Justice Francis H. Jardeleza served as Solicitor General of the Republic of the Philippines from February 2012 until his appointment as the 173rd Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on August 20, 2014. He also served as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.
As Solicitor General, Justice Jardeleza argued many cases before the Supreme Court, notably the constitutional challenges to the Cybercrime Law and the Reproductive Health Law. He also served as Agent for the Republic of the Philippines and Head of the Philippine legal team handling the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Annex VII arbitration with China, in relation to the West Philippine Sea maritime disputes. As Agent of the Republic, he lectured extensively on the Philippines' claim here and abroad, including at the Department of Foreign Affairs; the Philippine Navy Headquarters; the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, USA; the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., USA; Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; New York University in New York, USA; and at the New York State Bar Association Seasonal Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.
At the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), Justice Jardeleza worked to improve the quality of representation by the OSG through capacity building programs for OSG lawyers and the recruitment of new lawyers from the top graduates of law schools, including bar topnotchers.
Prior to his career in government, Justice Jardeleza had an extensive private law practice. He joined Angara Abello Concepcion Regala and Cruz (ACCRALAW) in 1975 and became partner in 1981. He was the only junior partner allowed to be a member of both the Litigation and Corporate (Special Projects) Departments. In 1986, he became Chairman of the ACCRALAW Litigation Department.
In 1987, Justice Jardeleza left ACCRALAW and founded Jardeleza Sobreviñas Diaz Hayudini and Bodegon. In 1990, he established the Jardeleza Law Offices as a solo practice. Later, he joined Roco Bunag Kapunan Migallos and Jardeleza, as partner, where he headed the Litigation and Labor Law Departments.
In 1996, Justice Jardeleza became Senior Vice President and General Counsel of San Miguel Corporation, a position he held until June 30, 2010.
Justice Jardeleza also taught Constitutional and Administrative Law, and Civil Procedure at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law, where he was a professorial lecturer since 1993. He also served as examiner for Political Law in the 2012 bar examinations.
Born in Jaro, Iloilo, on September 26, 1949, Justice Jardeleza graduated class valedictorian in elementary and high school at the Jaro Elementary School and the UP Iloilo College High School, respectively. He took his Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science, from UP Iloilo College, where he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Graduate in 1970. In 1974, he obtained his Bachelor of Laws from the UP College of Law, Diliman, graduating salutatorian and cum laude. In the same year, he placed 3rd in the Bar Examinations with a general average of 88.35%. In 1977, he obtained his Master of Laws at the Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He then trained as a foreign associate in the New York law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, specializing in securities, litigation, and public offerings.