Manila – A City Guide for Lawyers and Legal Professionals

Known as the “pearl of the orient” during Spanish rule, the City of Manila withstood many natural disasters, colonial occupations and war, is now a thriving metropolis.

While it may still be a stopover for most tourists before heading to the islands, Manila has become a destination of choice for expats. It is a center of economic growth with a steady and increasing influx of foreign investment.

It is also a densely populated city of contrasts. This huge city can be chaotic and confusing for first time visitors. Here is a quick guide to help lawyers and legal professionals effectively navigate Manila during their visits.

Getting Around Manila

Getting around Manila is easy. You have the option to rent a car, hire a taxi or take a bus, jeepney, LRT or MRT.  However, for a visitor who’s not acquainted with the city, a taxi is the most convenient way of getting around.

You can also book a cab through the Grab app. Grab booths are available at the airport as well. So if you don’t have access to Wifi or internet on arrival at the airport, you still can easily book a ride with Grab.

UBE Express Bus is another convenient way of getting to the hotel from the airport. It’s an air-conditioned bus service with designated stops along several routes. You can either buy tickets at the airport kiosks or through the UBE Express booking website.

Tip:

Rent a Pocket Wifi Device: You can rent a pocket wifi device for uninterrupted wifi access from Konbini Rentals or  GoLocal. They either deliver the wifi device to your hotel a day before you arrive or offer pickup and drop off at the airport.

Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, and Entertainment

The City of Makati, which is the country’s financial as well as cultural and entertainment hub, is one of the best areas to stay in Manila. You’ll find here a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets.

It also offers easy access to shopping malls and markets and plenty of restaurants — all at walking distance or within a short drive.

If you are going to have a short stay, here’s a quick list of places you may want to check out.

  • Intramuros
  • Fort Santiago
  • Casa Manila
  • Poblacion, Makati
  • Juan Luna’s Spoliarium at the National Museum
  • Manila Ocean Park
  • Greenhills Shopping Center

Philippines Legal Resources

Integrated Bar of the Philippines:  IBP is the official organization of lawyers in the Philippines. It was established as an official organization for the legal profession by Republic Act No. 6397. The law confirmed the constitutional power of the Philippine Supreme Court to adopt rules for the integration of the Philippine Bar. Consequently, Presidential Decree 181 constituted the IBP into a corporate body in 1973.

You can find regional & comparative resources, case law & legislation, books & Journals and more legal resources on the Southeast Asian Legal Research Guide.

Top Law Firms in the Philippines

Following are a few of the top law firms in the Philippines:

  • Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano
  • PunoLaw
  • Fernando Lagman and Avenida Law
  • Agcaoili & Associates
  • Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose Law Firm

Legal Events in the Philippines

Asia Law Portal promotes legal events in the Asia-Pacific Region on our blog and widely followed social media channels. For more information please contact us.

Follow Leaders in Law to get more news and updates on recent and upcoming legal events in the Asia-Pacific legal markets.

Leader’s in Laws “Find a Lawyer”

Clients can find lawyers in the Philippines via Leaders in Law’s “Find a Lawyer” section, which contains listings of law firms practicing in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines.

Barbara Angus appointed EY Global Tax Policy Leader

EY announces the appointment of Barbara Angus to the role of EY Global Tax Policy Leader. The EY global tax policy network of professionals advises companies and engages with governments on the development and implementation of policy initiatives in more than 140 jurisdictions across the globe. Based in Washington, DC, Barbara will focus on engagement with key policymakers and clients globally.

Barbara was previously Chief Tax Counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, where she played an integral role in the development of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), the most significant change to the US tax code in more than 30 years.

Kate Barton, EY Global Vice Chair – Tax, says:

“Today’s shifting tax landscape requires new levels of agility and preparedness as countries around the world undertake tax reform. Barbara’s deep knowledge of international tax law and direct hand in shaping the current US tax code give her a unique perspective to help clients comply with and apply the complexities of the laws in a rapidly changing global landscape. I’m thrilled to welcome Barbara back to EY at this time of incredible change.”

Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), the lead Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, says:

“Few in Washington match Barbara’s intelligence, leadership and work ethic. Her efforts changed history, helping us create a tax code that works for families and Main Street businesses. I am so thankful for her guidance and friendship these past three years and wish her all the best in this next chapter – she will be missed dearly by our Committee.”

Barbara Angus, incoming EY Global Tax Policy Leader, says:

“Following US tax reform, as governments face revenue pressures in an ever-changing global economy, tax policy is being debated in jurisdictions around the world. It is critically important for companies to be actively engaged as developments play out across the countries where they do business. I am excited about the opportunity to be part of the global EY network, providing coordinated support to clients as they participate in the global tax policy dialogue and prepare for shifts in the global tax environment.”

Controversial new antitrust law enacted in South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa will today sign into law the Competition Amendment Bill, which will strengthen regulations against anti-competitive behaviour in industrial markets.
The bill, which was approved by the National Assembly in October 2018 and endorsed by the National Council of Provinces in December 2018, is a step in the right direction for SMEs, economic inclusion and it opens up the economy to fresh investment and innovation.

It also provides a clear mandate to the competition authorities to address economic concentration in a balanced manner and to promote economic transformation, the Presidency said on Monday.

“The bill provides greater clarity to firms and investors on prohibited practices and what constitutes abuse of dominance.

“Another expected benefit is improved administrative efficiencies in the work of the competition authorities and facilitative powers to the executive,” the Presidency explained.

Additionally, the amended legislation seeks to combat concentration and economic exclusion as core challenges that contribute to slower and less dynamic growth, lower employment and greater inequalities, as well as socio-political conflict.

The Presidency said this will enable a more effective approach to concentration, with a focus on improving outcomes for small and black-owned business, and strengthen the institutions involved in managing competition policy and law.

“These changes are in the long-term interest of both business and organised labour and benefit small to medium-sized companies through a pro-growth, transformation model that can help lift investment and advance economic inclusion,” the Presidency said.

The signing ceremony will take place this afternoon at the Tuynhuys Chambers in Parliament. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, who campaigned fiercely for the bill’s codification, will join the ceremony along with a group of stakeholders.

Brexit-shattered-glass

UK trying to convince EU Irish backstop is illegal under its own treaties

British Brexit negotiators are trying to convince the EU that the controversial Irish “backstop” the two sides agreed to, is actually unlawful under the bloc’s own treaties.

Speaking after a tour of EU chiefs in Brussels and Strasbourg on Tuesday, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay said he believed the indefinite backstop was in fact not legal because “Article 50 under the European treaty says that it must be temporary”.

He said this argument was “very much the message that we’ve taken to European leaders” – the latest glimpse inside the UK’s frantic efforts to try and extract a change in policy.

“The key issue is that we need to deliver an outcome that is legally binding on the backstop,” Mr Barclay told reporters after his meetings.

“That’s the key issue because Article 50 under the European treaty says that it must be temporary and yet the advice from the UK attorney general sets out a concern that it could be indefinite.

“So this link between what is legally temporary under the Article 50 but what the UK attorney general has said could be indefinite is the key issue and that’s very much the message that we’ve taken to European leaders.”

The EU has previously expressed legal doubts about whether the withdrawal agreement can be used to set the future relationship with the UK – thought here is no section of Article 50 that expressly says any of its provisions must be temporary.

Mr Barclay is among ministers and officials to have gone back to the continent to try and extract changes to the withdrawal agreement – after Brexiteer MPs instructed the government to ditch the backstop.

The EU says it will not reopen the withdrawal agreement, and that the UK should shift its red lines if it wants a more ambitious future relationship. Both sides say they are preparing for no deal.

The Brexit secretary would not answer whether he thought the changes he sought could be made without reopening the withdrawal agreement, saying only that “we’ve started a process”.

Asked whether he thought a deal could be sorted out before the March summit of the European Council he was also unclear, stating that “we’ve been very clear that time is of the essence”.

Speaking after his meeting with Mr Barclay, Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit chief cast doubt on the value of talks.

Multiple wins for A&O at Global Transport Finance Awards

Allen & Overy took home the headline award, Transportation Law Firm of the Year at the recent Global Transport Finance awards which recognises the leaders in aviation, shipping and rail finance and the most innovative and complex deals in the market.

Global Head of Structured & Asset Finance, Mario Jacovides comments: “We are very proud to be the winner of this year’s Transportation Law Firm of the Year award which recognises the market leading, complex and innovative deals that we have worked on throughout the year across the whole of the transportation sector. This accolade is a further testament to the global expertise we have in aviation, shipping and rail, which allows us to meet our clients’ needs.”

The team also picked up six individual deal awards. They included:

Aviation Portfolio Deal of the Year – advising the secured parties on a USD700m facility relating to the financing and refinancing of a portfolio of 19 aircraft for CDB Aviation;

JOLCO Financing Deal of the Year, Latin America – advising UKEF and ING on the JOLCO financing of a Boeing 787 aircraft which was the first UKEF-supported JOLCO financing to a Latin American carrier;

Cruise Ship Deal of the Year – advising SACE and a syndicate of lenders (BNP, Unicredit) on the pre- and post-delivery financing of two new Fincantieri-built LNG powered cruise ships for TUI Cruises GmbH which are the largest ships ever to have been built in Italy;

Shipping Portfolio Sale of the Year – advising Oak Hill and Värde on the acquisition and USD1bn financing of the Project Lioness portfolio of shipping loans from Deutsche Bank;

JOLCO Deal of the Year, Middle East – advising Investec Bank as junior lender and BNP Paribas and DekaBank as senior lenders on the JOLCO financing of one new Boeing 787-9 aircraft for El Al Israel Airlines which was the first JOLCO financing in Israel and for El Al Israel Airlines;

Tax Lease Deal of the Year – advising the AFIC insurer group on the French Tax Lease financing of a Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 737 aircraft for Royal Air Maroc.

For further information, please contact Susanna Robinson, susanna.robinson@allenovery.com​, on +44 (0)20 3088 3918

handshake deal

U.S. legal/tech provider Elevate acquires NewLaw firm Cognatio in HK

Elevate, a U.S.-headquartered provider of legal and technology services has acquired Cognatio Law, a Hong Kong-based contract-lawyer firm.

Cognatio Law was founded in February last year by Lesley Hobbs, previously the head of client solutions in Hong Kong for Lawyers on Demand together with Tim Fawcett, formerly the interim COO of boutique family law firm CRB. Elevate provides consulting, technology, tech-enabled managed services and flexible lawyering support to the legal sector. ‘

It recently also acquired legal AI technology consultancy LexPredict, contract lifecycle management provider Sumati Group, UK NewLaw legal resourcing firm Halebury, and Yerra Solutions, company providing consulting, technology and managed services.

LL PHOTO

Linklaters launches employment platform for tech start-ups

Linklaters has launched an innovative platform aimed at helping tech entrepreneurs turn their small business into a company with the potential to grow. TechLinks, a new online resource, will offer a select number of small and start-up technology businesses access to key employment documents and resources from one of the leading magic circle firms, providing them with vital company guidance on how to legally protect and enhance their business when building a workforce.

TechLinks offers an interactive site where tech businesses can download employment contracts and other resources which are the essential building blocks of a secure and stable company. It will also provide insights and trends on the current market and a glossary of terms to make it accessible to those without a legal background.

David Speakman, Counsel at Linklaters commented:

“We have found that start-ups and small technology businesses have a need to protect the value in their business. Key questions need to be addressed at an early stage of their development, such as what happens if their key employees (often the founders) leave before the business gets to a sale or how to properly protect the business’ unique IP. This is also important when the business seeks investment, as investors will look to see if these protections are in place. We hope that TechLinks will help companies get the basics right from the start.”

Laurie Ollivent, Practice Development Lawyer at Linklaters, has been working alongside small and start-up technology businesses at WeWork. She said:

“By working alongside small tech businesses we have gained a real understanding of the issues these businesses face during the early stages of their development. We are able to bring together this insight with our longstanding experience of working with large, multinational tech companies to provide small and start up tech businesses with the guidance they need in the early stages to enable them to build their teams the right way from the start, attract and retain talent, avoid future disputes and appeal to investors.”

Byron Romain Joins White & Case as a Partner in Houston

Global law firm White & Case LLP continues to expand its Houston office with the addition of new partner Byron Romain. Romain will be part of the Firm’s Global Project Development and Finance Practice and will work closely with its Global Oil & Gas Industry Group.

“Byron is a highly skilled and experienced lawyer who has an impressive track record working on significant projects across the oil & gas industry,” said Philip Stopford, Co-Head of White & Case’s Global Oil & Gas Industry Group. “His arrival coincides with the first anniversary of the Firm opening our Houston office, which signals our commitment to expanding the leading capability of our oil & gas expertise within the region.”

Romain’s practice includes representing major and independent oil & gas companies, sovereigns, quasi-governmental agencies, private equity sponsors and portfolio companies in the acquisition, disposition and development of oil & gas projects in the upstream and midstream sectors. He also advises on asset and equity deals, joint venture/development arrangements, equity investments and financing/lending arrangements.

Romain joins White & Case from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he was previously the head of its North American oil & gas A&D practice.

“Expanding our industry expertise across the oil & gas industry is a pillar of our 2020 strategy,” said Jason Webber, Co-Head of the Firm’s Global Oil & Gas Industry Group. “Byron’s arrival reinforces this goal, and his sophisticated technical skills and extensive knowledge of the oil & gas sector will play an integral role in further enhancing our client offering in Houston, and across the wider Americas region.”

Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin

Leader Announcement

Me Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin is shortlisted by Global Law Experts for the following award:

Sports Law – Lawyer of the Year in France – 2019.

Bangkok – A City Guide for Lawyers and Legal Professionals

Bangkok, the capital and commercial hub of Thailand is an enigmatic city. From ancient temples, palaces, a floating market, a unique cultural experience to huge shopping malls, skyscrapers and a bustling nightlife — this city of contrasts has something to offer everyone. It also is the world’s second most visited city, behind only Hong Kong.

While the people of Bangkok are extremely hospitable and helpful, the city for first time travellers can be a little overwhelming.  So we have created a quick guide here to help lawyers and legal professionals effectively navigate Bangkok during their visits.

Getting Around Bangkok

Bangkok is huge and can be pretty confusing for visitors.  It is also notorious for its gridlock traffic but thankfully it has an excellent public transportation system which makes getting around the city convenient and easy.

BRT and MRT: BRT, also known as the sky train — and MRT, the underground train network — are one of the quickest and most convenient ways of getting around Bangkok.

Taxis: Unless you are travelling during the peak traffic hours, taxis are the most convenient, inexpensive and fastest way of getting around the city. You may also download Grab app (formerly Uber) to book a car or taxi from the airport or to get around the city.

Motorcycle taxi: If you are travelling solo and need to get somewhere within a kilometer, a motorcycle taxi is a quick and easy option. You can easily spot motorcycle drivers in orange, green or purple vests around BRT/MRT stations, shopping malls and tourist attractions.

Boats and Ferries: Getting on a river boat or ferry is a fun way of avoiding the city’s gridlock traffic. Bangkok has an extensive canal network with different types of boats offering a variety of services.

Bus: While a bus may not be your favorite way of getting around a city, it is the cheapest and the best way of exploring the real Bangkok. Make sure you get a BMTA map from the bus terminal before you take the bus.

Tuk Tuk: Bangkok’s iconic three wheeled rickshaw continues to be a tourists favorite. It is not a very convenient mode of transportation but worth the experience for first timers.  It is ideal to settle the price before getting in.

Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping and Entertainment

Bangkok offers a wide range of accommodation options from luxury hotels to serviced apartments. You just have to know the neighborhood you prefer to stay in.

It also offers an unforgettable shopping experience ranging from world class shopping malls to traditional Thai Markets where you can find virtually everything. From vintage and designer clothes and accessories to antiques and much more, you name it and you’ll find it here.

While most tourists use Bangkok as a stopover before they move to the picturesque islands nearby, it is a city worth exploring. Here are some of the places you must visit before you decide to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Arun

Floating Markets

Chatuchak Market

Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World: The Aquatic Wonderland

Thailand Legal Resources

Thailand’s legal system is based on a civil law system. It has its base in ancient Hindu Code of Manu but is largely influenced by the legal systems of European countries — mainly France and Germany. The Thai legal authorities also took input from Japanese, English and American legal scholars at the time of drafting the civil and commercial code.

The first Bar Association in Thailand was formed in 1914.

Foreign legal professionals are not allowed to practice law in Thailand but they can work as consultants.

Top Law Firms in Thailand

Listed below are few of the top law firms of Thailand.

Linklaters

Pisut and Partners Co., Ltd.

LawAlliance Limited

Dej-Udom & Associates Attorneys-At-Law

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Advisory Co., Ltd.

Legal Events in Bangkok

Follow Leaders in Law to get more news and updates on the latest and upcoming legal events in the Asia-Pacific legal markets.

Article by Mamta Rathore