Firm Profile > Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako > Manila, Philippines

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako

Aviation Tier 2

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako specialises in advising airlines, insurers and reinsurers on a range of contentious issues; death in an air carriage claims, flight delays and lost baggage issues all fall within its expertise. The group counts numerous airlines in its client base, including Philippine Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Gulf Air.

Labour and employment Tier 2

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako handles labour and employment matters including collective bargaining and unfair dismissal claims, and also advises on strikes. Romarie Villonco is the key contact.

Real estate and construction Tier 2

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:

Tax Tier 2

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako handles tax advisory and disputes work, including assisting with the tax implications of transactions as well as contesting tax assessments made at the local and national level. The team also assists international firms with avoiding double taxation under tax treaties. Ferdinand Hidalgo is the key contact.

Banking and finance Tier 3

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako's banking and finance practice is noted for its work in banking litigation. The key figures in the team are Rommel U Mercado and Jocelyn R. Esguerra-Dee.

Immigration Tier 3

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako's immigration team has a varied practice, including assisting firms with applying for labour permits and work visa applications, emigration documents, and additionally handling naturalisation work. The key contact in the team is Antonio Pido.

Intellectual property Tier 3

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako handles registrations, enforcement and licensing at both a domestic and international level. Celso Cruz is the key contact.

Other key lawyers:

TMT Tier 3

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako advises start-ups, technology consultants and technology venture capitalists on the corporate and tax law implications of technology-related ventures. The group also assists with the drafting of technology transfer agreements.

Corporate and M&A Tier 5

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako handles a variety of corporate matters including joint ventures, capital restructuring and due diligence. The group also works in conjunction with the corporate litigation and securities team to advise on corporate finance, securities regulation and corporate liquidation.  Edgardo Balois is the key practitioner.

Other key lawyers:

Founded in 1901, our firm has a reputation as the oldest continuously operating law office in the country.

The Philippines was a colony of the United States. Two American lawyers, John W. Hausserman – formerly of the U.S. Judge Advocate General’s Office – and Charles Cohn, were the firm’s founding partners.

In 1903, the Cohn & Hausserman Law Office was appointed the Philippine Branch of the Coudert Brothers, a New York law firm (in a nod to tradition, the firm’s cable address was “TREDOUC” – the reverse of “COUDERT”). Coudert Brothers closed their Philippine Branch in 1907. Cohn & Hausserman merged with the law firm of Ortigas and Fisher.

In 1923, Hausserman, Ortigas, Cohn & Fisher merged with Kincaid, Perkins & Kincaid, which later became Fisher, Dewitt, Perkins & Brady, after other American partners joined the practice. A notable event occurred in 1936, when Alfonso Ponce Enrile, one of the most noted trial lawyers of his time, became the first Filipino partner, and the firm became known as Dewitt, Perkins and Ponce Enrile. From that time on, the engagement of American lawyers ceased, and the firm evolved to be entirely Filipino.

Leonardo Siguion Reyna and Manuel Montecillo joined the firm in 1948 and became General Partners in 1961 and stayed  until they passed away in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Oscar Ongsiako, the third name partner, passed away in 1995.

Keeping to tradition, our firm’s leadership continues to be lodged with our General Partners. Our Chairman, Rolando Mario Villonco, was elevated to the General Partnership in 1996. Cesar Manalaysay, Mario Andres and Edgardo Balois became General Partners in 2011.

Types of work undertaken

Local implementation of the merger and  joint venture between R & R Ice Cream and Nestle N.A. through the formation of the local company as purchaser of the chilled products of NPI (more than Php1 billion in transaction value).

Philippine aspect of the $11.85 billion acquisition of Pfizer’s infant nutrition business.

Advised Nestle on warehouse construction, financing and operation by third party of warehouses for Nestle products through construction and service operation agreement of Php400million a month fee for the operator

Reorganization of land companies through cross sale and purchase of shares between two retirement plans in connection with land ownership and maximizing shareholders’ value of each plan in the process addressing the very restrictive land ownership limitation of foreigners.

Judicial estate settlement which involved the disposition of residential land in an exclusive village with contract value of P950 million, and payment estate and other taxes .

Assisted the purchaser of a residential house and lot with contract value of P325 million in an exclusive subdivision.

Advised the siblings in the consolidation and proposed sale of 30 hectares of rawland to a development with sale price of about P950 million.

Assisted an investor in the recovery of his investment worth US$11.9 million in an international boxing event.

Formation of branches from the SEC for Chinese and African airlines to register,  operate and obtain landing rights in the Philippines from the Civil Aeronautics Board and Civil Aviation Authority in the Philippines and Successfully obtaining them.

Initial Public Offering due diligence investigation of a memorial company and legal research and recommendation for the optimal investment approach of the foreign investor given in the memorial park foreign land ownership restriction.

Successfully defended in a construction arbitration and mediation a food manufacturing company against a local contractor claiming Php500 million damages for breach of contract.

Succesfully handling in the hiring of ultra-technical foreign personnel for the telco with the Bureau of Immigration surmounting objections from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Justice .

Contesting up to the Supreme Court a Php6.5 billion tax assessment where it is still pending.

Advising probable participants in the 3rd Telco and MRT and LRT projects under the Build Build Build program.

Conducting labor and employment seminars for managers and providing seminars on strategy, approaches and responses by top level management and executives in collective bargaining negotiation.

Successful handling of CBA negotiations for food, telecom and TV companies.

Successful handling for the telecom companies on resisting by court action the regularization of 8,000 workers who were employees of bonafide independent contractors and therefore not covered by the alleged illegal arrangements

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate. Commercial and M&A Edgardo G. Balois
Corporate. Commercial and M&A Rommel U. Mercado
Corporate Litigation Cesar P. Manalaysay
Corporate Litigation Rolando Mario G. Villonco
Litigation (Civil and Criminal) Jose P. Crisostomo, Jr.
Litigation (Civil and Criminal) Alma D. Fernandez-Mallonga
Arbitration and Mediation Carla Santamaria- Sena
Arbitration and Mediation Michael Felipe Mercado
Banking and Finance, Insurance Jocelyn Esguerra-Dee
Construction and Project Finance Corazon D. Eleazar
Construction and Project Finance Joy P. Quicho
Labor and Employment Rolando Mario G. Villonco
Labor and Employment Antonion C. Pido
Securities and Capital Markets Jocelyn Esguerra-Dee
Commercial Real Estate Transaction Edgardo G. Balois
Commercial Real Estate Transaction Nicanor Padilla
Immigration Antonio C. Pido
Immigration Edgardo Roman Manuel C. Balois
Labor Agreements and Executive Level CBA Negotiation Training Rafael E. Khan
Labor Agreements and Executive Level CBA Negotiation Training Cheryl Ann Pena
Tax Ferdinand H. Hidalgo
Tax Corazon D. Eleazar
Estates and Trust Edgardo G. Balois
Estates and Trust Raniel L. Dimayuga
Aviation and Maritime Carlos M. Natividad
Aviation and Maritime Jose P. Crisostomo, Jr.
Special Projects Rolando Mario G. Villonco
Special Projects Cesar P. Manalaysay
Business Formation Rommel U. Mercado
Business Formation Jocelyn R. Esguerra-Dee
Business Formation Victorio H. Macasaet, Jr.
Intellectual Property Carla E. Santamaria-Sena
Intellectual Property Ariss N. Santos
Healthcare and Life Sciences German Q. Lichauco II
Healthcare and Life Sciences Alvin C. Batalla
Entertainment Alma D. Fernandez-Mallonga
Entertainment Joy P. Quicho
Photo Name Position Profile
 Edgardo G. Balois  photo Edgardo G. Balois General Partner
 Cesar P. Manalaysay  photo Cesar P. Manalaysay General Partner
 Carlos M. Natividad  photo Carlos M. Natividad Senior Partner
 Antonio C. Pido  photo Antonio C. Pido Senior Partner
 Rolando Mario G. Villonco  photo Rolando Mario G. Villonco Chairman
Chinese (Mandarin)