Sig believes that lawyering is like a religion because it demands a lot of passion. And for the past 25 years as Senior Partner of the Firm, Sig has been constantly going the extra mile for each of his clients to ensure victory in their cases. His mark of excellence is known in almost all areas of law, from criminal and civil litigation, arbitration, environmental law, Presidential impeachment, intellectual property, environmental and historical site preservation actions, and corporate rehabilitation and insolvency work.
It is no surprise that in July 2018, Asia Business Law Journal recognized Sig as one of the Top-100 Lawyers in the Philippines. Chambers Asia Global also considered him as a Leading Lawyer for Dispute Resolution – Philippines from 2009 to 2018. Asia Pacific Legal 500 consistently ranked Sig as a Leading Lawyer for Dispute Resolution – Philippines from 2006 to 2018. BluPrint Magazine likewise acknowledged Sig as a “Heritage Hero” for Saving the Taal Basilica in 2013.
Outside the office, Sig assumes his role as Bureau of Fire Protection-trained volunteer fire fighter and a Philippine Red Cross first aider. He also tries to squeeze in some rounds of golf in his spare time with his UP Vanguard ‘brods’ and Philippine Military Academy Class ’82 ‘mistahs,’ usually in between disaster risk reduction management trainings for cadets of the UP Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
While practicing law, Ogie continuously engages in improving the state of Philippine sports by becoming a Commissioner of the Philippine Basketball League from 1992 to 1994 and assuming the post of Commissioner of the Metroball Basketball Association from 2000 to 2001. Ogie is also a Trustee of the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame, Inc. from 2004 and became its President in 2011 up to the present.
Ogie helps out in legal and judicial reforms by being part of the Makati Law Foundation, Inc. A President of the same Foundation from 1988 to 2000 and its Chairman from 2000 to 2002, Ogie still finds it a challenge to fight for what is true and just in the face of all the obstacles to truth and justice.
Ogie heads the Labor Law portfolio of the Firm and practices criminal, civil and commercial litigation. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific recognized Ogie as a Recommended Lawyer for 2016 to 2017.
With over 30 years’ experience in law, Dicky specializes in corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, real estate law, taxation, projects, mining, energy and natural resources law. He is a trained commercial arbitrator of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.
Dicky advises corporate clients in all aspects of corporate law and acts as director and corporate secretary, and resident agent of various companies. He also counsels on incorporation and registration of corporate entities; corporate compliance and governance issues; corporate reorganization; and availment of incentives.
Dicky likewise represents foreign and Filipino mining companies involved in all aspects of mining from exploration, project financing, construction, development and processing. His existing foreign and domestic mining clients range from operating companies to exploration entities.
Dicky was recently included in the Asia Business Law Journal list of top 100 lawyers in the Philippines. He was also listed in the 2018 edition and in past editions of the International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers for the Philippines. He was ranked as a leading lawyer in natural resources and mining by Chambers Global 2018 and prior years and is highly recommended as a leading lawyer in projects, energy and natural resources by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018 and ranked a leading individual in projects and energy by the Asia Legal 500 2018 Edition and prior years.
Dicky is active in the Corporate Secretary of the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Mining Committee and heads its Resources Development Committee. He is an active member of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Legal Committee, a trustee of the Philippine Mineral Exploration Association and Co-Chairman of the Mining Committee of the Philippine Bar Association. He is a Director of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Makati City Chapter. He lectures on corporate law, partnership, agency and trust and property law, negotiable instruments law and sales at the UP College of Law and the San Beda Alabang College of Law.
It has always been her dream to be a lawyer. She shares: “As early as high school, I have been fascinated with the idea of being able to help defend the rights of a person, and obtain justice for people in need. I also imagined myself having a fancy job working in a law firm and rendering legal advisory work for clients.” Myls continues, “I have always thought that there will be more exciting opportunities for me if I become a lawyer. Being a private practitioner and being part of a dynamic team of legal eagles is actually just one of them. Other opportunities await a member of the bar. She could also be a prosecutor or member of the judiciary as a judge or even a justice. There is also the option of being an in-house counsel of a private corporation, or a government lawyer. Indeed, I saw a wide array of opportunities and career options to choose from once I fulfill my dream to become a lawyer. Today, I am exactly where I wanted to be, that is, working in a law firm that helped my professional growth and finding fulfillment in the work that I do.”
Myls feels truly proud that she rose from the ranks. She was one of the first associate of FNS, after previously serving as one of the first junior associates of Atty. Ogie Narvasa in his former law firm. She happily shares, “I became partner of the Firm by my own merit and through sheer hard work. I am grateful to my partners who became not only my mentors but family. They have self-effacingly taught me the ropes of the practice, to value my work and my responsibility as a lawyer.” She continues, “I am able to apply the things I have learned from my partners in the cases I handle for the Firm. Most of these are annulment of marriage, adoption, custody, support of children, estate planning, immigration and corporate law. Luckily, all my annulment petitions have been granted by the courts. This is because of my hands-own and assiduous approach in all the cases that I handle. Although I am already a partner of the Firm, I do not just leave the work to a junior associate. I make it a point to impart to the junior lawyers the things I learned from the senior partners so they too will be able to hone their own litigation skills. I do not just monitor the junior lawyers’ work; more importantly, I mentor them in doing their work.”
Myls heads the Family Law and Estate Practice Group of the Firm. She took her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Pontifical University, cum laude, and graduated from the San Beda University (College of Law) – Mendiola in 1993. Mylene is a member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association and a Legal 500 Asia Pacific Recommended Lawyer in 2017.
Bay has worked with several litigation teams of Firm before carving out his own intellectual property practice in 2006 after he was invited to join the Partnership. Aside from handling IP cases, Bay also actively prosecutes patents as he is one of the few Philippine lawyers who passed the IPOPHL’s Patent Agent Qualifying Examinations. He is now actively involved in professionalizing the patent practice in the country and in training future patent practitioners through the Association of PAQE Professionals, a non-profit composed of certified patent attorneys and agents in the Philippines. He also teaches IP fundamentals and patent drafting at a technical institute and in numerous trainings and seminars sponsored by the IPOPHL and the Department of Science and Technology. When he’s not drafting patent specifications, Bay reads about the latest legal cases and trends and regularly attends professional conferences to keep himself abreast on the developments in the IP world.
Bay heads the IP practice group of the Firm and finds it gratifying whenever he completes a disclosure of an invention application: “I am practically creating something out of nothing.”
Outside work, Bay spends most of his time with Amy and his four kids. He relishes being a witness to their scholastic and extra-curricular achievements.
After four years from joining, Maricar was promoted as Senior Associate and was accepted as a junior partner shortly thereafter. Maricar shares that she took up law because she probably had the lawyer’s blood in her genes since her grandfather (on her mother’s side) was a lawyer as well as an aunt and an uncle. She adds, ‘I have always been fascinated with the legal profession since I was a little girl. I used to watch legal dramas shown in the movies and in television a lot. Most of the lawyers in the movies and television I watched always appeared confident, composed, and knowledgeable as they argue their points. For me, to become a successful yet humble lawyer with a well-balanced life is the ultimate ‘goal’.
Maricar believes that ‘Justice should be given to the deserving.’ She is happiest when she is with her family and, in relation to her profession, whenever she wins cases for her clients and when they refer her to their friends as it means they are satisfied with her legal services. She is proud to share that she contributes to the success and growth of the Firm by being a good role model to the younger partners, associates and staff of the Firm not just in legal practice but in other aspects of life. “I also render legal work and services to our clients in accordance with the qualities and standards set by the Firm and by making sure that justice is given to the deserving in the most competent and honest means possible.”
Maricar heads the Real Estate and Franchising Practice Areas of the Firm. She took her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Santo Tomas and completed her law degree from San Beda College-Mendiola in 1999. Admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2000, she is a member of Dispute Resolution Board Foundation and the Philippine Franchising Association. Maricar is a Legal 500 Asia Pacific Recommended Lawyer in 2017.
Karl considers having a wonderful and loving family as his greatest blessing. ‘My family is the center of my universe and the fountain of my happiness. Joyce, Kim, Gab, and Edj are my raison d’ etre.’
For Walter, the challenges in his work as a lawyer are numerous but what comes to mind is, as he shares, “the greatest probably involves dealing with people in different situations, from diverse backgrounds and varying attitudes. For example, there is no formula for serving the needs of clients. Each has its own needs and expectations. Each and every lawyer will always believe that the legal advice he doles out is correct, but without first understanding the client, the issue at hand, the personalities of the people listening, it will not be effective. All clients are different. Some want their hands to be held, while others simply want to hear their options, or weigh their risks.”
Walter grew up playing team sports from which he first learned about hard work and the importance of fair play. “This is a principle that I apply in my daily practice of law,” Walter notes. A genuine Blue Eagle, Walter graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Management and a Juris Doctor from the Ateneo de Manila University before he was accepted to the Philippine Bar in 2006. Walter principally practices Arbitration and is a certified arbitrator of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.
Ann enjoys quiet time with her family and friends. Communing with nature is Ann’s favorite pass time as it recharges her for the challenges of her work.
A cum laude graduate in both Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Psychology) and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of the Philippines and the University of the Cordilleras, respectively, Ann principally handles the Labor Law portfolio of the Firm.
Prior to joining the Firm, she is a product of the country’s Science High School system and graduated from the Quezon City Science High School. She took her undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines Los Baños with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts, Major in Writing. While at UPLB, she founded and led several university organizations and headed the UP Sigma Alpha Nu Sorority as its Lady Chancellor. She also served in the Editorial Board of the University’s student paper as the Opinion Editor and won as Best Speaker and Best Campus Debater at the University of the Philippines Campus Debate for two consecutive years.
She earned her Bachelor of Laws from San Sebastian College of Law – Recoletos where she finished her law degree as a full Academic Scholar of the Recoletos Order. She was a consistent Dean’s Lister throughout her law school years and graduated as Class Valedictorian. She was also awarded and the first recipient of the Academic Excellence Medal of Honor by the Recoletos Educational Apostolate of the Philippines.
Sheila currently holds the record of having been chosen as the Firm’s Lawyer of the Year for four consecutive years now or from 2015 to 2018 – a historical feat that shows her dedication to excellence.
She specializes in criminal litigation and is the lead counsel of numerous Sandiganbayan cases. Aside from criminal litigation, she also has an extensive experience in civil litigation, family law, appellate practice, labor law, mining law, and corporate law.
In her spare time, Sheila loves to engage her creative side. In 2001, she was chosen as a Fellow in Poetry at the Ateneo de Manila University National Writers Workshop.
This, however, is just her glowing professional profile. She remains to bring sunshine across unlit halls. She graces the office corners like a kind-hearted child – innocent, trusting; choosing happiness, always.
Matt is the go-to guy for sports, litigation, and e-sports. When he has learned to play the game, he will not back down from a challenge. But he will always play the cards right.
Golf is a sport John finds himself challenged in – seemingly simple yet complicated all at the same time. His tested sportsmanship is echoed in his practice.
Waves run through the weekend for CJ. Friday nights usually call for a quick weekend trip to the beach. He braves any route right in time for the next Monday.
A Science High School graduate, Kevin dissects issues methodically and eagerly pores over legal problems determined to unravel their complexities. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science from Far Eastern University. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the same university with Second Honors and a best thesis award. In Law school he was a scholar of former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban’s Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP).
Prior to joining the firm, and during law school, Kevin, was an intern at the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), Quintin Paredes Division.
On his free time, Kevin loves to go to obscure beaches or judge collegiate debate tournaments in the provinces to give back to the community.
Rev likes analyzing human actions and looking into what drives them to do what they do. Given this interest in people, Rev took up Psychology at De La Salle University. He considers himself as a behaviorist, believing that people can be conditioned to act a certain way when exposed to a certain stimulus. He planned to pursue further studies in psychology but the love of law changed his course.
Upon entering the University of the Philippines - College of Law, he especially enjoyed his civil and criminal law classes. His experience at the Office of Legal Aid and interactions with the people he met made him realize that litigation is a field he would like to delve in.
He obtained his Economics degree from the University of Santo Tomas and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Philippines.
Concurrently, he is the General Manager and Corporate Counsel of Inter Astrea (H.K.) Limited (since 1997), and the Managing Director of SIF (Nominees) Limited (since 1983), each company being a provider of general corporate management services, and corporate formations and company secretarial services, in Hong Kong as well as in various offshore jurisdictions.
Randy started his legal career in February 1977, as an Associate in the SyCip Salazar Law Firm. In April 1982, he moved on to be an In-House Legal Counsel of the Summa International Bank Group, based in Hong Kong with Summa International Finance Co. Ltd., and with offices then in Luxembourg, Vanuatu, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. At present (2017), he is a Director in Summa International Philippines Inc. and in Cebu International Finance Corporation, a licensed quasi-bank and finance company with Head Office in Cebu City and branches in Makati, Cagayan de Oro and Dumaguete.
In Hong Kong, Randy is actively involved in various Filipino civic, social and community oriented organizations, wherein he has served in various capacities such as a Director, Chairman, and Adviser to the Philippine Association of Hong Kong, and as an Adviser to the Balikatan Sa Kaunlaran (BSK), Hong Kong Council, an NGO of mostly overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong attached to the BSK National Foundation in the Philippines.
Wilbert began his pursuit of the law profession by obtaining an undergraduate degree from the Ateneo de Manila in Loyola Heights, and completing his law degree in St. Louis University in 2000. He was immersed in the practice of law even before he became a bona fide member of the Philippine Bar, when he superintended and liaised with Sig Fortun and Ogie Narvasa in the handling of his grandfather’s cases before the MTC and RTC of Baguio City from 1996 through 1999. He was ever present in all court proceedings and attended to monitoring its status even as it was elevated on appeal to the Court of Appeals, then to the Supreme Court where a landmark doctrine on partnership law was rendered on the case.
While the Baguio branch was still operating, Wilbert would ensure that Baguio-based associates who were mostly locals and graduates of universities in the City, passed the stringent standards of the Firm in writing, profundity of arguments, and the pragmatic application of basic legal principles in political, constitutional, civil, mercantile, and procedural law. He also made certain that the administrative and operational aspects of the Firm’s practice in the City was compliant with local ordinances and customs. Much business was generated by Wilbert for the Firm during its brief stint in Baguio as he introduced leading personalities from the Panagbenga Annual Flower Festival Committee, and stalwarts in the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Baguio City who passed on work to the branch. Even the former Mayor of the City, Atty. Braulio Yaranon, became a client of the Firm upon Wilbert’s recommendation.
Recognizing the need for effective MCLE and Bar Review classes for northern Luzon residents, Wilbert was first to sponsor special sessions in a hotel owned by his family, and allowed the use of extra staff for activities of LegalAdvantage® in the City.
Wilbert’s family had heavily invested in hotels, inns, grocery stores, realty acquisition and leasing, and a rural bank in Baguio and environs that required his attention and expertise to manage its day-to-day operations. While the branch was struggling to keep its operations afloat in handling new referrals from clients with businesses in the City, Wilbert and his family graciously accommodated the Firm within the bank’s administrative offices along Rajah Sulayman Street in 2004, before it finally moved to its office in 2006 in the F. Lopez Building along Session Road.
He continues to oversee major cases handled by the Firm in Baguio, and is available for consultation on matters affecting the business climate in the City. When in Manila, Wilbert does not fail to play golf with Sig and spend time with members of the Firm who had evolved in not just being colleagues, but good friends of his fast growing family. Soft-spoken and amiable, Wilbert has evolved to become a seasoned business lawyer and a reliable partner of the Firm for its myriad activities in northern Luzon.