Becoming a top legal adviser requires firms to go beyond giving solid legal advice and ensure timely completion of tasks. Asia Business Law Journal names the top firms in the Philippines for 2018. We have identified four winners in dispute resolution area as follows

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia (CMT) has been on the upswing this year, having added 19 new lawyers and four partners through promotions. Led by the country’s former secretary of national defence, Avelino J Cruz Jr, and former ombudsman and solicitor-general, Simeon V Marcelo, it has carved a name for itself in litigation and dispute resolution, having represented a number of top clients including BSP and the Monetary Board, the country’s central monetary authority. It has also earned a reputation for its intellectual property, energy and infrastructure practices.

Poblador Bautista & Reyes is reputed to be among the top litigation firms in the Philippines. It focuses on civil, commercial, administrative and criminal litigation as well as real estate, intellectual property, securities and finance, insurance, employment, and immigration.

Founded by the incumbent Senior Associate Justice and acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Antonio Carpio, Villaraza & Angangco (V&A) has made a name for itself as a top litigation firm. The firm has about 57 lawyers including 19 partners. Founded in 1980, V&A is a full-service law firm with specialization in areas of litigation, corporate and intellectual property law.

One significant case handled by V&A includes representing RCBC against the unprecedented cyber-heist on the Central Bank of Bangladesh, where approximately US$81 million was remitted to one of its branches through payment instructions given by the Federal Bank of New York. This exposed RCBC to investigations by the Senate, AMLC and BSP. V&A led the defence of RCBC’s board in an administrative proceeding before the BSP, resulting in an institutional fine to RCBC, while its officers and board were absolved from liability. V&A is also handling the defence of various officers of RCBC in a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice, and is undertaking the criminal prosecution of certain employees of RCBC.

Gerard C Garcia, chief financial officer of Fountel Corporation, lauds V&A’s litigation and M&A practice saying, “their skilled and experienced advice has been beneficial for us … We recently had to go back and refer to an agreement they advised on five years ago, and their advice and revisions to the agreement back then proved invaluable. They are one of the best firms in the field.”


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The winners of Asia Business Law Journal’s Philippines Law Firm Awards were selected based on votes, references and qualitative information received from in-house counsel and other legal professionals in the Philippines and around the world.

A voting form was posted on our website and thousands of in-house counsel, lawyers at international law firms and other Philippines-focused professionals were invited to vote. At the same time, Philippine law firms were asked to make submissions in support of their candidacy for awards. These submissions, combined with research by Asia Business Law Journal’s editorial team, played a supporting role in the judging process.

All Philippines law firms were automatically eligible for inclusion in the awards process. As always, there were no entry fees or any other requirements for entry. Read the full list of The Philippines Law Firm Awards 2018 here


The Philippines Law Firm Awards