Chambers Asia Pacific (2018)

Corporate/M&A - Band 2
Dispute Resolution - Band 2
Dispute Resolution: Arbitration - Band 1
Employment - Other Noted Firms
Projects, Infrastructure & Energy - Band 2
Tax - Band 3

Ranked Lawyers:
Anthony Mark A Gutierrez (Band 3) - Tax
Ben Dominic R Yap - (Recognised Practitioner) Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution, (Band 1) Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
Jaime Renato B Gatmaytan (Band 3) - Corporate/M&A, Projects, Infrastructure & Energy
Norma Margarita B Patacsil (Band 3) - Corporate/M&A



What the team is known for 
Talented team concentrating on foreign investments and share and asset acquisitions, as well as regulatory and compliance issues. Also experienced in assisting clients with the establishment of local businesses. Frequently advises on a range of corporate matters in the energy, food, technology and mining sectors across multiple jurisdictions, including Myanmar, Japan and Vietnam.

Market commentators laud the firm for its cost-efficient approach and ability to provide high-quality service at a lower cost.

Work highlights 
Advised Cargill on its PHP1 billion joint venture agreements with Jollibee Foods, formed in order to set up a large poultry processing plant.

Assisted Nishihara Shokai in its acquisition of a major interest in FoodZone, a domestic food distribution business.

Notable practitioners 
Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is a well-respected practitioner who regularly handles a variety of corporate work, including asset acquisitions and equity investments.

Department co-head Norma Margarita Patacsil specialises in corporate and commercial transactions, in addition to possessing further expertise in competition and antitrust law. Clients praise the quality of her advice, appreciating that she does not "just provide dry legal advice, but takes into consideration practical concerns as well."

Dispute Resolution

What the team is known for 
Robust team able to advise on the full life-cycle of a dispute. Noted for arbitration expertise, assisting particularly frequently with ICC-administered arbitrations, and recognised for its representation of leading conglomerates. Well equipped to handle the full range of litigation matters, including Supreme Court litigation. Also experienced in conducting audits for compliance checks and leading internal investigations into the activity of personnel.

Clients appreciate the lawyers' willingness to "go over and beyond what we ask for," noting their ability to instantly get "clued up" on matters and exceed clients' expectations. Peers acknowledge them as "specialists in litigation."

Work highlights 
Acted for First Philec Solar and First Philippine Electric in an international arbitration with SunPower concerning the clients' joint venture agreement and a solar wafer slicing agreement.

Represented Aboitiz Power-Magat, Aboitiz Power-Benguet and AP Renewables against the Energy Regulatory Commission before the Supreme Court challenging the validity of certain regulations concerning issues such as anti-competitive behaviour and the automatic adjustment mechanism for collecting electricity generation charges.

Notable practitioners
Ben Yap is a renowned arbitration specialist with a wealth of experience representing clients in the energy, construction and employment sectors. As head of the firm's disputes practice, he is also well equipped to handle Supreme Court litigation. Clients appreciate that he is "very approachable and easy to talk to, despite his seniority." In a work highlight he led the team representing Ferraro Asia in an arbitration before the ICC in Hong Kong concerning a formerly exclusive distributor that wished to continue in its role despite the exclusivity agreement having come to an end.

Projects, Infrastructure & Energy

What the team is known for 
Recognised and respected in the market for its activity in the infrastructure and energy arenas. It is particularly highlighted for its project finance know-how along with its noteworthy experience in PPP projects. It advises both public and private sector clients, including government bodies, significant financial institutions and major corporates. Also acts for domestic businesses on outbound investments in the region.

One client highlights a particular area of specialism: "They have legal depth and expertise in the field of solar power purchase agreements that not many firms have."

Work highlights
Acted for Prysmian Powerlink on its EUR90 million submarine power cable link project to connect the islands of Negros and Panay.

Advised the Light Rail Transit Authority, the Department of Transportation and Communications, IFC and the Development Bank of the Philippines on the USD215.6 billion LRT Line 2 operations and maintenance PPP project.

Notable practitioners 
Jaime Renato Gatmaytan is respected by peers in the market for his work in the power space, and is also skilled at taking on a variety of financing and projects-related M&A matters. Recently, he acted for Ernst & Young Solutions, acting as an adviser to the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Manila International Airport Authority, in connection with the NAIA development project to maximise capacity at the Manila airport, a PHP74.56 billion matter.


What the team is known for 
Remains prominent in tax disputes, with notable experience in challenging tax assessments. Also offers considerable expertise in advising clients from the energy, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. Recently increased its activity on advisory matters, assisting clients with the tax aspects of transactional matters.

Work highlights 
Represented Sanofi Aventis Philippines on the domestic tax aspects of its USD25 billion business swap with Boehringer Ingelheim.

Acted for Baiyin International Investment on identifying potential tax exposures concerning a USD20 million loan to Ipilan Nickel.

Notable practitioners 
Anthony Mark Gutierrez is well known for his contentious tax skills, regularly representing clients in tax litigation and in challenging tax assessments. In one work highlight, he advised Steag State Power on a tax deficiency assessment by the government, relating to VAT.