Firm Profile > Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia > Manila , Philippines

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia serves a diverse client base of local and international companies, which seek the firm's representation in commercial, tax, banking, administrative and appellate litigation, as well as ADR. The firm also maintains an active pro bono practice. The team stands out for having lawyers with qualifications in technical and specialised fields, including engineering, accounting, international trade, economics and IT, and its lawyers are considered 'experienced practitioners'. In a significant case with broad implications, the firm acted for the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and the central monetary authority, the Monetary Board (MB), in a petition filed by Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank (Banco Filipino) before the Supreme Court; the petition sought to compel BSP and MB to approve and implement Banco Filipino’s business plan and to release a financial assistance and regulatory reliefs package. The highly experienced Simeon Marcelo acts in high-profile tax, financial fraud and commercial litigation. Victor Emmanuel Pangilinan and John Jerico Balisnomo are recommended. Rodel Cruz and the 'very reliableMiguel Silos are also key practitioners.

Intellectual property Tier 1

The 'flexible' IP team at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia advises on IP commercialisation and marketing, patent applications, unfair competition and domain name issues. Its lawyers have backgrounds in physics, chemistry and engineering, among other fields, and some members of the team are qualified as patent agents. On the contentious side, the team has experience in administrative and judicial tribunals at all levels. The team also stands out for its particular knowledge of the pharma sector, where it advises major companies on contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Department head Susan Villanueva represents companies in the broadcasting, consumer care, pharma, IT, manufacturing and financial services sectors in IP cases.

Immigration Tier 2

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia provides a comprehensive immigration service, covering immigrant, employee and retiree visas, work permits (including AEP), Philippine citizenship processes, naturalisation proceedings and deportation and exclusion proceedings. Recent instructions have come from longstanding clients, and the practice has also picked up several new clients, including companies in the media and manufacturing sectors. Senior partner Rosa Michele Bagtas heads the department; she draws on 20 years' experience advising on immigration law, and has additional knowledge of corporate and M&A, capital markets and real estate.

Projects and energy Tier 2

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia advises multilateral international organisations, local government units and private corporations in energy, water, mining and infrastructure projects. Areas of expertise include PPPs, project finance, permitting, M&A, joint ventures and project operating agreements. It also handles litigation and arbitration involving the extractive industries. Patricia Bunye advises Sagittarius Mines on various legal matters, including those pertaining to its Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, which faces significant hurdles before it may operate, including the cancellation of its environmental compliance certificate. Pancho Umali stands out for his extensive knowledge of indigenous peoples' law, and Manuel Manaligod Jr has particular knowledge of infrastructure projects that utilise build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) schemes.

Real estate and construction Tier 2

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia has experience in commercial, residential, industrial, and mixed-use real estate projects, and its clients include multilateral international organisations, local government units and private corporations. The team often advises on the purchase (including the due diligence) of real estate. Recently, Divina Gracia Pedron and a team assisted the Korean Embassy in the Philippines in the negotiation of a sale agreement for the acquisition of land and/or office condominium units in Metro Manila for the use of the Korean Cultural Center Philippines. Aida Araceli Roxas-Rivera and Manuel Manaligod are names to note.

Corporate and M&A Tier 3

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia 'delivers in a timely manner and with reasonable rates'. The corporate team handles a varied mix of corporate, energy and infrastructure projects for its foreign and local clients, which include transport, agriculture, real estate, construction and energy companies. Among its recent highlights was the team's advice to Asian Terminals on the establishment of a PEZA Integrated Port Facility backed with service level agreements for provision of port terminal services; the firm assisted with the drafting of transaction documents and establishing the project company and its post-registration requirements. Aida Roxas-Rivera heads the corporate practice; Rosa Michelle Bagtas and associate Fernand Joseph Miranda are recommended.

The firm: 15 partners with sterling professional reputations, led by former Presidential Legal Counsel/Secretary of National Defence Avelino Cruz Jr and former Solicitor General/Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, founded Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia to establish a lasting legal institution anchored on professionalism, meritocracy, innovation and mutual respect. Its leadership is rich in experience in both public and private sectors as well as in international organisations. The firm is committed to delivering the best legal services to help its clients attain optimum business success, as well as promoting public interest.

The firm’s lawyers have over three decades of experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, corporate and special projects, mining and natural resources, energy, infrastructure, transportation and public utilities, intellectual property, and taxation. By matching arduous training of its associates with the expansive experience of its partners (which also enables it to attract top legal talents), the firm has earned a reputation of delivering tailored solutions to its broad spectrum of clients, including established conglomerates, leading banking and financial institutions, multinational corporations and even entire industries and government regulatory institutions like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines).

Areas of practice: Litigation and dispute resolution: regarded as a top litigation firm in the country, the firm consistently provides exceptional representation and advocacy in every forum, involving disputes of varying scope and complexity. The firm practises in the following areas: trial advocacy and commercial litigation; international commercial arbitration; banking and financial fraud litigation; tax litigation; appellate practice; corporate rehabilitation; labour litigation; regulatory litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Corporate and special projects: beyond providing in-depth legal solutions to complex legal and business issues and transactions that protect and add value to each client’s interests and business objectives, the firm functions to guarantee clients quality and timely service according to their needs in corporate and special projects including the following areas: mergers and acquisitions; capital markets; securities regulation and finance; banking and finance; debt restructuring and corporate reorganisation; gaming; property development and real estate transactions; tourism and leisure; infrastructure; trade and competition; and immigration.

Intellectual property: the firm’s IP lawyers are from diverse backgrounds representing the sciences, businesses and the arts and are equipped with the expertise and experience to counsel on protecting, enforcing and commercialising clients’ IP.

Mining and natural resources: the firm’s young and dynamic mining and natural resources department is recognised for its highly-skilled mining lawyers and a conscientious, responsive and proactive team. Its exceptional work in the mining industry has placed the firm at the legal forefront of the country’s mining industry.

Energy: the firm’s energy department advises investors, private equity funds, lenders, contractors and suppliers on the appropriate transaction and governance structures of mergers and acquisitions, including development, financing, operation, sale and distribution projects in the power and energy sector. Its lawyers have represented various clients in successfully obtaining required government accreditation and permits and also routinely negotiate, draft and review agreements and contracts necessary to implement complex transactions in this field.

Department Name Email Telephone
Litigation and dispute resolution Simeon V Marcelo
Litigation and dispute resolution Rodel A Cruz
International arbitration Simeon V Marcelo
International arbitration Elmar B Galacio
Corporate and commercial Manuel L Manaligod Jr
Corporate and commercial Aida Araceli G Roxas-Rivera
Intellectual property Susan D Villanueva
Intellectual property Patricia A O Bunye
Intellectual property Divina Gracia E Pedron
Intellectual property Rowanie A Wakan
Mining and natural resources Patricia A O Bunye
Mining and natural resources Pancho G Umali
Energy Patricia A O Bunye
Energy Pancho G Umali
Labour Elmar B Galacio
Taxation Aida Araceli G Roxas-Rivera
Taxation Rosa Michelle C Bagtas
Taxation John Jerico L Balisnomo
Taxation Victor E M Pangilinan
Infrastructure, transportation and public utilities Manuel L Manaligod Jr
Infrastructure, transportation and public utilities Pancho G Umali
Gaming Manuel L Manaligod Jr
Gaming Aida Araceli G Roxas-Rivera
Immigration Rosa Michele C Bagtas
Real estate and construction Rosa Michele C Bagtas
Real estate and construction Pancho G Umali
Number of lawyers : 58
Inter-Pacific Bar Association
Contacts : Joe Nathan Tenefrancia
Contacts : Rodel A Cruz
Contacts : Manuel L Manaligod Jr
Contacts : Susan D Villanueva
Contacts : Patricia A O Bunye