Real estate and construction in Philippines
Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw) specialises in advising developers based both locally and abroad on significant horizontal and vertical development projects. Such projects include malls, hotels, resorts and factories. Judy Hao and Victor Lazatin are the key practitioners.
Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) has a strong reputation for advising on complex issues in the real estate field, handling issues relating to restrictions involving special classes of property, conversion of land to other uses and complex regulatory requirements. The group also has extensive construction experience, advising on projects for the construction of airports, cement mills, seaports and toll roads. Jaime Renato Gatmaytan maintains a truly international practice, having assisted developers and sponsors with tenders for large regeneration projects in China and Thailand. Albert Vincent Yu Chang and founding partner Norma Margarita Patacsil are corporate specialists; both advise companies active in the sector on IPOs, divestment of shares and fee deficiencies.
First Gen Corporation
Ayala real estate investment trust
Republic Cement Iligan, Inc.
Frasers Property Ltd.
Bank of the Philippine Islands
De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, Inc.
- Advised First Gen Corporation in connection with the development, installation, ownership, operation and maintenance of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification facility that is valued at more than PHP10bn
- Advised Ayala Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. in respect of, and issued opinions to the Securities and Exchange Commission and Philippine Stock Exchange in support of, the client’s IPO valued at approximately PhP15bn.
- Advised Republic Cement Iligan, Inc. on the structuring, drafting and negotiation of its contracts with the contractor for the construction and commissioning of a new coal mill.
A go-to name in the real estate sector, Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano is particularly strong in the capital markets field, advising large property companies and developers on bond and note issuances. The group also assists with various issues related to property conveyancing, including property titling, easements, land use reclassifications and conversion, and commercial leasing. Mark Vergara, who leads the banking and finance team, advises on project finance issues relating to the construction of toll roads. Erika Paulino has advised on the funding of projects to construct hotels and casinos, and is also instructed by major banks to handle real asset portfolio divestments.
‘The team simplifies difficult legal concepts and provides comprehensive solutions to problems. Guidance is key. They get the job done.‘
‘Atty. Rosalia Alejo is very focused and sincerely cares about finding out the best solutions for our concerns. Its more than a job for her and her team.‘
‘Opinions provided are very thorough in a very efficient turnaround time. Very responsive in urgent matters.‘
‘Rosalia B. Alejo: The way she provides opinion and contracts covers not only the legal aspect but also the commercial side.‘
P.A. Alvarez Properties and Development Corporation
Property Company of Friends, Inc.
Crown Equities, Inc.
- Advised Property Company of Friends, Inc. on various issues involving the operations and regulatory compliance relating to Suntech i-Park and Profriends’ industrial park.
- 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 Widus Philippines, Inc. and its affiliate, Widus International Leisure, Inc.
- Acted as counsel to P.A. Alvarez Properties and Development Corporation on its issuance of corporate notes in the aggregate amount of PHP1.5bn.
Quisumbing Torres provides a comprehensive service to a range of clients in the real estate sector, advising on financing, tax, leases, M&A and litigation. The group, which sits within the firm's wider corporate department, is particularly notable for its work with large multinational clients; its membership of the Baker McKenzie network is beneficial in this regard. Julius Cervantes, who leads the real estate industry group, has recently been advising on lease renegotiations in light of COVID-19. Dispute specialists Donemark Calimon and Michael Macapagal handle construction-related litigation and arbitration. Pearl Liu advises on high-value and complex commercial transactions across numerous sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Alphabet / Google Inc.
Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd
KPMG AZSA LLC
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation
- Advised KPMG AZSA LLC on various structuring, due diligence, procurement and implementation issues concerning the construction of waste-to-energy facilities in Davao City, Philippines.
- Advised Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd. on its participation in the consortium that was awarded the concession agreement for the operations and maintenance of the Clark International Airport.
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan primarily advises land developers on a range of real estate projects; the group has experience of township projects, industrial parks, golf courses, hotel developments and residential estates. Leases are another area of focus, and the group regularly assists foreign governments looking to establish diplomatic offices in the Philippines. John Paul de Leon is a key practitioner and works with foreign investors and joint venture partners on residential and commercial development projects. The firm's M&A practice is also very active, and Marievic Ramos-Añonuevo in particular advises on a variety of transactions relating to the construction of infrastructure.
Metro Pacific Group
San Miguel Corporation
Aboitiz Power Corp.
Dentsu Aegis Network
Manila Electric Company
United Laboratories, Inc.
Mitsui & Co
Pueblo de Oro Development Corp.
Science Park of the Philippines
Galaxy Entertainment Group
- Advising a group of companies engaged in hotel and resort development on an ongoing acquisition project for lands adjacent to a prime foreshore area. The client intends to develop the land as a beach resort.
- Advised Philippine Telecommunications Company on the proposed sale of two parcels of land and the commercial building constructed on top of the land in a private bidding.
Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)'s practice is supplemented by its strong projects and energy group, and therefore is heavily active in the construction sphere, advising on the acquisition of development land, financing and joint venture issues. The team is also instructed to advise on a range of real estate transactions and was involved in matters relating to residential property, office buildings and factories in 2019. Sylvette Tankiang advises on all aspects of construction projects in the energy sphere, including financial structuring, supply agreements and tax issues. Franchette Acosta is well versed in the bidding process for government infrastructure projects.
Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for Hankyu Hanshin Express Philippines, Inc.
NAPPCO Land Development Corporation
Bricolage Holding Inc.
Ayala Land Inc. and its affiliates
Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd.
ISOC Asia Telecom Towers, Inc.
Aboitiz Land, Inc.
- 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.
- Advised Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for Hankyu Hanshin Express Philippines, Inc. on due diligence issues relating to the acquisition and development of several residential projects involving multiple hectares of land.
- Acted as legal counsel of Mistubishi Estate Co. Ltd. in relation to its joint venture with Arthaland Corporation for the Savya Financial Center Project. The Savya Project involves the construction and development of twin tower office buildings to be located in ARCA South, a 74-hectare large-scale development for offices, residential housing and commercial facilities.
Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia assists clients with real estate development transactions, advising on land reclassifcation, construction contracts and tax issues. The group's client list includes developers active across range of property types, including commercial, residential, industrial, and mixed-use projects. In 2019, a team, led by Divina Gracia Pedron, assisted the Korean Embassy in the Philippines with the acquisition of a property to be used as the office of the Korean Cultural Centre. Pancho Umali, whose expertise extends beyond real estate into special projects and energy matters, advises property developers on the negotiation and drafting of lease agreements
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation
W Group of Companies
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.
Redco Properties Group Ltd.
Seven Bank, Ltd.
Pepsi Cola Products Philippines, Inc.
Unilever Group of Companies
Connected Freight Solutions, Philippines, Inc.
Sony Global Business Services Inc.
PTFC Redevelopment Corporation
Synchrogenix Philippines, Inc.
Asian Terminals, Inc.
Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc.
BF Jade E-Services Philippines, Inc.
Korean Embassy in the Philippines
Sta. Lucia, Inc.
Lazada E-Services Philippines, Inc.
Lamsan Holdings Corp.
DOLE Philippines, Inc.
- Advised the Korean Embassy in the Philippines on its acquisition of land and a building for the Korean Cultural Centre.
- Assisted W Group, Inc., Lux Pacific Realty, Inc., and Baltimore Land, Inc. with the acquisition of real estate or lease holdings in Clark Global City.
- Assisted Portuguese Land, Inc. in its acquisition of an industrial lot located in Lima Technology Centre, with an aggregate area of 201,597 sq. m. and acquisition cost of approximately PHP900m.
Fortun Narvasa & Salazar
Fortun Narvasa & Salazar provides 'clear and comprehensive advice' to real estate developers on issues relating to leases, conveyances and franchising. A recent highlight has been advising First SLP Holdings, Inc. on a joint venture with the Municipality of Leganes for the development of a property spanning 186 hectares. Roderick Salazar frequently advises property holding companies in the acquisition of parcels of land, in addition to specialising in energy and projects work. John Matthew Medina, promoted to senior associate in 2019, conducts due diligence on a broad range of transactions.
‘Generally accessible partners and quite clear headed response.’
‘Quick response. Takes ownership and gives clear and comprehensive advice.’
Czark Mak Corporation
First SLP Holdings, Inc.
Xiang Lu Group of Companies
T12 Polo Land, Inc.
ADF Real Estate, Inc.
- Advised First SLP Holdings, Inc. on the purchase of 3 parcels of land with an area of 4 hectares in Ibaan, Batangas for $1.5m.
- Advised Xiang Lu Group of Companies on the purchase of 2,800 hectares of lands in Palawan for $28m.
- Advised Czark Mak Corporation on the drafting of land sales contracts and long term leases for its industrial estate project in Bulacan, Philippines.
Gulapa & Quicho (Gulapa Law)'s broad practice includes advising international and domestic companies on transactions relating to commercial and residential property. The group is also heavily involved in public-private partnership projects with a real estate element, advising both private companies on making bids and financial institutions working with the government. Aris Gulapa is the firm's founding partner and operates across a range of sectors. His real estate practice includes assisting Asian Development Bank in advising the Department of Transportation on the operation and maintenance of the North-South Commuter. Jose Angel Machuca advises on unsolicited proposals and concession agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation
Asian Development Bank
SM Prime Holdings Inc.
Infracorp Development, Inc.
Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission
International Finance Corporation
Manila Water Company, Inc.
Ayala Land International Sales, Inc.
Ayala Land, Inc.
- Assisted a consortium in preparing an unsolicited proposal that was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority.
- Assisted Asian Development Bank in advising the Department of Transportation and the Philippine National Railways on the procurement of the operation and maintenance of the North-South Commuter.
- Advised SM Prime Holdings Inc. on the bidding to contract out the development of its ambitious PHP100bn reclamation project dubbed Future City
Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos
Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos advises on both commercial and residential housing development projects. The team also handles infrastructure projects, and acted on the first successful airport privatisation project.
Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles advises on issues including the constraints of land ownership, leases of government lands and foreign real estate investments.
The real estate practice at Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako handles land registration, environmental compliance and documentation. The team is especially knowledgeable in agarian reform laws, advising on the requirements of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Agrarian Reform. Nicanor Padilla is the key contact.
Other key lawyers: