Philippines

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

The firm’s lawyers are highly respected by their peers for providing sought after legal guidance to leaders of our nation, captains of industry, and even the common man. All 15 partners, together with the firm’s associates and non-legal personnel, who count among the very best in the profession, are bound by a commitment to deliver the highest quality of service to help the firm’s clients attain success and contribute to nation building.

Together, practicing law as one firm, Cruz Marcelo and Tenefrancia provides unparalleled legal representation in various fields of law as a full-service firm.

People at Cruz Marcelo

& Tenefrancia

Avelino J. Cruz, Jr.

Name Partner

Mr. Cruz is a senior partner specializing in commercial litigation, corporate & commercial law, infrastructure projects, and administrative law.

He previously served as Secretary of the Department of National Defense, where he brought a fresh civilian perspective to address the challenges faced by our country's defense and military establishments. He was widely credited for introducing fundamental, comprehensive, and institution-wide reforms through the Philippine Defense Reform program. His unblemished stint in public service and record of success in the defense department have become benchmarks upon which others who followed have been measured.  Some of the groundbreaking reform initiatives started his leadership have become the foundation of wide-ranging public sector reforms currently being undertaken.

Mr. Cruz also previously served as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel in the Office of the President, where he provided strategic legal counsel to the President of the Republic of the Philippines on key policy issues. He oversaw inter-agency efforts in public policy litigation and international arbitration resulting in an unmatched record of success. He also reviewed and advised the President on appointments to the Executive and the Judiciary. On several occasions, Mr. Cruz served as Acting Executive Secretary, supervising the different departments of government.

Mr. Cruz graduated cum laude and salutatorian from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1977 and placed 7th in the Bar Examinations. As a student leader during martial law, he served as President of the UP Law Student Government and the Student Council of the Ateneo de Manila University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1991 and was Bar Examiner in Commercial Law in the 1995 Philippine Bar Examinations. Mr. Cruz served as President of the Philippine Bar Association. He is also a member of prestigious international lawyers' organizations, such as the ASEAN Law Association, International Bar Association, Inter-Pacific Bar Association, and the New York State Bar Association. In 2003, he was conferred a Doctor of Laws degree honoris causa by the Baguio Colleges Foundation.​

Simeon V. Marcelo

Name Partner / Chairman & CEO

Mr. Marcelo previously served as the country's Solicitor General [February 2001 - October 2002] and Ombudsman [October 2002 - November 2005]. Despite keeping a low profile while still in private practice, he was already acknowledged in legal circles as one of the country’s top litigators. He caught public attention during the impeachment proceedings against then President Joseph Estrada when he was chosen to handle the presentation of the prosecution’s star witness. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the country’s leading newspapers, observed:

 

“His impeccable courtroom manners, boyish smile and quick, appropriate answers to the questions of the chief justice, senator-judges and defense panel won the hearts of the viewers of the impeachment trial. Simeon Marcelo, one of the private prosecutors in the impeachment trial, handled the direct examination of star witness Governor Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson, and became, in the process, one of the leading lights in this historical trial. x x x During the entire proceeding, Marcelo, though low-key and unassuming, stood out. In fact, he was brilliant. Cool and unflappable, he was so prepared, nothing could have surprised or unnerved him. x x x” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 14 February 2001, at page B13)

In February 2001, Mr. Marcelo accepted an appointment as Solicitor General. As head of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), an office separate and independent from the Department of Justice, he gave exceptional focus on the much neglected ill-gotten wealth cases against the Marcoses and their cronies. His efforts led to the successful recovery of ill-gotten wealth amounting to billions of pesos. Having won all of OSG’s major cases during his tenure, he is considered as one of the most successful Solicitors General in our history.

 

These accomplishments led to his subsequent appointment as Ombudsman. Apart from being the youngest ever to be appointed to the position, Mr. Marcelo’s work in the fight against graft and corruption earned local and international recognition. Faced with severe lack of resources, he led a serious and effective crusade against corruption, earning praises from foreign and local media, including the Philippines’ normally critical newspapers. The Washington Post stated that Mr. Marcelo “restored credibility to that organization.” Mr. Marcelo also led the legal panel that successfully prosecuted and secured the conviction of former President Joseph Estrada for plunder. A well respected journalist, Juan Mercado, described him as follows:

 

“Exasperated by political infighting, George Washington wrote: ‘Few have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.’ Simeon Marcelo had what it took. International and local observers agree on that.

 

Street yokels, like us, got a first close look at this 1979 topnotcher during the Estrada impeachment trial. People liked what they saw then: a talented comer without guile. In Adlai Stevenson’s words, he could ‘lead a cavalry charge without feeling funny astride a horse.’” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 20 October 2005, at page A12)

 

Mr. Marcelo served as the Executive Secretary of the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal from 2007 to 2010. He was also a Professor of Evidence and Trustee of Arellano University Law School from 2006 to 2008.

 

On 19 September 2008, Atty. Marcelo was appointed as one of the four members of the World Bank’s new Independent Advisory Board (IAB), which provides advice on good governance and effective anti-corruption measures to the Bank’s President, Audit Committee and Department of Integrity. In 2009, the Asia Foundation engaged his services as an International Anti-Corruption Consultant to assist in the good governance and anti-corruption projects of the Mongolian Government.

 

A recipient of the Crispin Llamado Scholarship Award, Mr. Marcelo graduated among the top ten of his class from the University of the Philippines College of law and placed 5th in the 1979 Bar Examinations. He is a member of the Pi Gamma Mu International Social Science Honor Society and the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society. He previously served as the Chairperson of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ National Committee on Legal Aid and head of its Task Force on Child Abuse, as well as the Executive Editor of its Law Journal. He also served from 2009 to 2010 as the President of the Philippine Bar Association, the country’s oldest and largest voluntary organization of lawyers.

 

In January 2008, he returned to private practice and was engaged by the largest local power utility to defend against a hostile take-over attempt by the government pension fund backed by one of the biggest companies in the country. Marcelo’s legal team successfully defended against the take-over attempt by winning crucial victories at the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. [GSIS vs. Court of Appeals, et al., 585 SCRA 680 (2009)] In 2009, the same Marcelo was again tapped by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) to prosecute the owner and officers of the Legacy group in the biggest bank fraud case in the country’s history.

 

In 2013, Marcelo led his team of tax litigation experts in representing one of the country’s leading companies in the Court of Tax Appeals relating to a P7-billion tax collection suit, perhaps one of the country’s biggest tax case in recent years.

Joe

Nathan P. Tenefrancia

Name Partner / Managing Partner 

Mr. Tenefrancia is the Managing Partner of our firm and heads our Telecommunications and Information & Communications Technology practice group. He is a litigator by training and remains a member of our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department. With his background in mining engineering, in addition to being a lawyer, he is also a member of our Mining & Natural Resources Department.

 

In February 2001, Mr. Tenefrancia was appointed Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs (Presidential Management Staff) under the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines and was Chief Presidential Legal Counsel (with the rank of Cabinet Secretary) from January 2004 to August 2004.  Thereafter, he was appointed Senior Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, Office of the Executive Secretary (with the rank of Cabinet Secretary) under the Office of the President from September 2004 to December 2005.

 

His extensive experience in litigation practice and in government service brings in fresh and privileged insight and strategy, which lead to the resolution of complex and multi-faceted legal issues.  Having counseled and handled for the Republic intricate legal matters of magnitude and consequence, Mr. Tenefrancia possesses an ability to command resolution of the most complex cases, with a keen eye on the finer details.

 

Mr. Tenefrancia is an active member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), having served as Public Relations Officer (1999 to 2000) and Director (2000 to 2001) of the IBP-Makati City Chapter and a member of the IBP National Committee on Legal Aid.  He is likewise a member of the Philippine Bar Association, Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc., U.P. Law Alumni Association, U.P. College of Engineering Alumni Association and U.P. Alumni Association and was Assistant Secretary of the Makati Law Foundation.

 

Mr. Tenefrancia obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines in 1990, where he was Chief Justice Fred Ruiz-Castro Scholar.  He graduated class Salutatorian with a Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence.  He was also Chancellor of the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society and served as President of the U.P. College of Law Student Government (1989 to 1990), Member of the Student Editorial Board of the Philippine Law Journal and Councilor of the U.P. College of Arts and Sciences Student Council (1981 to 1982).  Mr. Tenefrancia also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the University of the Philippines where he graduated in 1985.

Manuel L. Manaligod, Jr.

Senior Partner

Mr. Manaligod heads our Corporate & Commercial Law Department, overseeing various practice groups under this broad field of law.

 

He is an authority on transactions involving infrastructure projects, including those that make use of build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) schemes and its variants. He has a broad experience dealing with contracts between the private sector and the government, and is an expert in project finance, commercial law, and administrative law. His fields of practice also include information & communications technology, water, and power & energy. Mr. Manaligod previously held a senior position in the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel during the Ramos Administration. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1991 and Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1997, where he graduated with merit.

Susan D. Villanueva

Senior Partner / Deputy Managing Partner for Finance

Ms. Villanueva is an experienced and accomplished litigator who has successfully represented in intellectual property, tax and trade cases.

 

Ms. Villanueva heads our firm's Intellectual Property Department and is the principal litigator of intellectual property litigation and enforcement cases. She has represented a broad range of clients engaged in broadcasting, consumer care, pharmaceuticals, information technology, manufacturing and banking in intellectual property cases. She also handles trademark and patent prosecution on behalf of the firm’s diverse intellectual property clientele.

She was the principal litigator of landmark intellectual property cases in the Philippines where the Supreme Court first declared a trademark as internationally well-known and affirmed the jurisdiction of the Intellectual Property Office over administrative cases for violations of intellectual property rights. She also successfully represented a local pharmaceutical company against a foreign company in a case where the Supreme Court affirmed the abandonment of a patent for losartan. She also successfully defended before the Supreme Court search warrants issued against suspected infringers in an enforcement action for the liquefied petroleum gasoline industry. She also advises the University of the Philippines Diliman on intellectual property commercialization efforts.

 

Ms. Villanueva is also a lead litigator of the Tax Litigation Group with extensive experience handling cases before the Court of Tax Appeals and appellate courts. Ms. Villanueva is the principal advisor and lead litigator of a major petroleum company on major tax litigation matters.

 

She also heads the firm's Trade practice group. She represented the Philippine cement industry in obtaining the first provisional safeguard measure issued in the Philippines. She has also advised the petrochemical industry on ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) matters.

 

Ms. Villanueva is a professorial lecturer of Intellectual Property Law at the University of the Philippines College of Law. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York Bar Association. She was the Chairman of the Intellectual Property Professors and Researchers Organization of the Philippines (IP-PRO Philippines), the professional association of intellectual property professors and managers in the Philippines, from 2010 to 2015.

 

Ms. Villanueva also serves as the Co-Chairperson of the Advisory Council for Intellectual Property (ACIP), a committee composed of experts tasked to advise the Director General of the Philippine Intellectual Property Office ("IPO") for the realization of IPO's mission and vision and the approaches to challenges and issues that may impact the said office.

 

Ms. Villanueva has also published numerous articles on intellectual property and trade and has lectured extensively on both subjects in numerous local and international fora. She is a co-author of "Utilising Trips Flexibilities For Public Health Protection Through South-South Regional Frameworks," a book published by an international non-governmental organization.

 

Ms. Villanueva earned her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1991, graduating cum laude and salutatorian. She ranked fourth in the 1991 Philippine Bar Examinations. She earned her Master of Laws degree, specializing in intellectual property and international laws, from Yale University in 1995. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1999.

Patricia A.

O. Bunye

Senior Partner / Deputy Managing Partner for Administration

Ms. Bunye heads the Mining & Natural Resources Department and the Energy practice group, and is also a Partner in the Intellectual Property Department.

 

Her Intellectual Property practice is focused on trademarks and IP commercialization, including licensing and franchising, and the registration of food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products with the Food & Drug Administration.

 

She was the President of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) from 2016-2017 after having served as President-Elect [2015-2016], Vice President [2011-2013] and Chair of the Asia Pacific Committee for two consecutive terms. She is also a past President of LES Philippines. She has spoken in many countries on IP licensing in the Philippines.

 

In her Mining & Natural Resources practice, she is recognized among the foremost mining lawyers in the Philippines. In the 2015 edition of the Chambers directory, Patricia is cited as being "highly regarded by both peers and clients in this industry."

 

She is an active member of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines' Legal Committee and is a regular speaker in the Mining 101 course of the University of the Philippines lecture series.  She is the founding President of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc., a non-government organization advocating the responsible development of the Philippines’ wealth in resources, principally, through industries such as mining, oil and gas, quarrying, and other mineral resources from the earth for processing.

 

Patricia has likewise served in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in various capacities, including as Chapter President.  She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 1993. She also holds a degree in Bachelor of Science, Major in Legal Management from the same University.

 

Her socio-civic involvements include her work as a Director of the Catholic Mass Media Awards.

Rodel A. Cruz

Senior Partner / Deputy Managing Partner for Personnel

Mr. Cruz heads our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department. He has extensive experience in commercial & corporate litigation, tax litigation, insolvency and corporate rehabilitation proceedings, regulatory enforcement cases, election cases, the prosecution and defense of white-collar crimes. He also engages in public policy litigation.

 

He has a successful career in litigation having represented a wide range of clients including some of the country’s leading companies. He currently represents several industry-wide organizations involved in agriculture, aviation and shipping in strategic matters that have a substantial impact on their operations. He recently earned recognition for his outstanding performance in the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Anti-Cybercrime Law, as lead counsel for the Philippine Bar Association (PBA). He has also successfully obtained key regulatory approvals for one of the biggest cable TV transactions in the country.

 

Mr. Cruz previously served as Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense and successfully negotiated bilateral and multilateral treaties and executive agreements. He gained extensive experience in constitutional and administrative law, government contracts and public policy development while serving as Undersecretary in the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, where he rendered legal advice on policy issues, drafted key presidential issuances, coordinated public policy litigation and international arbitration, and vetted appointments to the Judiciary.

 

Mr. Cruz earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1992. Graduating among the top ten of his class, he was also in the editorial board of the Philippine Law Journal and the varsity debating team. Mr. Cruz also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, graduating cum laude from the same university in 1987.  He was a recipient of the British Chevening Scholarship from the UK Embassy and the British Council, an award he declined to continue his public service in 2004.

 

He is a Senior Fellow of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Mr. Cruz occasionally lectures and writes papers on a variety of legal, security and strategic issues. He has served as a member of the Board of Visitors of the Philippine Military Academy and as a member of the Board of Advisers of the Philippine Navy. He was also an officer of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

 

Mr. Cruz is currently the President of the Philippine Bar Association, the oldest voluntary national organization of lawyers in the Philippines.

Aida

Araceli G. Roxas

Senior Partner

Ms. Rivera is a Senior Partner in our Corporate and Commercial Law Group and heads the Firm’s Retainer, Corporate Governance & Regulation and Gaming practice groups.

Representing both local and foreign clients in connection with their investments in the Philippines, she has demonstrated expertise in addressing legal issues involving ownership and nationality restrictions, national and local taxes, and regulatory compliance, among others. She has extensive experience in assisting foreign clients in setting-up their business entity in the Philippines, establishing joint ventures with Philippine partners, and in ensuring compliance with relevant government regulations imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investments, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Telecommunications Commission, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, among others, and local government units. She has also actively assisted clients in the negotiation, preparation, drafting, review and implementation of various contracts and agreements, including the conduct of due diligence and assistance in mergers and acquisitions, whether asset or share purchase transactions.

 

She also has extensive experience in government relations due primarily to the various positions she has held in the Philippine Government: Assistant Secretary for Legal (Department of National Defense) from January 2005 to November 2006; Undersecretary (Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Office of the Executive Secretary) in the Office of the President of the Philippines from December 2003 to January 2005; and Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs (Presidential Management Staff) in the Office of the President from September 2001 to December 2003.

 

Ms. Rivera is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Philippine Bar Association, U.P. Women Lawyers’ Circle, Federacion Internacional de Abogadas (Phil.) and the Women Lawyers Association of the Philippines. Ms. Rivera obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines in 1995, ranking sixth in her class and graduating with a Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. She was also a consistent member of the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society. She was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1996. Ms. Rivera also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of the Philippines, where she graduated in 1989.

John

Jerico L.

Balisnomo

Senior Partner

Mr. Balisnomo is a Senior Partner in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department. He specializes in civil, criminal, and tax litigation, as well as appellate practice. Mr. Balisnomo has represented clients in every level of the judiciary and various administrative venues.

 

Mr. Balisnomo also specializes in public sector and governance law, which deals with litigation involving public contracts, procurement, governance and official conduct, administrative law, and other laws on public officers, including the prosecution or defense in criminal matters relating to official action. In this regard, Mr. Balisnomo has successfully litigated cases at various venues for the invalidation of governmental actions from local government issuances and ordinances, to provisions of law enacted by Congress. He is likewise actively engaged in the defense against baseless, abusive and oppressive governmental actions, as well as the prosecution of erring public officials.

 

Mr. Balisnomo was the Chairperson of the Legal Education Committee of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Makati City Chapter (2008-2010). He also previously served as Vice-Chairperson of the Chapter's Legal Aid Committee. He is also a member of the Philippine Bar Association.

 

Mr. Balisnomo co-authored an article in the International Comparative Legal Guides to: Litigation and Dispute Resolution 2010 published by the Global Legal Group Ltd., London.

 

Mr. Balisnomo earned his Bachelor's Degree in Legal Management from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1993 graduating with honors,. He subsequently obtained his Juris Doctor from the same university in 1997 where he likewise graduated with honors.

Miguel

U. Silos

Senior Partner

Mr. Silos is a Senior Partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department. He has successfully litigated cases in the areas of civil, labor, commercial & criminal litigation, bank fraud, debt restructuring, international trade, taxation as well as arbitration & alternative dispute resolution.

 

Mr. Silos earned his Juris Doctor degree with honors from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 1998. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the Georgetown University Law Center where he was a fellow in the Institute of International Economic Law. His undergraduate studies were at the Ateneo de Manila University where he was a merit scholar.

 

His journal article, "A Re-Examination of the Doctrine of Condonation of Public Officers", Philippine Law Journal Vol. 84, September 2009 was cited as authority by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Carpio Morales vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 217126, 10 November 2015.

 

Mr. Silos was named a Leading Individual for Dispute Resolution in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2016, 2017) and was cited as a Global Law Expert for Litigation.

Elmar B. Galacio, CF

Senior Partner

A Senior Partner in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department, Mr. Galacio is our firm’s litigator in bank fraud cases and is in-charge of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (including construction and commercial arbitration) and of labor and employment.

 

He ranked 8th in the Class of 1997 of the University of the Philippines College of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Purple Feather Honor Society. As a Monbusho Scholar, Mr. Galacio earned his Master in Public Policy from the Saitama University (now Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies), Japan in 2000. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the Holy Name University in Bohol, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1992.

 

Mr. Galacio was a Supervising Lawyer at the Office of Legal Aid of the University of the Philippines College of Law. He represents the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in its successful prosecution of criminal cases against the executives of the Legacy Group of Companies whose multi-billion peso syndicated estafa is regarded as the biggest fraud in Philippine banking history. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) based in Austin, Texas.

 

Mr. Galacio's extensive experience as an ADR practitioner includes being Chairman of arbitral tribunal and counsel in mostly commercial and construction arbitration cases spanning over 15 years. Aside from his admission to membership in the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Institute of World Business Law, he has also qualified for and completed the ICC Arbitration Masterclass, the Advanced Commercial Arbitration and Accreditation Course, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation Masterclass.

Rosa Michele C. Bagtas

Senior Partner

Ms. Bagtas is a Senior Partner in our Corporate & Commercial Law Department and heads the Property Development and Immigration Practice Groups.

 

Rosa has acted as counsel in a number of M & A deals, whether share sale or a share purchase, asset acquisition or disposition, merger, joint venture or spin-off, involving companies in a variety of industries (such as manufacturing companies, life and non-life insurance companies, telecommunications companies, pharmaceutical companies, BPOs, exporters, mining companies, real estate companies, among others).

 

In the field of Property Development, Rosa has acted as counsel and local representative for foreign companies in their bulk acquisition and disposal of condominium units in the Philippines and in making other investments in the country. Rosa has likewise represented clients in a variety of real estate transactions, such as a residential subdivision in Quezon City, a mixed-use subdivision in Batangas, a master-planned community in Laguna, land that will be developed into a power plant and a commercial port in Mindanao, and applications for sales patents in Boracay Island.

 

The foregoing projects required legal due diligence, contract negotiation, implementation, and amendment, management of internal revenue tax and local tax issues, dealings with local government units, addressing of labor issues, dealings with Philippine regulators and other government agencies.

 

Rosa also has extensive practice in Philippine commercial law, taxation, infrastructure development, immigration, foreign investments and trade.

Rosa is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine Bar Association, the Ateneo Law Alumni Association and the Ateneo Alumni Association.

 

Rosa earned her Juris Doctor degree, second honors, from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 1998. She received her Bachelor of Science degree, Major in Legal Management, from the Ateneo de Manila University where she graduated Cum Laude in 1994.

Divina Gracia E. Pedron 

Senior Partner

Ms. Pedron is a Senior Partner specializing in intellectual property law. She is deeply involved in brand protection and rights enforcement through civil, administrative and/or criminal prosecution and border control. She also works with trademark owners in domain name disputes and advises clients on issues involving their trademark rights in the face of unregulated parallel importation.

 

She has an extensive experience in drafting and negotiating licensing agreements, as well as in the registration of patents and trademarks in the Philippines and in other jurisdictions.

 

Ms. Pedron holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines and was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2000.

 

Ms. Pedron attended an intellectual property rights training for lawyers in Tokyo sponsored by the Japan Patent Office and the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation. She has served as President of the Intellectual Property Alumni Association composed of intellectual property practitioners in the Philippines that have attended the same training program.

 

Ms. Pedron currently sits as Assistant Chair of the Committee on Intellectual Property Rights of the Philippine Bar Association, the oldest voluntary national organization of lawyers throughout the Philippines.

 

Recently, Ms. Pedron has assumed the role of monitor of our firm’s Family Law practice group.

Victor Emmanuel M. Pangilinan 

Mr. Pangilinan is a Senior Partner in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department. He specializes in civil, commercial and tax litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, corporate rehabilitation and competition law.

 

Mr. Pangilinan has a wide range of clients in the banking, BPO, insurance, manufacturing, mining, petroleum and real estate industries.

Mr. Pangilinan has represented clients at all levels of Philippine courts and has orally argued before the appellate courts. He has also acted as counsel before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Philippine Competition Commission.

 

Mr. Pangilinan obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the College of Law of the University of the Philippines in 1999. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the same University, where he graduated cum laude in 1995. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2000.

 

Mr. Pangilinan is a member of the honor societies of Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Kappa Phi. He is also a member of the Philippine Constitution Association and the Philippine Bar Association where he served as Co-Chairperson of one of its Committees. Mr. Pangilinan is also a member and a trained arbitrator of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.

Pancho G. Umali 

Senior Partner

Mr. Umali is a Senior Partner in our Corporate & Commercial Law Department and our Mining & Natural Resources practice group.


He regularly advises clients on, among others, investment structures and protection, nationality restrictions, compliance and governance, government procurement, tax, conveyancing, property development, citizenship, immigration, employment and outsourcing. As a member of the firm’s Mining & Natural Resources Department, Mr. Umali also routinely assists clients particularly on land and environmental issues, indigenous peoples, social and development management, community relations, security, and local governments.


Mr. Umali’s recent undertakings include representing a mining client in an appeal lodged before the Office of the President, and advising a foreign company in securing an equity stake in a local petroleum downstream player.


He holds a degree in Bachelor of Arts major in Philosophy from the University of the Philippines, where he graduated cum laude. In 2001, he obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the same university where he graduated as a member of the UP Law Honors’ Society, the Order of the Purple Feather. Mr. Umali was admitted to the Philippine Bar the succeeding year.


Mr. Umali is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; the Philippine Bar Association; the Taguig Lawyers League; and the Makati Law Foundation, Inc.

Rowanie A. Nakan 

Partner

Ms. Nakan is a Partner in the Intellectual Property Department. The combination of her technical and legal trainings led her to the field of patents. Her work involves rendering various patent services, from patent procurement, maintenance, enforcement and commercialization. She also made it her advocacy to assist local inventors in securing and maintaining patents in the Philippines and in other jurisdictions.

 

Her work also includes IP litigation. Ms. Nakan is part of the firm's team handling one of the most controversial Philippine patent cases involving a blockbuster pharmaceutical product. She has likewise coordinated with foreign counsels on trademark cases in other jurisdictions.

 

She is among the top passers of the 2007 Patent Agent Qualifying Examination (PAQE) administered by the Philippine Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in cooperation with the European Patent Office (EPO). Aside from attending various patent drafting seminars sponsored by the IPO, Ms. Nakan also attended the 2011 Southeast Asian Patent Drafting Course in Hong Kong organized by the Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Intellectuelle (FICPI).

 

She has spoken in IPO-organized lectures on patents, as well as in the 2015 AIPPI (Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle) World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, where she discussed regulatory and trademark issues involved in selecting a brand name in the Philippine pharmaceutical industry. She is a member of the Standing Committee on Patents of the AIPPI.

 

Ms. Nakan obtained her Bachelor of Law degree in 2006 from the University of the Philippines Diliman, College of Law with a citation as one of the Outstanding Law Interns. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics from the National Institute of Physics of the same university.

Rogelio D. Torres, Jr. 

Partner

Mr. Torres' field of practice includes corporate reorganizations, corporate governance & regulation, real estate transactions, trial advocacy & corporate litigation, banking litigation, corporate rehabilitation, appellate practice, arbitration and labor litigation.

 

Mr. Torres obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 2005. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the Ateneo de Manila University Loyola Schools, where he graduated in 2000. Mr. Torres was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2006.

Ramon Manolo A. Alcasabas

Partner

Mr. Alcasabas is a Partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department where he has actively handled civil, commercial, criminal and labor litigation before the courts and quasi-judicial bodies, as well as developed and implemented various legal strategies for his clients.

 

Mr. Alcasabas' practice likewise includes Telecommunications and ICT Law, where he was part of the team which handled one of the country’s largest acquisitions with respect to the cable television network industry. He is currently a member of the firm’s Competition Law and Data Privacy Practice Groups and has advised clients, as well as represented them before administrative bodies.

 

Mr. Alcasabas is a member of the Philippine Bar Association and has previously served as its Co-Chairperson for Committee on Legislation & Law Reforms.

 

Mr. Alcasabas received his Masters in Law (LL.M.) from Columbia University in the City of New York in May 2014, graduating with honors as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. While at Columbia, he took up subjects in U.S. corporate law, federal rules of evidence, international commercial arbitration, as well as volunteered as an extern at the Bronx Defenders, a public defender office situated at the South Bronx area of New York City. He passed the New York State Bar Examinations in 2014.

 

Mr. Alcasabas obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo Law School in 2007. He graduated with honors and was ranked 7th in his batch. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2008. Mr. Alcasabas likewise holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines.

Jacques S. Lynn

Partner

Ms. Lynn focuses on arbitration, tax litigation, banking litigation, trial advocacy and appellate practice. She is likewise a member of the Tax Litigation Group and Trade Law Group.

 

Ms. Lynn has represented clients before the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) as well as ad hoc arbitrations, and is a Trained Arbitrator of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI). She completed has completed an ICC Institute Training on International Commercial Arbitration in Tokyo (2016) and an ICC Institute Training in International Contracts in Paris (2015), as well as several workshops of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum in Tokyo (2016 & 2014). Focusing on arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, Ms. Lynn attended the 4th Asia Pacific Regional Forum Conference: Borderless Asia in Singapore (2015), the UNCITRAL Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Judicial Summit in Hong Kong (2015), the International Conference on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Manila (2012), and the Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum in Cebu (2010). She completed the Arbitration Training on The Law and Practice of Commercial Arbitration conducted by the PDRCI in July 2015.

 

Ms. Lynn obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Philippines-College of Law in 2008 where she graduated 13th in her class with Order of the Purple Feather standing. She co-authored a legal research paper entitled, "The Internet Variable in Product Liability: A Comparative and Multi-Perspective Examination of Philippine Product Liability Law", which was awarded the 2008 Bienvenido C. Ambion Prize for Best Paper in Private International Law, and was published in the Philippine Law Journal. She also received a Citation for Distinguished Performance as Office of Legal Aid Intern. In law school, she was a research associate for the Institute of Judicial Administration of the University of the Philippines Law Center (2006-2008). A registered nurse, Ms. Lynn was a consistent College Scholar at the University of the Philippines-Manila where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2004. She passed the Nursing Licensure Examination in June of the same year.

Jon Anton Daryl Y. Chua

Partner

Mr. Chua is a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. He has extensive experience in commercial, corporate and criminal litigation, public policy litigation, tax litigation and the prosecution and defense of white-collar crimes.

 

Having consistently represented a wide range of clients including some of the country's leading companies and institutions in their most important cases, the 2017 and 2018 editions of The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific successively cited Mr. Chua as a Next Generation Lawyer. Likewise, the 2017 edition of Asialaw Leading Lawyers also cited Mr. Chua as a Rising Star.

 

Mr. Chua obtained his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the College of Law of the Ateneo de Manila University graduating with Honors in 2008. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2010. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management Economics from the same university.

 

During his graduate studies, he served various organizations such as the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Center for the Rule of Law and the Goodwill Tennis Club. He likewise actively joined various Legal Aid Programs.

 

Prior to his graduate studies, Mr. Chua was active in organizing sports development projects for the youth as recognized by the Ateneo de Manila Athletics Council in 2004. He was likewise previously awarded for academic excellence and social service as a recipient of the President Jose P. Laurel Medal of Academic Excellence, the Senator Gerry Roxas Outstanding Leadership Award and the Scroll of Scholastic Excellence awarded by the Rotary Club of Downtown Manila.

 

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