Mr. De Guzman has been actively involved in conciliation, mediation and arbitration of labor/employment disputes. He has also handled cases involving executive and managerial employees. As part of his practice, he has litigated civil as well as criminal cases involving employees. Mr. De Guzman has also advised on the labor aspects of mergers and acquisition and privatization plans. He has vast knowledge of outsourcing, including the preparation, review and audit of outsourcing arrangements and service level agreements. He also has invaluable experience on employee pension plans and rules. With his vast labor knowledge, Mr. de Guzman is a popular lecturer on employment law and jurisprudence and is frequently requested to conduct in-house seminars and lectures on labor issues. Mr. De Guzman handled the Labor aspect of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Privatization which brought about the successful transition from government service to private employment of thousands of affected employees.
He successfully litigated a number of suits involving employers where the Supreme Court upheld the exercise of management prerogatives, including the enforcement of Company rules, the administration of compensation schemes, the resolution of wage distortions, and the resort to outsourcing arrangements.
Mr. De Guzman obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines in 1982. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines in 1977. Mr. De Guzman attended the Academy of American and International Law, Center for American and International Law in Dallas/Plano, Texas, USA in 2005. He was the Philippine delegate to the Seminar on Labor Management Cooperation, Asian Productivity Organization in Tokyo Japan in November 2000. He has also attended the Program on Negotiations at the National University of Singapore sponsored by the Kennedy School of Government/Conflict Management Group in Singapore in April 1999.
Law Professorial Positions & Legal Publications:
Mr. De Guzman is the author of the Philippine chapter of the Handbook on Global Recruiting, Screening, Testing and Interviewing Criteria, published by Kluwer Law International/International Bar Association; the Philippine Chapter of the Guide to International Labor and Employment Law, published by Lexis Nexis/Littler Mendelson Global; and the Philippine chapter of Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Employment Law, published by the American Bar Association. Mr. De Guzman is likewise a regular lecturer of the Center for Human Resource Management (CHRM) of the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP).
Professional Membership & Affiliations:
Mr. De Guzman is an active member of the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) having been a member of its Board of Directors since 2007. He is currently He is currently a Vice-President of PBA. In 2006, Mr. De Guzman was elected President of the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) and from 2003-2005, he was the Managing Editor of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Journal. Currently, Mr. De Guzman is also the Vice-Chairman of the Employment and Immigration Committee of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA). Since 2007, he has been Chair of the Human Resources Working Group of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC). In June 2011, he was appointed by President Aquino as one of the Employer Representatives to the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC). Mr. De Guzman is likewise a Member of the Executive Committee of the Southwestern Institute for International and Comparative Law based in Dallas, Texas.
ACCRALAW was founded in 1972, out of the shared vision of its five founding partners to establish an institutional law firm based on the highest standards of legal competence.
The Firm was initially conceived by Edgardo J. Angara and Manuel G. Abello+, who had known each other since their student days at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law. In a landscape then dominated by larger and more established firms primarily designed to serve multinational corporations, Angara and Abello saw an emerging and dynamic generation of local enterprises and individuals whose legal requirements were not being prioritized and adequately addressed. They saw this as an opportunity to establish a law firm which would focus on this new group and provide exceptional legal advice and expertise.
Teodoro D. Regala and Jose C. Concepcion, former classmates at the University of the Philippines College of Law, soon joined Angara and Abello and with the arrival of Avelino V. Cruz, Angara’s classmate at the University of Michigan Law School and an alumnus of the San Beda College of Law, the Firm’s founding partners were complete.
A History of Growth and Strength
On May 1, 1972, ACCRALAW opened its first offices at the Philippine Bank of Commerce Building on Ayala Avenue in the premier business district of Makati City. Starting from an initial six and then increasing to more than 30 lawyers, in 1975 the Firm moved to its own building, the ACCRA Building on Gamboa Street also in Makati. In just a few years, ACCRA had achieved phenomenal growth and had become one of the nation’s largest and leading law firms. Furthering its expansion, the Firm established a branch in Cebu City in 1980 and in 1996, an office was opened in Davao City. Having outgrown its Head Office at the ACCRA Building, in March 2010, the Firm moved to a new, modern and bigger ACCRALAW Tower in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Today, 42 years after it first opened its doors, the Firm has approximately 150 lawyers (41 of whom are partners), around 130 support staff, and two branches in the two most important commercial cities in the country outside Metro Manila. ACCRALAW is uniquely positioned to service clients throughout the Philippines. Equally as important, its lawyers have vast cross-border experience in complicated international transactions and are able to quickly service and communicate with its international clients in real time. The Firm also has an impressive network of correspondent firms positioned in the primary business centers of the world. The Firm’s strong presence in the Philippines, coupled with its international experience, makes it truly distinct in the Philippines.
Perhaps more than any other law firm in the Philippines, the Firm has trained and produced an impressive list of top tier government officials including, among others, three Executive Secretaries, two Senate Presidents, six Senators, several Congressmen, two SEC Chairpersons, and a BIR Commissioner. The Firm’s Partners have also been instrumental in providing invaluable resource persons to government agencies and assisting in the drafting of crucial legislation, rules and regulations.
The economy of the Philippines, together with the rest of Asia, is growing at an unprecedented rate. Moreover, financial centers and fortunes are shifting towards this region where there is a burgeoning, young, upwardly mobile and educated population with increasing disposable income. In the face of all this growth and economic activity, ACCRALAW is strategically and uniquely situated to serve its clients within the region and without.
ACCRALAW is evolving and expanding in today’s world of ever changing technologies and shifting economic fortunes.