Shirley F. Alinea

Head, Commercial Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Head, Immigration
Co-Head, Dispute Resolution
Co-Head, Restructuring and Insolvency


  • University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Laws (1996)
  • Ateneo de Manila University, B.S. Legal Management (1992)
  • Admission to Bar (1997)

Shirley’s areas of practice include dispute resolution, specialising in debt restructuring (rehabilitation and liquidation), as well as arbitration and other alternative modes of dispute resolution of commercial disputes. Shirley has been engaged in her fields of specialisation for more than fifteen years. Shirley is the Co-Head of the Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad's Dispute Resolution Group, and heads the Firm’s specialised practice of immigration.

In the field of rehabilitation and liquidation, Shirley has advised and represented creditors in various proceedings, including some high-profile cases.

In the field of arbitration and other alternative modes of dispute resolution, Shirley has advised and represented clients in various ad hoc and institutional arbitrations before local and international arbitration centres. She has also assisted clients in court proceedings filed in relation to arbitrations. She is a known expert and lecturer in the field of commercial arbitration.

In the field of immigration, she advises clients, including international companies, on visa applications to bring foreign workers into the Philippines. The team also acts alongside the firm’s corporate department to advise on labour implications of transactions.

Shirley is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI). She is also currently the Center’s Deputy Secretary General, the Chairman of its Training and Education Committee, and the Chairman of its Committee tasked to review and update PDRCI’s current arbitration rules. She is also the representative of PDRCI with the Asia-Pacific Forum for International Arbitration.

Shirley is also an accredited arbitrator of the PDRCI, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, and the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is likewise a member of Philippine International Center for Conflict Resolution and the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation.

Shirley has been appointed as a sole arbitrator, chairperson and member in both PDRCI and ad hoc arbitrations.

Before joining the Firm in 2009, Shirley was a partner at Quisumbing and Torres (Baker & McKenzie). She is a member of the Order of the Purple Feather, the honour society of the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Dispute Resolution

  • Acted as counsel to private companies in institutional and ad hoc commercial arbitration proceedings against government instrumentalities and other private parties, and as counsel to private companies in construction arbitration proceedings before the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission.
  • Represented clients in proceedings filed before the regular courts in relation to arbitrations soon to be commenced, arbitrations already commenced, and post-arbitral award proceedings.
  • Appointed as arbitrator in PDRCI and ad hoc commercial arbitrations.
  • Acted as counsel to a foreign bank in consumer complaint proceedings before the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Debt Restructuring and Insolvency

  • Acted as counsel to a secured creditor private company in initiating a forced conversion of a rehabilitation proceeding to a liquidation proceeding, including the eventual liquidation and distribution of remaining assets of the insolvent debtor company.


  • Regularly advises clients in the processing of applications for Special Work Permits (SWP), Alien Employment Permits (AEP), Provisional Work Permits (PWP), Special Non-Immigrant or 47(a)(2) Visas and Temporary/Permanent Resident or 13(a) Visas of ADP’s foreign employees assigned in the Philippines for short- and long-term assignments, as well as in downgrading the work visas of its foreign employees upon cessation of their assignments.
  • Represented clients in deportation proceedings, processed applications for removal of clients from the Bureau of Immigration’s blacklist, and advised and assisted clients in relation to naturalization concerns and proceedings.

Intellectual Property

  • Acted as counsel to Philippine Payments Management, Inc. (PPMI), the official Payment System Management Body (PSMB) of the Philippines under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) Framework of the BSP, in trademark registration and maintenance.
  • Acted as counsel to Michael Allen Cacnio, a world-renowned Filipino brass sculptor, in the maintenance and registration of his trademarks.

Data Privacy and Security

  • Acted as counsel to a foreign bank in cases of supposed data breach filed with the National Privacy Commission.

The Asia Pacific Legal 500

Dispute Resolution 2021 – Leading Individual for 2 consecutive years (2020 – 2021); Recommended Lawyer for 6 consecutive years (2016-2021)

Immigration 2021 – Leading Individual

Intellectual Property 2021 – Recommended Lawyer

  • ‘Practice head Shirley Alinea is an accredited arbitrator in intellectual property matters, and has a broad contentious practice that includes various types of commercial litigation.’
  • Member, Integrated Bar of the Philippines
  • Trustee, Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI)
  • Deputy Secretary General, PDRCI
  • Chair, Rules Revision Committee, PDRCI
  • Chair, Education and Trainings Committee, PDRCI
  • Accredited Arbitrator, PDRCI
  • Accredited Arbitrator, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines
  • Accredited Arbitrator, Department of Justice, Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Member, U.P. Women Lawyers Circle