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Real estate and construction in Philippines

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

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) has a strong reputation for advising on special classes of property, complex issues related to land conversion, and regulations governing housing and property development projects. The firm is advising Ayala Land on its five-way merger with four of its subsidiaries and affiliates, with Norma Margarita B. Patacsil the lead counsel on the matter. The practice is lead by founding and managing partners Jaime Renato B. Gatmaytan and Ben Dominic R. Yap .

Key clients

Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI)

FGEN LNG Corporation

Robinsons Land Corporation

SM Prime Holdings

TeaM Energy Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising FGEN LNG Corporation, a leading Philippine power generation group, on an over $1bn LNG infrastructure development project with onshore and offshore components.
  • Advising Ayala Land, Inc. on the corporate law/regulatory, as well as competition law, aspects of its five-way merger.
  • Representing a member of a prominent family in a dispute with a real estate development company and a scion of a prominent Filipino architect.

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano advises individuals and institutional clients on various real estate transactions, working across its other strong practice areas to provide advice on a wide range of matters, from simple property transfers, leasing and mortgaging, to more complicated transactions involving structuring of acquisitions and divestments, infrastructure development and financing, and taxation issues. The real estate and construction team is praised as ‘knowledgeable on updates and on regulations pertaining to real estate and construction’. Among the firm’s clients in the property development sector are Crown Equities and Property Company of Friends. Co-head of the practice group, alongside Mark Vergara, Erika Paulino has experience handling the real asset portfolio divestment of one of the largest global banks and has advised on the funding of projects to construct hotels, casinos, and residential subdivision developments.

Practice head(s):

Mark Vergara; Erika Paulino

Testimonials

‘The team is very knowledgeable on updates on regulations pertaining to real estate and construction’.

‘The team members are easy to work with, are very effective in communicating to the client the legal implications of certain scenarios/structures, and provide solutions addressing the legal risks’.

Key clients

Property Company of Friends

Crown Equities

Anchor Land Holdings

Aboitiz Infracapital

Suntrust Home Developers

Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Anchor Land on the implementation of the joint venture 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 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 Suntrust Home Developers on the execution of a co-development agreement for a project site located in Paranaque City.

Quisumbing Torres

Quisumbing Torres‘ real estate team is particularly experienced in advising multinational corporations across a wide range of sectors, seeking to establish or to expand existing facilities. The firm has notably advised a global technology company on obtaining regulatory approval for an innovative and pioneering business process outsourcing model and led negotiations for large-scale leases for business process outsourcing sites in nine buildings across the Philippines. The firm advises on all stages of real estate transactions, from structuring, financing, documenting, and negotiating phases, to development or divestment. Julius Cervantes and Michael Macapagal lead the practice group and are frequently seen as lead counsel on major real estate matters. 

Other key lawyers:

Donemark Calimon

Key clients

Alphabet

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

Sankyu Southeast Asia Holdings

SBA Communications Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised a Philippine entity of an American multinational investment and financial services company on various leasing, construction, and procurement matters arising from the development agreement it entered into with one of the country’s largest property developers.
  • Advised a publicly-listed national diversified healthcare services company on the establishment of outsourcing operations in the Philippines for its two healthcare divisions.
  • Advised a global ship building company on negotiating the terms of the proposed acquisition of a shipyard.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan’s experience in real estate and construction covers the simplest portfolio purchase to more complex deals and transactions, with clientele ranging from individuals and major real estate developers, hotel operators, landowners to foreign governments. The team led by Rocky Alejandro Reyes notably handled the sale of PLDT Smart Tower, which involved the proposed sale of two parcels of land and the commercial building constructed on top of the land in a private bidding, with John Paul de Leon and his team handling the due diligence and advised the client on the sale documentation and critical pre-closing and post-closing steps. Marievic Ramos-Añonuevo has a particular focus on land acquisition and development.

Practice head(s):

Rocky Alejandro Reyes

Key clients

Metro Pacific Group

San Miguel Corporation

PLDT

Aboitiz Power Corporation

Dentsu Aegis Network

Manila Electric Company

Bell Canada

United Laboratories

Marriott

Mitsui Fudosan

Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsui & Co

Hyatt International

Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation

Science Park of the Philippines

Arthaland Corporation

Galaxy Entertainment Group

Chevron Philippines

Telus

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitsubishi Corporation on its acquisition of a 40% stake in a joint venture company for the development of a PHP15bn mixed-use project in Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa.
  • Advised the seller of PLDT Smart Tower on due diligence issues before the terms of reference for the bidding is released.
  • Advising Telus Philippines on all their real estate property deals.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) is a go-to name in the real estate sector. Paul Rodulfo Imperial is noted for his expertise, having advised major project and real estate developers such as Ayala Land and Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for Hankyu Hanshin Express Philippines, both within the Philippines and in the international market. He is experienced in conducting legal due diligence reviews of various real estate companies for acquisitions and other legal assessments. Franchette Acosta is another noteworthy name, advising foreign clients on landholding rights and matters in the Philippines in connection with their investments in manufacturing sites. Raoul Angangco and Sylvette Tankiang lead the practice alongside Acosta. The firm has recently grown its fields of expertise to include residential, industrial, and leisure projects.

Other key lawyers:

Paul Rodulfo Imperial

Key clients

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto for Hankyu Hanshin Express Philippines

NAPPCO Land Development Corporation

Ayala Land Inc. and its affiliates

Haskell Philippines

Taihu Holding

Alternergy Holdings Corporation and its Affiliated Companies

Work highlights

  • Advising Taihu Holding on its entry into the Philippine market through the acquisition of a Philippine energy company.
  • Advising Mori Hamada on the acquisition and development of several residential projects.
  • Advising Kiangan Mini Hydro Corporation on the review and negotiations of its Omnibus Loan and Security Agreement to be entered with the Development Bank of the Philippines for the financing of a 17.2 MW integrated run-of-river hydro project in Kiangan, Ifugao.

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia provides clients with comprehensive legal services relating to real estate transactions, construction projects, and property development projects. The firm frequently advises property and land developers in the acquisition of high-value real estate, including the acquisition of an ecozone building in Central Luzon for a transaction value of PHP7bn. Rosa Michelle Bagtas and Aida Araceli G. Roxas-Rivera leads the ‘very competent’ team. Associate Francis Fragante also stands out for his ability to handle detailed legal work.  Fernand Joseph Miranda was promoted to the partnership in January 2021.

Testimonials

‘The team is very thorough in combing possible problems, conflicts, issues, and anticipating possible problems in the future. The team is also good in negotiating on our behalf with client lawyers. They have protected our interests by putting up all the necessary legal provisions without being too legalistic. Their background knowledge of business law, taxation, and the law of the land helped very much in giving us their advice so we could make objective decisions. I feel we are well protected legally in with the work of the team. ’

‘Rosa Bagtas who heads the team is very competent as well as Francis Fragante, Rosa’s protege who does most of the legal nitty gritty legal work. We find it very easy and comfortable to work with both of them. They are hardworking, prompt with deadlines, and well prepared. We are very satisfied with their performance.’

Key clients

W Group

Portuguese Land

Abraham Holdings

Italpinas Development Corporation

IRMO

Baltimore Land

ILO Land

Citigold Resources and Development Corporation

LuxPacific Realty Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised a real property owner/developer on the sale of its four  prime real estate properties for a total consideration of at least PHP5bn.
  • Advised a real estate developer on its potential acquisition of an ecozone building in an up-and-coming business district in Central Luzon with transaction value of PHP7bn.
  • Advised a joint venture real estate company on its potential acquisition of an ecozone industrial property in Southern Luzon.

Fortun Narvasa & Salazar

Fortun Narvasa & Salazar has extensive experience conducting due diligence on titles of properties, assisting in the drafting of sale agreements, and processing tax clearances and title transfers. The firm also advises one of the largest property consultancy and advisory firms on real estate matters. ‘An expert in his fieldRoderick Salazar and Carmen Babista-Lazaro lead the practice.

Other key lawyers:

John Matthew R Medina

Testimonials

‘Responds immediately especially during lockdown periods. Very personable and good customer service.’

‘Roderick Salazar has extensive knowledge of his field. He goes beyond his scope of work to help out at the quickest possible time.’

‘The firm values client opinion and they seek to collaborate to understand the situation.’

‘Roderick Salazar is quick to respond to each query or engagement. I consider him an expert in his field.’

Key clients

QED Philippines Holdings

Amalgamated Development Corporation

Xiang Lu Group of Companies

First SLP Holdings

Czark Mak Corporation

Blackley Holdings

Jones Lang LaSalle (Philippines)

Our Properties Ventures

One Dominion Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised QED Philippines Holdings on the purchase of a 5,100 sq.m. property in San Pedro City, Laguna for a purchase price of $1m.
  • Advised First SLP Holdings on the purchase of a total of 4 hectares for $1.9m.
  • Advised Our Property Ventures on their purchase of $6,25m worth of contiguous real estate properties located in Paranaque City and in Taguig City.

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

Drawing on its expertise in projects, Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) frequently handles the real estate aspects of projects. The firm is currently advising SM Prime Holdings on the reclamation of 360 hectares of land in Manila Bay, liaising with and engaging foreign contractors. Practice head Aris Gulapa takes the lead on complex matters. Jose Maria Angel Machuca was promoted to partner in January 2019 and is closely working with Aris Gulapa on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport PPP Project.

Practice head(s):

Aris Gulapa

Other key lawyers:

Jose Maria Angel Machuca

Key clients

Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapital

Asian Development Bank

SM Prime Holdings

Infracorp Development

Hankyu Hanshin Property

International Finance Corporation

Manila Water Company

Ayala Land International Sales

Ayala Land

Foremost Cagayan Development and Leisure Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised the Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapita on the preparation of an unsolicited proposal.
  • Advising the Asian Development Bank on its advice to 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 on the bidding to contract out the development of its ambitious PHP100bn reclamation project dubbed Future City.

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

Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (IPLA), Member Firm of ZICO Law Network is active in the real estate market, advising real estate developers on acquisitions and joint ventures. The firm recently assisted ORIX, a Japan-based global diversified financial services conglomerate on the formation of a joint venture company with a leading real estate development company in the Philippines. The team is lead by founder and managing partner Felix Sy.

Practice head(s):

Felix Sy

Key clients

ORIX

Work highlights

  • Advised ORIX on the formation of a joint venture company with a leading real estate development company in the Philippines.
  • Advised the investment arm of a major bank on the legal due diligence on and acquisition of a Philippine subsidiary of a teleradiology company in the Philippines.