Event information

Date: Thu 23 Feb 2023 Time: 8:15am-6pm Venue: TBC

The Legal 500 looks forward to welcoming delegates to the return of its annual GC Summit – Philippines in February 2023. For the first time in over three years, The Legal 500’s editorial team will venture back to Manila to bring together the Philippines top in-house counsel to share challenges, stories and–most importantly–solutions to the issues that they face.

With the support of DivinaLaw, ACCRALaw, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan and Tiongco Siao Bello & Associates, we are thrilled to present to you this schedule of sessions.

Among other topics, we will tackle the complexities of legal technology, the evolving M&A landscape, managing international disputes, the rise of renewable energy & sustainability, crisis management, IP and brand protection, the contemporary employment issues, and FinTech in the Philippines.

Drawing on the vast experience of our highly accomplished speakers, this event will provide practical, hands-on advice to all in-house counsel. It is a must-attend event for any in-house counsel in the Philippines who are aiming to reach the next level of their professional development.

Attendees can expect high-profile speakers, plenty of time for debate, and networking drinks to end the day


08:15 – 09:00 Arrival & Registration

09:00 – 09:05 Opening Remarks

  • Allan Cohen, research editor, The Legal 500

09:05 – 09:55 Panel Discussion One – Topic TBC

  • Moderated by Nilo T. Divina, Managing Partner, DivinaLaw

09:55 – 10:45 Renewable energy, green bonds and the growing importance of sustainability

  • Moderated by SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

10:45 – 11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 – 11:50 The evolution of the Fintech market and climate in the Philippines

  • Fernand Joseph D. Miranda, partner, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia
  • Jerome D. Canlas, partner, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

11:50 – 12:40 With the rise of technology, is it now harder to protect your brand? What are the best practice benchmarks for trademarks, anti-counterfeiting, licensing and due diligence?

  • Victor N. De Leon, partner, ACCRALaw

12:40 – 13:40 Lunch 

13:40 – 14:30: Adapting to a new M&A landscape: what makes a successful transaction, talent shortages, FDI regimes and valuing deals; and how they are likely to drive M&A trends going forward.

  • Mark S. Gorriceta, managing partner, Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra

14:30 – 15:20 Panel Discussion Six – Topic TBC

  • Cynthia Roxas-Del Castillo, Senior Partner, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

15:20 – 15:35 Coffee Break

15:35 – 16:05 Fireside Chat

  • Presented by DivinaLaw

16:05 – 16:55 The employment outlook in the Philippines

With the rise of hybrid working models and changing work practices, what future employment challenges await legal and HR teams operating in the Philippines? Best practice on overcoming potential labour disputes; and how can companies leverage the opportunities of the gig economy?

  • John Philip C. Siao, founding and co-managing partner, Tiongco Siao Bello & Associates Law Offices

16:55 – 17:00 Closing remarks

17:00 – 18:00 Networking Drinks 


Allan Cohen, Research Editor, The Legal 500

Allan joined the Legal 500’s editorial team in 2021 as a research editor and now leads the special reports team. He has considerable editorial and publishing experience, having previously worked in the industry in London and Paris. In addition to his research and editorial role, Allan regularly hosts international events, roundtables and summits for the Legal 500 whilst working closely with law firm clients and their panellist guests.
Having developed a keen interest in the legal industry, Allan’s focus is on the analysis of the ever-evolving role of corporate counsel and building bridges between in-house lawyers and private practice practitioners. He interviews general counsel and specialist private practices on a regular basis and produces analyses and reports on a wide range of topics, covering every jurisdiction in the world. Allan is fluent in French and English.

Cynthia Roxas-Del Castillo, senior partner, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Cynthia Roxas-Del Castillo is a member of the Executive Board and head of the Securities group. Her practice focuses on securities and corporate law. Cynthia is responsible for projects of the firm involving securities law practice, capital market transactions, registration of securities, and offerings of securities to the public. She is also involved in major investment projects of foreign companies in the Philippines, organization and operation of mutual funds, acquisitions, joint ventures, mergers, and structuring and executing capital-raising activities.

Nilo T. Divina, Managing Partner, DivinaLaw

Nilo T Divina is a seasoned corporate and banking lawyer with more than 30 years of experience. He established DivinaLaw in 2006 and has led the aggressive growth of the firm in a short span of time.
Before he entered private law practice, Nilo was the former Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of one of the former leading banks in the Philippines. He also served as the general manager, executive adviser to the board, and corporate secretary of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Nilo is equally active with his roles in academia, serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Civil Law of the University of Santo Tomas and teaching at the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Fernand Joseph D. Miranda, partner, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

Fernand Joseph D. Miranda, leads the firm’s Technology and Fintech Practice Group and is also Partner in the firm’s Corporate and Special Projects Department.

His Technology and Fintech practice involves addressing the peculiarities and quickly evolving regulatory framework for these industries. He has experience in working with e-commerce platform operators, 3PL platform operators, and operators of payment systems. He also covers Philippine regulatory updates on fintech matters including cryptocurrency and virtual assets.

His Corporate Law practice involves servicing our clients’ legal concerns and requirements including with their corporate structuring, corporate setup, permitting and acquisitions. He has been involved in a number of significant M&A transactions, including equity purchase deals and asset acquisitions involving various industries and interests. He is likewise experienced in government project development and finance; public-private partnerships; and governmental procurement.

Jerome D. Canlas, partner, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

Jerome D. Canlas’ practice focuses on Telecommunications and Information and Communications Technology Law. He is currently a member of the firm’s Data Privacy Practice Group and is part of a team that successfully defended an online lending corporation against a temporary ban on processing of personal data, which would have effectively halted the operations of said corporation. Mr. Canlas is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E).
Mr. Canlas is also a Partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department and his areas of practice include tax and customs litigation, appellate practice, trial advocacy, and corporate and banking litigation.

Victor N. De Leon, partner, ACCRALaw

Mr. de Leon is the Head of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Department. He advises clients on all aspects of intellectual property, from registration to enforcement of intellectual property rights. He assists various local and foreign clients in prosecuting trademark applications, maintaining trademark portfolios, conducting intellectual property due diligence, and filing/prosecuting enforcement actions before administrative tribunals and regular courts.

Mark S. Gorriceta, managing partner, Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra

Mark S. Gorriceta is the Managing Partner, Head of the Corporate Group, and Head of the Technology Media and Telecommunications Group of the Firm. With over 18 years in private practice, Mark has developed extensive expertise in complex corporate transactions, commercial contracts, and regulatory matters in a range of areas that impact businesses – whether for start-ups or for Top 1000 companies in the Philippines. He is a leading lawyer in the Philippines in the fields of Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Securities Law. He is also considered the foremost Tech lawyer in the Philippines.

John Philip C. Siao, founding and co-managing partner, Tiongco Siao Bello & Associates Law Offices

John Philip Siao is the Co-Managing partner of the Tiongco Siao Bello & Associates Law Offices (TSBLaw).  With over 18 years in private practice, John has developed an extensive expertise in complex corporate transactions, commercial contracts and regulatory and compliance matters.

John is a trusted counsel for start-ups and top companies in the Philippines. He has a deep knowledge of and extensive experience in the fields of Corporate Law, Data Privacy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Securities, Property Law, Administrative Law, Legal & Regulatory Compliance, and Litigation. He serves as counsel to several several International and Domestic listed companies and/ or their subsidiaries and works closely with International and In-House Counsels to service the Firm’s international clients.

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GC Summit Philippines 2023

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