Firm Profile > Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles > Manila, Philippines

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Banking and finance Tier 2

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles is particularly active in advising on loan facility agreements, acting for borrowers and lenders. The overall project development and finance group is led by Ma. Stella A. Batungbacal, Cristina Collantes-Garcia, and associate Nastasha Ortiz-Luis; Jose Salvador Mirasol is the key contact in the banking and finance practice. Mirasol is known for advising corporate clients and banks on financing and lending.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Joyson Safety Systems International Finance B.V., (“JSSIFBV”) and Joyson Safety Systems (Philippines) Corporation (“JSSPC”)

Interserve Group Limited


Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM)


Capital markets Tier 2

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles handles capital markets work including IPOs and equity issues, advising the companies involved as well as the bookrunners, lead managers and underwriters. The team is led by Perry Pe, Ma. Stella Batungbacel and Christiana Andrea Golez.

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles has a longstanding reputation for advising large domestic and international corporate clients on a range of issues including establishing new business ventures, investments, regulatory compliance and joint ventures. Key practitioner Fernando Sioson specialises in assisting clients in their dealings with government bodies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Transportation and Communications.

Practice head(s):

Dispute resolution Tier 2

The 'technically strong' and 'professional' lawyers at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles primarily act for commercial clients from a variety of industries on a broad range of civil, criminal, administrative, and regulatory issues. A recent highlight has been representing Philippine Tobacco Institute, Inc. in a successful attempt to overturn the prohibition by the City of Balanga on the use, sale and advertisement of tobacco products in the city's university town. Arbitration is also a key focus; the firm is especially active advising large multinationals from the oil and gas sectors in proceedings against public bodies. Louie Ogsimer, Tranquil Salvador and Jomini Nazareno are the names to note.


Technically strong, professional, a pleasure to work with.

Louie Ogsimer and his team have strong technical skills and an understanding of the dynamics of arbitration.

This team’s strengths are 1) execution, 2) passion and 3) professionalism.

Mr. Louie Ogsimer stands-out as a specialist for dispute resolution in Philippine law.

Intellectual property Tier 2

A full-service firm, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles' intellectual property team advises on the application, enforcement and licensing of trade marks, patents and copyrights. The team is particularly active in technology matters, advising on domain names, electronic commerce, cyberspace, and software issues.

Projects and energy Tier 2

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles acts for both domestic and overseas clients engaged in projects relating to telecoms, mining and energy. Multi-jurisdictional projects are a particular specialism, and the firm recently advised Facebook on the Philippine component of the submarine fibre optic cable which links the US and Hong Kong. Senior partner Perry Pe handles project finance and advises lenders such as commercial banks, multilateral and bilateral lending institutions and export credit agencies. Cristina Collantes-Garcia is also a finance specialist and assists with the structuring, financing and licensing issues associated with cross-border ventures. At associate level, Mark Tiaoqui has a broad practice that includes advising on the tax elements of large projects.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Shell Energy Asia

Consortium of Jera Co., Inc., Chevron Philippines Inc., and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha

Real estate and construction Tier 2

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.

Tax Tier 2

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles' tax practice advises on the tax implications of corporate transactions and reorganisations, as well as handling tax planning and litigation.

Immigration Tier 3

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles advises clients on immigration law matters, including assisting employers with bringing foreign workers into the Philippines.

Labour and employment Tier 3

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles's broad labour practice encompasses advice on collective bargaining, health and safety regulations, non-compete agreements, and sexual harassment in the workplace.

TMT Tier 3

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles focuses on providing regulatory advice to clients from the telecoms, gaming and mass media sectors. Victor Espiritu, Herminio Ozaeta and Marie Quiogue are the key practitioners.

Our mission is to pursue at all times the path of excellence, to develop our capabilities to the fullest, and to extend ourselves to the limit.

Our vision is to faithfully adhere to the principles of dedicated service in the finest traditions and highest ideals of a learned and noble profession.

From a modest commercial law practice in downtown Manila at the turn of the 20th century, today we are one of the largest and most highly regarded law firms in the Philippines with a full offering of legal services, including advice and representation in banking and finance, capital market and securities, energy and infrastructure, immigration, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation and arbitration, real estate and natural resources, taxation, and technology, media, and telecommunications.

We are composed of more than 100 lawyers – all of whom speak English fluently and a good number of whom have received training and graduate degrees from universities abroad. Our lawyers are also active officers and members of business and civic associations in the Philippines and around the world.

We are the sole Philippine member of Lex Mundi, a global network of about 160 independent law firms, with a combined total of more than 21,000 lawyers in all commercially significant jurisdictions throughout the world. We are also the TRACE partner firm in the Philippines and join other TRACE firms around the world in providing practical and cost-effective anti-bribery compliance to global businesses.

“First, we are lawyers above all else and, as such, we must be votaries of the law, and as integral parts of the legal system, we are committed to make it work. Second, we are advocates and, as such, we must within reason defend and protect the legitimate interests of our clients. Third, we are professionals and, as such, we owe it to ourselves and the clientele we serve to pursue at all times the path of excellence, to develop our capabilities to the fullest, and to extend ourselves to the limit. We must bear in mind that every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity an obligation, every possession a duty.

“I would like our firm to exemplify one of my favorite passages from Justice Holmes:

‘They carry no banners, they beat no drums; but where they are, men learn that bustle and push are not equal of quiet genius and serene mastery.’” (Excerpt from remarks of Mr. Ricardo J. Romulo, Senior Partner, on the occasion of the firm’s Anniversary in 1982.)

 Our History

ROMULO traces its roots to the law firm which Allison D. Gibbs and William Kincaid established in 1902. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, Allison D. Gibbs and William Kincaid arrived in the Philippines as part of the Colorado and Nebraska volunteers, respectively. After the war, they decided to settle in the Philippines and engage in the practice of law. They hung their shingle in the business center of Manila in No. 9 Plaza Moraga.

The firm was reorganized several times until Charles McDonough was admitted into the partnership. Allison D. Gibbs’ sons, Findley and Allison J., would later join the firm as assistant attorneys while an upstart Filipino lawyer by the name of Roman Ozaeta was admitted as partner in 1931.

The firm, then known as Gibbs McDonough and Ozaeta, had an extensive practice in commercial law. It handled cases involving banking, corporation law, insurance, and public utilities. It pioneered in the law on intellectual property and successfully handled cases involving infringement of trademarks and copyright.

While Allison D. Gibbs became a well-known corporate lawyer, the firm also developed a reputation for outstanding trial work and appellate practice. Charles McDonough earned a name for himself as an outstanding trial lawyer while Roman Ozaeta earned renown for his meticulous and excellently composed pleadings and briefs.

In 1936, Roman Ozaeta resigned from the firm to become judge of the then Court of First Instance. He went on to become Solicitor General in 1938, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1941, Secretary of Justice in 1946, and again an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1948 to 1950.

After retiring from public service, Roman Ozaeta joined his son Herminio, Allan O’Gorman, and Carlos Romulo, Jr. in private practice. Following the plane crash that claimed the lives of Alan O’Gorman and Carlos Romulo, Jr. in 1957, Allison J. Gibbs joined the Ozaetas and formed the firm Ozaeta Gibbs and Ozaeta.

Carlos Romulo Jr.’s brother, Ricardo J. Romulo, would later become Senior Partner himself and, following a previous rule of practice which limited the name of a law office to those of its active and living partners, the firm was renamed Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles.

In October 2002, ROMULO celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding with the descendants of Allison D. Gibbs.

The firm handled several landmark cases, some of which developed into jurisprudence which is still studied in law schools today.

In 1910, the firm successfully won the acquittal of a fellow named Ah Chong and helped establish precedence for the use of mistake of fact sufficient to negate criminal intent [U.S. v. Ah Chong, 15 Phil 488 (1910)].

In 1926, the firm successfully challenged the constitutionality of Act No. 2792, the Chinese Bookkeeping Act, which prohibited Chinese merchants from keeping their books of account in the Chinese language. The case reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the law on the ground that it violated due process and denied Chinese merchants equal protection of the law, noting that most Chinese merchants knew only the Chinese language and the effect of the law was to keep them in the dark as to the financial condition of their business [Yu v. Trinidad, 271 U.S. 500 (1926)].

In 1923, Charles McDonough handled the celebrated case of Ray Conley, a police detective charged with receiving a bribe from gamblers in Manila. Through his painstaking cross-examination, Charles McDonough caught the prosecution witnesses in a web of contradictions and improbabilities and won for his client an acquittal. The case was later attributed to have caused a cabinet crisis when, following Conley’s reinstatement by Governor General Leonard Wood, department secretaries who had differences of opinion resigned en masse.


Profile Source:

Department Name Email Telephone
Project Development & Finance Perry L. Pe +63285559555
Project Development & Finance Anna Cristina Collantes-Garcia +63285559555
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Fernando Arguelles, Jr.  photo Mr Fernando Arguelles, Jr. Partner
Mr Jose Gabriel Benedicto  photo Mr Jose Gabriel Benedicto Partner
Ms Yvette Chua  photo Ms Yvette Chua Yvette C. Chua is a partner
Ms Anna Cristina Collantes-Garcia  photo Ms Anna Cristina Collantes-Garcia Partner
 Wilma M. Valdemoro Cua  photo Wilma M. Valdemoro Cua Senior Partner
Mr V. Johann Espiritu  photo Mr V. Johann Espiritu Partner
 Gizela Gonzalez  photo Gizela Gonzalez Partner
 Mr. Justin Vincent   J. La Chica  photo Mr. Justin Vincent   J. La Chica JV is an associate who focuses on various fields of legal practice,…
 Lee Benjamin Lerma  photo Lee Benjamin Lerma Partner
Mr Enriquito Mendoza photo Mr Enriquito Mendoza Senior Partner
Mr Jomini Nazareno  photo Mr Jomini Nazareno Partner
Mr Perry Pe photo Mr Perry Pe Senior Partner, Member of the Executive Board, Department Head
Mr Luis Alfonso Seña  photo Mr Luis Alfonso Seña ASSOCIATE
Mr Jesse Eleazer Tantoco  photo Mr Jesse Eleazer Tantoco Associate
 Joyce Anne Wong  photo Joyce Anne Wong Senior Associate
Non Legal Staff : 160+
English (fluent)
Chinese (Mandarin)
Chinese dialects
Lex Mundi
The Inter Pacific Bar Association (IPBA)
TRACE Partner
IBA (International Bar Association)
ABA (American Bar Association)
AIJA - International Association of Young Lawyers
UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats