Firms To Watch: Real estate and construction

Abuda Asis & Associates is recommended for its work on project financing transactions with particular experience of water, power and infrastructure as well as PPPs. Cornelio Abuda; Jeremiah Asis and Jose Jaime V. Cruz co-head the department.
Mark Gorriceta leads the ‘client centric’ group at Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra and advises on real estate transactions and project developments.
Noted for its capability in handling PPPs, Libra Law (Libarios and Partners) has Alexis Medina and Eubert Marc Hilario at the helm of its practice.
Led by Alexander PobladorMario Luza Bautista and Gilbert R.T. Reyes, the Makati-based team at Poblador Bautista & Reyes advises on real estate development projects and contentious matters. 

Real estate and construction in Philippines

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

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) covers the full spectrum of real estate and construction matters. The team advises on land and real estate developments, in addition to large-scale construction and infrastructure projects, including power plants, airports, rail systems and telecoms towers. The group also has demonstrable experience advising on real estate and construction-related disputes at all levels of the local courts and administrative tribunals, as well as domestic and international arbitrations. Jaime Gatmaytan has a vast array of expertise in energy, construction and infrastructure, while Ben Yap focuses on corporate and commercial transactions in the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors. Norma Margarita Patacsil is another key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Gatmaytan; Ben Yap

Other key lawyers:

Norma Margarita Patacsil

Key clients

First Gen Corporation

FGEN LNG Corporation

Ayala Land, Inc.

Sof Capital

TeaM Energy Corporation

Alcuaz family

SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

Robinsons Land Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising First Gen Corporation and FGEN LNG Corporation on a LNG infrastructure development project valued in excess of $1bn.
  • Advised Ayala Land, Inc. on its five-way merger, involving ALI and four of its subsidiaries.
  • Advising and representing a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the leaders in the Philippine power industry with respect to real property taxes assessed against its powerplant’s pollution control equipment.

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad covers the full array of matters, ranging from property transfers and leasing arrangements to infrastructure development projects and financing work. Under the joint leadership of Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo and Janice Co, the team excels in energy and infrastructure project financings, and counts sponsors, lender-banks and financial institutions among its key roster of clients. Erika Paulino handles the real asset portfolio divestment of one of the largest global banks, and advises on the funding of various development projects of hotels, casinos and residential subdivisions. Mark Vergara is another key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo; Janice Co

Other key lawyers:

Erika Paulino; Mark Vergara

Key clients

Property Company of Friends, Inc.

Crown Equities, Inc.

Anchor Land Holdings

Aboitiz Infracapital, Inc.

Suntrust Home Developers, Inc.

Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation

P.A. Alvarez Properties Development Corporation

EEI Corporation

Citicore Energy REIT Corp.

Sta. Lucia Land Inc.

Quisumbing Torres

Julius Cervantes heads the real estate department at Quisumbing Torres, while Donemark Calimon leads on construction mandates. The group handles all stages of real estate transactions and has demonstrable experience advising on a broad range of matters, from commercial leasing and REITs to tourism and resort development projects. Counting multinational corporations among its key list of clients, the practice is noted for its capability in handling contentious mandates. Michael Macapagal advises on construction disputes, with expertise in PPPs and project finance work.

Practice head(s):

Julius Cervantes; Donemark Calimon

Other key lawyers:

Michael Macapagal

Key clients

Alphabet (Google Inc.)

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

Sankyu Southeast Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd.

SBA Communications Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Philippine affiliates of a semiconductor company (buyer) in connection with the acquisition of land and buildings located in a privately owned industrial park and Ecozone located in a province just southeast of Manila.
  • Assisting and advising non-loyalty business of a leading loyalty and customer engagement solutions company on the termination of a lease agreement and the settlement of a dispute relating to tax issues arising from the agreement.
  • Advising and representing a Hong Kong aviation company in connection with an arbitration against a local construction company in a dispute involving approximately £1m.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan has considerable experience in high-end real estate transactions, advising on portfolio purchases and other complex deals for individuals, real estate developers, hotel operators, landowners and foreign government agencies. The practice also assists land developers on a broad range of projects, such as advising on industrial parks and other matters concerning economic zones, golf courses and multi-use projects. The agile team, which receives a steady flow of instructions from leading international law firms, continues to act for stakeholders on infrastructure and construction projects, and counts project proponents and construction contractors among its key roster of clients. Rocky Alejandro Reyes heads the department and John Paul de Leon is also a central figure in the group. Marievic Ramos-Añonuevo retired in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Rocky Alejandro Reyes

Other key lawyers:

John Paul De Leon; Benedicto Panigbatan


‘They have been assisting the company for more than 25 years now. They treat us as a VIP client and are always available for our legal needs.’

‘Marievic Ramos-Añonuevo has deep knowledge of real estate sector.’

‘Benedicto Panigbatan is capable and very detailed.’

Key clients

Metro Pacific Group

San Miguel Corporation

PLDT, Inc.

Aboitiz Power Corp.

Dentsu Aegis Network

Manila Electric Company

Bell Canada

United Laboratories, Inc.


Mitsui Fudosan

Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsui & Co

Hyatt International

Pueblo de Oro Development Corp.

Science Park of the Philippines

Arthaland Corporation

Galaxy Entertainment Group

Chevron Philippines, Inc.

Telus, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted as Arthaland’s lead counsel in the back-to-back “divestment” and “financial investment/ joint venture” deals.
  • Acting for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.’s investment in Frontier Tower Associates Philippines, Inc. (FTAP).

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Sylvette Tankiang, who is noted for her expertise in renewable energy projects, leads Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)’s practice alongside Franchette Acosta and Raoul Angangco. The team has demonstrable experience advising on high-value residential, industrial and leisure projects, while handling all stages of real estate transactions. Paul Rodulfo Imperial left for an in-house role in August 2021, while Kristin Charisse Siao re-joined the firm in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Raoul Angangco; Sylvette Tankiang; Franchette Acosta

Other key lawyers:

Kristin Charisse Siao

Key clients

Taihu Holding Pte. Ltd.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for Hankyu Hanshin Express Philippines, Inc.

NAPPCO Land Development Corporation

Haskell Philippines

Ayala Land Inc. and its affiliates

LF (Philippines) Inc.

Kilowatt Holdings, Inc.

Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel for Taihu Holding Pte. Ltd. for the development of a 50MW wind turbine project worth $120m in the northern portion of the island of Luzon, intended to supplement the energy capacity available for the region’s far-flung towns and cities.
  • Acting as legal counsel in the conduct of legal due diligences for the acquisition and development of several residential projects involving multiple hectares of land with an average cost of Php1,750,000,000.00 per project.
  • Assisted in the negotiations and eventual leasing of NAPPCO Land Development Corporation’s commercial office building in a prime commercial real estate location in the Philippines.

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

The skilled team at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, which is jointly led by Aida Araceli Roxas-Rivera and Rosa Michele Bagtas, acts for both foreign and local investors on a range of real estate and property development matters. Senior partner Manuel Manaligod has a wealth of experience advising on infrastructure projects and PPPs, while Fernand Joseph Miranda is another key contact, who focuses on project development and finance matters. The team is also noted for its work with major companies on bulk acquisitions and disposals of condominium units in the Philippines.

Practice head(s):

Aida Araceli Roxas-Rivera; Rosa Michele Bagtas

Other key lawyers:

Manuel Manaligod; Fernand Joseph Miranda


‘The team has a diversity of expertise that covers most, if not all my legal concerns. I admire the practicality of the team in approaching problems outside of the legal framework and presenting to us the realities of going to court. Furthermore, the legal advice is always comprehensive as well as practical.’

‘Individually, I am very comfortable with my relationships with the lawyers of CMT. They are trustworthy, full of wisdom, proactive and they give sound advice.’

Key clients

W Group, Inc.

Portuguese Land, Inc.

Abraham Holdings, Inc.

Italpinas Development Corp.

IRMO, Inc.

Baltimore Land, Inc.

Citigold Resources and Development Corporation

LuxPacific Realty Corporation

ILO Properties, Inc.

ILO Land, Inc.

Mapex Realty, Inc.

Asian Development Bank / Philippine Public-Private Partnership Center (PPPC)

PRI Realty, Inc.

Portuguese Land, Inc.

Haus Talk, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised a real estate developer in its sale of two prime real properties in Metro Manila.
  • Advised the Philippine Public-Private Partnership Center (through the Asian Development Bank), in the proposed development project of the Philippine Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.
  • Advised a corporation in the tourism/hospitality industry in its proposed sale of its sprawling property in a prime location in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, worth approximately PhP1.4bn.

Fortun Narvasa & Salazar

Led by Roderick R.C. Salazar III, the team at Fortun Narvasa & Salazar counts real estate developers and corporates among its key roster of clients, and has demonstrable experience in conducting due diligence on titles of properties, in addition to advising on title transfers and processing tax clearances. The team, which acts for condominium corporations and homeowners’ association, relies on the expertise of Carmen Babista-Lazaro.

Practice head(s):

Roderick Salazar III

Other key lawyers:

Carmen Babista-Lazaro


‘They possess vast knowledge.’

‘Roderick Salazar III continues to be very efficient in handling our company’s concerns. He addresses queries quickly.’

Key clients

Jones Lang LaSalle (Philippines), Inc.

Amalgamated Development Corporation

First SLP Holdings, Inc.

Czark Mak Corporation

Blackley Holdings, Inc.

QED Philippines Holdings, Inc.

Our Properties Ventures, Inc.

One Dominion Ventures, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised DayDreamer as trustee for the Champagne Princess Trust on the purchase of a condominium for $3m, which also involved an acquisition of an existing loan secured by the condominium.
  • Advised First SLP Holdings in respect of the purchase of three hectares for $1.2m.
  • Prepared all sale transaction documents for Dominion Chemicals Corp’s purchase of a property located in Cabuyao City, Province of Laguna, for the total amount of PhP403m.

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

Aris Gulapa and Jose Maria Angel Machuca jointly lead the department at Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law), which focuses on the construction aspects of renewable energy and water projects, with demonstrable experience advising on large-scale infrastructure projects. The group assists developers of reclamation projects in drafting FIDIC contracts, while acting for multilateral financial institutions and private bidders on PPPs.

Practice head(s):

Aris Gulapa; Jose Maria Angel Machuca

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

SM Prime Holdings Inc.

Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc.

Infracorp Development Inc.

Solar Pacific Pristine Power, Inc.

Watermatic Philippines Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisting 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.
  • Assisting SM Prime Holdings Inc. in the bidding to contract out the development of its PhP100bn reclamation project dubbed Future City and advising on Philippine Law issues.
  • Assisting the Asian Development Bank in the Metro Manila Subway project which is a subway system that will run north to south between Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, and Pasay.

Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (a member firm of the KPMG Law network)

Led by Felix Sy, the team at Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (a member firm of the KPMG Law network) advises real estate developers on acquisitions and other types of commercial contracts, including joint venture agreements. It also has demonstrable experience advising on renewable energy, utilities and infrastructure projects. Associate Mary Aubbrey Leigh Lim is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Felix Sy

Other key lawyers:

Mary Aubbrey Leigh Lim

Serrano Law

Elmer Serrano heads the department at Serrano Law, which has expertise in PPP projects for the development and operation of commercial mixed-use projects. Phil Ivan Chan is another key contact in the team, who has experience in the power sector.

Practice head(s):

Elmer Serrano

Other key lawyers:

Phil Ivan Chan


‘The team is very knowledgeable on a wide range of matters such as structuring of property acquisitions including relevant taxation issues and regulatory requirements.’

‘Elmer Serrano and Phil Ivan Chan are very knowledgeable about their craft. They provide relevant and timely advice on regulatory, taxation and other issues related to property transfers, divestments and acquisitions.’

Key clients

BDO Unibank, Inc.

BDO Life Assurance Company, Inc.

Neo Group of Companies

SM Prime Holdings, Inc.