Projects and energy in Philippines

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

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)‘s projects, infrastructure and energy practice is one of its most active, advising a diverse number of both public and private companies. The team, lead by Ben Dominic R. Yap and Jaime Renato B. Gatmaytan has handled a variety of infrastructure projects ranging from liquified natural gas terminals to seaports and toll roads. Especially highly regarded in the energy sector, the firm has acted as counsel for many of the largest power generation companies operating in the Philippines such as the Aboitiz group of companies and the Lopez group of companies. The firm is representing the Aboitiz group of companies, amongst others, in proceedings before the Supreme Court regarding the validity of certain laws and regulations relating to electricity spot charges in which Ben Dominic R. Yap is one of lead partners on the matter. Annalisa J. Carlota specialises in energy, having started her legal career assisting and advising foreign and local companies in the implementation of independent power projects in the Philippines.

Other key lawyers:

Annalisa J. Carlota

Key clients

FGEN LNG Corporation

SN Aboitiz Power – Benguet

AC Energy Philippines

First Gen Ecopower Solutions

First NatGas Power Corporation

Retail Electricity Suppliers Association

SN Aboitiz Power-Magat

AP Renewables

East Asia Utilities Corporation

TeaM Energy Corporation

STEAG State Power

TeaM Sual Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised FGEN LNG Corporation, a leading Philippine power generation group on an over $1bn LNG infrastructure development project with onshore and offshore components.
  • Advised SN Aboitiz Power – Benguet, Inc. on the issuance of fixed-rate corporate notes worth PHP$18bn and prepaid in full the project loans for its 105MW and 140MW hydroelectric power plants in Benguet, Philippines.

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano advises private project proponents and financiers on infrastructure, energy and natural resources projects. The firm also acts for sponsors and bidders, providing advice on the relevant bidding processes, coordinating with regulatory authorities, structuring and preparing all necessary legal and financial documents for projects. The firm is currently advising MAP 2000 Development Corporation on its subscription to at least 67% interest in Basic Energy Corporation, a publicly listed company that develops power and renewable energy projects. Practice head Manuel Gonzalez is an expert in the field of public infrastructure projects and has previously advised publicly-listed Megawide Construction Corporation on its winning bid for five PPP projects.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Gonzalez

Other key lawyers:

Mark Vergara

Key clients

Asia United Bank

Union Bank of the Philippines

BDO Unibank

Development Bank of the Philippines

Land Bank of the Philippines

Citicore Renewable Energy Corporation

Security Bank Corporation

KEB Hana Manila Branch

Shinhan Bank Manila

Map 2000 Development Corporation

Basic Energy Corporation

CSW-Iloilo

Anchor Land Holdings

Aboitiz Equity Ventures

Aboitiz Infrastructure

Work highlights

  • Advised Aboitiz Infracapital on its investment agreement with Terra Digital in relation to the acquisition, construction, development and operation of at least 5,000 macro towers all over the Philippines.
  • Advised Anchor Land Holdings on the implementation of its joint venture with the local government of Parañaque City (local PPP) for the development and operation of a commercial mixed-use project in Parañaque City on a 9,937 square meter land owned by the City.
  • Advised SB Capital Investment Corporation (SB Capital) and the syndicate of lender financial institutions arranged by SB Capital on the corporate notes facilities granted to PrimeWater Infrastructure Corp., one of the country’s premier water utility companies.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

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Practice head(s):

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Other key lawyers:

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Testimonials

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Key clients

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Work highlights

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Quisumbing Torres

Quisumbing Torres advises on all aspects of transactions and investments relating to renewable energy, infrastructure, oil and gas, petrochemicals, and mining and metals. Dennis Quintero is head of the practice group and lead counsel on Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation’s solar rooftop project in the Philippines. The project is especially significant as the Philippine government has begun to prioritise renewable energy projects in recent years. Ina Alexandra Dominguez is also noted for her extensive experience representing multinational energy corporations in complex transactions.

Practice head(s):

Dennis Quintero

Key clients

APG Asset Management

Changi Airport International

Graymont Limited

Hero Future Energies Asia

Korea Water Resources Corporation

KPMG AZSA

Otto Energy

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

POSCO Engineering & Construction

Repsol

Sankyu Southeast Asia Holdings

SBA Communications Corporation

Seohee Construction

Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation

SK Engineering & Construction

Tecnimont

Vena Energy

Voith Fuji Hydro

Work highlights

  • Advised a renewable energy company on due diligence for its sale of shares to an investment fund.
  • Advising Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation on a solar rooftop project in the Philippines.
  • Advised Sankyu Southeast Asia Holdings on its application for Accreditation Board licenses in order to commence construction and installation projects in the Philippines.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan has a strong reputation advising on private energy projects; the firm advised on the development of the first power plant project undertaken on a build-operate-transfer basis in the Philippines. Acting as counsel for numerous Philippine independent power projects, the firm advises developers and lenders representing a combined capacity of more than 6,000 MW. Rocky Alejandro Reyes is practice head of the special projects department and has particular expertise in infrastructure and mass transit projects. Hector de Leon focuses on corporate and commercial matters in the energy, mining, oil and gas, and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Rocky Alejandro Reyes

Other key lawyers:

Bhong Paulo Macasaet  Hector de Leon; Angel Salita ; Joanna Marie Joson

Key clients

Metro Pacific Group

San Miguel Corporation

PLDT

Aboitiz Power Corp.

Dentsu Aegis Network

Manila Electric Company

Bell Canada

United Laboratories

Marriott

TMI Associates

Mitsui Fudosan

Mitsubishi Corporation

MasterCard

Gilbert & Tobin

Mitsui & Co

Skadden Arps

Hyatt International

Eversheds

Work highlights

  • Advising consortium members and winning bidders on the management, operation and maintenance of the existing and the new passenger terminals of the Clark International Airport Project.

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia has ‘unique expertise’ in renewable energy and has advised some of the biggest players in the Philippines on their green energy projects. The firm advised Red Core Geothermal on the development of its three geothermal power plants, the San Juan Geothermal Project, the Tayabas-Lucban Geothermal Project, and the Tiaong-Dolores project. The firm also advises clients in the mining and natural resources sectors, providing corporate structuring, permitting, contract drafting and review, and due diligence support. Key mining clients include Sagittarius Mines and Labo Exploration and Development Corporation. Patricia Bunye stands out as being an ‘expert in mining laws and natural resources’ and leads the practice alongside Manuel Manaligod. Pancho Umali has cross-sector experience in mining, natural resources and energy law. At associate level, Alpheus Macalalad stands out. 

Practice head(s):

Manuel Manaligod ; Patricia Bunye

Testimonials

‘The CMT team keeps itself and me abreast on the latest developments, not only in energy but in possible related concerns. They double-check the work before it’s given to me for review or consideration. They’re all amiable and very competent. They constantly upgrade their skills, showing that they have a desire to render the best possible service they can to clients. Their updates to me are also timely and well-coordinated.’

‘They have unique expertise and have garnered experience over many years in the practice of mining laws in the Philippines.’

‘Patricia Bunye and her team stand out as the foremost expert in mining laws, natural resources and related field in the country today. The wealth of their combined experience, diligence to details and comprehensive understanding of the issues placed them in a unique position a cut above the competition’.

Key clients

Filminera Resources Corporation

Sagittarius Mines

Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation

RTG Mining

Green Energy Management Holdings

Nido Petroleum Philippines

Cemex Strategies Philippines

W Group, Inc./Portuguese Realty

Redco Properties Group

W Ventures

Red Core Geothermal

Green Tiger Software

Public-Private Partnership Center

C5 Mass Transit Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Sagittarius Mines on the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, prospectively the largest copper-gold project in the Philippines.
  • Advised the consortium leading the construction of the 5 Metro Rail Transit Line 10 Project on the unsolicited proposal for the construction and development of a light railway-based mass transportation system over an alignment traversing 6 key cities, with a length of approximately 22.5 kilometers, and a project cost of approximately $1.6bn.
  • Advising the consortium leading the construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 11 Project on the unsolicited proposal for the construction and development of a light railway-based mass transportation system over an alignment traversing 4 key cities, with a length of approximately 18 kilometers, and a project cost of approximately $1.4bn.

Fortun Narvasa & Salazar

With a special focus on mining projects, Fortun Narvasa & Salazar has extensive experience advising on all aspects of mining ranging from exploration, project financing and construction to development and processing. The firm advises major foreign listed mining companies on key projects in the Philippines. Practice head Roderick Salazar has significant experience practicing in this sector and is also a trustee of the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association.

Practice head(s):

Roderick Salazar

Other key lawyers:

John Matthew R Medina 

Key clients

FCF Minerals Corporation

Phil. Gold Processing and Resources Corporation

SEMCO Exploration and Mining Corporation

Rugby Mining Limited

Juwi Renewable Energy Projects

King&Wood Mallesons

Grand China Law Office

CD Processing

OneMMJV

Makilala Mining Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Metals Exploration on the provision of finance for the restructuring of the existing senior and mezzanine debt facilities of the company and its subsidiaries Metals Exploration Pte. Ltd. and FCF Minerals Corporation.
  • Representing Phil. Gold Processing and Resources Corporation in its pending claims with the Court of Tax Appeals and the Philippine Supreme Court for tax refunds for $2.225m representing unutilized input VAT for certain years.
  • Representing FCF Minerals Corporation in its pending claims for tax refund with the Court of Tax Appeals for VAT and fees amounting to $1.150m on the importations of goods despite its tax-exempt status under its FTAA with the Philippine Government during the Recovery Period.

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) advises domestic and international energy companies on major energy and infrastructure projects, with a particular focus on private-public partnership projects. The firm advised the Asian Development Bank on the project structure and bidding documentation of a novel project, the Metro Manila Subway, the first subway system in the Philippines. The firm is known for providing ‘innovative’ solutions to complex issues in energy projects. Practice heads Aris Gulapa, Angel Machuca , and Charmaine Rose Haw-Lim are recognised for their ‘creativity’ when advising on pathfinder projects.

Other key lawyers:

Sean Borja

 

Testimonials

‘The partners are very involved. We frequently find that partners are very active in bidding for the retainer but disappear during project implementation. This is significant, especially since the experience and credentials of the partners are what we consider most when choosing a firm to work with. Moreover, Gulapa Law’s commitment to projects is exceptional. We find the firm innovative because they actively participate in finding solutions rather than just telling us what we cannot do.’

‘Aris Gulapa, Angel Machuca, and Charmaine Lim are all valuable team members whenever they work with us. We work with extremely difficult pathfinder projects where a lot of creativity and innovation are required. These three individuals help us find creative solutions to get the job done.’

Key clients

Aboitiz InfraCapital

AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation

Alliance Global Group

Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation

Filinvest Development Corporation

JG Summit Holdings and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Asian Development Bank

SM Prime Holdings

Infracorp Development

Kyushu Electric Power Company

Standard Systems Water & Wastewater Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advising the Asian Development Bank on structuring the Metro Manila Subway project and drafting the bidding documentation.
  • Advising  the Asian Development Bank on the development of a Bus Rapid Transit System in Clark by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
  • Advised Infracorp Development on the preparation of a unsolicited proposal which was submitted to the Department of Transportation, including drafting the Concession Agreement for the transaction.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) is praised as ‘a pioneer in legal practice involving energy efficiency and conservation’, providing a wide range of services related to special projects, infrastructure, and energy with a particular focus on renewable energy. The firm advises on investment and regulatory laws governing renewable sources of energy, including hydro, wind power, geothermal, solar, and biofuels. The firm is advising Taihu Holding on its plans to develop a 50MW wind turbine project in the north of Luzon in order to improve the energy supply of rural areas on the island, with practice co-head Sylvette Tankiang lead counsel on the matter. The practice is also led by Raoul Angangco and Franchette Acosta.

Testimonials

‘Deep sector knowledge. Very good working relationships with the regulators and department of energy. Have worked on multiple energy transactions in the Philippines which enables V&A to provide the client with accurate and insightful guidance on areas to address to ensure the successful negotiation and completion of an M&A energy deal.’

‘Extremely knowledgable and hard working. Also available to discuss issues. Ethical and principled individuals.’

‘The team’s practice is unique considering that energy efficiency and conservation law is a recent Philippine development which guidelines are still currently being negotiated. I would consider V&A Law as a pioneer in the legal practice involving the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Law.’

‘V&A Law provides well-researched and carefully-analyzed advice.’

‘Richard Henrick Beltran is very responsive whenever his assistance is needed and is reliable in providing explanations on matters which require his legal expertise. With his keen eye and attention to detail, the assistance he provided on various contract reviews and legal advisory work is invaluable.’

‘Efren Resurreccion has proven expertise in evaluating the effects of upcoming and/or new legislation and regulations on the energy efficiency and conservation industry. Efren has demonstrated keen interest in advocating for energy efficiency and has played a significant role in crafting well-researched position papers and recommendations.’

‘Carlo Augustine Roman provides noteworthy contributions to the team. He is responsible in addressing our corporate legal concerns and handles the preparation of legal documents.’

Key clients

Udenna Corporation

Alternergy Holdings Corporation

Taihu Holding

ChongQing Panhua Steel Sheet And the ChongQing Group of Companies

Genlot Game Technology

China Datang Overseas Investment

Globe Telecom

Yongfu

Work highlights

  • Advised Udenna on its planned acquisition of all the issued share capital of SPEX.
  • Advised Taihu Holding on its corporate structure and the implementation of transaction documents designed to prepare the PH-Co for a key project.
  • Advised Dupinga Mini Hydro Corporation on the review of its energy procurement and construction contracts.

Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra

With a particular focus on large infrastructure projects, Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra is handling some of the Philippines’ most important projects. The firm notably advises Manila Electric Company in the development, preparation, and drafting of MERALCO’s nationwide site acquisition and right-of-way policies, rules, and guidelines for electric distribution facilities in all 22 cities and 89 municipalities. In 2018, the firm established a legal precedent involving a method of computing the depreciation expense of capital expenditure-related service concession assets. Partner Anthony Edsel Tupaz leads the special projects practice group.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Edsel Tupaz

Other key lawyers:

Kristine Torres

Testimonials

‘Vast, actual and wide experience in government’.

Key clients

China Design Group Co. Ltd

Radius Telecoms

D.M. Wenceslao

Asiawide Land

Victory Liner

Pangasinan Five Star

Meralco

Work highlights

  • Assisting China Design Group in Setting Up the Urban Traffic Brain and Providing Comprehensive Smart City-Traffic Solutions in Metro Cebu and Cebu Province.

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

Only recently established in 2017, Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (IPLA), Member Firm of ZICO Law Network has established itself as a strong choice for project finance for energy projects. The firm is advising on the structuring of investments, foreign equity restrictions in solar energy projects, licensing requirements and capital structuring for one of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturers. Formerly of Quisumbing Torres, practice head Felix Sy is a specialist in project finance.

Practice head(s):

Felix Sy

Work highlights

  • Advising 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 the submission of 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 a global solar panel manufacturer on the structuring of investments in solar energy project companies, including foreign equity restrictions, licensing requirements and capital structuring.

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño regularly advises on matters pertaining to mineral resource exploration, development and utilisation. The firm works with both domestic and international mining companies and has expertise in advising clients on the preparation and negotiation of joint ventures, operating agreements, financial or technical assistance agreements and other mineral agreements both with claimants and the government. The firm also advises renewable energy projects; it assisted Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines in contract negotiations for the supply of renewable energy in certain plantations.  Rachelle Aileen Santos handles due diligence and audit exercises in special projects. Mia Carissa Martin has a particular focus on corporate, tax-efficient restructurings. Maria Karrissa Tanhuego co-leads the practice alongside Santos and Martin.

Other key lawyers:

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Key clients

Blueleaf Energy Services Philippines

Dole Philippines

Orion Manila

IPG Media Philippines

mWorks Philippines

Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines

Siemens

Work highlights

  • Advised Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines on the contract negotiations of its supply of renewable energy.
  • Advised Dole Philippines on their potential sale of packaging plants/assets and assisted with the contract negotiation for the supply of solar power.
  • Advised Orion Manila on a corporate structure appropriate for its industry.

Tolosa Javier Lim & Chua Law Firm

Since its inception in 2019, Tolosa Javier Lim & Chua Law Firm has demonstrated particular expertise in energy regulation, providing legal advice to both public and private companies in the energy sector. The firm advises the Third-Party Bids and Awards Committee (TPBAC), alongside other players in the Philippines, on issues including pre-bid conferences, bid opening and submission, drafting and reviewing the instructions to bidders, terms of reference, and power supply agreements. Filemon Ray Javier and Dyan Lim-Ong lead the practice.

Other key lawyers:

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Testimonials

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Key clients

Manila Electric Company

Enfinity Philippines

Iligan Light & Power

Alberlyn8 Holding Corporation

Chevron Philippines

Work highlights

  • Assisted Manila Electric Company with a Petition for Review on Certiorari against fifteen Generation Companies seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals’ Decision dated 7 November 2017 and Omnibus Resolution dated 29 March 2019.
  • Represented and assisted the Third Party Bids and Awards Committee, a committee formed by Manila Electric Company and the Department of Energy, in three successful competitive selection processes in relation to long-term power supply agreements.