Kristine R. Ferrer: Bringing A New Perspective To The World Of Taxation, Litigation, & Corporate Law

Kristine R. Ferrer: Bringing A New Perspective To The World Of Taxation, Litigation, & Corporate Law

Kristine R. Ferrer , Partner

Kristine R. Ferrer


Today's women are unstoppable, and their influence is constantly rising. They are increasingly demanding a new society which gives them choices, and they themselves are building that new society. A true leader is someone who has a positive influence in his/ her workplace. In the legal community, this positive influence is translated into building, developing, and innovating the lawyers’ current practices to provide better services to their clients. Kristine R. Ferrer ('Tine') is one such leader who is taking Fortun Narvasa & Salazar’s (FNS) taxation and corporate work to the next level. Fortun Narvasa & Salazar is one of the most distinguished and prominent law firms in the Philippines. It has been given the privilege of handling numerous legal battles of historical significance because of its innovative and ingenious approach to its clients’ concerns. Tine is currently the Head of FNS’s Tax Department.

What are some of the challenges you faced while you were starting your career at FNS and how did you overcome those?

When I started as a Junior Associate at FNS, I have been assigned with both litigation and tax work. These are two different worlds, but both require patience, preparation, ability to process details, and research. In addition, Taxation requires accuracy, since you cannot just use your creativity in advising your client. You must be accurate in presenting your opinion; otherwise, you put the client at risk of facing deficiency tax assessments because of your wrong advice. Handling both tax and litigation is really overwhelming. Litigation is more stressful as it requires appearances in court, the examination of witnesses, drafting of responses, quickness, creativity, and stamina. While tax litigation, which I am also handling, is also similar to civil and criminal litigations, it is 'less confrontational' and 'less adversarial'.

I see that handling both taxation and litigation is really overwhelming, so what was your mantra in overcoming this challenge?

In the workplace, I adopted the mantra 'quality above all else'. As a consultant, it gives you satisfaction knowing that your client will receive quality output every single time. Hence, as a tax lawyer, I must be accurate with my advice. Thus, unless I have strong legal basis to support my opinion or my client’s position, I will never stop looking for legal justification. I haveconsistently applied this attitude in my work over the years, whether it is related to tax or corporate law or litigation, thus, things became easier for me, and delivering quality work has become a way of life.

What makes your legal practice unique?

Before I answer your question, I would like to emphasize that all lawyers are unique. We have our individual specializations, and these are the areas that we usually enjoy doing.What makes my practice unique is probably the unique combination of my tax practice and my intricate corporate practice which involves due diligence, mergers, and acquisitions. The synergy between my tax practice and corporate law has helped my clients achieve their desired outcomes. In acquisitions for example, my clients are advised, not only of the steps in concluding their proposed acquisitions, but also of the monetary and tax consequences of the same, including the risks attendant in acquiring their target companies or properties.

Can you please share the steps that you perform in acquisitions?

In acquisitions, such as an acquisition of a company (i.e., shares of stock), the first step that we perform is due diligence. W e examine the C orporation’s compliance with the SEC, the Local Government, and other applicable government agencies.

Our firm has been Consistently recognized In editorials such as the Legal 500 and the asia Law business journal

We check the legal capacity of the corporation to enter into the subject contract. As tax practitioners, we provide value-added services such as the examination of the company’s compliance with the tax laws, and the determination of the tax implications of the subject transaction. We then provide recommendations to our client on how to proceed given the risks and potential exposures that we have noted in our due diligence. After the due diligence, we execute the transfer and secure the tax clearances from the Tax Authorities.

Can you talk about Fortun Narvasa & Salazar and how is it different from other law firms in the Philippines?

There are a lot of really good law firms in the Philippines and FNS is just one of them. What distinguishes FNS is that we have been existing for almost 30 years. 30 is not just a number. It shows the challenges that we have surpassed, and the battles that we have won as a firm. Many of you are probably aware that our firm has been given the privilege of handling numerous cases of historical significance i.e., we have the former Philippine Presidents as among our clients, we have been part of the legal battle for the Manila Bay clean up, we have handled what they refer to as the biggest tax compromise in the country, and many more. These are all because of the firm’s innovative and ingenious approach to its clients’ concerns.

We also have a diversified practice ranging from the prosecution and defense of individual and corporate, civil, and criminal actions, to providing  valued advice to clients in commercial transactions. We have been offering bespoke and cost-effective legal service for almost 30 years, taking into account the exacting demands of professional excellence and quality. Our firm has been consistently recognized in editorials such as the Legal 500 and the Asia Law Business Journal.

What’s your plan for the road ahead?

I plan to stay in the firm for good. I just want to contribute what I can and ensure continuity of the firm’s great achievements. We strive to not only fulfill the legal needs of our clients, but also to surpass their expectations through efficiency and success in our endeavors.

Kristine R. Ferrer, Partner, Fortun Narvasa & Salazar

Kristine has been in legal practice for 11 years. She is a Certified Public Accountant & Lawyer who leads Fortun Narvasa & Salazar’s tax department. After handling several high-profile cases, one of which is touted as the biggest tax compromise settlement in the country, she and her firm’s tax department have been gaining recognition. Her entry into the partnership in July 2019 led to the formal organization of the firm’s tax department, which is currently gaining referrals from lawyers, executives, and individuals outside of her organization. She developed her company’s tax practice and augmented those involving intricate corporate works such as mergers and acquisitions - the latter being byproducts of the synergy between corporate law & tax.

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