Meet Kristine R. Ferrer, a Partner at Fortun Narvasa & Salazar, one of the Philippines’ most distinguished law firms.
Kristine started her professional journey as a Tax Lawyer at SGV & Co in 2011. Later, in November 2012, she moved to Fortun Narvasa & Salazar (FNS) to pursue litigation and experience the different areas of legal practice. As a Junior Associate at FNS, Kristine handled civil, criminal, and tax litigation, corporate, and other tax-related work. Her unwavering passion and dedication to her clients’ causes have earned her the opportunity to handle “high-profile” cases. Thanks to her experience at SGV, Kristine was able to excel not only in litigation, but in Taxation and Corporate work as well. Her dual qualification as a lawyer and a certified public accountant made her an asset to and a dependable associate of FNS.
A year and a half later, she was promoted as a Senior Associate at FNS where she was able to delegate tasks and review Junior Associates’ work. As a Senior Associate, Kristine was trained and entrusted with big-ticket acquisition projects and high-profile tax cases, including what was touted (in 2017) as the largest tax compromise case in the Philippines. Kristine’s focus remained on taxation and corporate work, which helped her gain meaningful experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions. At this point, Kristine understood that while she was successful in handling court cases, her experience and expertise were needed in the field of taxation, corporate due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, as only a few were specializing in these practice areas in FNS. After an impressive five-year tenure as a Senior Associate, Kristine was promoted as a Partner of FNS and became its Head of Tax Department in July 2019.
Joining the Industry
Kristine’s inspiration to specialize in tax, corporate housekeeping, due diligence, and acquisitions was drawn from the fact that these areas are essential in the business of her clients. Kristine recognized that these areas are integral to the day-to-day business of both her corporate and individual clients, hence her desire to assist them in whatever way she can. In particular, she finds fulfillment in advising her clients on the most tax-efficient way of pursuing their transactions, and in achieving their business goals of acquiring new assets, businesses or investments, or in selling the same.
Additionally, Kristine’s CPA certification perfectly aligns with business law and taxation. This unique combination of legal and financial proficiency helped her become a trusted advisor of her clients.
Building your own practice in a full-service law firm
Kristine is one of the few who has successfully introduced taxation in a full-service law firm. Her entry into the Partnership with FNS in July 2019 has led to the inception of the firm’s Tax Department, which is currently gaining referrals from corporate clients, executives, and various individuals.
Kristine’s remarkable journey extends beyond tax and corporate services. Her expertise has also led to referrals in civil and intra-corporate disputes, which is a testament to her exceptional training and experience during her tenure as an Associate of FNS. Kristine has recently clinched a victory in an intra-corporate case involving a premier University in Central Luzon, in just about a month. Such victory meant so much to her clients, who described FNS’s team as “the most efficient counsel they ever had.”
Diversity and inclusion is the key
As a full-service law firm, collaboration and specialization are essential to success. FNS’s diverse team of legal professionals plays a crucial role in ensuring that the firm can successfully meet its clients’ needs. For example, when clients get embroiled in labor disputes, they are referred to a labor specialist. Someone with intellectual property issues will be referred to a partner specializing in intellectual property. Similarly, in arbitration cases, FNS relies on its dedicated partners specializing in arbitration.
The organization’s strength lies in its diversity, which enables it to deliver extensive legal services. Kristine and her law firm Partners understand that they need each other to fully serve their clients. This approach ensures that FNS’s clients benefit from a collective wealth of legal expertise.
As a relatively young partner, Kristine recognizes the continuing need to deepen her connections, expand her network, and further build her reputation. While finding clients has not been difficult for her, as she gets referrals from time to time, the longevity and sustainability of her practice would depend on sustaining or further increasing her clients. She must constantly win new clients and maintain the quality of her and her team’s legal services.
Looking at the Future
On a personal level, Kristine cherishes the close relationship she shares with her family and considers it a priority.
Professionally, Kristine’s goals are driven by a deep commitment to her clients and the legal profession. While kindness, compassion, and excellence are universal traits, Kristine strives to be remembered as a distinguished Christian lawyer, who has provided expert advice and has successfully assisted her clients in their legal concerns.