Alfrerdo Benjamin S. Caguioa is one of the founding partners of the firm. In January 2013, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III appointed Ben as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel. Ben withdrew from the firm, which then changed its name from Caguioa & Gatmaytan to Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio. In October 2015, Ben was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Justice.
Ben obtained his degree in Economics (Honors Program) from the College of Arts and Sciences of Ateneo de Manila University in 1981 (Honorable Mention), and graduated with honors from its College of Law in 1985 ranking fifth in his class. He was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1986 after placing fifteenth in the 1985 Bar examinations. He joined SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan in 1986 and was a partner there from 1994 until February 2007.
Ben specialized in litigation and arbitration, having done so for more than twenty-five years. He has devoted much of his career to civil and commercial litigation before courts and quasi-judicial bodies of all levels, and to arbitration before various arbitration bodies. He has also been extensively exposed to the Philippine criminal justice system, has actively practiced before the different levels of the prosecutorial system, and has acted as private prosecutor or defense counsel before the regular courts and the Sandiganbayan (the Philippines' anti-graft court).
Ben spent the most part of 1986 to 2007 with SyCip but went on leave for a year in 1987 to practice with his father, the late Eduardo P. Caguioa, a retired Justice of the then Intermediate Appellate Court (now Court of Appeals) and a noted author on and professor of Civil Law. While with Justice Caguioa, Ben handled mostly appeals to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
Ben has handled and tried a broad range of cases involving contract disputes, corporate restructuring and rehabilitation, expropriation, conflicting mining and real property claims, debt recovery, infrastructure and engineering disputes, intra-corporate controversies, medical malpractice claims, product liability and tort. He also has extensive experience in international and domestic arbitration dealing with commercial and construction disputes.
Ben was a professor at the Colleges of Law of Ateneo de Manila University and San Sebastian College, where he taught Obligations and Contracts, Property, Statutory Construction, and Administrative Law.
Ben was cited as a leading Philippine lawyer in the Dispute Resolution field by Chambers & Partners in its 2010 and 2011 Asia-Pacific publications.
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