When it comes to aviation and transportation law, a firm that easily comes to mind is The Ocampo & Manalo Law Firm (OMLAW), one of the winners in Asia Business Law Journal’s Philippines Law Firm Awards 2021 for Aviation.
Since its establishment in 1997, OMLAW has built a strong emphasis in aviation and transportation law, owing to the partners’ prior experience as counsel to one of the Philippines’ biggest local carriers. Atty. Manolito A. Manalo, managing partner of OMLAW, recognized that being in the forefront of such practice for close to 25 years, many local and international carriers and companies have entrusted their businesses, issues, and requirements to the firm.
“From traffic rights, franchises, charter permits, accident insurance, to joint ventures and commercial agreements, the firm ensures dependable advice and opinions relative to regulatory compliance and petitions; and when necessary, represent clients before government boards and agencies including assistance in policy formation by the government regulators,” Atty. Manalo said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.
OMLAW’s client roster includes Qatar Airways, RyanAir, Turkish Airlines, Tigerair Taiwan, Xiamen Airlines Cambodia Airways, JC (Cambodia) International Airlines, AirSWIFT Airlines Philippines, Philippines AirAsia, AirAsia Berhad, Jeju Air, YTO Cargo Airlines, Deutsche Lufthansa, Condor Airlines, Magnum Air (Skyjet Airlines), Starlux Airlines and Vietnam Airlines.
Nonetheless, OMLAW has evolved into a full-service law firm with an active and vibrant practice in various fields such as Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions and Dispute Resolution, as well as in vital industries such as real estate and engineering, energy and natural resources, insurance, retail trade, logistics, and infrastructure development.
“Through the years, the goodwill generated through this rich practice has allowed the firm to keep growing,” Atty. Manalo added.
Moreover, as it recognizes the value of strengthening ASEAN ties, OMLAW has expanded its reach beyond the Philippines through a formal affiliation with JLPW Legal Group, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and its regional affiliates. “Through this alliance, the firm can tap into the network of ASEAN-based law firms for assistance with clients and other legal services” Atty. Manalo said.
The firm also collaborates regularly with the Singapore offices of HFW and Milbank, both global legal powerhouses. OMLAW is also an active member of associations like LAWASIA and the Asian Business Aviation Association or AsBAA.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges to business, including the massively impacted aviation industry, OMLAW was able to bank on and further enhance its existing IT structure not only to be very accessible for urgent matters that needed legal advice and assistance but, in some cases, to be one step ahead.
“Clients’ myriad business concerns were addressed in a timely manner resulting in minimal damage, if at all, and allowed quick recovery under the ‘new normal,’” Atty. Manalo shared. “Investments in and the intelligent use of technology, both old and new, allowed the firm to deliver effective services.”
Atty. Manalo further stated that as their firm expects clients to seek legal services in making sense of the changes happening under the new normal, OMLAW stands ready to guide them toward development. “The firm will continue to utilize current technologies and be open to adapt other tools that will encourage productivity and ease of work, thereby converting challenges posed by the ‘new normal’ into stimuli for growth.”