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 and Immigration portfolios of the Firm.
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.
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.
Initially inclined to pursue a career in the academe, Hope went to law school to challenge herself. Women's rights and environmental concerns are causes close to her heart. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology (magna cum laude) and Juris Doctor from the University of the Philippines.
When not in the court room or assisting clients with their corporate concerns, Hope seeks the outdoors during weekends. Her idea of taking a break from pleading-writing is a day out on the beach. (Hash-)tagged the wandering lawyer, her photo-dump is a timely reminder to live and be in the moment.
Matt is the go-to guy for sports, litigation, and 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.
Her specialization in litigation involves cases before trial and appellate courts all over the country, the Sandiganbayan, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and the Intellectual Property Office (IPOPhil), among others. She handles retainers and special projects of corporate clients, has extensive experience in mining and real estate corporations, and has considerable practice in patent prosecution and trademark applications. Diega has also assisted foreign companies in incorporation of Philippine subsidiaries.
Diega earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) in 2008 and 2009 as part of a five-year invitational fast-track program. She obtained her law degree in 2014 from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law as a working law student, balancing law school and a full-time job as a researcher at the Ateneo School of Government, a professor at ADMU’s Department of Political Science, and a political and legislative affairs officer for AKO Bicol Party List at the House of Representatives.
In 2014, Diega was awarded the Dean’s Award for Service for her commitment to the UP Law Student Government and recognized as a Distinguished Intern by the UP Office of Legal Aid. She also headed the bar operations for evening students and was active in several causes, including collegiate political affairs and human rights, having been a member of UP Organization of Human Rights Advocates, UP ALYANSA, and the Paralegal Volunteers Organization.
Diega is a theatre enthusiast and has extensive experience in theatre acting, theatrical movement, and dance. She also has professional experience in acting for theatre and hosting events. She was voted by her UP Law batch as “Best in Comedy” and “Miss Congeniality.”
She was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2015 and joined the Firm in the same year.
Criela appears before trial courts for civil and criminal cases, and has appeared before the Sandiganayan defending clients accused of graft and corrupt practices. She also drafts and reviews legal documents and handles cases. She also provides advice on regulations and transactions to corporate clients. Criela also handles intellectual property applications and cases for the firm ranging from trademarks to patent drafting and prosecution.
Prior to joining the firm, Criela received her bachelor’s degree, major in Humanities with a minor in Political Economics, from the University of Asia & the Pacific in 2010. She thereafter obtained her law degree from San Beda University - Mendiola in 2014. She was admitted to the Philippine bar in 2015 and joined the Firm in the same year.
Robi daydreams of putting up a coffee shop or living-off in a remote island. But, for now, he spends most weekends on road trips.
In her practice, Bel excels in client-management. She not only counsels but becomes a friend. The nobility in her craft is seen as she puts her heart into cases and queries landing her desk.
Paolo also has his professional roots in the Firm. He has hurdled the Firm’s apprenticeship program and has earned his spot in both the Firm’s litigation and corporate divisions.
Monique’s brand of professionalism is centered on tenacity. She never settles for anything less, more so, she ensures delivery above resolve.
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.
She graduated from Saint Louis University with a double degree in accountancy and management accounting, earning the accollade of being a cum laude in both degrees. She earned her Bachelor of Laws from San Beda University.
When she's not busy lawyering, she juggles her time between her family and running off to some relaxation adventure.
She began her practice of law as an associate in Nograles law offices, where she counselled companies on labor and employment issues. After her first stint, she further expanded her experience by providing strategic counsel to a public relations firm. With her experience navigating regulatory arenas, she has assisted clients in steering developed and emerging sectors through regulatory risk assessment.
Her knowledge which encompasses a number of industries has enabled her to cultivate strong ties with clients who have identified her to be both a zealous advocate and a compassionate counsel.
Erika obtained her degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science from the De La Salle University. Prior to attending law school, Erika worked for several years in the Banking industry.