Rico V. Domingo is the Immediate President of the Philippine Bar Association (PBA), the oldest voluntary national organization of lawyers in the Philippines which was founded on April 8, 1891. The PBA counts among its members the crème a la crème of law practitioners in this jurisdiction. To spread its international footprint, the PBA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New State Bar Association (NYSBA) witnessed by the newly-installed Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court and attended by the NYSBA President T. Andrew Brown and International Section Chairman Edward K. Lenci. Rico is the Philippine Chapter Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Section of the NYSBA.
Rico is a consistent Iskolar ng Bayan at the University of the Philippines, being a product of the State University’s Elementary School (1964), High School (1968), College of Arts and Sciences (A.B., 1971) and College of Law (1976) from where he obtained his Bachelor of Law degree (Ll.B., equivalent to Juris Doctor). He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Philippine Law Journal, the Law Review of the U.P. College of Law, and ranked among the top 10 percentile of his original Law Class. He obtained his Master of Laws (LI.M.) degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A., and e a r n e d substantial units at the Kelly Business School leading to a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Rico undertook intensive Post-Graduate Studies at the Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. specializing in Trade Practice of Trade Policy: Economics, Negotiations and Rule under a combined Faculty of John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.
Rico is admitted to the Philippine Bar (with Rolls of Attorneys Number 27470), the State of New York Bar, United States of America, and the U.S. Federal District Courts (with Attorney Registration No. 2051449), the Philippine Intellectual Property Office, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C.
An academician, Rico taught at Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism, Communication Department of the Ateneo de Manila University, and has been teaching since 2000 Constitutional Law, Media Law and Ethics, Remedial Law and Intellectual Property Law at the Ateneo School of Law and other premier Law Schools, including the U.P. Law Center. He is a Philippine Supreme Court- accredited Lecturer in its Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). He is likewise a Lecturer and Faculty of the New York State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) – – a rare and, perhaps, an unprecedented distinction given to a Filipino practicing lawyer and academician in this jurisdiction, and in recognition of Rico’s stature in the international legal community.
He is a certified Arbitrator of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitral Tribunal, where he recently adjudicated with a former Supreme Court Chief Justice and a British Queen’s Counsel a major partnership dispute involving high-profile personalities in the auditing industry.
Following the 1986 EDSA Revolution, he had a brief stint in government service when he was appointed the first Chairman of the Videogram Regulatory Board (now the Optical Media Board) and General Counsel of the Film Board. He later joined the Motion Picture Export Association of America/Motion Picture Association of America as its Asia/Pacific Regional Counsel and Deputy Director for Operations headquartered in Singapore with responsibility for 21 countries including the Peoples Republic of China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
He decided to hang his own shingle in October, 1992 to pursue a multi- jurisdictional law practice through a Law Firm that bears his name. He concurrently founded a business and competitive intelligence consultancy firm which provides, among others, brand or intellectual property rights protection, risk management services and litigation support.
He has litigated watershed and precedential cases up to the Philippine Supreme Court which are currently landmark jurisprudence in Intellectual Property, Corporation and Remedial Laws. He stands as “Philippine Law Expert” in various international litigation pending before United States and European Union Courts of Justice.
Rico was the Team Leader of the SRI International-Washington, D.C. Research Group and Lead Author of The Main Report on Improving Adjudication Procedures for the Resolution of Intellectual Property Rights Cases in the Philippines, the substantial findings and recommendations of which became the pedagogical blueprint of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8293) enacted in 1998. He was designated Philippine Expert in a Philippine Judicial Reform Programme on Access to Justice funded by the European Union.
Apart from being the Chair of the Philippine Chapter of NYSBA’s International, Rico is a member of NYSBA’s Executive Committee. He is likewise a member of various international organizations including the American Bar Association (ABA) and its Sections of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law, International Law and Practice, Entertainment and Sports Industries, and Law Practice Management, the Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriete Industrielle (AIPPI), the International Trademark Association (INTA), the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA), the International Pacific Bar Association (IPBA), and a Trustee of the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP). He is the Country Group Head and Councillor of the ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (AIPA).
Rico was Past Director and Secretary of the Rotary Club of Manila (Classification: Law Practice – Continuing Legal Education), and a Paul Harris Fellow in 1986 with the Rotary Club of Makati North, and in 2009 with the Rotary Club of Manila where he was the Star Rotarian of the Year 2007 to 2008. Rotarian
Rico is a Convenor of the Alliance for Life and the Law of the Sea, or Call of the Sea, which was founded by its Convenor and President, former Senator Joey Lina. The Call of the Sea was launched on July 12 2021, exactly on the fifth anniversary of the Arbitral Award released by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at Hague. During the launching via Webinar, the Call of the Sea – – a multi-sectoral joint initiative of initially seventy-two (72) organizations – – presented a ten (10)-point Whole-of- Country Strategy to Enforce the Award. Recently, he was invited to be a Convenor of the newly-minted Movement Against Disinformation (MAD) which main advocacy is to effectively address the proliferation in the mass media of disinformation through the Internet and analogous social media platforms especially now that the Philippines is on the cusp of an electoral exercise.
A recognized lecturer and panelist, Rico speaks in various domestic and international fora on international business transactions, cross-border litigation and arbitration and intellectual property rights enforcement and protection.