A-List of Top 100 Practicing Lawyers in the Philippines

“The main point that distinguishes ordinary lawyers from great lawyers is the way they meet the needs of clients”

(Editor’s note: Atty Tranquil Salvador shares with staff and readers of Manila Standard the list of the top 100 practicing lawyers in the Philippines in 2022. The full article can be downloaded from

The easing of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a breath of fresh air to the Philippines. The country recorded impressive economic growth of 8.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, further strengthening the recovery indicated by the 7.7% of the previous quarter.

This achievement brings new hope and the new president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, is making a strong signal that he will maintain continuity in economic policy through the appointment of familiar faces to his cabinet.

A former member of the monetary council, Felipe Medalla, succeeded Benjamin Diokno as governor of the central bank, his predecessor being named finance secretary. Both are responsible for fighting inflation and unemployment.

With debt under control, record foreign exchange reserves and economic growth at manageable rates, Marcos Jr inherited a much stronger economy than that of his late father, the dictator toppled in the “people power” revolution of 1986.

Encouragingly, legal reforms in recent months have further liberalized the economy by opening up key sectors to 100% foreign investment.

But while the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is expected to have only a limited direct impact on the trade sector, Philippine authorities are wary of global supply chain disruptions that could impact regional inflation. .

Against this promising and challenging backdrop, Asia Business Law Journal presents the A List of Top 100 Practicing Lawyers in the Philippines. The A-list is based on extensive research conducted and nominations received from in-house attorneys in the Philippines and elsewhere, as well as Philippines-focused partners at international law firms.

Almost all A-List lawyers are located in the capital, Metro Manila, reflecting that lawyers want to be closer to serve local and international clients. This metropolis is an economic, cultural, educational and industrial center where lawyers can both network and keep abreast of changing laws.

To understand their clients and their views on what it takes to be a top lawyer in the Philippines, we asked answers from many professionals, experienced in-house attorneys, and corporate legal executives. From these recommendations, we have identified and singled out prominent Filipino lawyers who make up this elite group.

Feedback submitted to Asia Business Law Journal by clients indicates that they are not only looking for lawyers who are highly experienced in their fields and responsive in providing services, but also capable of responding to clients’ needs, reliably guiding their businesses to move forward in times of uncertainty.

Guardian of the company

The resumption of economic growth amid the pandemic has attracted many foreign investors to invest in the Philippines. However, navigating the country’s regulatory framework is no small feat, and many A-list lawyers are praised for their exceptional advice on this matter.

Arlene M Maneja, partner at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, is congratulated by Mark Rilles, financial controller at upstream oil and gas company PXP Energy in Metro Manila. “She has done an exemplary job with respect to, among other things, international contract negotiations and due diligence for our company over the past 10 years,” says Rilles.

Gavin MacLaren, Senior Partner and CEO of Australian law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Melbourne, said: “Maneja was an important senior member of our team who provided invaluable legal support on this unique and challenging case.

“She was clearly trusted by our client and brought insightful knowledge on a wide range of issues based on an excellent understanding of relevant laws and practices.”

Carl Nakanishi, managing director of truck distributor Shacman Motors in Metro Manila, recommends Enrique Dela Cruz Jr, senior partner at DivinaLaw, for his “great knowledge of the law and [he] makes it a point of honor to study the operation of our company. This makes his advice very useful”.

Mariano Agoncillo, general manager of construction company Datem in Metro Manila, has the same high regard for Dela Cruz Jr. “He is very helpful to me in making me understand the legal terms and the law regarding our case.” , says Agoncillo.

“I tend to overreact on questions, but Rick Dela Cruz is always there to guide me and help me with all of my decisions regarding our cases.”

Extraordinary benefits

The main point that distinguishes ordinary lawyers from great lawyers is the way they meet the needs of clients. While good legal knowledge is essential, it is equally important to offer advice tailored to specific needs.

Tranquil Gervacio Salvador III, partner at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles, receives a boost from Benigno Emilio Ramirez, president and CEO of IT company Doña Alejandra in Metro Manila, for his tailored advice, appointing him as “the best lawyer I have known”.

“He took the time to explain the stakes of the case and he made sure that I understood the consequences of every legal action he takes,” Ramirez says. “He has an excellent command of the law, which makes him a very effective lawyer. I saw his commitment to his work and his attention to his client. His zeal through the years never waned until he got a favorable result.

Reynaldo Casas, president and founder of Advance Renewable Energy in Manila, agrees. “In addition to running an exceptional law firm serving its clients, Tranquil serves multiple organizations as its president is engaged in various industries,” says Casas.

With satisfactory assistance, Rowell Ilagan, Managing Partner at Gargantiel Ilagan & Atanante Law, was highly commended for his professionalism and legal knowledge by Lady Lanie Esquivel, Head of Legal and Compliance at MAA General Assurance in Manila.

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