Foreign firms in Philippines

Allen & Overy

On of the most active international firms in the Phillipines, Allen & Overy handles complex, multi-jurisdictional matters across a number of practice areas, including capital markets, dispute resolution, corporate and TMT. Alun Evans leads the corporate practice and advises on transactions that span numerous countries in Asia; in 2019 he advised Jollibee Foods Corporation, the largest Asian food service company, on its $350m investment into Super Magnificent Coffee Company Pte. Ltd. In addition, TMT has become an increased area of activity in recent years with the firm instructed by foreign investors looking to enter the Philippine telecoms market. At counsel level, Giancarlo Sambalido does 'exceptional work' in the capital markets space, advising on bond issuances, equity offerings and placements, structured finance and securitisations. Matthew Hodgson leads on international arbitration work.

Testimonials

Thorough, easy to coordinate with and works to schedules.

Giancarlo Sambalido and his team has always done exceptional work with every engagement we have had with them.

 

Key clients

Jollibee

Aboitiz

Monde Nissin

Emperador

MPIC

Union Bank

Petron

Indorama

Work highlights

  • Advised Jollibee Foods Corporation, the largest Asian food service company, on its investment into, and establishment of, Super Magnificent Coffee Company Pte. Ltd.
  • Advised Pernod Ricard on its joint venture in the Philippines with its long-term distribution partner Premier Wines & Spirits.
  • Acted for OCP in relation to the $130m credit facilities provided to Emerald Development Holdings Ltd., an offshore entity wholly owned by Udenna Corp.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has a strong track record of advising on some of the largest transactions in the Philippine market. Particularly active in capital markets, projects and M&A, the group stands out for its work in the energy and infrastructure sector, advising many of the largest lenders to the sector on a range of financing matters. Benjamin Carale leads on many of the firm's biggest transactions from Hong Kong; he recently co-led the team which advised San Miguel corporation on its $2.15bn acquisition of a controlling stake in Holcim Philippines. From the Tokyo office, Michael J Yoshii acts for lenders looking to finance large energy projects. Mark Cooper  arrived from Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee in April 2020 to further add to the firm's expertise in the infrastructure sector.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Fleming; Diana Dizon; Mark Cooper;

Testimonials

‘We are very satisfied with LW.

Our main contact with LW is Michael Yoshii, a partner at the Tokyo Office. His main strengths are that he is able to break down and simplify complex problems and he is very thorough. He provides timely responds to our questions and requests and is able to disagree with counterparties without being disagreeable. He is very good in negotiations and has an excellent memory. With his extensive experience, he has a good working knowledge even of relevant Philippine laws. The assistance provided by Mr. Yoshii in communicating and explaining certain issues to our lenders manifested his knowledge and expertise. Mr. Yoshii is an excellent lawyer. We have also worked with Richard Fleming, an associate. Similar to Mr. Yoshii, he is very dedicated, methodical, detailed and reliable.

 

Key clients

Aboitiz Equity Ventures

AllHome Corp.

AC Energy, Inc.

BPI Capital Corporation

Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines) Inc.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

San Miguel Corporation

SMC Global Power Holdings Corp.

UBS

Warburg Pincus Asia LLC

Meralco PowerGen Corp.

San Miguel Corporation and SMC Global Power Holdings Corp.

Aboitiz Corporation

TeaM Energy Corporation

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Security Bank Corporation

United Coconut Planters Bank

Land Bank of the Philippines

Development Bank of the Philippines

Work highlights

  • Advised on the term-loan facility in connection with First Stronghold Cement Industries Inc.’s parent company San Miguel Corporation’s acquisition of Holcim Philippines Inc., a Philippines-based cement manufacturer.
  • Advised AC Energy Finance International Limited on its issuance of $300m 4.75% Notes due 2029 guaranteed by AC Energy, Inc.
  • Advising Meralco PowerGen Corp. as lead sponsor on the project financing for the development of the 1,200 MW coal-fired power project in Atimonan, Quezon in the Philippines.

Milbank

Milbank's extensive Philippines practice has a 'large pool of expertise' which spans numerous practice areas; capital markets, M&A and projects and energy are areas of particular focus, and the firm has longstanding relationships with many of the largest operators in these sectors. James Grandolfo, who leads the Hong Kong office, specialises in capital markets, M&A and private equity transactions, and is the primary point of contact for most of the firm's prestigious clients active in the country. James Murray focuses on the projects and infrastructure sector; he primarily advises lenders to the sector on financing issues. Newly-promoted partner Paul Pery is recommended for capital markets work, having advised on the largest single issuance by a Philippine bank of senior notes.

Practice head(s):

James Murray; James Grandolfo

Other key lawyers:

Paul Pery; Desiree Woo; Ari Singzon

Key clients

BPI Capital

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citi

Credit Suisse

CLSA

Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions Inc.

Deutsche Bank

GIC

HSBC

J.P. Morgan

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Philippine National Bank

UBS

Work highlights

  • Advised Udenna Corporation on the establishment of its joint venture company to create Dito Telecommunications – the winning bidder in the Philippines of the third telecoms license.
  • Advised Philippines National Bank on its issuance of US$750m senior notes – the largest single issuance by a Philippine bank of senior notes.
  • Advised Metro Pacific Investments and GIG in connection with the sale of interest in Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc., the Philippines’ largest hospital chain, to KKR.

Ashurst

Active in the Philippines for over 20 years, Ashurst acts for multinational companies and financial institutions on various ventures, most notably in the infrastructure, transport, energy and telecoms sectors. The group also has a strong track record of working with government bodies, having recently advised the Department of Transportation and Communications of the Philippines in connection with the expansion of the Manila International Airport. Project specialist Dan Brown advises on a range of energy and infrastructure developments across Southeast Asia, and is heavily involved in renewable energy matters. Waltter Kulvik, a corporate specialist, frequently works with large companies with interests in the Philippines on acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Dan Brown

Other key lawyers:

Waltter Kulvik; Alex Guy; Alfred Ng

Key clients

First Gen Corporation

The PPP Centre of the Philippines

The Department of Transportation of the Philippines

ANZ

Covanta Energy

Macquarie Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Macquarie Capital and Covanta Energy, LLC on their successful bid in consortium with Metro Pacific Investments Corporation to develop the Quezon City Waste to Energy Project in the Philippines.
  • Advised edotco in relation to its indirect acquisition of a majority equity interest in a Philippine joint venture company (the JV Company), which will be used as the vehicle for edotco and its joint venture partner to engage in auction bids to own and operate telecoms tower assets in the Philippines.
  • Acted for the MLABs in relation to a $400m reserve-based lending facility for a Singapore-incorporated subsidiary of Udenna Corporation to finance its acquisition of Chevron’s 45% stake  in the Malampaya gas field offshore Palawan, the Philippines.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's work in the Philippines spans dispute resolution, corporate, finance, and infrastructure and energy. International arbitration is an area of particular specialism; the group, in advice led by Cameron Hassall, was recently instructed to represent two agencies of the government of the Republic of the Philippines in a  $1bn dispute relating to the award of an energy concession. Beyond this, Alex Lloyd leads on the capital markets work and has expertise in both equity and debt capital markets in addition to IPOs and debt offerings. Satbir Walia advises financial institutions and technology companies on cross-border M&A transactions. Paul Landless is also recommended for his work on securitisations, structured finance and derivatives.

Practice head(s):

Alex Lloyd

Key clients

Global Infrastructure Partners

Permira Funds

Work highlights

  • Advised a company backed by the Permira Funds on its proposed acquisition of the majority of the shares of Topcast Aviation Supplies Company Limited and its affiliates.
  • Acted for the Global Infrastructure Partners-led consortium in the acquisition of Equis Energy’s renewable power assets in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan, for $3.7bn.
  • Represented two agencies of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in a  $1bn dispute relating to the award of an energy concession.

Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn's work in the Philippines focuses on projects, and the firm has advised seven of the ten biggest conglomerates in the country on projects relating to railways, renewable energy and toll roads. The firm stands out for its long-term client relationships, which often begin with projects work but then expand into corporate, finance or dispute resolution advice. Patricia Tan Openshaw leads the team from the Hong Kong office and focuses on project development, finance and M&A particularly in the context of energy and infrastructure, assisted by counsel Cristina Uy-TiocoConnell O’Neill arrived in 2020 from Allen & Overy to bolster the firm's technology and data privacy offering.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Tan Openshaw

Testimonials

My experience with the team we have worked with on our project has given us an honest perspective and an eye opener on some aspects of our project.

‘Patricia Openshaw: during our work together, time is always of the essence, completing all our pre-qual submissions and going through all the documents legal and regulatory, although we only do the work remotely with her, we were assured that she was there every step of the way.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The 'smart, capable and responsive' team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focuses its Philippines work on projects, corporate and dispute resolution. Projects and energy is the most active area, and the firm has a history of advising on some of the most significant transactions in the sector; in recent work, the team assisted Chevron on the sale of its interests in the Malampaya Gas Project (the largest gas field in the region) to Udenna Corporation. David Clinch leads the projects practice and handles transactions across Southeast Asia relating to infrastructure and renewable and traditional energy production. Tomas Furlong specialises in international arbitration, representing clients in matters relating to fraud,  joint ventures and contractual disputes.

Practice head(s):

David Clinch

Testimonials

Very smart, capable and responsive.

Simon Chapman, partner – very smart, capable and responsive. Wonderful to work with.

Key clients

AC Energy (Ayala Group)

Chevron

Aboitiz Group

First Gen/Lopez Group

First Pacific/Metro Pacific

Work highlights

  • Advised US oil major Chevron on all aspects of the high-profile sale of its interests in the Malampaya Gas Project, the largest gas field in the Philippines, to Udenna Corporation.
  • Advised First Gen Hydro Power Corporation in relation to the development, engineering, procurement and construction of the 32-megawatt Bubunawan hydroelectric power plant.
  • Advised AC Energy on its joint venture with UPC Asia Pacific for the development, construction and operation of 1GW of solar power projects across the Asia-Pacific region.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP stands out for its international arbitration practice, and advises major banks, energy companies and investors on numerous large-scale disputes in the construction, energy and infrastructure spaces. In recent work, the team handled the two highest value arbitrations in the history of the Philippines, both of which were against public bodies. Wade Coriell, who led on both matters, leads the dispute practice across Asia and is deputy head of the global arbitration group. Aloysius Llamzon, promoted to partner in 2020, has been involved in some of the firm's largest global disputes. Outside of disputes, the firm has a strong banking and finance offering, as Andrew Brereton advises on acquisition finance, structured lending, fund financing and project finance.

Practice head(s):

Wade Coriell

Testimonials

The lawyers at King & Spalding LLP are very knowledgeable in international commercial arbitration, meticulous in examining documents and deliver excellent work.

Wade Coriell – argues exceptionally and thoroughly conducts cross-examination of adverse witnesses.

Aloysius Llamzon – very easy to work with, knowledgeable in his field and promptly responds to e-mails.

Jun Bautista – detail-oriented.

Heleina Formoso – efficient in case management and likewise easy to work with.

Key clients

Shell Philippines Exploration BV

Chevron Malampaya LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised subsidiaries of Shell and Chevron in an ICC arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines regarding the allocation of petroleum revenues under a petroleum services contract with the state.
  • Advised a consortium on its bid to develop, construct and operate the LNG facility comprising a onshore terminal and a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit,
  • Advised a US private equity firm on the proposed acquisition of a shipyard.

Linklaters

Focusing on capital markets and project finance, Linklaters assists numerous investment banks, multinational corporate entities and international private equity houses with high-value, complex cross-border finance transactions. The group is noteworthy for its work with the Republic of the Philippines, having  advised on all seven of its SEC-registered bond offerings and liability management transactions since 2012. Key practitioner James McLaren manages relationships with many of the firm's key clients, including International Container Terminal Services, Inc., which instructed the firm on multiple significant transactions in 2019. Philip Badge leads the banking and finance team in Asia and advises many of the largest banks in the country as lenders on infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

James McLaren

Other key lawyers:

Philip Badge; Maggie Ng

Key clients

ADIA

ANZ Bank

Asia Development Bank

BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

China Light and Power

Citibank

Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited

DBS Bank

Generali Asia

International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

ICTSI

JBIC

JG Summit Holdings

J.P. Morgan (SEA)

KEXIM

KSURE

Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Investments Pte Ltd

Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings Philippines Pte Ltd

Monde Nissin

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

Republic of the Philippines

Sojitz

Standard Chartered Bank

SMBC

Pinsent Masons

Projects and infrastructure is the main focus for Pinsent Masons, and the group has a long history of advising on public-private partnerships, particularly with regards to airports, railways and seaports. David Platt is an expert in project finance, frequently assisting with projects involving multiple sources of debt and finance from export credit agencies and development banks. John Yeap, who co-leads the practice with Platt, has strong relationships with a number of government agencies having advised on major public-private partnerships, most notably within the energy sector. The projects team was further strengthened by the recent arrival of James Morgan-Payler from Norton Rose Fulbright .

Practice head(s):

David Platt; John Yeap

Testimonials

Outstanding client relationship and support.

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Asian Development Bank

TBEA Co.

Work highlights

  • Advised TBEA Co. on the $50m acquisition of equity from a project company which owns a 100MW solar project in the Philippines.
  • Advised a Chinese state-owned enterprise on the investment into a portfolio of battery storage facilities to be built in the Philippines.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP advises on project finance, capital markets and M&A; the group counts major conglomerates, development banks and infrastructure companies in its client list. Telecoms in another area of particular specialism; in 2019 the firm advised China Telecom Corporation on a $5.4bn joint venture to launch a new nationwide telecoms provider in the Philippines. International arbitration is also an area of activity, and the firm frequently works alongside local firms on large disputes in the construction sector. Anna Chung leads the Seoul office and advises lenders and sponsors on power, petrochemicals and infrastructure projects across Asia. Bill McCormack, who advises on various projects, is the name to note in Singapore.

Practice head(s):

Anna Chung; Sidharth Bhasin

Key clients

Ayala Corporation

Metro Pacific

Macquarie Capital

China Telecom Corporation

DITO

Work highlights

  • Advised China Telecom Corporation’s establishment of a joint venture as a new nationwide telecoms carrier in the Philippines and with the launch a commercial operation.
  • Advising DITO Telecommunity on the financing, engineering, procurement and construction and other consultancy arrangements in connection with the Philippines-wide 4G/5G-ready networks for a total project cost of around $6bn.

Stephenson Harwood LLP

Stephenson Harwood LLP's wide-ranging Philippines practice spans a number of areas, including disputes, corporate, private client and TMT. The firm is particularly active in asset finance work, and has been instructed to advise on some of the largest aircraft orders anywhere in Asia; in 2019, Saugata Mukherjee led a team that assisted Cebu Pacific with financing the $227m acquisition of four new Airbus A321neos. Corporate specialist Tom Platts has advised several international companies on their entry into the Philippines market, most notably in the agri-business, logistics, energy services and telecoms sectors. Kevin Lee oversees the wealth and corporate practice and advises high-net-worth individuals on tax and trusts related to estate management.

Practice head(s):

Tom Platts

Key clients

Cebu Pacific

Stella International Holdings

ENGIE

Audiowav Media, Inc.

Winson Oil Trading

Venturra Capital Fund I LP

iflix

BNP Paribas

ASEAN Industrial Growth Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised Cebu Pacific on a $227m financing for four new Airbus A321neos.
  • Advised Koru Partners on its Series A investment in Uploan, a Philippines-based fintech company.
  • Advised GDF Suez Energy, through Cofely Philippines, on its joint venture with Filinvest Land Inc./Cyberzone Properties Inc and related aspects of its large district cooling system at Northgate Cyberzone.

White & Case Pte. Ltd.

Having expanded its practice in Asia significantly in the last three years, White & Case Pte. Ltd. now has a strong presence in the Philippines, advising on large projects and infrastructure transactions relating to rail, energy and telecoms. Mining is an area of particular expertise; John Tivey has over two decades of experience in the sector and has advised on many of the most significant developments in the industry in the Philippines. Fergus Smith leads the dedicated Philippines country practice group and, alongside Matthew Osborne , advises on projects relating to both renewable and traditional energy sources.

Practice head(s):

Fergus Smith

Testimonials

The partner is very knowledgeable on mining projects and deals in the Philippines.

Partner John Tivey is very knowledgeable of mining projects and deals in the Philippines. He is the reason we instructed White & Case.

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Canadian Solar

Work highlights

  • Represented an international developer on the project financing of a solar project in the Philippines.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is highly active in the banking sector, assisting several major international banks as underwriters in rights offerings and bond issuances. In addition, the group also handles corporate governance work and has particular expertise in SEC filings. Based in Hong Kong, Robert Williams is experienced in both debt and equity capital market transactions, while also advising on liability management transactions and restructurings, private equity investments and equity derivatives. Associate Connie Chu focuses her practice on  foreign investment, IPOs and sovereign bond offerings.

Other key lawyers:

Robert Williams; Connie Chu

Key clients

Citigroup No

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

J.P. Morgan

UBS

Work highlights

  • Represented HSBC, as global coordinator, in a PHP12.77 bn rights offering by CEMEX Holdings Philippines Inc.
  • Represented the joint bookrunners, Citi, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank and UBS, in an SEC-registered dual-tranche offering by the Republic of the Philippines of €600 million 0.000% global bonds due 2023 and €600 million 0.700% global bonds due 2029.
  • Represented the managers in the Asian Development Bank’s first two global offerings of 2020: $2.25bn 1.625% notes due January 24, 2023, and $2bn 1.875% notes due January 24, 2030.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

From its Singapore and Greater China offices, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP handles Philippines-based work across the corporate, M&A, capital markets and projects sectors. The energy and infrastructure group is especially active, assisting with project financing and M&A across all types of projects including traditional and renewable energy production, transport and telecoms. Jonathan Stone heads both the Hong Kong office and the corporate practice across Asia and is well versed in private equity and debt and equity offerings. Singapore office lead Rajeev Duggal is a capital markets specialist and is active in the financial services, automotive, energy, telecoms and pharmaceutical industries.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Stone; Rajeev Duggal

Key clients

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (the Philippines)

Citigroup, Inc.

The AES Corporation

First Gen Corporation

CEMEX Holdings Philippines, Inc.

Masinloc Power Partners

Manila Electric

Work highlights

  • Represented CEMEX Holdings Philippines, Inc. as issuer’s counsel in connection with its $250m international rights offering.