Each year, ALB invites an independent judging panel of senior and expert legal industry leaders from various sectors corresponding to the diverse list of award categories. ALB is pleased to introduce some of the distinguished judges. The rest of the panel will be revealed on the evening of the awards.
Legal and Compliance Director, Greystar
April Raimundo is the Legal and Compliance Director for Greystar’s Asia-Pacific business and its first employee in Singapore. In this role, she oversees Greystar’s Code of Conduct and regulatory compliance program in the region. In addition, April spearheads legal structuring, investor documentation, and acquisition activities as Greystar, the global leader in residential housing starts to invest across the region. Prior to Greystar, April spent 8 years at EFA Group as Chief Legal and Compliance officer and served as a member of the company’s executive committee. During her private practice career, April was in the corporate and commercial group of Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker McKenzie.
April is qualified to practice law in England, Wales, and the Philippines. She was named one of 5 in house counsels in the 2016 edition of ALB’s 40 Under 40 Asia’s best young lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of the Philippines where she was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. She also has a BS in Legal Management from the Ateneo de Manila University and attended executive development courses in various institutions including Harvard Business School. She sits in the International Relations Committee and Public Law Help Committee of the Law Society of Singapore.
Head of Commercial Practice, Gulf Law Philippines, UAE, UK and Portugal
Barney Almazar is the Philippines’ inaugural ALB Young Lawyer of the Year in 2016 and Young Lawyer of the Year for South East Asia in 2017.
He is the head of the commercial practice of Gulf Law in the Philippines, UAE, UK and Portugal.
Just recently, he was appointed as chief counsel for a US$ 1.5 billion acquisition of a payment aggregator group with operations in the Middle East and Europe. He is also teaching business law at Ajman University in the United Arab Emirates.
Barney Almazar was awarded as one of Philippines’ The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for law and commended by the Philippine Senate for his contribution in protecting the interests of more than 3 million overseas Filipino workers.
Daisy P. Arce
President, Capital Markets Integrity Corporation
A corporate lawyer with extensive experience in organizing and restructuring business corporations, mergers, divisions and acquisitions, capital restructuring, and their customized documentations, Ms. Arce was a partner in Quasha Ancheta Pena and Nolasco, one of the oldest law firms in the Philippines and had charge of its Banking and Corporate Finance group handling diverse and complex financial transactions of local and international investors covering syndications, FX loans and facilities, project financing, structuring security and collateral arrangements, remedial strategy and asset recovery. She was legal advisor to the Philippine Stock Exchange and the latter’s wholly-owned subsidiary and regulatory arm, the Capital Markets Integrity Corporation.
Currently she is President of the Capital Markets Integrity Corporation.
An active member of Zonta International, she lectures on the Rights of Women, the Rights of Children, Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children and spearheaded for Zonta, together with like-minded organizations, the building of sustainable housing for survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). In this time of the pandemic, with the help of other club members, she has raised donations to provide computers or other devices for at least 115 qualified students in three public high schools in Quezon City and urged club members to participate in a feeding program, finally ensuring nutritious meals for 120 children and their families for the next 10 months.
Hector A. Martinez
Co-Managing Partner; Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño
Atty. Hector A. Martinez obtained his law degree in 1963 from the University of the Philippines College of Law where he graduated cum laude and salutatorian. He was, during his fourth year in the law school, chairman of the Philippine Law Journal, the official law review of the UP College of Law. He placed second in the 1963 Bar Examination among more than a thousand examinees. He then went to the United States where he obtains his LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School. He worked as an associate lawyer for more than a year at Winthrop Stimson Putnam and Roberts, one of the largest law firms in the US and based in Wall Street New York City. He returned to the Philippines in 1967 and joined the Siguion Reyna Montecillo and Ongsiako Law firm. Rising from the rank, he became a senior partner and head of the tax department of the Siguion Reyna Law firm. In 1996, he resigned from the Siguion Reyna Law firm and together with seven other lawyers, established the Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro and Leano law firm. He is currently a co-managing partner and head of the tax group of the Platon Martinez law firm.
Fernando S. Penarroyo
Group Legal Counsel and General Manager for Business Development, Polyard Petroleum International Group
FERNANDO S. PEÑARROYO is currently the Group Legal Counsel and General Manager for Business Development of Polyard Petroleum International Group Co. Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed company that operates the Alegria petroleum project, the Philippines’ first and only commercial onshore oil development and production. He was the former Managing Partner at the Puno and Peñarroyo Law Offices. He practices in the area of energy, resources, environment, infrastructure, and corporate law and possesses the required legal, financial, and technical educational background and experience having worked for the government (Department of Energy) and private sector, both locally and internationally (Australia).
He is the former President of the Geological Society of the Philippines, current Vice President of the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association, and former Director of the International Geothermal Association. He is actively involved as an officer and legal counsel in industry associations like the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Philippine Petroleum Association of the Upstream Industry, and Philippine Chamber of Coal Mines. He regularly contributes articles and commentaries on legal, regulatory, and policy issues on resources, energy, and infrastructure to the Philippine Resources Journal. His commentaries are also archived at his personal blog site – https://penarroyo.com/.
Jose Maria G Hofileña
Dean, Ateneo Law School
Joey Hofileña is the current Dean of the Ateneo Law School. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) from the Ateneo de Manila in 1983 and proceeded to the Ateneo Law School where he completed his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1987 as Class Valedictorian and recipient of the Evelio Javier Leadership Award. In 1990, he was conferred a Master of Laws degree by Harvard Law School. One month after taking the November 1987 Bar Examinations (where he ranked 10th out of all successful examinees), Joey joined SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan and was a partner thereat from 1996 through 2012, practicing within the firm’s Corporate department. He has also had stints as a foreign attorney at Johnson & Gibbs in Dallas, Texas, and at McDermott, Will & Emery in New York City. Aside from teaching full-time in ALS, Joey is a Visiting Professor for Commercial Law at Ateneo de Zamboanga University’s College of Law. He is also currently serving on the IBP Law Journal’s Editorial Board.
Maria Lourdes P. Lim
Tax Managing Partner, PwC Philippines
Malou leads the tax practice of the Philippine office. She has more than 23 years of professional and extensive experience in providing tax services for various multinational and local companies of different industries such as Financial Services, Real Estate, Consumer & Industrial Products and Services (CIPS), Business Process Outsourcing, Energy, Oil & Gas.
Her core experience includes corporate structuring and taxation, with emphasis on in-bound and out-bound investment planning; cross-border acquisitions; advisory on the application and interpretation of domestic laws on tax, investment, corporate and securities regulations; restructuring/reorganization; mergers & acquisitions; tax due diligence/tax health check review; tax assessments and refund claims
Prior to joining the firm, her other professional experience includes working as an accountant and as a financial analyst. She earned her degree in Bachelor of Laws from San Beda University, Manila. Prior to law, she finished Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) at the Philippine School of Business Administration. She has completed the Comparative Tax Policy and Administration Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Asia Leadership Program at INSEAD Singapore and attended various PwC training & conferences.
Maria Rowena Espiritu, MBA, LL.B
Philippine Country Counsel, IBM Philippines
Maria Rowena Espiritu has been an in house lawyer for multinational and domestic companies in the Philippines for almost two decades. She is currently the Philippine Country Counsel and Data Protection Officer of IBM Philippines, Incorporated and its related companies.
Prior to IBM Espiritu was the Legal Affairs Director of Huawei Technologies Phils. for almost five years. She has also been a Resident Agent and Legal Counsel of VEECO APAC, INC. (Philippine Branch) Legal Manager of Directories Philippines Corporation; Assistant Corporate Secretary of Asian Terminals Inc. in previous years.
Espiritu holds a Postgraduate Diploma (With Merit) in Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Law from Queen Mary University of London (United Kingdom). She also finished various certification courses by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy (Switzerland), namely Advance Course on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property, Advance Course on Copyright and Related Rights and Advance Course on Arbitration and Mediation Procedure. She also holds a Master degree in Business Administration from Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business (Philippines). Espiritu finished her Bachelor of Laws from Saint Louis University (Philippines) and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Far Eastern University (Philippines).
Espiritu has always been passionate about information and communications technology and related regulations. Her works as in-house lawyer have been duly recognized in The Legal 500 GC Powerlist 2019 – Southeast Asia. Prior to this, the Legal Team she led in Huawei was also included in The Legal 500 GC Powerlist – Southeast Asia Teams in 2018.
Maria Zarah R. Villanueva-Castro
Vice President & Head, Corporate Legal, Manila Electric Company
Atty. Maria Zarah R. Villanueva-Castro is a Vice President and currently heads the Corporate Legal Office of the Manila Electric Company which renders corporate legal work for Meralco and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
She also serves as the Corporate Secretary of the One Meralco Foundation, Meralco Pension Fund, Meralco Employees Savings and Loan Association, Meralco Employees Fund and Charity Inc., Comstech Integration Alliance, Inc. and Pure Meridian Holdings, Inc.
As Head of Corporate Legal (for both Meralco and its subsidiaries, affiliates and foundations), she is in charge of: monitoring, supervision and oversight on (a) contract documentation, review and negotiation; (b) provision of legal advice/opinions on corporate legal matters; (c) due diligence work on new businesses/acquisitions/mergers/joint ventures/projects; (d) regulatory and compliance work; (e) advocacy on legal developments; (d) incorporation of companies/SPVs; (e) corporate secretarial services and housekeeping; (g) management of corporate legal cases. She and her team spearheaded a number of projects for Meralco and subsidiaries, among them, templating of recurring contracts and legal opinions, empowerment of key personnel on common contract issues and legal concerns thru regular roadshows, simplification of processes involving service and refund applications, among other things.
She obtained pre-law degree, BA Political Science, from the University of the Philippines and her law degree from San Beda University where she graduated as Class Valedictorian. She is also a professor of law at San Beda University and Ateneo de Manila University where she teaches Commercial Law Review. She is also an author and a bar review lecturer.
Roderick R.C. Salazar III
Senior Partner, Fortun Narvasa & Salazar (FNS)
RODERICK R.C. SALAZAR III is a Senior Partner at FORTUN NARVASA & SALAZAR (FNS), a Philippine general service firm. With 33 years’ experience, Dicky specializes in corporate and commercial law, projects, mining, energy, natural resources law, and arbitration. Dicky leads FNS’ practice areas for Projects and Energy, Corporate and M&A; Real Estate & Construction.
Dicky was recently inducted into the inaugural 2020 The Legal 500’s Asia Pacific Hall of Fame in projects and energy. He is in the elite list of recommended lawyers for Corporate and M&A and Real Estate & Construction in the 2020 edition of Legal 500 Top Firms and Lawyers for Asia Pacific (Philippines). Dicky was recently included in the 2020 Asia Business Law Journal list of top 100 lawyers in the Philippines. He was also listed in the 2020 and past editions of the International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers for the Philippines. He was ranked as a leading lawyer in projects, natural resources and mining by Chambers Global 2019, Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019 and prior editions. Dicky teaches corporate and civil law at his alma mater, University of the Philippines College of Law, and the San Beda Alabang College of Law.
Roel Arco Refran
Chief Operating Officer, The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.
Atty. Roel Arco Refran is the Chief Operating Officer of The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc., (PSE). He chairs the Capital Markets Development Committee of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Atty. Refran is a Professor of Law at Ateneo de Manila University. He was awarded the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of the Philippines (UP) Virata School of Business where he is a Professorial Lecturer 1 for the MS Finance program. Atty. Refran is also an Adjunct Faculty at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).
Atty. Refran holds an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in the USA where he was a Fulbright scholar. While at Emory University, Atty. Refran worked at the Emory Center for Alternative Investments (ECAI) where he was involved in policy formulation as regards private equity, hedge funds, venture capital and other alternative investments.
Shirley F. Alinea
Partner, Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano (MVGS)
Shirley is a Partner at Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano (MVGS) where she heads its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Intellectual Property (IP) and Immigration Groups.
Shirley has for more than 20 years specialized in commercial arbitration and other ADR modes, debt restructuring and insolvency. She has been cited as a Leading Individual by the Asia Pacific Legal 500 in the field of Dispute Resolution. Shirley is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI), and concurrently holds the positions of Deputy Secretary General, and Chairman of the Education Committee and the Committee tasked to review and update PDRCI’s current arbitration rules.
Shirley is an accredited arbitrator of the PDRCI, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is a member of Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution and the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation. Other fields of expertise include IP and Immigration. Shirley established the Immigration practice of MVGS when she joined the Firm in 2009.
Shirley was a partner at Quisumbing and Torres (Baker & McKenzie) from 2007 to 2009. She completed her Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Philippines in 1996 and was a member of its honour society, the Order of the Purple Feather. She graduated with a degree in B.S. Legal Management from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1992.
Solomon M. Hermosura
Managing Director, Ayala Corpoation
- Managing Director, Chief Legal Officer, Compliance Officer, Data Protection Officer, and Member of the Management Committee, Investment Committee and Ayala Group Management Committee: Ayala Corporation
- Group General Counsel: Ayala Land, Inc.
- Corporate Secretary: Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land, Globe Telecom, Manila Water Company, Integrated Micro-electronics, Ayala Foundation, AC Energy Philippines and other Ayala group companies.
- President & CEO: Ayala Group Legal
- Member of the Board of Directors: 18 companies in the Ayala Group
- A.B. in Political Science, with distinction, Adamson University, April 1982
- Bachelor of Laws, valedictorian, San Beda College, April 1986 (3rd placer, 1986 Bar Examination)
- Faculty member, San Beda College of Law, June 1987 to April 1999, July 2017 to present. Subjects: Civil Law (1987 – 1999) and Corporation Law and Securities Law (1993 – 1999; 2017 to present)
- Faculty member, FEU Institute of Law, September to December 2012. Subject: Fundamentals of Corporate Governance
Teodoro Kalaw IV. C. Arb.
Chartered Arbitrator & President Emeritus, Philippine Institute of Arbitrators
Teddy Kalaw is the first and only Filipino to be installed as a Chartered Arbitrator as well as certified as an Accredited Mediator by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) of the United Kingdom. He is also the first and only Filipino diplomate in both international commercial arbitration and mediation of CIArb and is the only Filipino CIArb Fellow in both the international arbitration and mediation disciplines. He was the President of the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (PIArb) in 2014 and 2015 and then the Chair of its Board of Trustees from 2016 to 2017. He is presently a President Emeritus of PIArb. He is among the youngest to be elected a Fellow of CIArb, PIArb, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, and the Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. since 2017.
Valerie Feria Amante
Head, Global Legal and Ethics, Jollibee Foods Corporation
Valerie Feria Amante was awarded In-House Lawyer of the Year at the inaugural ALB Philippine Law Awards in 2016. She is the Head of Global Legal and Ethics of Jollibee Foods Corporation and leads a team of lawyers in the Philippines, North America, China, and Vietnam. Before joining JFC, Atty. Feria Amante was connected with Ayala Land, Inc. and SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan. She graduated Salutatorian from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2000, and placed 7th in the Philippine Bar Examinations of the same year. She is also holds a Leadership Professional in Ethics and Compliance Certification from the US-based Ethics and Compliance Initiative.
Ma. Winnie Lardizabal-Morales
Deputy General Counsel, ENGIE Asia-Pacific
Winnie is the Deputy General Counsel of ENGIE BU Asia-Pacific, a multinational electric utility company, headquartered in La Défense, Courbevoie, France. ENGIE is a global leader in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, renewable energy, natural gas, and client solutions. Prior to joining ENGIE, Winnie started as an associate/senior associate in various top tier law firms in the Philippines. She then became the head of legal and compliance of CalEnergy/MidAmerican Asia-Pacific and thereafter assumed the role of General Counsel of Enfinity Asia-Pacific, both of which were engaged in the management, operation, maintenance, acquisition, and development of renewable energy projects in Asia-Pacific. Winnie’s legal practice is primarily focused on corporate/commercial, tax, and power/energy law related matters.
and many more…