The Salma Angkaya-Kuhutan Law Office (SAKLAW) is a general law practice that provides legal counseling and representation to individuals, companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies in various legal and compliance matters — corporate and commercial, data privacy, anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), real estate and property, labor, immigration, intellectual property, and tax.
SAKLAW believes that our clients deserve an attorney who takes a personal interest in their legal concerns. At SAKLAW, the Attorney handles each client’s matter personally with passion and compassion, assisted by a complement staff. SAKLAW collaborates with other lawyers for large projects where the special expertise of other lawyers may be necessary. These collaborating counsels are bound by the same confidentiality and professional ethics.
SAKLAW leverages the Attorney’s experience and network in adding value to our legal services. The Attorney has worked with the government and has extensive experience advising government agencies on legal, policy, and political matters. This gives us a unique ability to address our clients’ needs.
SAKLAW offers a broad range of legal services for corporations, businesses, families, and individuals.
Business Start-Up and Investments
SAKLAW has extensive experience in establishing businesses and structuring a foreign investment to comply with nationality restrictions under Philippine constitutional and foreign investment laws.
Work includes setting up new corporations and registration of branches of foreign corporations with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) or the Board of Investments (BOI), registration of foreign investments with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), as well as post-incorporation registrations, such as securing local government permits and licenses and registration of the new companies with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF).
For foreign investments, work includes determining the best mode of entry in the Philippines (domestic subsidiary, branch office, representative office, etc.), preparation and filing of Foreign Investments Act (FIA) application, drafting of commercial agreements, and due diligence. For more information, please see information on transaction advisory and due diligence below.
SAKLAW offers a general retainer package for general counsel and regulatory compliance. SAKLAW also has a premium retainer package that includes actual compliance work such as regular filings with the BIR, SSS, and HDMF. This service is particularly helpful for start-up businesses and self-employed individuals, who do not yet have a full-time dedicated staff to undertake this specialized work. For more information, please refer to SAKLAW’s General Counsel Services below.
SAKLAW offers corporate housekeeping services, general counsel, and regulatory compliance to various corporations.
SAKLAW’s general retainer package includes legal assistance on Philippine matters, including but not limited to drafting of letters, documents, agreements, review of contracts and engagements, and general legal advice which the client may refer from time to time; acting as the Corporate Secretary and/or assistance to the elected Corporate Secretary in the corporate secretarial work; general corporate housekeeping requirements, including maintenance of the stock-and-transfer book, stock certificates, and other warehousing documents, and the preparation and submission of reportorial requirements to the SEC; attendance and minute-taking in board and stockholders’ meetings; preparation of minutes of the meeting of the board and stockholders; and issuance of certifications required in the ordinary course of business.
SAKLAW also offers a premium retainer package which includes general support for actual regulatory compliance work such as regular filings with the BIR, SSS, and HDMF.
SAKLAW also provides notarial services on a retainer package.
Contract Drafting & Review
SAKLAW is known for drafting contracts for various transactions that are designed to maximize the protection for and remedies available to the client. SAKLAW has developed master forms, as well as drafting and review checklists that all take into consideration the interests sought to be protected by either party to a transaction. The process of drafting and reviewing contracts begin with a full appreciation of the nature of the transaction and the general bargaining position of the contracting parties. SAKLAW then proceeds to customize the contract with a keen attention to details, taking into consideration legal requirements and restrictions to the contract.
Transaction Advisory & Due Diligence
SAKLAW offers transaction advisory services and due diligence for mergers and acquisitions (share/asset/land), foreign investments, corporate restructuring, compliance audits, and other special projects.
For large, complex projects where the special expertise of other lawyers may be necessary, SAKLAW collaborates with other solo practitioners and legal consultants — leading practitioners in their respective fields — to create a virtual law firm for just that client engagement. Her collaborating counsels are bound by the same confidentiality and professional ethics.
Procurement & PPP Transactions
The Attorney has extensive experience in public-private partnership (PPP), privatization and other government contracts, both for the government and private sector side. She was formerly part of a legal team that advised the PPP Center and project sponsors in preparing feasibility studies, project structuring, and documentation for PPP projects. She also reviewed bidding documents and procurement contracts for the Department of Finance (DOF). She has also conducted due diligence and documentation support for an energy company in bidding for a contract with the Power Sector Assets & Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM).
For the government, SAKLAW offers general transaction advisory support in preparing the legal feasibility study of a PPP project, project structuring including legal advice/due diligence on PPP and procurement matters, drafting of bidding documents and procurement contracts, and other related matters.
For the private sector, SAKLAW provides support in conducting due diligence and/or reviewing the bidding documents and procurement contract, documentation, attendance in bidding conferences, drafting of bidder’s queries, and compliance with the bidding requirements.
Real Estate Transactions & Disputes
SAKLAW renders legal advice and documentation on the sale or purchase of real estate. Work includes advice on the tax consequences of the sale; drafting and reviewing contracts to sell, deeds of absolute sale, transfer of rights, broker’s agreements, and other relevant documents; processing of tax payments to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), local tax clearance with the local government, and registration fees with the Registry of Deeds; securing clearance from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) or applying for conversion of land use; and transfer of title.
SAKLAW also offers due diligence on the risks attendant to the specific real estate transaction. For more information, please see information on transaction advisory and due diligence above.
SAKLAW also provides legal support in the development of condominium and subdivision projects. Work includes drafting and review of relevant agreements such as Joint Development Agreements, Deed Restrictions and Master Deeds, Reservation Agreements, Contracts to Sell and Deeds of Absolute Sale, and compliance with pertinent government regulations for the securing of project development permits.
SAKLAW also provides legal representation in real estate disputes, such as quieting of title, annulment/cancellation of titles, declaration of nullity and/or annulment of deeds of sale, declaration of nullity and/or annulment of real estate mortgage, reconveyance, annotation of adverse claims, cancellation of encumbrances/annotation, recovery of possession, etc.
Labor & Employment
SAKLAW provides legal counseling on matters relating to labor and employment concerns and represents clients in cases before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). On a highly selective and case-to-case basis, SAKLAW accepts labor cases filed by employees on a contingency basis.
SAKLAW also offers a voluntary self-audit of company policies, job descriptions, employment contracts, and third-party contractors to ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations.
SAKLAW assists clients in patent and trademark search to determine eligibility of inventions, utility models and industrial designs; registration of tradenames, trademarks, and service marks; filing and prosecution of patent, trademark, and copyright applications; preparation and recording of assignments, licensing agreements, franchise agreements, and technology transfer agreements involving patents, trademarks and copyright registrations; handling of opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Intellectual Property of the Philippines (IPOPHIL); prosecution of infringement and unfair competition suits before the regular courts and administrative agencies.
Tax Advisory, Compliance & Litigation
While working at the Department of Finance (DOF), the Attorney was tasked to review requests for internal revenue tax exemptions, draft decisions for the Secretary of Finance on appeals from rulings/decisions of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), review and clear BIR and BLGF regulations for approval. She also handled tax work during her work with private law firms.
SAKLAW renders advice on various internal revenue and local business tax issues, including tax avoidance measures. SAKLAW also assists clients in seeking tax treaty relief and other rulings from the BIR, such as the confirmation of tax-free exchanges of properties or shares for shares of stock in corporations, and securing tax clearances for property or shares sale transactions.
SAKLAW provides representation to clients in deficiency tax assessments, claims of refunds, collection cases, and court litigation. SAKLAW also handles protests of real property assessments.
SAKLAW also offers a retainer package which includes actual tax compliance work such as regular filings with the BIR.
Policy, Advocacy & NGO Law
SAKLAW provides legal support in drafting legislation and regulations for lawmakers, administrative agencies, and non-profit advocacies. SAKLAW also assists non-profit clients in application for registration, licensing, and accreditation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), accreditation with the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC), and application for tax exemption with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Collection Cases and Civil Litigation
SAKLAW offers commercial/consumer debt collection before advising clients to resort to litigation. Target accounts include credit cards, loans (secured or unsecured), bouncing checks, and other overdue payables such as rental payments, service fees, etc. Work includes sending out demand letters to debtors, correspondences, and communications. SAKLAW can arrange a reasonable package fee if the client will offer a high volume of collection placements.
SAKLAW provides legal advice and representation in civil cases at the pre-litigation, trial and appellate stages, including applications for injunctions and other provisional remedies.
Family Law & Inheritance
SAKLAW has handled a number of family law cases involving legal separation, annulment of marriage, declaration of nullity of marriage, custody, support, separation of properties, adoption, child abuse, and violence against women and children cases.
SAKLAW also counsels clients on efficient estate planning and drafts last wills and testaments. SAKLAW also provides assistance in the extra-judicial or judicial settlement of estate and trusts, as well as the processing of estate tax payments with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), transfer of title to properties, and other related matters.
Diverse Experience, Wide Array of Legal Services
Educated and Trained by the Best in the Legal Profession