Projects and energy in Philippines

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

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)'s first-rate practice is sought out by energy companies, developers and banks to assist with a vast array of power and infrastructure projects, including airports, cement mills, liquefied natural gas terminals, power plants and rail systems. In a recent highlight, the team, which comprises experts in corporate, disputes and tax, advised First Gen Corporation on the development and maintenance of a new LNG facility. One of the founding partners of the firm, Jaime Renato Gatmaytan leads the corporate practice and advises on lending, security and financing for large infrastructure projects. Ben Dominic Yap, also a founding partner, leads on contentious work and has experience of both litigation and arbitration in a construction context. Annalisa Carlota is instructed on energy projects across Asia, including those financed by sovereign debt.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Renato Gatmaytan

Key clients

First Gen Corporation

AC Energy Philippines, Inc.

Leighton

Republic Cement Iligan, Inc.

Ingrid Power Holdings, Inc.

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Aboitiz group of companies

Global Business Power Corporation

Retail Electricity Suppliers Association

Work highlights

  • Advised First Gen Corporation in connection with the development, installation, ownership, operation and maintenance of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility under the Department of Energy’s Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Regulations that is valued at more than PHP10bn.
  • Assisted Republic Cement Iligan, Inc. with the structuring, drafting and negotiation of their contracts with the contractor for the construction and commissioning of a new coal mill.
  • Advised Leighton Contractors Asia Limited on the preparation of the various contracts, including the major works subcontracts, minor works subcontracts, supply agreements, plant hire agreements, consultancy agreements, and labour supply agreements.

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano

Projects is one of the key areas of practice for Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano; the team advises banks and developers on some of the region's largest infrastructure, energy and natural resources projects. Project finance is the primary focus, though the firm also assists with a variety of other issues, including bidding processes, joint ventures, drafting agreements and navigating regulatory requirements. Manuel Gonzalez leads the group and focuses on financing public-private partnership projects, having advised publicly-listed companies on winning bids for infrastructure projects. Mark Vergara, who leads the banking team, advises on project finance issues and has acted as counsel for lenders in infrastructure projects, most notably in the context of toll roads and expressways.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Gonzalez

Key clients

Asia United Bank

Union Bank of the Philippines

BDO Unibank, Inc.

Development Bank of the Philippines

Land Bank of the Philippines

Citicore Renewable Energy Corporation

Security Bank Corporation

KEB Hana Manila Branch

Shinhan Bank Manila

Work highlights

  • Represented Asia United Bank and Union Bank of the Philippines, as arrangers and lenders, in the grant of up to PHP7bn term loan facilities in favour of the Widus Group, which owns and operates the Widus Hotel and Casino, a two-tower, 233-room four-star hotel and casino complex located in Clark Freeport Zone, Clark, Pampanga, Philippines.
  • Represented Citicore Renewable Energy Corporation, an affiliate of Megawide Construction Corporation, in establishing a joint venture with Ace Endeavor, Inc for the development of solar and other renewable power plants.
  • Acted as counsel to the syndicate of lender financial institutions comprised of BDO Unibank, Inc., Development Bank of the Philippines, and Land Bank of the Philippines, and BDO Unibank, Inc in relation to the construction, operation and maintenance of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Toll Expressway

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

A go-to name for projects work, Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices assists clients at a local, international and government level with various aspects of development projects in the energy and infrastructure sector including bidding processes, financing, construction agreements and regulatory compliance. Ramil Bugayong is a banking specialist and advises infrastructure companies on unsolicited proposals related to a range of projects, particularity airports and seaports. Najha Katrina Estrella and Rowena Salonga focus on corporate issues in the energy sector, having recently worked with Asian Development Bank on the joint venture to develop the electric power distribution system in New Clark City. Monalisa Dimalatan is also noted.

Key clients

Aboitiz Power Corporation

Chelsea Logistics Corp.

Udenna Infrastructure Corp

Asian Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Udenna Infrastructure Corp. in relation to their unsolicited proposals for the expansion, augmentation, operations and maintenance of airports located in the Visayas region.
  • Advised Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. on the unsolicited proposal for the development, operation and management of Davao International airport.
  • Advised Aboitiz Power Corporation on the $579m acquisition of 49% voting interest and 60% economic interest in AA Thermal, the thermal company of AC Energy, Inc.

Quisumbing Torres

Quisumbing Torres' energy, mining & infrastructure industry group is one of its most active, advising private sector actors such as banks and construction companies as well as public stakeholders on a diverse range of significant projects. Renewable energy is an area of particular focus and the firm has experience of advising on the development of solar, biomass and hydropower stations; in a recent highlight, the firm advised KPMG AZSA LLC on the construction of a waste-to-energy plant in Davao City. Dennis Quintero, who leads the team, is heavily involved in the mining sector and is instructed by overseas clients to advise on all aspects of exploration projects. Ina Alexandra Dominguez is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Dennis Quintero

Key clients

Felix Petroleum Pte. Ltd

Repsol Exploracion SA

Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd.

KPMG AZSA LLC

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd.

Cleantech Solar

APG Asset Management

China Communications Services Intl. Ltd.

Graymont Limited

China Copper Co. Ltd.

Metex Mineral Resources Corp.

POSCO Engineering & Construction

Work highlights

  • Assisted Felix Petroleum Pte. Ltd in respect of negotiation and enforcement of its joint venture agreement with a Philippine company for investments in the downstream petroleum industry.
  • Advised Repsol Exploracion SA in its participation in the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 5 for a nominated oil and gas block in Northeast Palawan.
  • Advised KPMG AZSA LLC in relation to various structuring, due diligence, procurement and implementation issues on the construction of Waste-to Energy Facilities in Davao City.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan provides a first-rate service in infrastructure and energy. On the infrastructure side, the team has been involved in the development of mass railway networks, toll roads and waterworks, while the energy expertise spans all types of renewable energy, including wind, solar and hydropower. In a recent highlight, the team advised a consortium of developers on the construction and maintenance of Clark International Airport. Rocky Alejandro Reyes leads the special projects department and has vast experience advising on infrastructure projects across China and southeast Asia. Rose Marie King-Dominguez's TMT expertise allows her to advise on the financing and construction of telecoms towers.

Practice head(s):

Rocky Alejandro Reyes

Key clients

Metro Pacific Group

San Miguel Corporation PLDT, Inc.

Aboitiz Power Corp.

Dentsu Aegis Network

Manila Electric Company

Bell Canada United Laboratories, Inc.

Marriott

Mitsui Fudosan Mitsubishi Corporation

MasterCard

Mitsui & Co.

Hyatt International

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of companies on the operation and maintenance of the Clark International Airport.
  • Advised San Miguel Corporation on an unsolicited proposal for the financing, design, construction, and operation and maintenance of the New Manila International Airport including an airport toll road in Bulacan, Philippines.
  • Assisted a client with a joint venture for the operation of a telecoms tower company business.

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw)

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw) advises on various issues relating to power projects, including the creation of joint ventures, power purchase agreements, operating and management agreements, financing agreements, and construction contracts. Aison Velasco is heavily involved in energy matters; he maintains a close relationship with Manila Electric Company, which is the largest energy distribution company in the city. In 2019, Velasco advised the Company as part of a consortium on a joint venture to finance and construct an electric power distribution system in New Clark City. Melissa Velarde advises government agencies and private entities on bidding processes, particularly with regards to renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Judy Hao

Other key lawyers:

Aison Velasco; Melissa Velarde

Key clients

ISGEC Heavy Engineering Ltd. (ISGEC)

Manila Electric Company

Gemalto Pte Ltd.

Philcox (Phils.), Inc.

SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

PT Waskita Karya (Persoro) Tbk

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel for ISGEC in relation to the acquisition of certain entities connected with the Lobo-Lobo Bio Refinery Project.
  • Acted as counsel for the consortium of Manila Electric Company, Marubeni Corporation, Kansai Electric Power Company and Chubu Electric Power Company in connection with their proposed joint venture with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the financing and development of the electric power distribution system in New Clark City.
  • Assisted Gemalto Pte Ltd. in connection with its submission of a bid for the supply, delivery, and managed services of registration kits for the Phase One of the Philippine Identification System Project of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

The 'professional, dedicated' and 'highly competent' team at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia advises on all matters relating to large infrastructure, energy and mining initiatives, including investment structuring, tax, nationality restrictions, government procurement and property development. Renewable energy has become an area of focus in recent years; the firm has advised on a number of hydropower and solar projects. Manuel Manaligod Jr assists with build-operate-and-transfer schemes and has a broad experience advising both sides in establishing contracts between the private sector and the government. Regulatory compliance is Patricia Bunye's field of expertise and she works with developers looking to obtain government approvals and licences for mining activities. Mining specialist Pancho Umali advises on issues related to the environment and indigenous peoples.

Testimonials

I am very satisfied with the performance of Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia. Their management of the matters and issues that I have referred give me confidence that these legal concerns are sufficiently and expertly handled.

I work directly with Mr. Pancho G. Umali who is very easy to approach with legal matters and who gives prompt and thorough responses on a wide array of queries. Mr. Umali oversees the actions of my corporation.

Uniquely important as company decisions are based on their legal advice. Balanced legal opinion is desirable, that covers all risks and identify opportunities.’

Professional, dedicated, provide highly competent legal advice, responsive to client.

 

Key clients

Sagittarius Mines, Inc.

RTG Mining Inc.

Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation

Green Energy Management & Holdings, Inc.

Filminera Resources Corporation

Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines

Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

HC Resources Corporation

AGP International Holdings Ltd.

Cemex Strategic Philippines, Inc.

Tewet Philippines, Inc.

Asian Development Bank

Redco Properties Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Provided comprehensive legal service to Sagittarius Mines, Inc., one of only five holders of financial and technical assistance agreements in the Philippines.
  • Advised Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation on issues ranging from assistance in permitting and documentation, corporate restructuring, preparation of legal opinions, land acquisition, preparation of contracts, and similar services.
  • Advised Redco Properties Group Limited regarding its participation in the consortium that will undertake the construction, normal operation and maintenance of the Makati Subway System as well as the corresponding transit oriented development.

Fortun Narvasa & Salazar

Fortun Narvasa & Salazar stands out for its mining work; the firm advises on all aspects of mining from exploration and financing through to construction and maintenance. The group also has expertise in broader issues affecting the mining industry, such as compliance with government regulations, litigation, environment and indigenous peoples’ issues. Furthermore, the firm has a strong renewable energy offering, and in 2019 was instructed by Greenglobal Resources Development Corporation on a solar project in the island of Bohol. Practice head Roderick Salazar III advises Chinese investment companies on all aspects of mining projects, in addition to working alongside tax specialist Kristine R Ferrer to secure refunds in the court of tax appeals on behalf of mining and development companies.

Practice head(s):

Roderick Salazar III

Other key lawyers:

Sheila Sison; Kristine R Ferrer

Key clients

FCF Minerals Corporation

Intex Resources Philippines, Inc.

Aglubang Mining Corporation

Phil. Gold Processing and Resources Corp.

SEMCO Exploration and Mining Corporation

Rugby Mining Limited

Juwi Renewable Energy Projects Pte Ltd.

King & Wood Mallesons

Grand China Law Office

Work highlights

  • Represented Phil. Gold Processing and Refining Corp. in its claims before the Court of Tax Appeals and the Philippine Supreme Court for tax refunds for PHP106m.
  • Assisted Greenglobal Resources Development Corporation in the conduct of due diligence on a solar project in the island of Bohol to be known as PRIMA Solar, a 50 MWp photovoltaic facility.
  • Conducted due diligence on the Tampakan Project for King & Wood Mallesons of Beijing, China on behalf of a Chinese State Owned mining company.

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

The team at Gulapa & Quicho (Gulapa Law) advise domestic and overseas financial institutions and development companies on all aspects of large-scale energy and infrastructure projects. Public-private partnership is an area of expertise, and the team advises private bidders looking to secure projects for the development of toll roads, airports and railways. Aris Gulapa 'never fails to deliver' as a key practitioner across all non-contentious areas of practice; he has extensive experience advising on projects across Asia and the US, and frequently assists multinational conglomerates with unsolicited proposals. Charmaine Rose Haw-Lim is the primary contact for energy work in addition to working alongside Gulapa on the firm's biggest infrastructure projects.

Other key lawyers:

Jose Angel Machuca

Key clients

Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission

Asian Development Bank

SM Prime Holdings Inc.

Infracorp Development, Inc.

Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.

International Finance Corporation

Manila Water Company, Inc.

Foremost Cagayan Development and Leisure Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisted a consortium in preparing an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Transportation for the construction of the Philippines’ largest airport.
  • Advised the Asian Development Bank and assisting the Department of Transportation in the structuring and drafting of the bidding documentation of the North-South Commuter Railway Project.  
  • Assisting SM Prime Holdings Inc. in the bidding to contract out the development of its ambitious PHP100bn reclamation project dubbed Future City in the City of Pasay.

Mosveldtt Law

Mosveldtt Law acts for investors, utility companies, power producers, insurers and lenders on a variety of power and infrastructure projects. The group advises on the establishment of joint ventures, financing, securities and maintenance. Jerry Coloma and Rodolfo Tuazon Jr are the key contacts.

Puno & Puno Law Offices

Puno & Puno Law Offices advises on a range of infrastructure projects, most notably toll roads and waterworks. The team also has a strong mining practice and provides assistance with regulatory compliance, environmental issues and the concerns of indigenous peoples. Roderico v. Puno, Jose Layug, Jr and Julito Sarmiento are the key names.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles acts for both domestic and overseas clients engaged in projects relating to telecoms, mining and energy. Multi-jurisdictional projects are a particular specialism, and the firm recently advised Facebook on the Philippine component of the submarine fibre optic cable which links the US and Hong Kong. Senior partner Perry Pe handles project finance and advises lenders such as commercial banks, multilateral and bilateral lending institutions and export credit agencies. Cristina Collantes-Garcia is also a finance specialist and assists with the structuring, financing and licensing issues associated with cross-border ventures. At associate level, Mark Tiaoqui has a broad practice that includes advising on the tax elements of large projects.

Other key lawyers:

Mark Tiaoqui

Key clients

Shell Energy Asia

Consortium of Jera Co., Inc., Chevron Philippines Inc., and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha

Work highlights

  • Advised Telstra on its joint venture with local telecoms players with respect to the ownership, operation, and maintenance of landing stations in the Philippines of its submarine telecoms cable system interconnecting several countries in Asia, the Pacific, and the United States.
  • Advised Facebook with respect to the Philippine component of the submarine fibre optic cable spanning 12,900 kilometres and linking Los Angeles, USA and Hong Kong.
  • Advised Shell Energy Asia on its acquisition of 100% of the outstanding capital stock  of Manta Energy, Inc.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Led by Raoul AngangcoSylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta, Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)'s projects department focuses on energy matters, particularly those involving renewable energy. The firm advises on all aspects of project development and maintenance, including structuring investments, bidding processes and the negotiation of concession agreements. Telecoms is another area of activity; the firm was recently instructed by ISOC Asia Telecom Towers, Inc to assist with a joint venture to construct a telecoms tower, the first approved by the Philippine government in line with new regulations. Maria Concepcion Simundac is a key contact, and advises on the drafting of various contracts such as power supply agreements and service agreements.

Key clients

China Telecommunications Corporation Consortium

Panhua Group Ltd.

ISOC Asia Telecom Towers, Inc.

ISOC Holdings, Inc

Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd.

Taihu Holding Pte Ltd.

BayWa R.E. Solar Pte Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised China Telecommunications Corporation Consortium on the structuring and financing of the joint venture.
  • Advised Panhua Group Ltd. in connection with site identification through legal due diligence of parcels of land or land holding companies, title verification and trace back.
  • Assisted ISOC Asia Telecom Towers, Inc. with the preparation and completion of its joint venture with Malaysian integrated telecoms infrastructure services company edotco Group Sdn. Bhd.

Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (IPLA), Member Firm of ZICO Law Network

Established in 2017, Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (IPLA), Member Firm of ZICO Law Network has quickly developed a strong offering in project finance; the firm is frequently instructed by foreign companies to advise on the regulatory and structuring requirements of ventures in the renewable energy space. Felix Sy, having founded the practice, draws on his expertise in banking to advise on construction and to assist development groups with privatisation, build-operate-transfer and public-private partnerships and its variant arrangements. Mary Aubbrey Leigh Lim and Reeneth Santos  are the key contacts at associate level and assist with government procurement, public-private partnerships and various commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Felix Sy

Work highlights

  • Advised a Netherlands-based fund on the term sheet, equity investments, regulatory requirements, structuring of the discrete project holding companies, and the documentation of the various equity investments on a portfolio of at least 10 renewable energy projects.
  • Advised a consortium on an unsolicited proposal to a national government agency involving a project which aims to fully automate the functions of the government agency as well as to provide services to various third-party stakeholders.
  • Advised the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer on the structuring of investments in solar energy project companies, including foreign equity restrictions in solar energy projects, licensing requirements and capital structuring.

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos has a strong reputation for advising both traditional and renewable energy companies on a range of issues. The group is also active in the mining sector, assisting with exploration projects at a national and international level.

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño is particularly active in mining work, advising domestic and international companies on establishing joint ventures, financing and environmental issues, in addition to representing clients before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Rachelle Aileen Santos, Mia Carissa Martin and senior associate Maria Karissa Tanhueco are the key contacts.

Other key lawyers:

Maria Karissa Tanhueco

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso is active in the energy sector, advising power distribution companies, power generation companies, oil companies and provincial electrical cooperatives on the structuring and establishment of joint ventures. A presence in the market for many years, the firm was active in the privatisation  of the power generation and supply sector. Key names include Miguel Mathay and Manuel Torres.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Mathay; Manuel Torres