Fresh from posting a stellar 6.9% GDP performance for the first quarter of 2016 and outpacing China, the Philippines is cementing its foothold as one of the fastest growing economies in the Asian region. Spurred mostly by strong consumption and a growing middle class, the Philippines is undoubtedly an Asian economic bright spot.
One of the country’s leading law firms, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia (CMT) is optimistic that the Philippines is poised to continue its steady economic growth under the new leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, whose 10-point socioeconomic programme includes, among others: maintaining current macroeconomic policies, including fiscal, monetary and trade policies; instituting progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection, indexing taxes to inflation; increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business and pursuing the relaxation of the constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership, except as regards land ownership, in order to attract foreign direct investment; and accelerating annual infrastructure spending to account for 5% of GDP, with public-private partnerships (PPPs) playing a key role.
With its legacy of three decades of legal practice, CMT is uniquely situated to provide unparalleled legal representation in various fields of law. It is widely recognized as one of the top-tier firms in the fields of Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and Intellectual Property. Its competencies in Corporate and Special Projects, Mining and Energy, Immigration, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Infrastructure and PPP Projects, as well as Real Estate and Construction, are likewise well established.
Notable recent transactions include: advising one of the country’s leading banks in concluding a US$500 million syndicated term loan facility agreement with international banks (considered the largest syndicated loan transaction by a Philippine financial institution as of August 2015); assisting in the share purchase of Lafarge’s interests in Philippine companies as part its global merger with Holcim; drafting and negotiating the joint venture agreement between Daum Kakao and ABS-CBN to introduce Kakao Talk in the Philippines; preparing feasibility studies for PPP projects of the Philippine government, including the North-South Commuter Railway; and structuring the agreement for the Philippine government’s proposed light-rail system in Manila.
At the helm of the firm’s various legal departments are 15 partners – highly proficient and accomplished individuals who have distinguished themselves in their respective practice areas. These senior partners have rich and varied experience both in the public and private sector, including service in the Philippine President’s cabinet, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Solicitor General, as well as in international organizations such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
The partners are joined by 42 associates who are top graduates of the best law schools in the Philippines. Together, they render timely, up-to-date and relevant advice and assistance to clients for the effective and seamless execution of high-stakes transactions.
A leader in its field, CMT’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group is unrivalled in handling highly complex disputes of significant financial consequence to its clients, is a pioneer in the field of Corporate Rehabilitation, a sought after firm in Tax Litigation, and a pre-eminent practice group in terms of Trial Advocacy and Appellate Practice. The practice group also provides counsel to various trade and industry organizations on policy measures that impact their businesses. The firm is known for its unique ability to wage coordinated and multi-pronged litigation campaigns, and has an unmatched record of success both in public interest cases and in critical, high-stakes and must-win commercial disputes.
Backed by its solid record in delivering outstanding results for its roster of clients composed of leading banking and financial institutions, real estate companies, and multinational conglomerates among others, the firm’s Corporate and Special Projects Department stands out in adding value to its clients’ businesses on top of providing sound, practical and innovative legal advice. It has also advised the Philippine PPP Centre and the Department of Transportation and Communications on various PPP projects.
As a top-ranked firm in Intellectual Property, the firm’s IP Department provides its clients with a full range of services covering the whole gamut of intellectual property rights, including trademark and patent prosecution, patent drafting, and IP enforcement and litigation. Always a pioneer and at the cutting edge of intellectual property practice, the firm’s IP lawyers were responsible for securing the first Philippine Supreme Court decision declaring a trademark as internationally well-known. With the advent of the ASEAN economic integration, the practice group has firmly positioned itself as a leader in IP commercialization and IP asset protection, and provides valuable advice to the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, as well as the University of the Philippines.
Consistent with the firm’s culture of excellence, the firm’s Mining and Natural Resources & Energy practice group offers comprehensive and forward-thinking advice to its foreign and local clients covering the multifarious aspects of the mining/energy sector. Throughout the years, the practice group has steadily proven itself as its clients’ reliable partner in creating lasting value anchored on the Philippines’ competitive edge as one of the most highly mineralized countries in the world.
With CMT’s distinct competencies, it can be counted on to provide solid advice to take full advantage of the many business opportunities in the Philippines.