John’s main areas of practice include business formation and establishment, business regulatory and compliance, mergers & acquisitions taxation, technology, data privacy, and cybersecurity. He has also various experience in government procurement, infrastructure, and Private-Public Partnership projects.
For business formation and establishment, he has assisted various businesses in their licensing requirements and corporate structuring with the Securities Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Philippine Economic Zone Authorities, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Board of Investments, Anti-Money Laundering Council, among others. He has also acted as corporate secretary or assistant corporate secretary, and legal counsel to clients engaged in the following industries: hotels, manufacturing, non-bank financial institutions, lending and finance, retail, export, investment, and holding companies, electronic money issuers, and operator of payment systems and IT and cybersecurity.
In the field of taxation, he has assisted various clients including commercial banks, rural banks, and petroleum and energy companies in their application for refund before administrative and judicial bodies. He has also represented clients in tax assessments before the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Court of Tax Appeals.
In the field of mergers & acquisitions, he has handled multi-dollar acquisitions of rural banks, IT firms, port operators, lending companies, among others. He has also advised start-up companies in their investment structures and acquisition plans from private equity firms.
For land acquisition, he has handled due diligence on the ownership of the land, residential, commercial, and industrial lands, together with their respective improvements. John has assisted in land acquisition in the reclamation area in Macapagal Area, Metro Manila, residential properties in Dasmarinas Village, agricultural land in Batangas and Cavite, land for warehousing in Laguna, and several condominium properties either for the seller or buyer side. For these types of acquisitions, John advised clients on tax implications and ownership structuring and assisted them in the transfer of the certificates of titles.
In the field of financial technology, he has assisted clients to secure licenses from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to operate as electronic money issuer, operator of payment systems, and virtual currency exchange. For data privacy, he has conducted privacy impact assessments in clients engaged in retail, manufacturing, mining, hospitals and clinics, business outsourcing firms, and has advised them in their data privacy compliance, policies, and practices.
In the field of government procurement and PPP projects, he has advised clients in the acquisition of the government’s patrimonial real estate, either sale or lease, joint ventures with the National Government, local government units, and government-owned corporations under the NEDA Guidelines, and unsolicited proposal under BOT law.
Before founding GVES Law, John was a Junior Partner of Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula Law Offices, which is a Legal 500 law firm in Makati City. He earned his Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of San Carlos – School of Law and Governance as the top 5 of the graduating class and was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2015. Prior to taking up law, he graduated from Cebu Normal University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.