EDSEL F. TUPAZ, is a Partner of the Firm. A dual-qualified lawyer in the Philippines and the US, Edsel’s practice focuses on infrastructure law, technology, general corporate law, public policy, and select questions of international and comparative law.
Before joining the Firm, Edsel worked in all three branches of the Philippine Government. He was a senior public official at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Republic of the Philippines, worked as a director at a legislative office of a Philippine Senator, and clerked for the Honorable Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez of the Philippine Supreme Court. Upon admission to the Philippine Bar, Edsel briefly worked as an attorney at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan.
At DPWH, Edsel was head of the right-of-way acquisition and enforcement division. He provided advisory work and led right-of-way acquisition for priority projects under the Php 8-9 trillion (US$ 160-200 billion) Build Build Build program, the most ambitious infrastructure program in Philippine history. Edsel was concurrently a member of the DPWH Central Office Bids and Awards Committee for Civil Works. He intermittently served as officer-in-charge (OIC) Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Priority Projects and OIC Director for Legal Services at the DPWH Central Office.
Aside from infrastructure, Edsel’s practice at the Firm includes FinTech and blockchain frameworks, digital assets, and e-commerce. A dual-qualified lawyer under the Philippine and New York Bar, Edsel is legal adviser to a number of Fortune 500 companies and to many of the most impactful technology companies in Southeast Asia. He studies the global regulatory environment for digital assets and advises upon legal frameworks for blockchain-based technology initiatives, digital asset offerings, security token offerings (STOs), smart contracts, and virtual currency business initiatives.
Edsel designed and taught a course on International Development Law and Policy at the New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, and has since taught in several law schools in the Philippines. In 2008-2009, Edsel was the Managing Technical Editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal at Harvard University.
Edsel received his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Honors Program, cum laude) and Juris Doctor from the Ateneo de Manila University (Second Honors, St. Thomas More Most Outstanding Award). He studied the business economics and application of blockchain technologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Sloan School of Management.