The Jollibee Group’s Global General Counsel & Ethics Head and Compliance Officer Atty. Valerie Feria Amante was named the In-House Lawyer of the Year by the 19th Annual Asian Legal Business (ALB) Southeast (SE) Asia Law Awards 2023. Amante is the only Filipino individual awardee this year.
The ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2023, judged by an independent panel of senior and expert legal industry leaders from various sectors across the region, recognizes the exceptional performance of private practitioners and in-house counsel in SE Asia.
“I am honored to have been recognized as In-House Lawyer of the Year for Southeast Asia. I have always believed that Filipinos can stand proud alongside the best in the world, and I am happy to be one of many examples showing this to be true,” said Amante.
As the Global General Counsel & Ethics Head and Compliance Officer of the Jollibee Group, Amante leads a team of 19 lawyers and 10 paralegals spanning six countries: the Philippines, China, Vietnam, the USA, Singapore, and Ireland.
“This award represents the work of the great team of lawyers and paralegals across our offices in six countries that comprise the Legal organization in the Jollibee Group, as well as the collaboration of colleagues from different functions and businesses,” she expounded.
Rewarding in-house legal career
Amante has been with the Jollibee Group for over 16 years and has led the development of the legal, ethics, and compliance functions as integral components in Jollibee Group’s growth and expansion.
“Building an effective multinational legal organization to ensure our businesses everywhere have access to quality support; setting standards, policies, and processes to facilitate legal consistency and alignment globally, balanced with agility and flexibility locally; creating and disseminating tools to empower people and manage legal risks at scale; and providing our team’s perspective in conversations at all levels to enable legally-informed business decisions — all contribute to making legal, ethics and compliance integral to the Jollibee Group’s way of doing business,” Amante added.
Amante graduated as a Salutatorian of the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2000 and placed 7th in the Philippine Bar Examinations of the same year. After starting her career in a large law firm and another publicly listed company, she joined JFC in 2007. 2016 she was awarded the ALB Philippine In-House Lawyer of the Year. This time, she won the In-House Lawyer of the Year award for SE Asia.
“My inclusion is a direct result of the meaningful, high-impact, and interesting work that I have had the opportunity to do in the Jollibee Group, and the support that JFC has given me to continuously grow and elevate the function,” Amante said.
Inclusive legal organization
“We are committed to equal opportunities and hiring based on merit. Over 70% of the legal organization in the Jollibee Group are women, and two lawyers, including myself, are Persons with Disability (PWD),” Amante said.
Asked for her piece of advice to young lawyers, Amante said: “Anchor yourself on integrity and excellence. Know your values and priorities, and act accordingly. Treat everyone – including yourself – with respect. Also, having a sense of humor helps!”