GVES & Associates

Founding Partners

John Henley Godinez

Prior to founding GVES Law, John was a Junior Partner in a Legal 500 law firm in Makati City. His main areas of practice include business formation and establishment, business regulatory and compliance, taxation, technology, data privacy and cybersecurity, and mergers & acquisitions. 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 Court of Tax Appeals.

In the field of mergers & acquisitions, he has handled multi-dollar acquisition of rural banks, ITfirms, port operators, lending companies,  others. He has also advised start-up companies in their investment structures and acquisition plans from private equity firms. In the field of financial technology, he has assisted client 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 government’s patrimonial real estate, either sale or lease, joint venture with the National Government, local government units, and government-owned corporations under the NEDA Guidelines, unsolicited proposal under BOT law.

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.

Christian Daniel P. Villanueva

Prior to founding GVES Law, Christian was the General Counsel of Tim Hortons Philippines. His practice areas revolve around Labor law, Corporate law, Family law, Real Estate, Litigation, Immigration, Government Relations and Data Privacy.

For Labor law, he has worked as Human Resources Department Head for several companies giving him expertise on labor compliance and employment issues. He advised companies on workforce reduction and labor standards compliance when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. He is currently assisting corporate and individual clients before the Department of Labor and Employment, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

In the field of corporate law, he is currently corporate secretary for companies from different industries, such as real estate, retail, hospitality, service, and investment and holding companies. He is currently advising clients on corporate compliance and housekeeping.

For Real Estate, he worked with two of the top real estate developers in the country and is also legal counsel for, and sits as corporate secretary of, other real estate companies. For dispute resolution, he has a myriad of individual and corporate clients whom he assists on cases involving criminal, civil, and family laws before judicial bodies.

For work involving Data Privacy, he is a certified Data Privacy Officer and has assisted clients on privacy impact assessments and data privacy compliance. He has drafted several data privacy manuals and procedures for clients and has conducted data privacy seminars for the employees of corporate clients.

In the field of Immigration, he advises clients, including international companies, on visa applications to bring foreign workers into the Philippines, as well as the procurement of work permits from the Department of Labor and Employment. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, he has helped companies in applying for exemptions to the Philippines’ travel restrictions. For Government Relations, he has represented clients before national government agencies, local government units and elected officials in communicating and lobbying for effective public policy in the different levels of governance.

Atty. Christian is a graduate of the Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration program of the De La Salle University and Far Eastern University – Institute of Law consortium. He also obtained his bachelor’s degree in Mass Media from the De La Salle University.

Peter Guan S. Espiritu

Prior to founding GVES Law, Peter was a partner of Espiritu Espiritu & Lim. Peter specializes in varying fields of litigation, corporate law, labor law, special projects, land registration and government procurements. He has extensive experience as a trial lawyer, representing private businesses, government entities and individuals on matters involving intra-corporate disputes, employment disputes, dispute resolution and arbitration, civil claims and criminal prosecution.

As a litigator, Peter has special interest in civil, criminal and family law. He has vast experience in handling adoption, custody, support, annulment of marriage, property relations, and settlement of estate. He also handles land registration, tilting and reclassification disputes. Peter has also represented clients before the Civil Service Commission, Professional Regulatory Commission and Human Settlements Adjudication Commission.

As a labor law practitioner, Peter reviews and advices corporations on the recent and relevant labor and employment policies to ensure compliance with existing labor laws and regulations. He also represents companies and individuals before the Department of Labor and Employment and the National Labor Relations Commission. 

For his corporate law practice, Peter serves as legal counsel of several companies operating in the field of petroleum and energy, automotive, trading, construction, lending and finance, and environmental solutions. He represents these corporations before courts and various government offices and agencies to ensure compliance with tedious government requirements and regulations. Peter is currently the external counsel of the Autohub Group of Companies, which is one of the top car distributors, dealerships, and automotive service group in the Philippines.

In the field of environmental law, Peter has successfully represented a private company to buildand operate a Sewage Treatment Plant Facility in one of the Municipalities of Pampanga. He also gives advices to companies that haul, dislodge, syphon and treat domestic wastes. Through these environmental projects, he gained extensive practice on several Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Health regulations and requirements.

In the field of government procurement, Peter represents various corporations and entities who regularly participate in government biddings. He has extensive experience in reviewing bidding documents and bid submissions and drafting of requests for reconsiderations and protests. In 2020, Peter successfully represented a foreign energy firm who was awarded a multi-million operation and maintenance project. At present, he currently serves as legal consultant of the Quezon City Procurement Department.

Peter was previously appointed in the government-owned and controlled energy corporation, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation. He handled special government projects while in PSALM. He was a member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) and had substantial contribution to the successful privatization of the 650-Megawatt Malaya Thermal Power Plant (MTPP). In this arduous task, Peter gained substantial experience on government bidding processes and was exposed to the tedious compliance requirements of different government offices such as the Department of Energy, DENR and Philippine Competition Commission. Prior to the MTPP privatization activity, Peter also led the TWG for the procurement of a third party consultant, who conducted a feasibility study on the privatization of the MTPP.

He earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the De La Salle University College of Law and was part of the University’s Pioneer Batch.

Nellaine Anabelle Soliman

Prior to founding GVES Law, Nellaine was a Junior Partner in a Legal 500 law firm in Makati City. Nellaine’s practice involves taxation, mergers & acquisitions, competition law, and general corporate and commercial law. She has handled business formation and establishment, assisting in registration, licensing requirements, and compliance of multinational companies with government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

She is highly experienced in tax litigations and assessments of companies in various industries, such as retail, banking, travel, insurance, and investment. She has also handled tax rulings and treaty reliefs applications, estate settlement, tax amnesty availment, and cases involving claims for refund of different tax types. Nellaine has handled mergers & acquisition projects involving hotel, information technology, land development, banks, and retail companies. She has also advised and assisted companies in their investment structures, acquisition plans. She has counseled both domestic and international companies in various legal matters including labor, data privacy, and immigration matters.

Nellaine graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo De Manila University School of Law in 2014 and was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2015. Atty. Soliman is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and has previously worked as a financial audit associate in a top auditing firm in the Philippines.