Firm Profile > Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia > Manila, Philippines

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia
9TH, 10TH, 11TH & 12TH FLOORS, ONE ORION
11TH AVENUE, CORNER UNIVERSITY PARKWAY
BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY 1634, METRO MANILA
Philippines

Philippines > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia has a first-rate disputes practice, and its practitioners are 'experts in their fields' of commercial, tax and administrative dispute resolution. The commercial litigation practice is particularly notable for advising large, multinational fast food chains in contractual disputes, while the firm also has a first-class tax group, regularly advising on multibillion-peso tax assessment reversals. John Jerico Balisnomo leads the team and handles public sector governance matters alongside Simeon Marcelo, who previously served as solicitor general for the Philippines and frequently brings administrative claims against public bodies in the Supreme Court. Rodel Cruz represents several industry-wide organisations in strategic matters in the shipping, agricultural and aviation sectors. The group is also notable for its pro bono work, advising on public interest cases and disputes of national consequence. Miguel Silos is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Ayala Corporation

Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association

Secur Links Network and Technologies, Inc.

Unicapital Inc.

Philippines > Intellectual property Tier 1

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia's wide-ranging practice includes advising on all aspects of trade marks and patents registration and enforcement, as well as licencing, audit and policy advice. Trade mark disputes is an area of particular activity and the firm is regularly engaged by well-known brands to represent them in litigation or mediation relating to instances of fraud or counterfeit goods. Susan Villanueva heads the department and leads on most contentious work, while Patricia Bunye specialises in licensing and franchising agreements in addition to registering food and pharmaceutical products with the Food & Drug Administration. Rowanie Nakan leads the patent team, many of whom , including Nakan, have scientific qualifications, allowing them to quickly understand innovative new products.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

We work closely with Atty. Rowanie Nakan. She and her team made us feel very at ease with our current IP case. They are very engaging and would make it a point to provide us update on whatever is going on.

Key clients

Ayala Corporation

Department Of Science And Technology – Technology Application And Promotions Institute

Fiberworld, Inc.

Filinvest, Land, Inc.

Green Cross, Inc

In-N-Out Burgers

Max’s Group, Inc.

Novex Science Pte Limited

Nutri-Asia, Inc.

San Miguel Food And Beverage, Inc.

Technological Institute Of The Philippines

Ul Skin Sciences Inc.

United Laboratories, Inc.

Philippines > Projects and energy Tier 2

The 'professional, dedicated' and 'highly competent' team at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia advises on all matters relating to large infrastructure, energy and mining initiatives, including investment structuring, tax, nationality restrictions, government procurement and property development. Renewable energy has become an area of focus in recent years; the firm has advised on a number of hydropower and solar projects. Manuel Manaligod Jr assists with build-operate-and-transfer schemes and has a broad experience advising both sides in establishing contracts between the private sector and the government. Regulatory compliance is Patricia Bunye's field of expertise and she works with developers looking to obtain government approvals and licences for mining activities. Mining specialist Pancho Umali advises on issues related to the environment and indigenous peoples.

Testimonials

I am very satisfied with the performance of Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia. Their management of the matters and issues that I have referred give me confidence that these legal concerns are sufficiently and expertly handled.

I work directly with Mr. Pancho G. Umali who is very easy to approach with legal matters and who gives prompt and thorough responses on a wide array of queries. Mr. Umali oversees the actions of my corporation.

Uniquely important as company decisions are based on their legal advice. Balanced legal opinion is desirable, that covers all risks and identify opportunities.’

Professional, dedicated, provide highly competent legal advice, responsive to client.

 

Key clients

Sagittarius Mines, Inc.

RTG Mining Inc.

Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corporation

Green Energy Management & Holdings, Inc.

Filminera Resources Corporation

Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines

Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

HC Resources Corporation

AGP International Holdings Ltd.

Cemex Strategic Philippines, Inc.

Tewet Philippines, Inc.

Asian Development Bank

Redco Properties Group Limited

Philippines > Real estate and construction Tier 2

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia assists clients with real estate development transactions, advising on land reclassifcation, construction contracts and tax issues. The group's client list includes developers active across range of property types, including commercial, residential, industrial, and mixed-use projects. In 2019, a team, led by Divina Gracia Pedron, assisted the Korean Embassy in the Philippines with the acquisition of a property to be used as the office of the Korean Cultural Centre. Pancho Umali, whose expertise extends beyond real estate into special projects and energy matters, advises property developers on the negotiation and drafting of lease agreements

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

ABS-CBN Corporation

W Group of Companies

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.

Redco Properties Group Ltd.

Seven Bank, Ltd.

Pepsi Cola Products Philippines, Inc.

Unilever Group of Companies

Connected Freight Solutions, Philippines, Inc.

Sony Global Business Services Inc.

PTFC Redevelopment Corporation

Synchrogenix Philippines, Inc.

Asian Terminals, Inc.

Nepes Corporation

Unicapital Incorporated

Suyen Corporation

Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc.

BF Jade E-Services Philippines, Inc.

Korean Embassy in the Philippines

Sta. Lucia, Inc.

Lazada E-Services Philippines, Inc.

Lamsan Holdings Corp.

DOLE Philippines, Inc.

Philippines > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

The corporate team at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia advises both local and international clients on issues relating to acquisitions and dispositions, due diligence, public and private bidding, joint ventures and restructuring. The team is active in the media and broadcasting sector and regularly assists ABSCBN Corporation, the largest entertainment and media conglomerate in the country, on a range of corporate issues. Aida Araceli Roxas-Rivera uses her broad expertise to lead the firm’s retainer, corporate governance and regulation and gaming practice groups. Rosa Michele Bagtas combines corporate work with a specialism in property development.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

ABS-CBN Corporation

W Group of Companies

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.

Redco Properties Group Ltd.

Seven Bank, Ltd.

Pepsi Cola Products Philippines, Inc.

Unilever Group of Companies

Connected Freight Solutions, Philippines, Inc.

Sony Global Business Services Inc.

PTFC Redevelopment Corporation

Synchrogenix Philippines, Inc.

Asian Terminals, Inc.

Nepes Corporation

Unicapital Incorporated

Suyen Corporation

Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. 

BF Jade E-Services Philippines, Inc. (ZALORA PH)

Sta. Lucia, Inc.

Lazada E-Services Philippines, Inc.

Lamsan Holdings Corp.

DOLE Philippines, Inc.

Salmat Contact Solutions Pty Ltd

Philippines > Immigration Tier 3

At Cruz Marcelo & TenefranciaRosa Michelle Bagtas is the key name. Areas of expertise includes handling immigrant, employee and retiree visas, work permits, Philippine citizenship processes, naturalisation proceedings and deportation and exclusion proceedings.

Philippines > Labour and employment Tier 3

Led by Elmar B. Galacio, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia advises domestic companies and multinationals on labour and employment matters. The team has a particular specialism in advising on matters related to collective bargaining agreements between companies and unions. They are also active in assisting firms, particularly multinationals, with ensuring that their labour contracts comply with domestic law. Galacio is known for his work in arbitration, and is also experienced in sitting as an arbitrator. Rogelio Torres, Jr is another key partner in the team.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Technological Institute of the Philippines

Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation

Quality Corrugated Box Manufacturing Corporation

Collabera Technologies Private Limited, Inc.

Formula Sports Inc.

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
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Rosa Michele C. Bagtas  photo Ms Rosa Michele C. Bagtas •Corporate and Commercial Law •Mergers & Acquisitions •Property Development & Real Estate…
Ms Patricia A. O. Bunye  photo Ms Patricia A. O. Bunye •Intellectual Property •Mining and Natural Resources / Energy
Mr Rodel A. Cruz  photo Mr Rodel A. Cruz •Head, Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department •Deputy Managing Partner (Personnel) •Senior Partner
Mr Elmar B. Galacio  photo Mr Elmar B. Galacio Senior Partner
 Rowanie Nakan photo Rowanie Nakan Partner
Mr Victor Emmanuel M. Pangilinan  photo Mr Victor Emmanuel M. Pangilinan Senior Partner
Ms Divina Gracia E. Pedron  photo Ms Divina Gracia E. Pedron •Intellectual Property
Ms Aida Araceli G. Roxas-Rivera  photo Ms Aida Araceli G. Roxas-Rivera Senior Partner
Mr Pancho G. Umali  photo Mr Pancho G. Umali Partner
Ms Susan D. Villanueva  photo Ms Susan D. Villanueva •Intellectual Property •Taxation •Trade
Number of lawyers : 58
English
Filipino
Japanese
Mandarin
Inter-Pacific Bar Association
INTA
AIPPI
APAA
AIPA
LESI
Contacts : Joe Nathan Tenefrancia
Contacts : Rodel A Cruz
Contacts : Manuel L Manaligod Jr
Contacts : Susan D Villanueva
Contacts : Patricia A O Bunye

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia Diversity Statement

At Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, we believe that diversity and inclusion nurture creativity and innovative problem-solving, which are among the pillars of the Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia brand of service. We value the range of perspectives and experiences that having a diverse pool of human resources provides. We understand that inclusive organizations attract and retain top talents.  Thus, we are committed to fostering a workplace environment where teamwork is valued and differences are considered advantages.

Our Hiring and Company Policies reflect our commitment to inclusion and diversity. By attracting, supporting, promoting and retaining individuals from various backgrounds, whether grounded in gender, orientation, abilities, age, faith, cultural background and other characteristics, we have created a vibrant firm that is consistently able to provide creative and quality advice to, and representation of, our clients.

As advocates for diversity and inclusion, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia undertakes to promote diversity initiatives at all levels in the legal profession and the broader business community.

Joe Nathan P. Tenefrancia, Managing Partner

Managing Partner, Joe Nathan P. Tenefrancia explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate CRUZ MARCELO & TENEFRANCIA from your competitors?

 As a top tier full-service firm, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia’s multi-disciplinary practice covers all aspects of our clients’ requirements while managing costsAside from addressing our clients requests promptlywe ensure that the advice is specifically tailored to the intricacies of the client’s business. Our firm’s team-based approach assures the client that multiple perspectives are taken into considerationblending established strategies and innovative solutions.  

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that? 

 The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged the growth of e-commerce in all levelsOpportunities to respond to the current needs of consumers using digital solutions, including financial technology, will attract investments and develop the industry, including related areas, such as trade and logistics. 

 Economic drivers, such as tourism and retail, will likely take a back seat as the energy, natural resources, and health sectors grow 

 We also anticipate that businesses will likely require assistance for rehabilitation or corporate restructuring, as well as well as for labor and employment matters, to respond to the changes that the pandemic has brought.  

 What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients? 

 Most recently, our firm has fully adjusted to a digital setup that allows our lawyers and support staff to continue providing quality service while at home or working remotely and with special consideration to keeping our work secure and our personnel safe and healthy. We have also conducted trainings and seminars to ensure that our lawyers are prepared for the new online court and government agency procedures.  

 We are confident that our firm will continue to adapt to these changes without compromising our excellent service or the health of our personnel.     

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them? 

 The shift to digital ecosystem has enabled our firm to work more efficiently without sacrificing quality and safety. Preparation of contracts and applications are automated as much as possible. Documents received are immediately scanned and made available to the concerned teams. Various digital tools and applications are available to our lawyers and staff to ensure that communication, coordination, and collaboration are unhindered. 

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business? 

 We have advised clients regarding setting up their business and ensuring that their business venturesincluding applications for permits, are cost-effective and done in a timely manner, with little to no delay, notwithstanding that many government offices which issue these permits have limited operations due to the pandemic. We have also advised clients regarding their proposed entry to the Philippine market, by giving them innovative options that consider their business plans and objectives.  In collaboration with The Legal 500, we recently hosted a webinar entitled “The Shift To Digital: E-Commerce In The New Normal” to provide our clients with a legal toolkit on how they may make the leap to the digital environment while watching out for potential legal issues. 

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time? 

 Our relationship with our clients allows us to understand their objectives and goals and respond accordinglyThey appreciate the institutional knowledge of their accounts and seek our views on the direction that they wish to take.  

 We see our firm continuing to be at the forefront of legal developments and innovations in the Philippines and in the Asia Pacific region. We will strive to maintain the quality of our work while staying ahead of the curve in the dynamic legal landscape.