- Learn how to avoid the most common pitfalls when conducting an M&A
- Get tips on how to effectively mitigate risks associated with structuring, due diligence and dispute resolution
- Receive updates on recent legal and regulatory developments in the region
- Learn how in-house teams can be innovative in their role, and best manage the pressure that comes with the expanding role of the corporate counsel
- Find out how to improve interactions with outside counsel
- Hear from your peers on how to evolve from being a legal advisor to a business strategist
- Enjoy unmatched access to colleagues and leaders from every facet of the Philippines legal community
- Discover best practices, insights and trends for seizing investment opportunities in the increasingly integrated ASEAN economy
- Streamline your anti-corruption and compliance frameworks
Hon. Leila M. De Lima, Secretary, Department of Justice
Hon. Leila M. De Lima has been Secretary, Department of Justice since June 2010. Previously she held the position of Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights (2008 – 2010) and Partner, De Lima Law Firm (1998 – 2008), amongst other private practice roles prior to 1998. Her teaching experience includes:- Professor of Law, San Beda College of Law (1986 – 1994, 2006 – 2007) in Election Law, Business Organizations, Persons and Family Relations, Transportation Law, Statutory Construction.
She has received numerous special awards/distinctions including the following: The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Filipino of the Year 2014, as one of the “Three Furies”; Madame Helen D. de los Santos Memorial Medallion of Honor and Scroll of Commendation (2012); Most Outstanding Bedan Alumna (2011); Rokyaw Ibalnong Bikol Achievement Awardee in the field of Government Service (2011); Gawad Justice Felix Angelo Bautista Awardee in recognition of services and achievements in the field of Criminal Justice (2011); 2nd Orgullo Kan Bicol Awards for Government Service (2011); Most Outstanding Bedan Alumna (2010); Gawad Lingkod Masa Awardee (2010); 2010 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance; Excellent Public Servant Award, Defender of People’s Rights, “Agent of Change” Awardee (2010); GMANews TV’s Public Servant of the Year (2009); Philippine Quality Service Award of Excellence (2009); Sumagang Award for Outstanding Achievements in Government Service (2009); 3rd Bayi Citation (2009); Raul S. Roco Award for Public Service Excellence (2009); Urban Poor Person of the Year Award (2008).
Teresita Herbosa, Chairperson, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)
As the Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Teresita J. Herbosa applies the experience she had gained from more than 30 years of private law practice to execute and administer policies, decisions, orders and resolutions of the SEC. In the Philippines, the SEC implements two major laws, the Corporation Code and the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). Under the Corporation Code, the SEC is the registrar and monitor of all corporations and partnerships, while under the SRC, it is the regulator of securities and capital markets.
Since her appointment in May 2011, Chairperson Herbosa has implemented several significant projects at the SEC including, among others – the realignment of duties and functions of personnel and renaming one department as the Information Communication and Technology Department to take care of the automation of public services as well as internal operations of the SEC, and another as the Corporate Governance and Finance Department to promote good corporate governance among publicly listed companies and secondary licensees; the acquisition of a new surveillance system to monitor PSE trades in line with the objective of the SRC to protect investors and eliminate insider trading and other fraudulent practices; and the adoption of new rules for more transparency in financial reporting. She simplified the company registration process which resulted in the Philippines achieving the highest jump in the 2013 Ease of Doing Business survey conducted by the World Bank; proposed amendments to the Corporation Code which are pending in Congress; initiated the transfer of the SEC main office to a suitable location within a commercial and business area; and participated in relevant ASEAN initiatives.
Apart from her job at the SEC, by law, Chairperson Herbosa is a member of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), heads the Business and Economic Sector of the Office for Competition under the DOJ, and is Chairperson of the Credit Information Corporation, a GOCC whose primary purpose is to act as the national aggregator of credit data.
Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa graduated with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts cum laude and Bachelor of Laws cum laude from the University of the Philippines. She obtained her Master of Comparative Law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2014, she received the UPAA Distinguished Alumna Award for Public Service.
Agustin R. Montilla IV, Partner, Mergers, Acquisitions & Capital Markets, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles
Agustin R. Montilla IV is a partner in the Mergers, Acquisitions & Capital Markets practice of Romulo. He has been finding solutions for financial institutions, private equity clients and corporates for almost two decades. His experience has been built on international securities offerings, restructuring, takeovers, take-privates and cross-border acquisitions. Early challenges included the groundbreaking Pilipino Telephone Corporation debt restructuring, which remains largest in the Philippines to have ever been successfully concluded on a consensual basis.
In 2008, he represented the then NASDAQ listed eTelecare Global Solutions, Inc. in an unprecedented auction with concurrent tender offers in the Philippines and the United States, requiring compliance with incongruent regulations. He recently led the acquisition of Pancake House, Inc. by the Max’s Group of Restaurants and the subsequent Public Offer of the Max’s Group, Inc. in December 2014.
Mr. Montilla also serves various charitable and non-profit organizations in education and the care of those affected by cancer.
Dr. Cielito F. Habito- Chief of Party- USAID Trade-Related Assistance for Development (TRADE) Project
Dr. Habito currently heads the USAID Trade-Related Assistance for Development (TRADE) Project as Chief of Party. He is on leave as Professor of Economics at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, where he had also served as Director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development for 11 years. He also writes the weekly column “No Free Lunch” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
As former Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and head of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), he served as the country’s chief economic planner in the Cabinet of President Fidel V. Ramos in 1992-1998. He has held board directorships in private corporations including the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Metrobank Card Corporation, Steel Corporation of the Philippines, Manila Water Company and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corp., and is Chairman of Brain Trust Inc. Dr. Habito has been tapped by various international development institutions, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID and AusAID to advise the Philippine government and that of other countries in Asia-Pacific.
His civil society work includes chairmanship of Operation Compassion Philippines, and membership in (including in the Boards of) the Philippine Economics Society (where he was a Past President), Galing Pook Foundation, Worldwide Fund For Nature (WWF) Philippines, BPI Foundation, Manila Water Foundation, and Ramos Peace and Development Foundation (RPDEV), among others.
He holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts in Economics from Harvard University, Master of Economics from University of New England (Australia), and Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, Summa cum Laude from University of the Philippines.
Louie Ogsimer – Chair, Arbitration Department and Co-Chair, Litigation Department, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles
Louie Ogsimer has extensive arbitration and litigation experience. He also teaches International Commercial Arbitration at Ateneo School of Law. He has lectured before different legal fora in the Philippines and abroad on various topics on arbitration, trial, and common sources of litigation.
Mr. Ogsimer is the country reporter for the Philippines of the Asia Pacific Arbitration Reporter, a primary source material on arbitration-related cases and developments from around the Asia-Pacific region, published by Academy Publishing, the publishing division of the Singapore Academy of Law, and undertaken jointly with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He has published articles on enforcement of arbitral awards and investment treaty arbitration, among others. Mr. Ogsimer is a member of the National Competitiveness Council Working Group on Judicial System under the Office of the President of the Philippines, which is composed of selected public officials and private individuals who formulate policies and proposals to improve the Philippine judicial system. He is a member of the SIAC Panel of Arbitrators.
Dennis Montecillo, President, BPI Capital Corporation
Dennis Montecillo is President of BPI Capital Corporation, the investment banking division of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, and concurrently Executive Vice President of the bank.
He has 21 years of international investment banking experience, having worked in New York and Hong Kong at Bankers Trust, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. During this time, he was part of and managed business development and transaction teams in corporate, real estate and leveraged finance, derivatives, private equity, mergers & acquisitions, and equity and debt capital markets.
While at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, he served as country manager for the Philippines and was the senior coverage officer for the top corporations and financial institutions in the country. Additionally, in 2000, he established and built up the Financial Sponsors Group at Morgan Stanley to cover the Asian offices of its global private equity, hedge fund and venture capital clients.
More recently, Dennis served as partner and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Dragon Advisors (Hong Kong) Limited, Asia's first privately-owned private equity fund placement agent, and before that, Chief Executive Officer of Fidelis Holdings Limited, the Hong Kong-based regional real estate investment vehicle of the Ayala Group of Companies.
Dennis has an MBA and MA from Stanford University and bachelor’s degrees in Management of Financial Institutions and Behavioral Sciences (magna cum laude) from De La Salle University.
Vicente Graciano P. Felizmenio, Jr., Director, Markets and Securities Regulation Department, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Honorio Poblador IV, Partner, Navegar
Mr Honorio Poblador IV has over 18 years of investment banking and private equity experience and has completed transactions throughout Asia. Immediately prior to establishing Navegar, he was a Managing Director at Rothschild, responsible for its Philippine business and Financial Sponsors coverage for South East Asia. Notable Philippine transactions completed during his term include the privatization of the National Transmission Corporation, the acquisition by Providence Equity Partners and Ayala Corporation of eTelecare, the sale of British Gas's stake in Santa Rita and San Lorenzo power plants and the acquisition by Femsa of Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. He has held positions at Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley Private Equity. He is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of ABS-CBN. He graduated with a degree in Management Economics from Ateneo de Manila University and has an MBA from Columbia University in New York.
Simeon Ken R. Ferrer, Head Corporate Services Department, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw)
Simeon Ken R. Ferrer’s practice areas include banking, finance and securities, foreign investments, mergers and acquisitions, and corporations. He has assisted Philippine and foreign banks and other financial institutions in connection with equity, debt and derivative securities issues, as well as securitization transactions by Philippine corporations and the Republic of the Philippines. He also assists foreign investors in structuring their direct investments in the Philippines, such as through special economic zone facilities, joint ventures, subsidiaries and branches. He acts as director, corporate secretary or assistant corporate secretary of various Philippine and multinational corporations engaged in diverse economic activities, such as power distribution, car assembly, mineral processing, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, and property holding and development. Mr. Ferrer is a member of the Philippine Bar Association and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is also the International Alumni Contact for the Philippines of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and heads the firm’s Hiring Committee. The firm’s Corporate Services department assists both domestic and foreign clients in setting up business vehicles in the Philippines, such as subsidiaries, branches, representative offices, and regional headquarters. It also renders corporate services and provides general business law advice to support clients’ operations and compliance needs.
Hiyasmin H. Lapitan, Partner, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw)
Ms. Hiyasmin Lapitan is a member of the firm’s special projects; tax; banking, finance and securities; and corporate services departments. She has done extensive work in corporate and tax matters relating to the structuring, acquisition, and financing of projects in the Philippines involving the insurance, energy, construction, and advertising industries. She has assisted local and offshore clients in the issuance of bonds and in the public bidding by the Philippine government of various assets and contracts, and has done legal due diligence for cross-border transactions.
Ricardo Nicanor N. Jacinto, FICD, President & CEO, Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD)
Ricky Jacinto was appointed President and CEO of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) in January 2013. The ICD is a non-stock, non-profit organization dedicated to the study and professionalization of Philippine corporate directorship.
His previous posts prior to joining ICD include director of Manila Water Co. (2011-2014); Managing Director and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Philippines (2010); Vice President for Ayala Land Inc.’s Land & Community Development Group (1996-2002), where he was involved in land acquisition and development of high-end subdivisions; Vice President for Corporate Finance at Bankers Trust Co (Manila OBU) (1994-1996), where he advised clients on various merger and acquisitions transactions; and Vice President at AB Capital and Investment Corporation (1987-1994), where he ran the Philippine Long-Term Equity Fund.
He continues to advise various clients on the development of real estate properties. He is also president of the Nicanor P. Jacinto, Jr. Foundation.
Niwes Phancharoenworakul, Managing Partner, Chandler & Thong-ek Law Offices Ltd.
Niwes joined Chandler & Thong-ek Law Offices Ltd. (C&T) in 1984. Prior to joining the firm, he worked with Thailand’s Labor Department, Ministry of Interior, and at another respected law firm in Thailand.
Niwes specializes in financial/commercial transactions, corporate, labor law, and government contracts. He also has experience in providing legal advice regarding the sale and leasing of aircraft.
He was a member of the Constitutional Drafting Committee (Ayutthaya Province - 1996-1997), a Senator (Ayutthaya Province) and Vice-Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Banking and Finance (2000-2004), and Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Economy, Commerce and Industry (2004-2006).
Niwes obtained his LL.B. degree (with Honors) from Thammasat University, and an LL.M. degree in Labor Law from New York University. In addition, he attended the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School, and is a member of the Thai Bar Association, and the Inter-Pacific Bar Association.
Hien Nguyen Truc, Partner, VILAF
Recommended by several well-known international legal guides as offering broad expertise in commercial and construction- related work and particular skills in high-value real estate projects. Hien advises many multiple-million real estate projects in Vietnam of CapitaLand, VinaCapital, Prudential, Aseana, Nam Long, Hoa Lam etc. and follows every step of the way of the first Hi-tech Health-care Park of Vietnam. Hien advises both employers and contractors in construction related contracts such as design/consultant, construction and turn-key contracts. Her served well as advisor for turn-key contracts and credit agreements in hundred-million dollar transactions such as the Tay Ninh Cement Project and Dakr'tih Hydropower Project. She advises many investors (both Vietnamese and foreigner) in direct investment and M&A transactions and operational issues in many fields of operation, including retail, e-commerce, consumer goods, automobile, optical, information technology, insurance, telecommunication, feeds and livestock, brewery an beverages, hotel management, catering, construction, construction materials, etc. She is also an excellent tax lawyer and her tax planning helps clients find the best tax efficient structures for their transactions and business models.
Bar admissions- Vietnam
Education - Arizona University (US), LL.M., 2002; National University, LL.B., 1994 ; Hanoi Foreign Languages, BA, 1994
Practices- Special industries; Real Estate, Tax, Corporate; Construction, Trade and retail
Geraldine Johns-Putra, Partner, Minter Ellison
As an M&A lawyer, Geraldine has advised on many cross-border M&A deals in the region, including a number of landmark foreign investments in Greater China. Geraldine has developed particular expertise in the Hong Kong aviation, transportation and travel sectors. Geraldine also specialises in intellectual property and technology, media and telecommunications matters in Greater China and advises on outsourcing, technology transfers and privacy and data protection issues. She has contributed chapters on joint ventures, international business acquisitions and competition law in Hong Kong in specialist publications. Geraldine is admitted in Hong Kong, England & Wales, New South Wales and Victoria in Australia. She is recognised as an up-and-coming lawyer in Corporate / M&A category by Chambers Asia Pacific 2013, 2014, 2015.
Charles Veloso, Senior Associate, Quisumbing Torres Law Office
Mia Imperial, Senior Associate, Quisumbing Torres Law Office
Marianne Malate-Guerrero, Senior Vice-President and Head of Legal, SM Investments Corporation
Marianne (“Ianne”) Malate-Guerrero is the Senior Vice President and Head of the legal team of SM Investments Corporation, the mother company of the entire SM Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the country. As chief legal counsel, she oversees the legal risks and requirements of the internal clients of the legal team. She has about 28 lawyers in her team excluding the banking group subsidiaries of SM. Apart from this role, Ianne Guerrero is likewise SMIC’s newly appointed Compliance Officer and Assistant Corporate Secretary.
Prior to joining SM in 2006, Ianne Guerrero worked as Senior Vice President and Legal Head of United Overseas Bank Philippines, the local subsidiary of one of the leading banks in Singapore. Her career as in-house counsel started when she joined Solidbank Corporation in 1998 as Vice President and Legal Risk Officer. Previous to that she was a senior associate at the law firm of Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon and San Jose, where she honed her skills as a lawyer. She is a graduate of the Ateneo School of Law, batch 1988.
Roel Refran, Chief Operating Officer, The Philippine Stock Exchange
Atty. Roel Arco Refran is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc., the only stock exchange in the Philippines and one of the oldest bourses in Asia.
A certified public accountant and lawyer, Roel's career in the capital markets spans more than a decade. He has broad exposure to global securities regulation and finance, self-regulatory organizations (SROs), listing and disclosure requirements for publicly-listed companies, corporate governance, various modes of capital-raising, alternative investments, regulatory reforms in domestic and global capital markets, trading and technology, product development, market operations, and legislation.
Roel was associated with SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan in 1999 before his appointment as chief of staff of Sen. Ralph Recto in 2001. Before joining PSE, Roel was connected with Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz. In 2005, he was appointed General Counsel of PSE. Since then, he took on the roles of Head of Issuer Regulation Division and Compliance Officer before his appointment as COO in 2012.
Roel completed the U.S. International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. Department of State, and worked as Center Research Associate at Emory Center for Alternative Investments in the U.S.A.
Roel holds a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy, magna cum laude, from the University of the Philippines. He ranked among the top 20 successful examinees during the May 1995 CPA licensure exams. He also holds a Juris Doctor degree, Second Honors, from Ateneo de Manila University School of Law. He obtained the fourth highest ranking in the 1999 bar examinations.
Roel was the recipient of the Fulbright scholarship award in 2010, and he earned his Master of Business Administration degree, with specialization in capital markets and finance, from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University in the U.S.A. where he was also a Donald R. Keough scholar. He was inducted as member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society in business. He is the President of Philippine Fulbright Scholars Association.
Roel was a Professor of Law at Ateneo de Manila University School of Law. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Philippines' Virata School of Business (VSB) and serves as chairman of the Capital Markets Development Committee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He was conferred the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award by UP VSB in recognition of his professional achievements.
John Versantvoort, Assistant General Counsel, Asian Development Bank
John Versantvoort is an Assistant General Counsel at Asian Development Bank with 18+ years in structuring cross-border investment and finance transactions in Asia and Europe. He leads a team of lawyers focusing primarily on infrastructure, energy & gas, and public & private sector law reform projects in developing countries.
Prior to joining ADB in 2007, John Versantvoort established and successfully developed a legal practice in Japan for Loyens & Loeff, a top-tier Benelux law firm. He embarked on his career as an Associate in Allen & Overy (formerly: Loeff Claeys Verbeke) in Amsterdam in 1995, specializing in M&A and private equity transactions, joint ventures, intellectual property law, and disputes related to the foregoing. He is a national of the Netherlands who holds Master’s degrees in Japanese Studies and Dutch Civil Law from Leyden University, and a Master’s degree in East-Asian Law from London University.
M. Jasmine S. Oporto, Chief Legal Officer, Aboitiz Group of Companies
M. Jasmine S. Oporto is the Chief Legal Officer of the Aboitiz Group of Companies and concurrently the Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary for both Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) and Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower).
AEV’s core businesses are power, real estate and land development, banking, food, construction, and infrastructure. The Aboitiz group of companies also has some interest in shipbuilding.
Her primary responsibility is to lead a team of 22 in-house lawyers in AEV’s Legal and Corporate Services. This Legal team oversees the group’s labor & litigation management, corporate secretarial and compliance (Philippine Stock Exchange & Securities and Exchange Commission compliance) for over 100 companies, contracts and commercial transactions, and administrated support for tax management services of the company’s businesses.
Being the Strategic Legal Advisor to the Aboitiz Group senior leadership, she has a broad knowledge on legal developments in the Philippines and provides assessment of current legal trends, potential risks exposure or potential opportunities to the Group. Her Team oversees external legal advisors engaged by the Aboitiz group in numerous capacities, to protect the Group’s interests.
She is also a member of the Government Relations Committee, which coordinates all government-related activities across the group, monitors legislation and government policies, develops good working relationships with government agencies, local government units and business organizations, and participates and provides inputs in government committee hearings and public consultations.
Before joining Aboitiz, she worked as an Associate at the Hong Kong office of a New York-based law firm Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP. She was a Senior Associate in SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan in 1994.
She obtained her degree in Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines and is also an alumni of the Academy of American and International Law in Dallas, Texas. She was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1988 and admitted to New York State Bar in 2001.
She is a graduate of Professional Directors’ Program and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 1998, she became a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is also an accredited provider of Harrison Assessment Talent Solutions (“HATS”) for purpose of personnel assessment and is also an accredited director by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, having completed the required corporate governance and risk management training for directors in banking institutions.
Ranajit Dam, Managing Editor, Asian Legal Business
Ranajit Dam is the Managing Editor of Thomson Reuters’ Legal Media Group, which includes Asian Legal Business, Asia’s foremost monthly publication covering the legal industry. A former lawyer, he been a journalist for more than a decade, after graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Since then, he has worked in China, India and Singapore, where he is currently based.