Men and women of GIA Law

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KRISTJAN VICENTE GARGANTIEL
Managing partner
Gargantiel obtained his degree in Political Science at the University of Santo Tomas in 1999. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree in the same university in 2003 and was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2004. He taught at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines College of Law and College of Accountancy and at the University of Makati College of Governance and Public Policy. For more than a decade, he taught obligations and contracts, corporation law, public corporations (local government), labor law, political law, persons and family relations, partnership, agency, sales, and negotiable instruments. He also served as the legal consultant of various divisions of city schools of the Department of Education. With his exposure in public corporations, administrative law, and election law, he served as legal consultant for various local government units and has been representing prominent political figures in both national and local elections. He serves as corporate secretary and is a member of the board of directors of the firm’s corporate clients. Gargantiel is a noted speaker and lecturer on Crimes Committed by Public Officers, Administrative Liabilities of Public Officers, and Searches and Seizures. He is the author of the book Criminal Law for Public Officers (2018).

Today, Gargantiel, Atanante, and Ilagan lead the GIA Law in an environment that oozes with youthful exuberance—hard to contain with a team of lawyers in their 20s and 30s.

MARCELINO MICHAEL ATANANTE IV
Partner
Atanante obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law in 2005. Since then, he has practiced law and involved himself in the different areas of practice. He is currently the government affairs manager for Cebu Pacific Air.

ROWELL ILAGAN
Partner
Ilagan earned his Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science degree from De La Salle University-Manila in 2006, where he graduated cum laude. He then obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the San Beda College of Law-Mendiola in 2010, where he graduated salutatorian. He was a recipient of various recognitions such as the Prof. Edna Herrera-Batacan Publication Award and Dean Feliciano Jover Ledesma Academic Achievement Award. He was also the editor-in-chief of the San Beda Law Journal. Ilagan taught at the San Beda College of Arts and Sciences in 2014 and at the Emilio Aguinaldo College. He is currently a professor of Law at the San Beda University College of Law.

MA. ARLENE BORJA
Senior Associate
Borja is a senior associate of the firm, having been with Gargantiel Ilagan and Atanante Law since April 2014. Her practice focuses on tax, corporate, criminal, civil, and labor law.


She graduated with a degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from San Beda College-Mendiola in 2012 and passed the October 2012 Bar Examinations.

Her first job as a lawyer was at RG Manabat & Co., an affiliate of KPMG International. She worked as a tax supervisor and applied her knowledge in domestic tax legislation and case law in preparing tax analyses and drafting legal opinions both for local and international clients.

She is currently a legal consultant at the Department of Education Division of City Schools in Quezon City, assisting in the drafting of resolutions and orders in adjudicated cases for submission and approval of the Schools Division Superintendent. She has also been invited as a resource speaker in various elementary schools in Quezon City.

In 2017, she was admitted to the Master of Science in Finance Program of the University of the Philippines Virata School of Business.

GLENBELLE GRANADO
Senior Associate
Granado took up his Bachelor of Science in International Business and Entrepreneurial Management degree at San Beda College, where he graduated cum laude and a recipient of the Council of Management Educators Academic Excellence Award in the year 2007. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the same institution in 2012.

After passing the 2012 bar examinations, he was hired as a junior associate at Mendoza Antero and Associates Law Offices from June 2013 to June 2016, where he practiced general litigation with focus on labor, criminal, civil and family law, appearing before different trial courts including the Sandiganbayan. He was then promoted as a senior associate in July 2016 and worked as such until October 2017. He was also a professor at Philippine Christian University, where he taught partnership and corporation from October 2014 to March 2015. He also worked as a legal researcher at Madrid Danao and Carullo Law Firm in 2013.

Granado was among the few lawyers assigned to handle sensitive cases such as the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam and the forfeiture case filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council against the principal whistle blower. As a trial lawyer, Granado has appeared as prosecutor and a defense lawyer in numerous criminal and civil cases where he developed various trial techniques.

VANEL ANDREA BELTEJAR
Junior Associate
Beltejar obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree from Miriam College, Quezon City in 2009. She earned her Bachelor of Laws Degree from San Beda College in 2016 and passed the bar examination in 2017. Beltejar’s previous work experiences include being a Miriam volunteer at Our Lady of Victory Training Center for Handicapped Youth in Davao City from 2009 to 2010 and a lecturer in Miriam College from 2011 to 2014. While in law school, she worked as a Project Development Officer of the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Program under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process from 2014-2015.

KIM BALAUAG
Junior Associate
Balauag earned her Bachelor of Science in Management Major in Legal Management degree from the Ateneo De Manila University in 2011 and obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2015. She previously worked as an associate lawyer in Bornasal Law Firm in 2017, where she handled all the aspect of criminal and civil litigation, including making court appearances, preparing evidence for trial, and conducting examination of witnesses in court. She also appeared in behalf of clients in all staged of labor and administrative proceedings and attended preliminary investigations hearings, pre-trial conferences , and mediations. She drafted and filed court pleadings and motions, conducted preliminary case interviews with potential clients, and provided them legal advice.

Aside from working as an associate, she also became a research assistant at the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea from May 2014 to June 2015, where she assisted the director and the institute in organizing workshops, symposia, and seminars related to maritime law. She also conducted extensive research on a wide range of topics regarding the maritime law. Balauag is a member of Integrated Bar of the Philippines (CalMaNa) Chapter and the Ateneo Alumni Scholars Association.

MA. CRISELLE ZAPATA-HERRERA
Junior Associate
Zapata-Herrera earned a degree in Legal Management from the University of Santo Tomas, where she graduated cum laude in 2012. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the same university in 2016. Her areas of practice include labor, civil and land cases, estate planning, and corporate services.

KATRIN JESSICA DISTOR
Junior Associate
Distor graduated from St. Scholastica’s College-Manila with a degree in Political Science with Specialization in International Relations. She later earned her Bachelor of Laws Degree from Philippine Christian University. Her previous work experiences involve serving as the Chief of Staff of then Assistant Secretary for Procurement of the Department of Transportation, legal officer/researcher in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs of the Department of Agrarian Reform, and confidential agent at the Bureau of Immigration in the Office of the Undersecretary of the Department of Justice.

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