Makati City


Distinguished Practitioner




Practice area:


Arlene M. Maneja is a member of the Special Projects, Banking, Finance & Securities and Corporate Services groups. She specializes in investments and acquisitions, public-private partnerships (PPPs), infrastructure, power, renewable energy, and competition law.

Ms. Maneja has extensive experience in helping foreign clients invest in the Philippines, especially in respect of industries with nationality restrictions. She also regularly advises clients on competition law and any antitrust implications of proposed acquisitions, business ventures, non-compete arrangements (including employment-related non-compete clauses) and similar activities.

Recently, she acted as Philippine counsel to Grab Holdings, Inc. in relation to its business combination with Altimeter Growth Corp. – a special purpose acquisition company – which is the largest SPAC acquisition at that time. She also assisted KKR in relation to its investment in Frontier Towers Associates Philippines (FTA), a local independent tower company, and in FTAP’s participation in the auction of PLDT’s telecom towers. She also assisted a bidder in relation to the auction of Globe’s data center business.

In the PPP field, she also recently advised Metro Pacific Investments Corporation in its sale of 34.9% of Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation, the majority owner of the concessionaire for LRT1 and assisted an international airport operator on its contemplated investment in the unsolicited proposal for the development, operations, and maintenance of the Davao Airport Project.

In the field of energy, she acted for a bidder in relation to the auction of Shell’s 45% participating interest in Service Contract No. 38 covering the Malampaya Gas Project and also advised Beacon Electric Assets Holdings, Inc. and JG Summit, Inc. in relation to their PhP34.5 billion sale of 86% of Global Business Power Corporation, which owns and operates various power plants in the Philippines to Meralco PowerGen Corporation. Before that, she acted as Philippine counsel for Global Infrastructure Partners in relation to its US$5 billion acquisition of the renewable energy portfolio of Equis Energy – the largest re-acquisition in history.

In competition law, she led the team that represented Grab in relation to the motu proprio review of its acquisition of Uber’s assets and business in the Philippines, which is the first case of its kind. The PCC cleared the transaction based on Grab’s voluntary commitments. This deal was chosen as the 2018 M&A Deal of the Year and Philippine Deal of the Year during the Philippine Law Awards hosted by Asian Legal Business. She also led the team that assisted Grab during the discussions for the extension and amendment of Grab’s voluntary commitments.

She has contributed to the Philippine Chapter of the 2016 and 2017 Public-Private Partnership Review, the World Bank’s 2018 Procuring Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships Report and the Guide to Financing Renewable Energy Projects of the American Bar Association. She also co-wrote the Philippine Chapter for the Vertical Agreements publication of Getting The Deal Through.

In 2018, Ms. Maneja won the Young Lawyer of the Year Award at the Asian Legal Business Philippine Law Awards. Through her efforts, SyCipLaw won the inaugural Antitrust and Competition Team of the Year award given by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for 2020/2021.

Ms. Maneja’s most recent awards and citations include:

* Highly regarded lawyer for Banking, Corporate M&A, Energy, IFLR1000, 2019-2021
* Distinguished Practitioner for Competition/Antitrust, asialaw Profiles 2020-2023
* One of the top 100 Lawyers in the Philippines, Asian Business Law Journal 2022
* Global Guide - Recommended Lawyer for Competition, Who’s Who Legal 2021
* National Guide (Southeast Asia) Recommended Lawyer for Competition, Who’s Who Legal 2021-2022

  • Competition/antitrust
  • Corporate and M&A

  • Industrials and manufacturing
  • Infrastructure
  • Energy

  • 2003, Philippines (1st Place)

  • University of Santo Tomas (AB Legal Management, cum laude; Bachelor of Laws, magna cum laude and batch valedictorian)
  • Asian Institute of Management (Masters in Business Administration)
  • The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (International Exchange Student)