Celeste Marie R. Cruz

PARTNER

LL.M., New York University School of Law (with Honors)
J.D., Ateneo de Manila University School of Law (with Honors)
A.B. Management Economics, Ateneo de Manila University (with Honors)
Admitted to the Philippine Bar (2007) and to the New York State Bar (2017)
Date joined: September 2019
Email: [email protected]

Celeste is a Partner in the Singapore office of Kelvin Chia Partnership.
 
Celeste has extensive corporate law experience complemented by credentials serving in international organizations (IO/s) and the public sector. She specializes in legal advisory services focused on mergers and acquisitions, public-private partnership projects, as well as legal and policy work for governments and international organizations. Her practice with the Firm in Singapore covers comprehensive legal services required for cross-border commercial transactions.  
 
Previously, Celeste was a legal officer at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where she advised on sovereign financial services and was heavily involved in several key projects of ADB, including the Green Climate Fund, and ADB-compliance aspects of a co-financed public-private partnership project for an agriproducts development program in Cambodia. Celeste was also briefly but substantively immersed in international development legal work with the United Nations in its Cambodia Country Office.
 
Celeste’s legal career began as an associate of the biggest law firm in the Philippines, where she practiced corporate and labor law, project finance and commercial litigation. Celeste was a key member in the representation of a classification society in a maritime administrative case, which was cited by AsiaLaw as one of this firm’s most notable cases for 2009. She also worked on the merger of two leading pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines, as well as, the representation of a European holding company in a multimillion-dollar aircraft sale and lease contract novation.
 
Celeste then shifted to the public sector where she focused on policy work as Legal Director of the then Philippine Senate’s Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures (Committee of Finance). She contributed significantly to the drafting and passage of the country’s annual budget for years 2010 and 2011, and “The Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporation Governance Act of 2011,” a landmark piece of legislation on the operation of government corporations. During her time in the public sector, she was recipient of fellowship grant for outstanding young leaders from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation at the Theodore Heuss International Academy in Germany. 
 
Celeste was the recipient of the Hauser Global Scholarship, the most prestigious merit-based scholarship of the New York University Law School (United States). She is dual-qualified to practice law in the Philippines (2007) and New York State (2017). She is also a registered foreign lawyer in Singapore.
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