Michael Macapagal is a partner in Quisumbing Torres' Dispute Resolution Practice Group. He heads the Restructuring & Insolvency Focus Group and is a member of the Energy, Mining & Infrastructure Industry Group, the Compliance and Competition focus groups. He has 12 years of legal practice involving arbitration, construction, healthcare disputes, compliance, civil and criminal litigation, labor law, intellectual property law, public private partnerships, project finance and joint venture matters.
He received the sixth highest score in the 2008 Philippine bar examinations. He has been recently cited as a Next Generation Partner in Dispute Resolution as well as Real Estate and Construction by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for 2020 and 2021. He was also recently appointed Deputy Secretary General for Case Administration of the Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution (PICCR).
He teaches civil and criminal law courses at leading Philippine law schools. He is also a regular lecturer on international arbitration and competition law at the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) sessions hosted by the University of the Philippines Law Center. He has also acted as speaker and moderator at various arbitration-related and construction-related events. He co-authored the Philippine chapter of Baker McKenzie's Global Guide to Competition Litigation and Chambers Construction 2021 Guide.
Previously, he was an associate counsel at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and an associate solicitor at the Office of the Solicitor General. As an associate solicitor, he was part of teams that assisted government agencies in right-of-way acquisitions for expressways and other infrastructure projects. He was also part of teams that assisted in arbitrations involving the Philippine government.
Michael focuses on commercial arbitration, construction disputes, competition law enforcement, public-private partnerships and project finance deals with the government. He has assisted and advised domestic and multinational clients across all sectors, such as energy, oil and gas and healthcare, on dispute resolution-related issues, such as the commencement of arbitration and drafting of arbitration/dispute resolution clauses.
In addition, Michael has extensive experience in civil, commercial, criminal and administrative litigation, and has appeared and argued before various Philippine trial and appellate courts. He represented the government in money laundering cases against notable Philippine personalities and in a highly-publicized environmental case involving large retail companies. He also acted for multinational clients in high-value contractual breach and tort actions. He has likewise assisted clients in disputes before regulatory agencies.
Representative Legal Matters
- Advise and assist a global software company on matters involving possible conflict-of-interest issues in government transactions.
- Advise and assist a ride-sharing company in settlement negotiations with artists affiliated with a major media and broadcasting company in relation to alleged unauthorized use of artists’ images. Successfully negotiated a settlement with one of the artists, who is a famous celebrity in the Philippines.
- Assist and represent an American multinational engineering firm's employees in a criminal case filed by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Coast Guard for alleged illegal reclamation activities at Manila’s main port.
- Assist one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies in compliance and litigation-related issues in relation to a government’s national healthcare program.
- Assist the Philippine subsidiary of one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates in a commercial arbitration under the Rules of the PDRCI. The case involves the termination of a Port Services Agreement by the client. The value of the dispute is around PhP1.8 Billion.
- Advise and represent a global technology company in connection with a criminal complaint for cyber libel in relation to a video posted on a social media platform. The complaint alleged that the video was libelous because it branded the complainant as being connected to a criminal syndicate in the Philippines. The criminal complaint has been initially dismissed by the prosecutor, and is currently pending appeal.
- Assist an American chemical conglomerate in international commercial arbitration involving a non-solicitation clause in a contract with its local client, which is a subsidiary of a large conglomerate in the Philippines.
- Assist and represent a government agency in injunction proceedings and a potential arbitration its contractor for its new flagship museum in Manila.
- Provide legal services in relation to assisting a software and technology services company in defending against a petition for interim measures of protection for preservation of evidence in relation to arbitration.
- Represent a Canadian multinational insurance company and financial services provider in an administrative enforcement case filed by the Philippine Competition Commission for alleged violation of the provisions of the Philippine Competition Act on vertical anti-competitive restraints. This is the first administrative enforcement case filed by the Philippine Competition Commission relating to anti-competitive agreements.
- Advise and assist a foreign transportation company in responding to a subpoena relating to an investigation on potential cartel case.
- Act for a Japanese international advertising and public relations company in connection with its claim against a Philippine government agency in the sum of approximately PHP 150 million. The claim arises from an advertising agreement under which the agency was engaged by the client to place advertisements locally and internally.
- Advise and represent a group of creditors representing billions of dollars worth of claims and contracts in a restructuring matter involving a major transportation company in the Philippines.
Next Generation Partner in Dispute & Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2020 to 2021
Next Generation Partner in Real Estate and Construction, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2020 to 2021
Professional Associations and Memberships
Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution, Inc. - Member, Deputy Secretary General for Case Administration
Young Singapore International Arbitration Centre Group (YSIAC) - Member
Young International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) - Member, Local Steering Committee
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Member (MCIArb)
Integrated Bar of the Philippines - Member
Philippine Institute of Arbitrators - Member
International Bar Association - Member
New York~United States (2017)
Columbia Law School (LL.M.) (2014)
University of the Philippines, College of Law (J.D. cum laude) (2008)
Ateneo de Manila University (B.S. Management Engineering) (2003)