Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza & Binay (SPCMB Law Offices)'s litigation practice is headed up by Jocelyn Guirnalda, acting for a number of notable local businesses as well as private clients including company directors and political figures.

Dispute resolution in Philippines

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw)

The sizable and experienced team of Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw) has been providing expert advice on litigation and dispute resolution for almost five decades. The firm covers a wide range of commercial, competition, criminal, family, and environmental issues and often represents its clients before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Leland R. Villadolid, Jr. specialises in dispute resolution in the telecommunication and technology sectors and co-heads the team with Jose Martin R Tensuan , who handles infrastructure sector disputes before the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission. Patricia-Ann T. Prodigalidad has extensive expertise in commercial litigation and arbitration. Oliver L. Pantaleon and Arnold M Corporal are also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Victor P. Lazatin; Patricia-Ann T. Prodigalidad ; Oliver L. Pantaleon ; Arnold M. Corporal ; Christopher Louie D.Ocampo; Joseph Anthony I. Malaya

Testimonials

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Key clients

Manila Electric Company

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

Chevron Philippines, Inc.

Petron Corporation

The Philippine Star

Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company

PLDT, Inc.

Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc.

TV5 Network Inc.

Smart Communications, Inc.

Iglesia Ni Cristo

CoStar Group, Inc.

SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Manila Electric Company on a Supreme Court petition challenging the legality of Bill Deposits valued at Php26.095 billion.
  • Advised Chevron Philippines, Inc. on its contractual dispute involved issues on breach of contracts, expiration of term and force majeure due to the COVID-19 pandemic with its Branded Marketer and Retailer covering sixty (60) Caltex retail stations nationwide.
  • Advised Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company on the appeal before the Supreme Court by Panacan Lumber Company in relation to its complaint against Solidbank (acquired by Metrobank).

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

The substantial litigation and dispute resolution department of Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia provides advice to an impressive range of domestic and foreign clients. Key work covers commercial, tax and banking litigation, alternative dispute resolution, appellate cases, administrative and regulatory litigation, and insolvency and rehabilitation proceedings. John Jerico L. Balisnomo heads the team and has experience in representing clients before every level of the judiciary and administrative venues. Simeon V. Marcelo handles high-profile tax, fraud, and hostile takeover cases. Miguel U. Silos handles a wide range of litigation and arbitration cases, while Rodel A. Cruz focuses on public policy-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

John Jerico L. Balisnomo

Testimonials

‘Miguel U. Silos and his team are very impressive.’

‘Miguel U. Silos is my go-to lawyer if I am looking for Philippine lawyers. I am very satisfied with his hard-working attitude.’

‘The CM&T team is very authentic on top of their very hardworking, legally proficient, and direct attitude.’

‘The team is very quick to respond to the client’s concerns and billing is never a problem as they are very efficient in their work.’

‘The unique approach of CMT encouraged me to be more insightful rather than being ’emotional’ which I think puts them above the competition.’

‘Billing wise, I am pleased with the accurateness and even the considerations they have extended to me. Very commendable, and very professional.’

‘Very professional and competent. Very sincere. I felt their support every step of the way.’

Key clients

Ayala Corporation

Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association

Secur Links Network and Technologies, Inc.

Unicapital Inc.

Alpha Plus Property Holdings Corporation

Dole Food Company, Inc.

Max’s Group, Inc.

Yujuico Group of Companies

Union Bank of the Philippines

Redco Properties Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Alpha Plus Property Holdings Corporation on its concerns and issues involving their real estate transactions.
  • Advised Secur Links on a successful arbitration proceeding against the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Republic of the Philippines for the latter’s continued failure and refusal to pay the total contract price.
  • Advised Unicapital, Inc. on a case against a Philippine corporation involved in medical services, and its then-President and Chief Executive Officer, involving the non-payment of a loan which was incurred through the latter’s false representations.

Quisumbing Torres

The dispute resolution team at Quisumbing Torres provides strategic and practical counsel in all aspects of dispute resolution, from negotiation and mediation to arbitration and general/specialised litigation. The team also assists with contract management, compliance, and internal investigations. Eliseo Zuñiga, Jr.  heads the practice and specialises in employment disputes, including unfair dismissal, redundancies, and employment contracts. Managing partner Ramon Quisumbing focuses on litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and international arbitration. Donemark Calimon has extensive expertise in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, while Miguel Galvez specialises in technology and healthcare.

Practice head(s):

Eliseo Zuñiga, Jr.

Testimonials

‘The partners are proactive and take a practical approach while outlining the legal requirements. The Litigation team is nimble enough to urgently jump on a new matter and allocate sufficient resources.’

Quisumbing Torres (Member firm of Baker McKenzie) has a level of professionalism which is vastly superior to the other law firms we have engaged with in The Philippines. Their integrity is consistently maintained compared to other firms. Their billing is commensurate to the quality of legal services provided and we appreciate the highly detailed and transparent breakdown of hours billed. Compared to our other retained law firms in The Philippines, Quisumbing Torres is much more adept in leveraging technology.

‘Atty. Eliseo M. Zuniga Jr. (Jon)  demonstrates highly commendable leadership qualities in the dispute resolution team. He is thorough and motivates his team members by ensuring that they are given the space and platform to voice their opinions. Highly skilled in his ability to examine witnesses during legal hearings. Jon is also well balanced in that his high level of diligence in his legal work is complemented by his social emotional quotient with a good sense of humour.’

‘Atty. Dranyl Jared P. Amoroso – Senior Associate: Jared is highly competent and experienced in the areas of arbitration in the dispute resolution team. He is also thorough and thoughtful when answering questions from the client. Jared is also highly skilled in his ability to examine witnesses during legal hearings. Socially adept at managing clients with a good sense of humour.’

‘Atty. Jason Rudolph C. Arteche – Associate: Extremely competent with astounding organizational abilities, Jason is a pleasure to work with and fits in very well supporting the dispute resolution team. His attention to detail confers tremendous value to the team. Given the chance to accumulate more experience with the law firm, Jason will become a top-notch attorney in short order.’

‘Atty. Danielle Joanna Gaite: Danielle was a recent addition to the dispute resolution team representing our case. She is highly competent in research and a valuable addition to the team. Atty. Kristine Anne V. Mercado-Tamayo – Partner: Kristine is highly competent in her area of expertise in Philippines tax law. She is very detailed and thorough in delivering the desired outcomes for her client needs. Her ability to negotiate with tax authorities have been proven to be extremely valuable to us as clients.’

‘Atty. Dennis A. Quintero – Partner: Dennis was our original main point of contact who arranged for us to engage with the law firm’s dispute resolution and tax teams. Furthermore, his network of contacts in the Big Four audit firms provided us with valuable referrals who assisted us in our legal requirements. Dennis is highly competent and very responsive to our queries.’

 

Key clients

Alphabet (Google Inc)

APG Asset Management

GPay Network PH Inc.

Manulife Philippines

Plipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft

Repsol SA

SBA Communications Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assist a Singapore-based oil trading company in its dispute with its former Philippine-based joint venture partner.
  • Represent a business process management service provider at the appellate level in connection with several illegal dismissal complaints filed by former employees before the National Labor Relations Commission.
  • Advise aircraft lessors constituting the biggest group of creditors representing billions of dollars’ worth of claims and contracts in a restructuring matter involving a major Philippine airline.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

The litigation team of SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan works in unison with its renowned commercial law practice and offers advice on a wide range of contentious commercial matters. It represents foreign and local clients from a diverse set of industries, including mining, power, telecommunications, infrastructure, banking, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing. Ricardo Ma. Palma Gil Ongkiko heads the team and specialises in international and domestic arbitration dealing with commercial and construction disputes. Carlos Roberto Lopez has extensive experience in trials and pleadings before the Philippine Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

Key clients

First Pacific Company Ltd.

Citibank

PLDT, Inc.

Philex Mining Corporation

Manila Electric Company

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Philippine Stock Exchange

OceanaGold

Dow Chemical

Maynilad Water Services, Inc.

Chamber of Mines of the Philippines

Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation

Manila North Tollways Corporation

North Luzon Expressway Corporation

Pacific Ores Metals & Chemicals

Philippine Gold Processing & Refining

Keppel Group of Singapore

Cal Energy / CE Casecnan Water and Energy Co., Inc.

Ormat Power

San Roque Power

Del Monte

BMW AG

Ford Motor Company

Volkswagen AG

United Coconut Planters Bank

Bank of America

Export-Import Bank of the United States

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Filminera Resources

Philip Morris

Hawker Pacific

NSC Holdings

Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Marubeni Corporation

Tokyu Construction

Toyo Construction

Hilton International

Delta Airlines

Qatar Airways

Grolier International

Wyeth

Colgate-Palmolive

Makati Medical Center

Asian Hospital and Medical Center

Adelaide and Meath Hospital

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

AkzoNobel PNG Limited

GIC

Kia Motors

Grab Holdings, Inc. (MYTAXI.PH)

Chevron

Philippine Geothermal Production Co., Inc.

Delta Design Philippines LLC (Cohu)

ACG Automotive Philippines, Inc.

NTT Docomo, Inc.

JLL Mortgage Services Pty. Ltd.

Astronergy Solar Philippines, Inc.

Integrated Marketing Services, Inc.

Johanna Subic Seafoods Corporation

Johanna Seafoods Limited

Nokia Shanghai Bell Co., Ltd.

Globe Telecom, Inc.

KEB Hana Bank

Mabuhay Interflour Mill, Inc.

Huang Hsiang Development Corporation

Prinpia Co., Ltd

Vibal Group

Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation

ICCP Land Management Inc.

Wirecard AG

d&b audiotechnik GmbH

Aspen Philippines, Inc.

BAM International sarl

Firstsource Solutions Limited

Fordays Japan International Inc.

hibu (UK) Limited

Telus International Phils., Inc.

UPS Asia Group Pte Ltd.

Western Mindanao Power Corporation

Western Shipping Pte. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented officers of Hawker Pacific Asia PTE LTD in a case for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Office of the Ombudsman’s dismissal of the charges was recently upheld by the Philippine Supreme Court.
  • Represented Barrick Gold Corporation and Placer Dome, Inc. in their defence against a petition for a Writ of Kalikasan filed by individuals supported by their Provincial Government.
  • Represented OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc. in suits against local government units to enable the contractor to continue operating a major gold and copper mine pending the renewal of the first Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement with the Philippine Government under the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) has an exceptional track record in litigation and dispute resolution, dating back to more than four decades, and is one of the premier firms in the Philippines. It assists clients from various business sectors, including insurance, telecommunications, real estate, energy, infrastructure, and has a particularly strong presence in the banking sector. Joseph Anthony Lopez heads the team and is experienced in civil and corporate litigation. Augusto San Pedro specializes in commercial disputes relating to joint ventures and banking, while Thea Daep focuses on anti-money laundering and fraud investigations. Alejandro Alfonso Navarro and Raquel Wealth Taguian are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Anthony Lopez

Testimonials

‘Determined and well informed. ’

‘The leading insurance practice in the Philippines, with Augusto San Pedro being the go-to lawyer in the field.’

‘Augusto San Pedro is switched on, practical, very clear and provides realistic input.’

‘Thea Daep is excellent in litigation with a good grasp of civil and criminal and court processes.’

Key clients

Consortium of Philippine Banks (Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, BDO Unibank, Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands)

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

Globe Telecommunications, Inc.

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Manila Water Company, Inc.

Makati Development Corporation

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc.

China Telecommunications Corporation

The Directors of Professional Services, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Shareholders and Directors of Professional Services Inc., one of the largest hospital groups in the country in an intracorporate dispute.
  • Represented four officers of RCBC against charges of money laundering involving a cyberheist of USD101 Million taken from Bangladesh Bank.
  • Assisted a consortium of banks with the implementation of a previously approved rehabilitation plan involving the largest financial default in Philippine history worth approximately USD1.5 Billion.

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

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) has a strong and extensive litigation practice that handles complex and high-value commercial disputes in the Philippines. The team covers a diverse range of subjects, such as contractual disputes, torts, intra-corporate controversies, environmental law, governmental impositions, corporate rehabilitation, and banking and securities law. Ben Dominic R. Yap specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration and co-heads the team with Jesus Paolo U. Protacio , who is experienced in representing clients before Philippine courts of all levels. Tax expert Anthony Mark A. Gutierrez is another key contact.

Testimonials

‘Atty. Jesus Paolo Protacio is an outstanding lawyer who thinks outside of the box. He delivers quality, reliable legal advice that is timely and useful for clients.’

‘Mr. Lazaro and his team are very professional and responsible.’

‘The team is focused and able to coordinate efficiently and effectively.’

‘Ben Yap takes a detailed approach to solving the legal challenges presented. He is able to hone into the main issues quickly, read between the lines and come up with clear plans of defence and attack as necessary.’

 

Key clients

Aboitiz Group of Companies

Standard Chartered Bank

Metro Rail Transit Corporation

TeaM Energy Corporation

STEAG State Power, Inc.

TeaM Sual Corporation

SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

Robinsons Land Corporation

Ayala Group of Companies

First Gen Group of Companies (including FirstNatGas Power Corp.)

East Asia Utilities Corp.

Work highlights

  • Represented Standard Chartered Bank in pursuing its PHP 1.12 Billion claim against Philippine Guarantee Corporation (a government owned and controlled corporation, formerly known as Trade and Investment Development Corporation and Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency).
  • Represented Metro Rail Transit Corporation in proceedings before various courts (including the Philippine Supreme Court) against the local governments of Makati City, Pasay City, Mandaluyong City and Quezon City.
  • Advised a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the key firms on the Philippine power industry with respect to real property taxes assessed against its powerplant’s pollution control equipment, including the first coal dome built in the country.

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano has a strong alternative dispute resolution team with members who are accredited arbitrators and mediators. The team is well complemented by its extensive practice in commercial, debt restructuring, civil, criminal, and tax litigation. Eduardo Martinez heads the team and specialises in family law and succession law. Reynaldo Dizon handles arbitration disputes between corporations and employees involving dismissal cases and monetary claims. Shirley Alinea has extensive experience in debt restructuring, including rehabilitation and liquidation.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Martinez

Testimonials

‘They have a personal touch to every engagement. Everyone is easily accessible, from the partners down to the associates.’

‘Great people to work with, very knowledgeable and efficient.’

 

Key clients

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Cohaco Merchandising & Dev. Corporation

Lucerne

Sungears Sales, Inc.

Teleperformance Global Services Philippines, Inc.

CF Sharp Crew Management, Inc.

Crown Equities, Inc.

Malayan Insurance Co., Inc.

Pan-Malayan Group

Grepalife

Hans Brumann, Inc.

Sixtrees Viz Comms Pte. Ltd

Arendelle Cold Logistics, Inc.

Eisberg Cold Logistics, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Port Users’ Confederation of the Philippines in the proceedings before the Shippers’ Protection Office questioning the charges imposed by international shipping lines.

Tolosa Javier Law

The dispute resolution team of Tolosa Javier Law focuses on commercial, civil, criminal, and administrative litigation and has vast experience in arbitration. It works with domestic and foreign clients from a diverse set of industries such as banking, energy, telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, and retail. Benjamin Tolosa heads the team and has in-depth experience in handling civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings before trial and appellate courts. Filemon Ray Javier handles high-profile criminal disputes and assists multinational manufacturing companies with litigation matters.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Tolosa

Testimonials

‘Atty. Javier is very approachable and easy to work with. He understands the client’s position and extends a very helpful hand in all matters.’

Key clients

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Work highlights

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Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula

Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula has extensive experience in all facets of litigation, with a strong focus on tax disputes. It offers advice on every step of the litigation process, including preparation of pleadings, representation, negotiation, trial, appeals, and enforcement of judgments. The team also has experience in arbitration, where it represents clients before the International Arbitration Centers in Singapore and Hong Kong. Antero Jose Caganda is experienced in representing clients before the Supreme Court and the Central Board of Assessment Appeals. Juan Miguel Victor Dela Fuente specialises in contentious and non-contentious taxation matters. Angelo Patrick Advincula and Jorge Alfonso Melo  are also recommended.

Key clients

Philippine Airlines, Inc.

G & W Architects, Engineers and Project Consultants, Co.

Island Quarry and Aggregates Corporation

Asia United Leasing and Finance Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Philippine Airlines, Inc. in the Supreme Court of the Philippines for excise taxes on importations of aviation fuel used by the client for its domestic airline operations.
  • Represented G & W Architects, Engineers, and Project Consultants Co. in the Court of Tax Appeals Division, En Banc, and with the Supreme Court of the Philippines against the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s assessment amounting to USD 14 Million.
  • Represented the Island Quarry and Aggregates Corporation in the Court of Tax Appeals En Banc on the deficiency of Income Tax, Value Added Tax, and Withholding Tax amounting to USD 933,898.75.

Disini & Disini Law Office

The dispute resolution team of Disini & Disini Law Office focuses on disputes in the technology space and has a strong presence in the cybercrime sector, where it works closely with law enforcement to secure cybercrime warrants. Managing partner JJ Disini focuses on cybercrime cases, including hacking, cyber-libel, computer-related fraud and forgery, and illegal access. Juor Buted specialises in commercial litigation involving real estate, contract breach and enforcement, succession, labour, and intra-corporate disputes.

Practice head(s):

JJ Disini; Juor Buted; Jonathan Ong

Testimonials

‘All departments are very professional and all details are well handled.’

Key clients

Philippine Amateur Radio Association, Inc.

Vibal Group

Kumu

Questronix

Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra

Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra’s dispute resolution team handles contentious matters for corporations from a wide range of sectors, including real estate, tourism, water, energy, and banking, in addition to handling cases of family disputes. Francis Africa is an expert in the data privacy and cybersecurity and co-heads the practice with Ramon Andre Cedro , who focuses on civil, criminal, and commercial litigation.

Key clients

ALT Cladding

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

Clients from both public and private sectors frequently call upon Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) for assistance on a wide range of contentious matters, including commercial arbitration, appellate practice, and litigation – commercial, civil, and criminal. Oscar Cajucom heads the team and handles disputes in the infrastructure and construction sectors. Senior associate Christine Joy A. Abu-Bangcola handles cyber libel cases and family law matters.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Cajucom

Testimonials

‘The firm is well-attuned and responsive to our company’s needs and it has always been able to provide useful strategies and solutions that are tailored to our objectives and requirements.’

‘Atty. Carlo Cajucom has excellent grasp of the arbitration rules and process.’

‘The firm is very attentive, thorough and sensitive to needs of the client and strengthened by its knowledge and capability. Its people take care of clients every step of the way.’

Key clients

JBROS Construction Corporation

Philippine South East Asean Games Organizational Committee Foundation, Inc.

Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corporation

Edna Cureg and Henry Cureg

Paolo Alcantara

Joey Aquino

Nelson Napata

Minimax Advertising and Production Corp.

Stewart Ong

A.C. Ong Consulting, Inc.

Aboitiz Land, Inc.

Island Air Products Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisted PHISGOC with the filing two Cyberlibel cases against the editorial and publishing team of two of the largest newspapers in the Philippines (The Daily Tribune and The Manila Times).
  • Assisted Philphos with filing its US$236,000,000.00 rehabilitation plan under the new Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act of the Philippines.
  • Represented JBROS in a writ of preliminary injunction before the trial court of Manila for the unlawful blacklisting of the corporation by the Department of Health and in filing an arbitration case before the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission for breach of contract against DOH.