Quisumbing Torres provided its full support to, as it partnered with, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for the 16th National Convention of Lawyers. The 16th National Convention of Lawyers was held from 23 to 26 March at Marriott Hotel Manila in Pasay City with the theme, "Global and Regional Integration of Legal Services: Challenging the Philippine Status Quo".
The firm's Dispute Resolution Practice Group with Donemark serving as a co-convention director of the national convention, was part of the national convention's organizing committee closely collaborating with the IBP in organizing the event. The national convention saw the gathering of members of the Philippine Bar with over 2,000 participants coming from various regions of the country.
The event kick-started with a sports fest on 22 March with games ranging from basketball, table tennis, badminton, to firing and bowling.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was the guest of honor and keynote speaker during the first day of the convention where he touched on the sensitive topic about the dispute between China and the Philippines over the Spratly Islands. Philippine Vice President Leonor G. Robredo was also a guest of honor and speaker during the second day of the convention where she gave an inspirational message about empowering people through law.
Quisumbing Torres dispute resolution / arbitration partner Donemark L. Calimon, who is also the IBP Presidential Assistant on Alternative Dispute Resolution, gave a talk on drafting effective arbitration agreements during the first day of the convention under the theme, "Promoting the Philippines as the Preferred Venue for Alternative Dispute Resolution".
Talking about institutional arbitration, particularly under the arbitration rules of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, the country's premier arbitration institution, Donemark shared: "I have been an officer of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center for five or six years and all this time, we have been doing our best to improve the rules of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center. We have revised it recently to make it consistent or to harmonize it with the rules of international arbitration centers and we're hoping that in the future, parties will use the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center as the center for the resolution of their disputes," shared Calimon.
One of the other highlights of the convention was a mock international arbitration that was led by Quisumbing Torres associates Jared Amoroso, Michael Macapagal and Grace Ann Lazaro. Together with Donemark, they prepared a mock arbitration case scenario that dealt with critical issues affecting arbitration in the country such as emergency arbitration, construction arbitration and enforcement of arbitral award. For the mock arbitration, Quisumbing Torres and the IBP collaborated with the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (PIArb) and the Asia-Pacific Forum for International Arbitration (AFIA). Other participants involved in the mock international arbitration were: Katie Chung, Senior Associate at Norton Rose Fulbright, Kartikey Mahajan, Associate at Clifford Chance, Jonathan Lim, Senior Associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Shirley Alinea of Martinez Vergara Gonzalez and Serrano law office, Mario Valderrama, Legal Adviser at Philippine Construction Arbitration, Ricardo Ma. P.G. Ongkiko, Partner at Sycip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan and PIArb President, Jesusito G. Morallos, Asuncion Omila, Eduardo R. Ceniza, Camille Khristine I. Aromas, Teodoro Kalaw IV, and Julius Anthony Omila.
The four-day event also offered attendees with full 36-unit MCLE course covering topics from Preparing the Bar for the Global and Legal Integration of Legal Services, Promoting the Philippines as the Preferred Venue for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Preparing Law Students for the Global and Legal Integration of Legal Services, to General Legal Updates.