• Top Conveyancing Lawyers in the Philippines: A Complete Guide

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    There are a number of conveyancing lawyers who operate in the Philippines, I bet they are (and will be) busy in the coming years, as the Philippines continue to be a sought after place for foreign buyers.

    But there are many pitfalls you can stumble upon, hiring a local conveyancing lawyer should one of your top priorities. You rarely find summarized information about the top conveyancing lawyers, therefore I decided to write this article where I list some of the most popular firms.

    Let’s take a look.

    Introductory remark

    The firms are listed in a random order.

    1. Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos

    Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos is a full service law firm based in Manila. The law firm was founded 25 years ago, and considered as one of the most well established law firms in Manila.

    The team at Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos consists of dozens of partners (31), special counsels, senior associates, and junior associates. In total, they have more than 50 lawyers.

    The partners at Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos are senior bar members, with co-founder Mr. Antonio A. Picazo also a member of Philippines bar since 1964. He also co-founded other law firms like Cayetano Bautista and Reyes in 1983 and worked as General Counsel at Union Bank of Philippines.

    The company provide legal services to mostly corporate clients, as many financial institutions, large banks, real estate developers, and many other multinational companies are on their client list.

    Services offered

    They offer a wide range of services under real estate and construction category, with dedicated lawyers working in real estate sector. They offer consultancy and assistance in the lease, acquisition, disposition, and development of the real estate in the Philippines.

    Office address:

    Penthouse, Liberty Center 104 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village 1227 Makati, Makati,, 1227 Metro Manila, Philippines

    2. Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles

    Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles is a full service law firm based in Manila. It’s the only law firm in the Philippines that’s a member of Lex Mundi, which is a well-recognized global network of 160 top law firms in the world. They’re also a TRACE partner firm, which connects them with other TRACE firms from other countries.

    The firm consists of 98 lawyers, with all of their lawyers fluent in English, while some also speak Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese. Founded in 1902 by William Kincaid and Allison D. Gibbs, it is one of the oldest law firms in the Philippines.

    In 1957, the firm was reorganized with a new name, by the former Supreme Court Judge, Roman A Ozaeta, and his son, Herminto. The current partners are Ricardo J Romulo, Jose F Buenaventura, and Eduardo de los Angeles. Another of their partner, Exequiel B Javier has been recently elected as a governor of Antique province.

    In addition to their head office in Manila, they also have additional offices in Cebu City and Hong Kong.

    It’s a tier 1 real estate and construction law firm, according to the Legal 500 ratings and their services are offered to mostly corporate clients, but you can use their Conveyancing services as an individual client as well.

    Services offered

    The firm offers legal consultancy related to land ownership in the Philippines. They assist foreign investors through all legal constraints of lease or land ownership.

    Office address

    8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

    3. SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

    SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, also known as SyCipLaw, is a leading and big law firm, founded in 1945.

    In addition to their head office in Makati City, they have offices in Cebu City, Davao, and the Subic Freeport.

    It’s a full service law firm that offers legal services related to banking, finance, corporate services, business law, and real estate and construction. Their clients include local companies as well as international business leaders and large corporations.

    They’ve also won several awards in the last few years that include:

    a. Philippines Law Firm of the Year (Chambers Asia-Pacific Awards 2017)

    b. Philippines Law Firm of the Year (IFLR Asia Awards 2017)

    According to Legal 500, it’s a tier 1 law firm under real estate and construction category

    Top tier firm, according to Legal 500 Asia-Pacific, IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate Rankings, and Chambers Global Rankings 2017.

    Mr. Hector M De Leon, Jr. is the managing partner who leads the team of more than 150 lawyers.

    Services offered

    Their legal services are mostly offered to corporate clients like mining companies, and real estate developers.

    Office address

    SyCipLaw Center, 105 Paseo de Roxas, Makati, 1226 Metro Manila, Philippines

    4. ACCRALAW

    ACCRALAW, also known as Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law, was founded by Senator Edgardo J Angara, and his partners, Avelino Cruz, Jose C Concepcion, Teodoro D Regala, and Manuel G Abello.

    The firm started with only 7 lawyers in 1972, but has evolved into one of the biggest law firms in the country, with over 155 lawyers and around 150 other employees.

    In addition to their head office in Manila, ACCRALAW also has offices in Davao City and Cebu City. The firm’s managing partners are Emerico O De Guzman and Regina Padilla Geraldez.

    They are a full service firm that offers legal services to a wide range of service areas including real estate. They have a team of 22 lawyers dedicated to real estate sector.

    It’s also a top tier firm, according to Legal 500 Asia Pacific. In addition, they were also ranked as the Firm of the Year for 2016 by In-House Community, and Leading Firm by Chambers Asia Pacific 2014 and 2017.

    Services offered

    The firm represents corporate clients in case of legal disputes related to land ownership in the country. They’re also working as legal counsel for some of the leading real estate developers in Philippines.

    Office address

    22/F ACCRALAW TOWER Second Avenue corner 30th Street, Crescent Park
    West Bonifacio Global City, 1635 Taguig Metro Manila, Philippines

    5. Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

    Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia was founded by a group of 15 partners and senior lawyers 33 years ago. The group was headed by Avelino Cruz Jr, who was also former Secretary of National Defense and Presidential Legal Counsel.

    The office of the firm is based in Metro Manila, where they have more than 55 lawyers working for them.

    They’re a full service law firm who offers legal services under different areas that include litigation, dispute resolution, corporate and special projects, intellectual property, mining and natural resources, and energy.

    Office address

    9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Floors, One Orion Tower, 11th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines

    6. Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

    Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio, also known as C&G Law, was founded in 2007 by 6 founding partners, Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa, Jamie Renato B. Gatmaytan, Jesus Paolo U. Protacio, Anthony Mark A. Gutierrez, Ben Dominic R. Yap, and Norma Margarita B. Patacsil.

    One of their founding members later became a Justice in Supreme Court.

    The full service law firm now has 30 lawyers working at their office in Makati City. The firm specializes in litigation and arbitration, taxation, corporate law, commercial transactions, and real estate.

    They’re working with some of the leading real estate developers in the Philippines like Ayala Land, Inc., as well as some international developers and real estate investors.

    It is ranked as a tier 1 law firm under real estate and construction category by Legal 500 Asia Pacific. In addition, they’re also ranked as a Recommended Firm by IFLR1000 for 2018, and Leading Firm by Asia Pacific and Global Chambers.

    Services offered

    C&G law offers its services to corporate clients as legal counsel and advisor on property issues, land ownership, and regulations related to real estate development.

    Office address

    30/F 88 Corporate Center, Sedeño cor. Valero Streets, 1227,, Salcedo, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

    7. Gulapa Law Office

    Gulapa Law Office, also known as Gulapa & Quicho, was founded in 2015 by Aris L Gulapa. Before starting his own law firm, Mr. Gualap has worked as a senior partner at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio from 2011 till 2015.

    In 2017, Gulapa Law becomes the first law firm in the country to establish an international office and a sister law firm in New York City, Gulapa & Baclay LLP. They now have 17 lawyers working in their Metro Manila and New York offices.

    According to the Legal 500, it is a top tier real estate and construction law firm. The firm also won the award for Boutique Law Firm of the Year 2016 from Asia Legal Business Philippine Law Awards.

    It’s a band 3 legal firm, according to Chambers & Partners Asia and Global.

    They also represent Ayala Group, which is a major real estate developer in the Philippines, in legal matters.

    Services offered

    The legal services under real estate and construction are offered to corporate clients, mostly in the form of legal counsel to real estate developers in acquiring rights to develop real estate projects, government buildings, and to lease them out.

    Office address:

    Marco Polo Ortigas, 1605, Sapphire Rd, Ortigas Center, Pasig, 1605 Metro Manila, Philippines

    I hope you found this article helpful and also recommend you to read my separate guide that explains how you can buy property in the Philippines as a foreigner.

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