|Atty. Avelino V. Cruz
The Honourable Atty. Avelino V. Cruz was elected President of the ASEAN Law
Association (ALA) on 28 February 2015 at the 12th General Assembly held
in Manila, Philippines.
Professional and Public Service Affiliations
Mr. Cruz is Founding Partner of the Philippines’ prestigious Angara
Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW).
He is the
first former ALA Secretary General to be elevated to
President. At the time of his election, he was Chairman of the ALA
Philippine National Committee and President of ALA Philippines, and was
an established leader of the ALA Governing Council for many years. Mr.
Cruz was Organizing Committee Chairman of the historic 12th Region-wide
ALA General Assembly held in Manila and Boracay on February 25 to March
3, 2015. He was ASEAN delegate at CAFTA 2012 for the Dialogue of the
China-ASEAN Free Trade (CAFTA) at Hainan, China where he was awarded
Honorary Membership in the China Law Society’s China/ASEAN Legal
In 1999, Mr. Cruz became the first Filipino invited to membership in
the prestigious American Law Institute. He also served as President of
the Legal Management Council of the Philippines, President of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Rizal Chapter, Governor of the
IBP for Southern Luzon and was President of the Citizen’s Legal Aid
Society of the Philippines (CLASP) from 1995 to 2001.
In 1986, following the EDSA revolution, he briefly acted as Deputy
Prime Minister to the late Philippine Vice President & Prime
Minister Salvador Laurel. In that capacity, he became Chairman of the
Working Committee composed of then Deputy Justice Minister, (later
Chief Justice) Reynato Puno, and Solicitor (later Justice) Minerva
Reyes, as members, which drafted the “Freedom Constitution”. This
Constitution governed the Philippines from March, 1986 until the 1987
Constitution’s adoption in February of that year. In subsequent years,
he also became Chief Counsel of the Nacionalista Party and Laban ng
Demokratikong Pilipino Party, and in 2004, led the legal team that
represented Presidential candidate FPJ in the controversial
Congressional Canvass hearings.
Education/ Academic Attainments and Publications
Mr. Cruz obtained his Bachelors Degree (Ll.B.) magna cum laude and
valedictorian from San Beda College of Law. He obtained his Master of
Laws (Ll.M.) degree in 1964 from the University of Michigan Law School
where he finished with an outstanding academic record, for which he was
awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship for International Legal Studies at
the University of California Law School at Berkeley. Mr. Cruz was
recipient of the US Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship and the Dewitt
Fellowship. He completed Business Leadership and Modern Managers
courses at the Ateneo de Manila University.
In the 1961 Philippine Bar Exams, at age 20, he obtained first place
with a grade of 90.95% over a field of 4,395 candidates, the youngest
bar topnotcher in Philippine history.
He is the author of a number of lead articles in legal journals and
publications, among them “Foreign Direct Investments in the
Philippines” published in the ASEAN Law Journal in 2008. In 1985 Mr.
Cruz, as ALA Secretary General, initiated publication of the book
“ASEAN Legal Systems” published by Butterworth’s of Singapore in
collaboration with the ASEAN Law Association in 1985.
Awards and Citations
Mr. Cruz was described by Chambers Asia Pacific 2012 as a leading
Filipino lawyer in the fields of Corporate/M&A and Dispute
Resolution and as (1) a “highly regarded name in the market who offers
many years of experience. He has a broad practice that spans corporate
finance, projects and real estate” and (2) a “prominent lawyer with a
In 2008, Mr. Cruz was cited in Chambers Asia, as follows: “Renowned
for corporate experience, founding partner Avelino Cruz is described as
‘top of the league.’” Referring to successful privatization of
Philippine Kobe Japan properties and key roles in the Philippine
leading developer Ortigas & Co. restructuring, it also noted that
“the vastly experienced Avelino Cruz is one of the country’s leading
real estate lawyers. He has played a key role in the Firm’s recent
major real estate deals and clients commend his work as ‘top-drawer.’”
In 2008 he was voted the Philippines’ “Most Outstanding Legal
Practitioner” at the 19th National Consumers Awards of the Consumers
Union of the Philippines.
Today, Mr Cruz is considered a senior statesman by Chambers Asia-Pacific, which lauded his “impressive reputation for handling complex corporate transactions”. He is a well-respected practitioner and advisor on mergers & acquisition transaction sand real estate disputes.
Mr. Cruz led the ACCRALAW Firm in corporate disputes which drew
landmark Supreme Court decisions, such as the American
Standard/Saniwares case, Chemical Industries (Chemphil) shareholders
disputes, and the Associated Bank/Leonardo Ty corporate litigation.
More recently, he is involved in legal issues of the ASEAN Treaty for
protection of foreign investments as arbitration counsel for Metroplex
A leading authority on oil and gas, and energy laws, Mr. Cruz has
served in the Boards of Mobil Oil Corporation and Petron Corporation
where he was Management Committee Member. Recently he is handling
major renewable energy projects such as Solmessis Pty. Ltd., Australia
(solar energy) and six (6) major hydro power projects of San Lorenzo
Ruiz Builders & Developers Group, Inc. and Equis of Singapore.
Mr. Cruz has served in the Boards of major utilities and banks,
including Philippine Long Distance & Telephone Co., Philippine
Airlines, Philippine National Bank (L.A.), Phil. Bank of Commerce,
Associated Bank, Banco Filipino, Chemphil and Ortigas & Co. More
recently, he was elected Chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines’ Airbridge,
Inc. (Philippines) and is in the Management Committee of Isla Petroleum
Gas Corporation (Shell) of Guam. In 2002, he was elected centennial
President of the prestigious Manila Golf & Country Club.
Mr. Cruz taught Law at San Beda College of Law from 1962 to 1974. From
1981 to 1984, he was engaged as lecturer at the University of the
Philippines Law Center and a Professor for “International Business
Transactions” at the UP College of Law.