Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) > Manila, Philippines > Firm Profile

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)
UNIT 12A, 12TH FLOOR, MARCO POLO ORTIGAS
MANILA SAPPHIRE ROAD, ORTIGAS CENTER
1605 PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA
Philippines

Philippines > Antitrust and competition Tier 2

Established in 2015, Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) provides competition law-related advice to a variety of clients, including financial institutions, government agencies, and private companies. Key areas of service include obtaining clearance under the PCC for  documentation, mergers and exemptions. The team also assists with competition audits. Founding partner Aris Gulapa has extensive experience of working in multiple jurisdictions - his work in competition and antitrust covers a wide range of sectors, with a particular focus on merger control in public-private partnerships. Junior associate Theodore S. Ballesteros advises multinational companies on compliance and the impacts of the Philippines Competition Act.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

AXA Philippines, Inc.

Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Department of Transportation

Bases Conversion Development Administration

Philippine National Railways

Work highlights

  • Advised AXA Philippines, Inc. on the gaps in the Philippine Competition Act following US and EU precedents and practices as well as conducting training for the executive and the managers.
  • Assisted the Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group, Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation structure in compliance with the merger regulations of the Philippine Competition Act.
  • Advised ADB on the procedure for obtaining a Certificate of Exemption for unsolicited projects being tendered by the Department of Transportation and liaising with the Philippine Competition Commission.

Philippines > Projects and energy Tier 2

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) advises domestic and international energy companies on major energy and infrastructure projects, with a particular focus on private-public partnership projects. The firm advised the Asian Development Bank on the project structure and bidding documentation of a novel project, the Metro Manila Subway, the first subway system in the Philippines. The firm is known for providing ‘innovative’ solutions to complex issues in energy projects. Practice heads Aris Gulapa, Angel Machuca , and Charmaine Rose Haw-Lim are recognised for their ‘creativity’ when advising on pathfinder projects.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The partners are very involved. We frequently find that partners are very active in bidding for the retainer but disappear during project implementation. This is significant, especially since the experience and credentials of the partners are what we consider most when choosing a firm to work with. Moreover, Gulapa Law’s commitment to projects is exceptional. We find the firm innovative because they actively participate in finding solutions rather than just telling us what we cannot do.’

‘Aris Gulapa, Angel Machuca, and Charmaine Lim are all valuable team members whenever they work with us. We work with extremely difficult pathfinder projects where a lot of creativity and innovation are required. These three individuals help us find creative solutions to get the job done.’

Key clients

Aboitiz InfraCapital

AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation

Alliance Global Group

Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation

Filinvest Development Corporation

JG Summit Holdings and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Asian Development Bank

SM Prime Holdings

Infracorp Development

Kyushu Electric Power Company

Standard Systems Water & Wastewater Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advising the Asian Development Bank on structuring the Metro Manila Subway project and drafting the bidding documentation.
  • Advising  the Asian Development Bank on the development of a Bus Rapid Transit System in Clark by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
  • Advised Infracorp Development on the preparation of a unsolicited proposal which was submitted to the Department of Transportation, including drafting the Concession Agreement for the transaction.

Philippines > Real estate and construction Tier 2

Drawing on its expertise in projects, Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) frequently handles the real estate aspects of projects. The firm is currently advising SM Prime Holdings on the reclamation of 360 hectares of land in Manila Bay, liaising with and engaging foreign contractors. Practice head Aris Gulapa takes the lead on complex matters. Jose Maria Angel Machuca was promoted to partner in January 2019 and is closely working with Aris Gulapa on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport PPP Project.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapital

Asian Development Bank

SM Prime Holdings

Infracorp Development

Hankyu Hanshin Property

International Finance Corporation

Manila Water Company

Ayala Land International Sales

Ayala Land

Foremost Cagayan Development and Leisure Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised the Consortium of Aboitiz InfraCapita on the preparation of an unsolicited proposal.
  • Advising the Asian Development Bank on its advice to the Department of Transportation and the Philippine National Railways on the procurement of the operation and maintenance of the North-South Commuter.
  • Advised SM Prime Holdings on the bidding to contract out the development of its ambitious PHP100bn reclamation project dubbed Future City.

Philippines > Intellectual property Tier 3

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) handles trademark and patent registrations, as well as disputes arising from patent, copyright and trademark infringement, led by practice head Oliver Baclay. The firm is adept at handling complex cross-border work, namely assisting Frontiir in the national phase entry of two inventions under the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty in eleven jurisdictions in Asia. The team is known to be ‘accessible’ and displays 'great knowledge’ of clients’ industries.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Great knowledge of our industry. Very good value, and accessible team.’

Key clients

Francorp Philippines

Phar Philippines

Day1Tech

Machuca Baldozas

APO-UGEC Security Printing Joint Venture

Maria Francesca Tan Group of Companies and Mondial Medical Technologies

Phil Jacobe Ventures

United Graphic Expression Corporation

Island Air Products Corporation

ChromewellInnovative Solutions

Kelvin Ngo

Frontiir

Fashion Box

Intake TM

Asian Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising APO Production Unit and United Graphic Expression Corporation on the implementation of their joint venture agreement to upgrade APO’s printing facility to become a world-class high-security printer to enable APO to print the Philippine Passport.
  • Advised the Asian Development Bank on the legal implications of implementing the BRT System on currently held Intellectual Property rights over similar systems in the Philippines.
  • Advising Intake on the registration of trademarks in 13 jurisdictions using the legal framework provided for in the Madrid Protocol.

Philippines > TMT Tier 3

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) is best known for its work advising mobile app and web platform developers such as Zomato Media. The firm also advises public and private clients on the establishment, development, and operation of smart cities and e-government services, notably advising the Asian Development Bank regarding the Bases Conversion Development Administration on the New Clark City Information and Communication Technology project which aims to turn the NCC into a smart city. The practice is lead by the managing partner and founder of the firm Aris Gulapa.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Blank

Testimonials

Blank

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Zomato Media Private Limited

APO-UGEC Security Printing Joint Venture

Ayala Land

AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation

Foremost CagayanDevelopment Leisure Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Asian Development Bank and Bases Conversion and Development Authority in relation to the proposed Information, Communications & Technology Infrastructure Project for New Clark City under a potential public-private partnership.
  • Acting as counsel for APO Production Unit and United Graphic Expression Corporation on the implementation of their joint venture agreement to upgrade APO’s printing facility to become a world-class printer to enable APO to print the Philippine ePassport.
  • Advising Zomato in the licensing of Zomato’s new information technology features and the implementation thereof to cope with the fast-paced FinTech industry.

Philippines > Corporate and M&A Tier 4

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) provides corporate advice to domestic clients from a wide range of sectors, including energy, manufacturing, retail, technology, real estate, and infrastructure. Key services include acquisition-related advice, drafting and revision of agreements, due diligence, negotiations, handling government agencies, and more recently, advising on corporate rehabilitation plans. Aris Gulapa specialises in joint ventures, particularly public-private partnerships in infrastructure, and jointly heads the team with Melissa Chavez-Dee, who is experienced in multi-million capital restructurings.

Testimonials

‘Very strong team, who are responsive and are willing to go the extra mile to help.’

‘Very accessible, does not feel like they are just in it to bill hours, but find different ways to solve legal issues in the best manner.’

The team consists of excellent lawyers who work together in an organised manner to fulfil the requirements.’

Atty. Aris L. Gulapa is an expert in transactions involving government projects. He always discusses the possible risks and recommends legal solutions to mitigate those risks.’

Key clients

Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc.

Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp.

United Graphic Expression Corporation

Salve ReginaCapulong

Pivot International, Inc.

Momentum-Solutions, Inc.

Manila Water Company Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Kyuden with post-closing requirements and its acquisition of shares in Powersource.
  • Assisted Manila Water Company Inc. with the drafting and revision of its concession agreement with Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (“MWSS”).    
  • Assisted Pivot International, Inc. with structuring its joint venture with Power Serve (PSI), Inc., to submit a bid for the refurbishment of automated elections equipment to be used for the 2022 Philippine elections.

Philippines > Dispute resolution Tier 4

Clients from both public and private sectors frequently call upon Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) for assistance on a wide range of contentious matters, including commercial arbitration, appellate practice, and litigation – commercial, civil, and criminal. Oscar Cajucom heads the team and handles disputes in the infrastructure and construction sectors. Senior associate Christine Joy A. Abu-Bangcola handles cyber libel cases and family law matters.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The firm is well-attuned and responsive to our company’s needs and it has always been able to provide useful strategies and solutions that are tailored to our objectives and requirements.’

‘Atty. Carlo Cajucom has excellent grasp of the arbitration rules and process.’

‘The firm is very attentive, thorough and sensitive to needs of the client and strengthened by its knowledge and capability. Its people take care of clients every step of the way.’

Key clients

JBROS Construction Corporation

Philippine South East Asean Games Organizational Committee Foundation, Inc.

Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corporation

Edna Cureg and Henry Cureg

Paolo Alcantara

Joey Aquino

Nelson Napata

Minimax Advertising and Production Corp.

Stewart Ong

A.C. Ong Consulting, Inc.

Aboitiz Land, Inc.

Island Air Products Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisted PHISGOC with the filing two Cyberlibel cases against the editorial and publishing team of two of the largest newspapers in the Philippines (The Daily Tribune and The Manila Times).
  • Assisted Philphos with filing its US$236,000,000.00 rehabilitation plan under the new Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act of the Philippines.
  • Represented JBROS in a writ of preliminary injunction before the trial court of Manila for the unlawful blacklisting of the corporation by the Department of Health and in filing an arbitration case before the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission for breach of contract against DOH.

Philippines > Labour and employment

At Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law), firm managing partner Aris Gulapa  and senior associate Oscar Cajucom are active in a range of contentious employment law matters, representing well-known employers as well as in some cases employees.

The firm: Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) was established by Aris L. Gulapa in September 2015. From a complement of 6 lawyers, Gulapa Law now has a total of 36 legal staff (29 lawyers and 7 underbar associates).

Before setting up Gulapa Law, Aris was a partner at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio from October 2011 to September 2015. Previously, Aris has advised sponsors and lenders in relation to the financing of important government projects in Manila, Singapore, Vietnam, and Tokyo. Aris worked at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (December 2003-June 2006); Kelvin Chia Partnership (Singapore and Vietnam offices, July 2006- June 2008); and Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Tokyo office, July 2008- June 2010). He also worked as research assistant to Harry First, former head of the Antitrust Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General of New York, from September 2010 to May 2011.

In February 2017, the firm became the first Philippine-based law firm to establish an office in New York City through its affiliate, Gulapa & Baclay LLP. Earlier in 2017 as well, the firm expanded its capabilities, particularly by developing its litigation practice.

Meanwhile, in June 2018, the firm established a representative office in San Francisco to liaise with its US West Coast-based clients with Philippine bound legal concern.

On December 18, 2020, Gulapa Law continued to expand within the Philippines by officially launching its fourth office in Cebu City, Gulapa & Ismael. The Cebu office currently has 5 lawyers.

In 2022, Gulapa Law will take root in one of the emerging cities in Southeast Asia.

Through the years, Gulapa Law has achieved various forms of recognition, specifically:

Chambers & Partners (Global)

  • Projects, Infrastructure & Energy, Band 3 (2022)

Chambers & Partners (Asia Pacific)

  • Projects, Infrastructure & Energy, Band 3 (2022)

Asian Legal Business Southeast Asia Law Awards

  • Rising Law Firm of the Year, winner (2019)

Asian Legal Business Philippine Law Awards

  • Boutique Law Firm of the Year, winner (2017)
  • Rising Law Firm of the Year, winner (2018)

Asian Legal Business

  • One of the “Firms to Watch” and “Best Boutiques” in Asia (2017)

International Financial Law Review — Financial & Corporate Guide

  • Ranked Tier 3, Project Finance (2022)
  • Notable Law Firm, Banking and Finance (2022)
  • Ranked Tier 3, M&A (2022)
  • Ranked Tier 2, Project Development (2022)
  • Notable Law Firm, Restructuring and Insolvency (2022)

The Legal500

  • Real Estate and Construction (Tier 2) (2022)
  • Corporate/M&A (Tier 4) (2022)
  • Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (Tier 3) (2022)
  • Project and Energy (Tier 2) (2022)
  • Antitrust and Competition (Tier 2) (2022)
  • Intellectual Property (Tier 3) (2022)
  • Dispute Resolution (Tier 4) (2022)

Asialaw Profiles

  • Competition/Antitrust (Recommended Law Firm) (2022)
  • Construction (Recommended Law Firm) (2022)
  • Corporate/M&A (Recommended Law Firm) (2022)
  • Real Estate (Recommended Law Firm) (2022)
  • Energy (Recommended Law Firm) (2022)
  • Infrastructure (Recommended Law Firm) (2022)
  • Technology and telecommunications (Notable Law Firm) (2022)
  • Intellectual Property (Notable Law Firm) (2022)
  • Dispute Resolution (Notable Law Firm) (2022)

Asia Business Law Journal

  • One of Asia’s Dealmakers of the Year (2017)
  • Private Equity & Venture Capital Firm of the Year (2021)
  • Projects & Infrastructure Firm of the Year (2021)

In-House Community Awards

  • Philippine Firm of the Year in Compliance & Regulatory (2021)
  • Honorable Mention, International Arbitration (2021)
  • Honorable Mention, Banking and Finance (2021)
  • Honorable Mention, Competition and Corporate/M&A (2021)
DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Corporate/M&A Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Corporate/M&A Melissa Chavez-Deemelissa.chavez@gulapalaw.com
Banking and Finance Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Banking and Finance Angel Machucaangel.machuca@gulapalaw.com
Real Estate and Construction Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Real Estate and Construction Angel Machucaangel.machuca@gulapalaw.com
Project Development Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Project Development Charmaine Haw-Limcharms.haw@gulapalaw.com
Project Financing Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Project Financing Butch San Juanbutch.sanjuan@gulapalaw.com
Dispute Resolution Oscar Carlo Cajucomcaloy.cajucom@gulapalaw.com
Intellectual Property Oliver Baclayoliver.baclay@gulapalaw.com
Antitrust and Competition Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Antitrust and Competition Al-Shwaid Ismaelalshwaid.ismael@gulapalaw.com
Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Oliver Baclayoliver.baclay@gulapalaw.com
Immigration Aris Gulapaaris.gulapa@gulapalaw.com
Cebu Matters Al-Shwaid Ismaelalshwaid.ismael@gulapalaw.com
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Christine Joy Abu-Bangcola photo Christine Joy Abu-BangcolaSenior Associate Dispute Resolution, General Corporate, Labor
Ann Danzel Albaña photo Ann Danzel AlbañaJunior Associate General Corporate, Government Contracts, Infrastructure, Construction, Dispute Resolution
Oliver Baclay, Jr. photo Oliver Baclay, Jr.Partner I-Tech and Intellectual Property, Media, Entertainment and Fashion, Innovation and Competition
Theodore Ballesteros photo Theodore BallesterosJunior Associate General Corporate, Infrastructure, Innovation and Competition, Intellectual Property, and Dispute…
Sean James Borja photo Sean James BorjaJunior Associate General Corporate, Government Contracts, Infrastructure, Energy,  Dispute Resolution
Oscar Carlo Cajucom photo Oscar Carlo CajucomPartner Dispute Resolution, Commercial Arbitration, Real Estate, Construction, Estate Settlement, Family Law
Melissa Ester Chavez-Dee photo Melissa Ester Chavez-DeePartner General Corporate, Infrastructure, Government Contracts, Immigration, Innovation and Competition
Hazelmer Fernandez photo Hazelmer FernandezJunior Associate Dispute Resolution, Tax, and General Corporate
Aris Gulapa photo Aris GulapaFounding Partner Corporate/M&A, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction, Government Contracts, Tax, Fashion, Entertainment and media (FEM), Technology,…
Charmaine Rose Haw-Lim photo Charmaine Rose Haw-LimManaging Partner General Corporate, Infrastructure, Litigation & Arbitration, Intellectual Property
Effie Fielle Ignacio photo Effie Fielle IgnacioJunior Associate General Corporate, Government Contracts, Dispute Resolution
Al-Shwaid Ismael photo Al-Shwaid IsmaelPartner General Corporate, Infrastructure, Government Contracts, Innovation and Competition, Real Estate, Estate…
Marguerite Therese Lucila photo Marguerite Therese LucilaOf Counsel General Corporate, Litigation
Maureen Macaraeg-Dayrit photo Maureen Macaraeg-DayritOf Counsel Dispute Resolution, Competition and Innovation Law, and General Corporate
Jose Maria Angel Machuca photo Jose Maria Angel MachucaPartner General Corporate, Special Projects, Construction and Infrastructure
Dan Kevin Mandocdoc photo Dan Kevin MandocdocPartner General Corporate, Special Projects, Construction and Infrastructure, Health Sciences
Marcley Augustus Natu-el photo Marcley Augustus Natu-elJunior Associate General Corporate, Litigation, and Infrastructure
Karren Mae Obeso photo Karren Mae ObesoJunior Associate General Corporate, Special Projects, Banking, Tax, Dispute Resolution
Arianne Paralisan photo Arianne ParalisanJunior Associate General Corporate, Infrastructure, and Litigation
Maria Isabelle Poblete photo Maria Isabelle PobleteJunior Associate General Corporate, Government Contracts, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property
Phillip Don Recentes photo Phillip Don RecentesSenior Associate General Corporate, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Labor, Technology Media and…
Teodulo San Juan, Jr. photo Teodulo San Juan, Jr.Partner General Corporate, Infrastructure, Energy, Government Contracts, Financing, Mergers and Acquisitions and…
Marie Yasmin Sanchez-Hereira photo Marie Yasmin Sanchez-HereiraOf Counsel General Corporate, Infrastructure, Government Contracts, i-Tech and Intellectual Property, Fashion,…
Ariane Louise Tan photo Ariane Louise TanJunior Associate General Corporate, Government Contracts, Infrastructure, Construction, Dispute Resolution
Number of lawyers : 29
at this office : 36 (including underbar associates)
English
Chinese (Hokkien)
Chinese (Mandarin)
Filipino

Gulapa Law Opens Cebu Office

After opening offices in New York and San Francisco, Manila-based law firm Gulapa Law opened its office in Cebu City, Philippines last December 18.  The office, offically Gulapa & Ismael, is led by Cebu-resident partner Al-Shwaid Ismael and currently has a complement of four lawyers in total.

Teodulo Antonio “Butch” G. San Juan, Jr. joins Gulapa Law as Partner

Manila-based law firm, Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law), is delighted to announce that, effective 1 June 2020, Mr. Teodulo Antonio “Butch” G. San Juan, Jr. (University of the Philippines College of Law 1996, LLB, ranked 5th; Philippine Bar 1997, 7th placer) will be joining the firm as Partner.