syndications, acquisition financing and project financing, particularly in relation to power projects. Other areas of industry expertise include consumer goods, real estate, property development, and infrastructure, while debt restructuring work constitutes another core strength of the practice. Erika Paulino is a notable member of the team and is active in advising on the financing of renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Mark Vergara; Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo

Other key lawyers:

Erika Paulino


‘MVGS has been proven to be reliable and cost effective. I have engaged them for several deals without any flaws.’

‘Attention to detail.’ 

Key clients

Citicore Energy REIT Corp.

Sta. Lucia Land, Inc.

Bank of Commerce

Asia United Bank

Union Bank of the Philippines

Century Pacific Group, Inc.

PV Sinag Power Inc., a subsidiary of Aboitiz Renewables Inc.

Steniel Manufacturing Corporation; Greenkraft Group of Companies

Farallon Capital, Orion Investors S.a.r.l, Madison Pacific Trust Limited

Communication and Renewable Energy Infrastructure (CREI) Phils. Inc.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

Under the leadership of Philbert Varona, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan has a stellar reputation for its work with various foreign and local banks and financial institutions on a wide range of matters. Assisting borrowers and issuers on a variety of key deals such as acquisition and project financing, securities issuances and listings, forms as much part of the firm's strengths as advising on corporate notes, bonds, major syndicated loans and re-financings. Another core area of focus is in aviation financing, where the practice is regularly mandated by leading aircraft lessors, financiers and local operators. In addition, the practice works closely with international law firms on significant cross-border banking deals and advises clients on investment-related projects in the renewable energy and infrastructure arenas. Among the key names to note are Jan Celine Abaño-Ranada  and Bhong Paulo Macasaet. Roshni Balani and Mark Xavier Oyales were promoted to the partnership in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Philbert Varona

Other key lawyers:

Jan Celine Abaño-Ranada; Bhong Paulo Macasaet; Roshni Balani; Mark Xavier Oyales

Key clients

AC Energy, Inc.

Arthaland Corporation

Asia United Bank Corporation

Asian Development Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Bank of America

Bank of Commerce

Bank of Singapore

Bank of the Philippine Islands

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Capital International Private Equity Fund


Credit Suisse

Del Monte Philippines, Inc.

Deutsche Bank

Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc.

GIV Capital Holdings Corp.

Hanwha Global Asset Corp.

JP Morgan Chase

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Kingfisher Mobile Limited

Light Rail Manila Corporation

Markham Resources Corporation

Merrill Lynch (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.


National Grid Corporation of the Philippines

PH Global Jet Express, Inc.

Philippine National Bank

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

Robinsons Bank Corporation

San Miguel Corporation

Security Bank Corporation

Science Park of the Philippines, Inc.

South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation


Union Bank of the Philippines

Work highlights

  • Acting for Frontier Tower Associates Philippines, Inc. (as borrower)/Pinnacle Towers Holdings Inc. (Pinnacle Towers) (as parent) in a  deal involving the sale and lease-back by Globe of over 7,000 towers.
  • Acted as counsel for the joint lead arrangers, Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc. and SB Capital Investment Corporation in a deal.
  • Acted as counsel for the lenders in the PHP 3bn financing of the Carbon Market Redevelopment Project.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

Spearheaded by Ramil Bugayong and Pearl Grace Cabali, the banking and finance practice at Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices has a solid reputation for its work on a broad spectrum of matters, spanning the securitisation of bonds as well as major M&A transactions. The firm is also well-regarded for its work on the sale and purchase of distressed assets and on an array of capital markets matters.

Practice head(s):

Ramil Bugayong; Pearl Grace Cabali

Work highlights

  • Advised Edgepoint Infrastructure SDN. BHD. on the acquisition financing of SMART telco towers.
  • Advised SAI Global in its Series C funding round (valued at $210m) for Voyager Innovations Holdings Pte. Ltd.
  • Advised Banco de Oro Universal Bank (lender), Frontier Towers Associates (buyer), and KKR (sponsor) on the PhP50B ($810m) acquisition financing of Globe’s telco Towers.

Quisumbing Torres

Maria Christina Macasaet-Acaban and Alain Charles Veloso are at the helm of Quisumbing Torres' banking and finance practice, which has a strong reputation for its work with various multinational banks, financial institutions and other corporate entities. Further key clients include multilateral agencies and financial sponsors. The group also frequently works on a myriad of complex loans and credit facilities, as well as advising on acquisition and project financing and fielding particular expertise in the fintech sector. Ramon Miguel Bacani is another key name to note.

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

  • Acting for a Hong Kong-based multinational insurance and finance corporation in connection with its Philippine subsidiary’s 100% acquisition of the shares in a health maintenance organisation in the country.
  • Assisting a Chinese bank in reviewing its amendments to financing documents and providing a legal opinion in relation to such amendments from a Philippine law perspective.
  • Assisting an Asian bank as local counsel in the Philippines in connection with the drafting of credit, security and other related documents to be used for a credit facility to be provided to a bank in the Philippines.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) advises on cross-border project financing agreements in the energy, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors, in addition to providing regulatory advice to banks and other financial institutions on financial services products to ensure compliance with government bodies. Raoul Angangco, Sylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta lead the team.

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 advising Sea Group, one of the leading internet companies in the Greater Southeast Asian region, in relation to its e-Commerce “Shopee” platform.
  • Provided a 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.

Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra

The banking and finance practice at Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra covers both regulatory and transactional work, in addition to advising on all aspects of digital banking. It has a diverse range of clients, which includes several fintech companies, amongst others. Mark Gorriceta is the firm’s managing partner and is well regarded for his work in this area. Anthony Edsel Tupaz, Kristine Torres and Micaela Galvez are among the other key members of the department.

Practice head(s):

Mark Gorriceta; Anthony Edsel Tupaz; Kristine Torres; Micaela Galvez


‘What makes the Gorriceta team special is their knowledge of the Fintech space in the Philippines and the regulatory framework required to be compliant with Philippine regulators.’

‘Blockchain and Web 3.0 related business are evolving rapidly and the key to this evolution is setting the correct regulatory framework. This is the major difference of Mark Gorrriceta and his team compared to other law firms.’

‘Mark Gorriceta and Micaela Galvez continue to guide us with our international partnerships because of the firm’s presence in other Asian countries.’

Key clients

Direct Agent 5, Inc.

Tendopay Inc.

Gruba Caganda Advincula Melo & de la Fuente

The team at Gruba Caganda Advincula Melo & de la Fuente continues to advise several banks on a number of multi-million dollar loans, mainly in relation to financing projects in the energy sector. Other key areas of work include advising on regular and syndicated loans in the banking sector, while the practice also has a strong emphasis on project financing. Lily Gruba has a wealth of experience in this space, and frequently works with both borrowers and lenders on a broad array of banking matters. Antero Jose Caganda is also skilled at handling a broad variety project financing transactions. Likewise, Angelo Patrick Advincula has a particular focus on project financing, while Jorge Alfonso Melo  is well versed in disputes.

Practice head(s):

Lily Gruba; Antero Jose Caganda; Angelo Patrick Advincula

Other key lawyers:

Jorge Alfonso Melo

Key clients

Philippine Bank of Communications

Asia United Bank

Rural Banking Association of the Philippines

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

At Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law), Aris Gulapa and Jose Maria Angel Machuca co-head the practice, which covers a diverse range of matters. Recent highlights have included advising on various cross-border security agreements as well as on syndicated loan documentation, while the team is also active in matters regarding registration requirements and compliance matters, often times for clients in the digital banking sector. The group also counts the financing aspects of PPP projects amongst its core areas of work.

Practice head(s):

Aris Gulapa; Jose Maria Angel Machuca


‘The team is very responsive and proactive at the same time. They communicate achievements and challenges in a timely manner. Very polite and professional. They are very collaborative as well, taking time to educate and inform us of the whole story.’

‘Jose Maria Angel Machuca is very professional, polite, and responsive. He communicates well and simplifies things for us. He is proactive as well in giving out alternate options.’

‘Deep research work and broad expertise of the team.’

‘Dependable and sound legal opinions.’

Key clients

Altus Capital Corporation

Vigan Banco Rural Incorporada

Infracorp Development Inc.

Asian Development Bank

Pivot International

Pivot-Hawks Manila, Inc.

Asset Growth One, Inc.

Asset Growth Two, Inc.

Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corporation

GoTyme Bank Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Altus Capital Corporation and the Altus group of companies on the property implementation of a corporate and debt restructuring.
  • Assisting Vigan Banco Rural Incorporada in its application for a grant of authority with the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas for Vigan Bank’s offer of advance electronic payment and financial services.
  • Advising the Asia Development Bank on the potential overseas development assistance from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (“JICA”) to finance the availability payments that will fund the operations and maintenance of the winning concessionaire.

Serrano Law

At Serrano Law, managing partner Elmer Serrano heads the banking and finance practice. The firm has a solid reputation for its work with various lenders and borrowers, and is particularly skilled at advising on the restructuring of credit facilities. Phil Ivan Chan is another important member of the department who is experienced in a wide range of banking and finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Elmer Serrano

Other key lawyers:

Phil Ivan Chan


‘Serrano Law is composed of versatile and proficient lawyers in the banking & finance practice. They are highly efficient and deliver promptly on their commitments and timetable. They are easy to work with, responsive to our needs and easily accessible.’

‘We’ve been working with Elmer Serrano and Phil Ivan Chan for more than a decade. More important than their legal expertise, they have a deep understanding of our business.’

‘The team is composed of proficient, able and expert lawyers.’

‘Elmer Serrano and Phil Ivan Chan have deep understanding of our business and industry. They are able to handle complex issues and often offer practical solutions to the issues.’

Key clients

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Udenna Corporation

Udenna Land/Clark Global City Corp.

Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp.

Dominion Holdings, Inc. (formerly BDO Leasing and Finance, Inc.)

BDO Finance Corporation

Bankers Association of the Philippines

Philippine Payments Management, Inc.

Megalink, Inc.

Hitachi Omron Terminal Solutions – Japan

Bravo Time Ventures Limited

MNM Capital OPC

RYM Business Management Corporation

United Overseas Bank, Phils. Branch

SM Investments Corporation

BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

Security Bank Corporation

RePay Digital Banking Solutions, Inc.

Philippine Veterans Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised BDO Capital & Investment Corporation as lead arranger and sole bookrunner, and BDO Unibank, Inc. and Security Bank Corporation as Initial Note Holders, for the Php3bn Notes Facility Agreement of Unistar as Issuer.
  • Advised BDO Unibank, Inc. for its maiden issuance of Blue Bonds pursuant to the Blue Bond Subscription Agreement with International Finance Corporation.
  • Advising a local start-up fintech company on the regulatory requirements for launching a digital wallet app.

Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza & Binay (SPCMB Law Offices)

Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza & Binay (SPCMB Law Offices) is regularly instructed by large domestic and foreign banks, as well as by borrowers. The firm is well-equipped to advise on a range of financing transactions and on various regulatory matters in addition to being adept at handling deals involving loan restructurings. Ma. Joycelyn L. GuirnaldaMaria Patricia Alvarez, and Mary Christine Charisse Catre are at the helm.

Practice head(s):

Ma. Joycelyn L. Guirnalda; Maria Patricia Alvarez; Mary Christine Charisse Catre