9th, 10th, 11th & 12 Floors, One Orion
11th Avenue Corner University Parkway, Bonifacio Global City 1634
Metro Manila, Philippines
PO Box 3525 Makati Central
Tel: +632 810 5858
Current position: Name partner & CEO
Practice area/industry focus: Litigation and dispute resolution, arbitration, banking, taxation, corporate recovery and insolvency
Career highlights: Mr Marcelo, in 1979, graduated among the top of his law class at University of the Philippines and placed number five in the bar examinations. After 20 years of private law practice, he had distinguished himself as a top-notch litigator, with leading corporations and the then President Ramos as clients. He caught the national public's attention during the 2000 impeachment proceedings against President Estrada when he presented the prosecution's star witness. In 2001, he was appointed solicitor general. His focus on long-delayed cases against the Marcoses and their cronies resulted in the recovery of Php130 billion ($2.6 billion) in ill-gotten wealth (compared to Php26 billion recovered by the previous three administrations). Winning all his major cases, he is considered one of the most successful of solicitor generals. This success led to his appointment in 2002 as the youngest head of the country's independent anti-corruption body. Despite a severe lack of resources, he was able to pursue an effective crusade against corruption, earning praise from local and foreign media. The Washington Post stated that Mr Marcelo actively pursued a crusade 'taking on the most powerful vested and entrenched interests in a country that perennially ranks among the world's most corrupt'; 'targeting the most corrupt agencies, daring to prosecute even members of the historically untouchable military' (June 10 2005, page A14). He led the prosecution team that secured the historical first-ever criminal conviction of a president.
In 2008, he returned to private practice, with two publications describing him as 'perhaps the country's best litigator'. Immediately, he was engaged as counsel of the biggest local power utility, thwarting a hostile take-over. The central bank selected him to prosecute those responsible for the biggest bank fraud case in Philippine history. A leading company engaged him in a multi-billion tax collection suit. In 2014, he secured a Supreme Court decision annulling a tax assessment of his client's aviation fuel sales to international carriers, costing his client Php100 million annually. Another related Supreme Court case was won in 2016. This year, he led his team in winning a multi-billion case in the Supreme Court.
Between 2013 and 2014, he served with an ICC arbitral tribunal that resolved two related disputes that arose from allegations of corruption. The following year, he headed the panel that secured a favourable award in an important construction arbitration dispute. Subsequently, he became chairman of the tribunal that handled an important international arbitration case. From 2008 to 2014, he served as a member of the World Bank's highly prominent independent advisory board.
He was president of the Philippine Bar Association from 2009 to 2010. The University of the Philippines alumni association awarded him the 2013 centennial year's Distinguished Alumni Award in Public Service.
Today, he serves as legal counsel in high-profile cases in various courts, including the Supreme Court, and is active in arbitration and the crusade for good governance.
Asialaw Market-Leading Lawyer 2017 in Dispute Resolution & Litigation and Tax