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Asia Guide

Banking & Finance — Philippines


Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRALAW) - Banking & Finance Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-respected firm recognised for its strong offering in the capital markets sphere, particularly in handling regulatory and compliance issues. Adept in acting for both local and international banks in loan transactions and the establishment of local branches, and has been increasingly active as the Philippines finance markets liberalise. Project finance constitutes a core area of expertise.

Strengths One peer says that the team is "definitely good in the capital markets space."

Notable practitioners

Francisco Lim is well respected for his capital markets skill by market sources, who say they "expect him to be ranked here." He has extensive experience handling ECM and DCM matters.

About the Team (content provided by Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRALAW))

Since the Firm’s inception, it has been the retained counsel of most of the large Philippine and foreign banks operating in the Philippines. The Firm assisted several leading foreign banks in obtaining their full banking licenses under the law liberalizing the entry of foreign banks into the Philippines. Throughout the years, it has acted as counsel in numerous syndicated loans and other financing arrangements for lenders as well as for borrowers, and has advised and assisted clients in various loan restructuring agreements and project finance transactions.

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Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose - Banking & Finance Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Identified for its impressive reputation in the project finance sphere, and particularly known for advising businesses in the power and transportation industries. Especially noted for its advice to international companies on local law issues relating to financing. Also handles insurance mandates, and is expanding its practice in the electronic commerce sphere.

Notable practitioners

With over 30 years of experience in the banking and finance field, Mel Macaraig enjoys a solid reputation in the market, with one peer remarking: "He's definitely a respected name." He is also known for his work in the project finance space.

About the Team (content provided by Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose)

Department profile not yet provided by Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose. Please see their firm profile.

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Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos - Banking & Finance Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Top-notch outfit regularly endorsed for its expertise across a wide range of banking and finance issues. Pinpointed as a local counsel of choice for national and international banks thanks to its experience acting for lenders in financing transactions. Also well respected for its advice on issues relating to bancassurance arrangements. Has a strong reputation in capital markets, handling both transactional and regulatory matters. Especially active advising on equity offerings, and also has a notable debt issuance practice.

Strengths One peer highlights the team's dominance in the market, describing it as "a real market leader in banking."

Another market source says of the team's lawyers that for capital market matters, "they're experienced, know what they're doing, and you can rely on them."

Notable practitioners

With over three decades of experience, Gabriel Dee continues to uphold his strong reputation for handling complex banking and finance work, with one commentator saying: "He's everywhere - very busy!" Market sources also single him out for his strong capital markets expertise, with one saying: "He's very strong here."

Gemma Santos is highly thought of in the market for her expertise and impressive track record in the capital markets and banking and finance spaces. One peer comments that she is "seen as a real leader for capital markets; she is so trusted, even regulators will ask for her opinions."

About the Team (content provided by Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos)

Department profile not yet provided by Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos. Please see their firm profile.

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PJS Law (Puyat Jacinto & Santos) - Banking & Finance Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Maintains its distinguished reputation for work in the project finance sphere, particularly on investments by international banks. Key areas of expertise include syndicated and bilateral loans, as well as distressed asset and non-performing loan mandates. Often represents clients in the mining, energy, financial services and charity sectors, among others.

Work highlights Advised Rizal Bank in connection with equity investments totalling PHP110 million, made in the client by the Bank of the Philippines with a view to developing Rizal's capability to provide financial services to socioeconomically disadvantaged clients.

Acted for China Bank Capital in connection with its role as underwriter for the securitisation of up to PHP5 billion in value of a contract to sell the receivables of housing developer 8990 Holdings.

Notable practitioners

Ramil Bugayong continues to uphold his strong reputation representing lenders and borrowers in financing transactions as well as advising on banking regulations. One peer describes him as "very practical." He is also experienced at handling e-money-related matters.

About the Team (content provided by PJS Law (Puyat Jacinto & Santos))

Department profile not yet provided by PJS Law (Puyat Jacinto & Santos). Please see their firm profile.

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Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International - Banking & Finance Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well versed in assisting multinational banks and financial institutions on a range of matters, including inbound loans, bond transactions and the establishment of foreign-owned business branches in the Philippines, among others. Also handles banking and financial regulatory matters. The firm's worldwide network equips the practice particularly well to act for major global banks in addition to its domestic clientele.

Notable practitioners

Elizabeth Opeña, head of the capital markets practice, and Lourdes de Leon, who leads the banking and finance team, are key contacts at the firm.

Timothy Joseph Mendoza is well known for his work on cross-border banking and finance matters, and is highlighted by one interviewee as being a "technically astute, commercial practitioner who works in an international way." He regularly acts for major international financial institutions.

About the Team (content provided by Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)

Our Banking & Finance team provides practical and innovative solutions to domestic and cross-border financing, regulatory and industry issues.

We help clients efficiently navigate the path between risk and reward in structuring and executing transactions.  We handle project development and financing, asset and balance sheet financing, finance lease, security creation, securitization, insurance regulatory and bancassurance matters.  We advise on:

  • Drafting or reviewing of credit facility and security agreements
  • Advising on Philippine banking, financing, insurance and financial services laws and regulations, taking into account impact on both offshore and onshore elements
  • Structuring security interests and arrangements
  • Establishing business presence in the Philippines, as well as registration of investments, loans and guarantees with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

We have extensive experience and a full range of capabilities to represent:

  • Borrowers or lenders in project finance, acquisition finance, syndicated lending, structured finance, leverage finance and trade finance
  • Lenders, developers, sponsors, project companies and engineering procurement construction contractors in project development and / or financing of infrastructure  and power / energy, and other major industrial projects
  • Lessors or lessees in equipment finance and lease finance

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Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles - Banking & Finance Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Occupies a commanding position handling work for international conglomerates in the Philippine financial landscape, particularly in the capital markets field. Areas of expertise include acting for the underwriters in bond offerings and assisting investors with IPO mandates. Also highly respected for its work in the banking sphere, with regulatory advice being a particular specialism at the firm.

Strengths Peers report that the firm is "definitely Band 1 from an international perspective" when it comes to banking and finance work.

Notable practitioners

Jose Salvador Mirasol maintains a solid reputation for his work in the banking and finance sphere, with one peer saying that he is "very practical and strong." He also regularly advises clients on project finance matters.

Agustin Montilla is known in the market for his high degree of skill in handling capital market transactions, with securitisation work being a particular specialism. He handles both issuer and underwriter-side work, and peers note that he "represents a lot of local banks and issuers."

About the Team (content provided by Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles)

Department profile not yet provided by Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles. Please see their firm profile.

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SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan - Banking & Finance Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Top-flight team that receives praise for expertise across a range of banking, finance and capital markets issues. Gives advice on cutting-edge acquisition financing and corporate financing, among others. Further noted for its strong track record on major syndicated loans and highly experienced in advising on complex cross-border securitisation transactions.

Strengths Peers highlight the firm's extensive history in the market, with one saying: "They've been here a long time, a strong traditional firm."

Notable practitioners

Mia Gentugaya is well known for her banking and finance expertise, and has particular experience advising on project finance work. She is a popular choice with both domestic and international clients.

Vicente Gerochi enjoys a solid reputation in the market, with one source saying that it is a "pleasure working with him, he's very good." He is well respected for his work advising on both DCM and ECM offerings. In addition to his recognised capabilities in the capital markets space, he has recently become more active advising on traditional banking and finance matters.

About the Team (content provided by SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan)

Our Banking, Finance & Securities group has been consistently recognized by the financial and business community as the Philippine leader in this practice. It is a mainstay in country surveys as a top choice for local counsel. We represent and advise most of the major banks and financial institutions, both local and foreign, in all types of financing transactions and regulatory matters. 

On regulatory matters, our services include reviewing bank forms and templates for compliance with legal requirements, responding to jurisdictional queries and providing periodic updates on new laws and regulations, and providing assistance in regulatory investigations and inquiries conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Philippine Central Bank). 

We have extensive experience in the acquisition of banks, dating back to the purchase by Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) of Family Savings Bank. In recent years, we were involved in the sale of ING Bank’s trust business to BPI; and Deutsche Bank’s trust business to BDO Unibank, Inc. 

The group is a pioneer in banking and finance as a specialization for a full-service firm, with one of its first major projects being our engagements as counsel to all creditor banks of the Republic of the Philippines in relation to the country's 1980s debt moratorium. Today, we are assisting clients in Fintech projects, from payment services to virtual currency to online lending, and the latest regulations on cyber security and privacy. 

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Eminent Practitioner

Morales Justiniano Peña & Lumagui

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Rafael Morales of Morales Justiniano Peña & Lumagui is highlighted by peers as a "very experienced old hand" in the banking and finance space. He is well known for his regulatory expertise and is also skilled at handling project finance mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

With over three decades of experience, Gabriel Dee continues to uphold his strong reputation for handling complex banking and finance work, with one commentator saying: "He's everywhere - very busy!" Market sources also single him out for his strong capital markets expertise, with one saying: "He's very strong here."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Gemma Santos is highly thought of in the market for her expertise and impressive track record in the capital markets and banking and finance spaces. One peer comments that she is "seen as a real leader for capital markets; she is so trusted, even regulators will ask for her opinions."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

PJS Law (Puyat Jacinto & Santos)

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Ramil Bugayong continues to uphold his strong reputation representing lenders and borrowers in financing transactions as well as advising on banking regulations. One peer describes him as "very practical." He is also experienced at handling e-money-related matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Mia Gentugaya is well known for her banking and finance expertise, and has particular experience advising on project finance work. She is a popular choice with both domestic and international clients.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

With over 30 years of experience in the banking and finance field, Mel Macaraig enjoys a solid reputation in the market, with one peer remarking: "He's definitely a respected name." He is also known for his work in the project finance space.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Jose Salvador Mirasol

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jose Salvador Mirasol maintains a solid reputation for his work in the banking and finance sphere, with one peer saying that he is "very practical and strong." He also regularly advises clients on project finance matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Vicente Gerochi enjoys a solid reputation in the market, with one source saying that it is a "pleasure working with him, he's very good." He is well respected for his work advising on both DCM and ECM offerings. In addition to his recognised capabilities in the capital markets space, he has recently become more active advising on traditional banking and finance matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Timothy Joseph Mendoza

Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Timothy Joseph Mendoza is well known for his work on cross-border banking and finance matters, and is highlighted by one interviewee as being a "technically astute, commercial practitioner who works in an international way." He regularly acts for major international financial institutions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Ruelito Q Soriano

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres & Ibarra

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Ruelito Soriano of Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres & Ibarra is praised by one peer as especially "competent and thorough" when it comes to banking work. He is best known for his securities-related work, including regulatory advice.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Insights Abogado Philippines (a member of ZICO law)

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Felix Sy of Insights Abogado Philippines (a member of ZICO law) is highlighted for his knowledge and deep experience advising on a wide range of banking matters, from regulatory issuances to syndicated loan offerings.

^ See whole ranking table