Sri Lanka - Corporate/Commercial Lawyers & Law Firms - Asia-Pacific - Chambers and Partners
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Asia Guide

Corporate/Commercial — Sri Lanka


FJ & G de Saram - Corporate/Commercial Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly reputed firm with a prestigious clientele comprising both international and domestic corporates. Covers the full spectrum of transactions, from establishing operations in Sri Lanka to M&A and real estate, as well as acting on shareholder squeeze-outs and labour issues. Private equity and inbound investment are also areas of expertise.

Strengths Sources highlight the team's strong market presence, saying it is a "leading firm, and we see them in transactions regularly."

One client declares the firm to be "excellent in commercial agreements and conveyancing."

Work highlights Advised Central Finance Company on the acquisition of Isuru Leasing in accordance with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka's Financial Sector Consolidation Programme.

Represented NSB Fund Management in the reorientation of SriLankan Airlines to enable the divestment of part of the government of Sri Lanka's stake in the corporation.

Notable practitioners

Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene is hailed as "dynamic and very good," drawing upon over two decades of experience in a wide variety of corporate work, including cross-border M&A. One client highlights: "She is very strong, excellent in commercial dealings." Recently, she advised NSB Fund Management in connection with the reorientation of SriLankan Airlines, involving the divestment of part of the Government of Sri Lanka's stake in the business to a strategic investor.

Roshani Kobbekaduwa is highly proficient in advising on market exits as well as on real estate transactions including land leases. She is also skilled in handling inbound and outbound investments and corporate restructurings, and advised Crystal Martin Ceylon in connection with a USD11.9 million amalgamation of four companies into one.

Shehara Varia remains a popular choice amongst international corporations making investments in Sri Lanka. Her highlights include representing Indochine Holdings on its USD15 million acquisition of Orit Apparels Lanka and its subsidiary Orit Trading Lanka.

About the Team (content provided by FJ & G de Saram)

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Julius & Creasy - Corporate/Commercial Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Renowned team advising an array of large domestic and international companies on M&A and investment matters. Additionally noted for its depth of knowledge of regulatory, tax and immigration issues. Trusted by businesses in a wide range of industries, including those in the finance, insurance, energy and real estate sectors.

Strengths One client reports: "They are very professional, methodical and easy to deal with."

Work highlights Represented Fairfax Asia in the LKR1.49 billion expansion and restructuring of its insurance operation through the 100% share purchase of Asian Alliance General Insurance through a nominee company, Union Assurance General, and by entering into a distribution agreement with Softlogic.

Assisted Baker McKenzie with the exchange control laws and in obtaining exemption to open an outward investment account for the acquisition of shares of De La Rue Lanka Currency and Security Print under an employee share option implemented by the firm's UK branch.

Notable practitioners

Amila Fernando continues to uphold her strong reputation among domestic businesses, and holds a wealth of knowledge in working on share purchase agreements as well as restructurings. She is also highly experienced at advising on foreign direct investment, as well as establishing medium term note programmes.

Anandhiy Gunawardhana is described by sources as a "very good lawyer" who has a "wealth of experience and is really helpful." She routinely works on capital markets and M&A transactions, and in one highlight advised Keppel Land International on the LKR550 million divestment of its 60% stake in its joint venture to its Sri Lankan partner, and assisted on the share sale and purchase agreement.

About the Team (content provided by Julius & Creasy)

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Nithya Partners - Corporate/Commercial Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly experienced team that is active across M&A, insurance and corporate advisory matters. Client base includes large corporations, investment funds, regulatory bodies and financial institutions. Additional expertise advising on tax and restructuring issues for family-run companies.

Strengths Highlighting the quality of the team's output, one client remarks: "I would greatly recommend them for their expertise, diligence and attention to detail."

Another client reports that "from a layman's prospective, they make it easy for you to understand and are also very sound" in handling complex commercial transactions.

Work highlights Advised Siam City Cement on its USD400 million acquisition of Holcim Lanka.

Represented Group Lease in the 30% acquisition of Commercial Credit and Finance, valued at USD70 million.

Notable practitioners

Naomal Goonewardena specialises in tax work, with one peer saying: "He has a good financial and accounting background," and a client noting that he is "practical, prompt and extremely helpful." He additionally acts for clients on foreign direct investment and corporate restructuring matters.

Arittha Wikramanayake is described as a practitioner who is "very good at transactional work, a real leader in the area." Another client reports: "He is extremely knowledgeable on commercial, corporate and investment matters." He is routinely mandated to assist on significant transactions and acted for Charoen Pokphand Enterprise on its LKR600 million acquisition of a majority equity stake in Norfolk Foods.

About the Team (content provided by Nithya Partners)

Nithya Partners has remained the firm of choice in Sri Lanka for complex and specialized corporate and M & A matters. The Corporate and Commercial Law Department is known for its ability to deal with complex corporate and M&A matters in view of the wide experience within it. The Firm routinely appears for numerous local and international listed and unlisted entities, work on the acquisition of SMEs and provide advice on corporate issues to a wide array of business entities. The Firm also provides advice to regulatory bodies such as the Colombo Stock Exchange; advise several high profile clients on insider dealing and other securities matters; and has been involved in several complex restructures of family held companies. Hence, the Department’s practice covers a wide spectrum of industry activity demonstrating its ability to master virtually every area of corporate activity.

Dr. Arittha Wikramanayake who was formerly the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission where he was instrumental in setting up the regulatory framework for the capital markets in Sri Lanka. At present he is the Chairman of the Company Law Advisory Commission, is the advisor to the Lanka Angels Network, and is a member of the Agency for International Trade. Mr. Naomal Goonewardena, has a multidisciplinary background in Tax, Finance and Law. He specializes in foreign investment, international bond offerings, loan syndications, securitizations, banking issues, derivatives and taxation.

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DL & F De Saram - Corporate/Commercial Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Routinely represents a wide variety of multinational businesses and law firms on inbound investment issues. Provides assistance with restructuring, employment and trade laws in addition to M&A transactions. Notable track record in working on commercial matters concerning the construction and shipping sectors.

Strengths One observer reports: "They are solid and reliable and dependable firm in a challenging environment."

Work highlights Represented LafargeHolcim in the USD375 million sale of its subsidiary Siam City.

Acted for China Harbour Engineering on its USD10 million investment into Hotel 10 as part of a joint venture with Access Engineering.

Notable practitioners

Savantha De Saram is distinguished by one source who reports that he "gives very good, practical advice" and is also"smart and pragmatic." He is well versed in acting for foreign corporations on restructuring and M&A matters, and has advised CCCC and China Harbour Engineering on establishing a USD1.3 billion specialised industrial zone in partnership with the government of Sri Lanka in the Hambantota.

About the Team (content provided by DL & F De Saram)

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Neelakandan & Neelakandan - Corporate/Commercial Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Handles a wide range of corporate and commercial matters including joint ventures and foreign investment. Also advises international clients on market entry and regulatory issues.

Notable practitioners

Saravanan Neelakandan is a key point of contact for clients.

About the Team (content provided by Neelakandan & Neelakandan)

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John Wilson Partners - Corporate/Commercial Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Experienced team skilled in acting for an array of international clients in sectors including healthcare, technology and broadcasting. Mandated on a variety of corporate advisory matters, including market entry, employment and immigration law, as well as shareholder agreements and franchising. Increasingly active representing clients on compliance issues.

Strengths One observer praises the team's business sense: "They are very commercial and work to a really high standard."

Another reports: "They are very responsive and professional."

Work highlights Advised Quick Service Restaurant on the regulatory framework governing franchises.

Assisted Bupa with the sale of international health insurance products through authorised brokers. Also offered advice regarding the Insurance Industry Act.

Notable practitioners

John Wilson maintains a strong reputation for advising international corporations on a wide array of issues, including franchising, employment, real estate and other commercial transactions. He is praised by clients, who remark that he is "very bright, easy to work with and understands the commercial aspects of a matter." He has advised Cisco Systems on employment matters including the implementation of their global employment agreement template.

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Band 1

Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene

FJ & G de Saram

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene is hailed as "dynamic and very good," drawing upon over two decades of experience in a wide variety of corporate work, including cross-border M&A. One client highlights: "She is very strong, excellent in commercial dealings." Recently, she advised NSB Fund Management in connection with the reorientation of SriLankan Airlines, involving the divestment of part of the Government of Sri Lanka's stake in the business to a strategic investor.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Naomal Goonewardena

Nithya Partners

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Naomal Goonewardena specialises in tax work, with one peer saying: "He has a good financial and accounting background," and a client noting that he is "practical, prompt and extremely helpful." He additionally acts for clients on foreign direct investment and corporate restructuring matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Arittha Wikramanayake

Nithya Partners

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Arittha Wikramanayake is described as a practitioner who is "very good at transactional work, a real leader in the area." Another client reports: "He is extremely knowledgeable on commercial, corporate and investment matters." He is routinely mandated to assist on significant transactions and acted for Charoen Pokphand Enterprise on its LKR600 million acquisition of a majority equity stake in Norfolk Foods.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Julius & Creasy

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Amila Fernando continues to uphold her strong reputation among domestic businesses, and holds a wealth of knowledge in working on share purchase agreements as well as restructurings. She is also highly experienced at advising on foreign direct investment, as well as establishing medium term note programmes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Anandhiy Gunawardhana

Julius & Creasy

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Anandhiy Gunawardhana is described by sources as a "very good lawyer" who has a "wealth of experience and is really helpful." She routinely works on capital markets and M&A transactions, and in one highlight advised Keppel Land International on the LKR550 million divestment of its 60% stake in its joint venture to its Sri Lankan partner, and assisted on the share sale and purchase agreement.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

John Wilson Partners

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

John Wilson maintains a strong reputation for advising international corporations on a wide array of issues, including franchising, employment, real estate and other commercial transactions. He is praised by clients, who remark that he is "very bright, easy to work with and understands the commercial aspects of a matter." He has advised Cisco Systems on employment matters including the implementation of their global employment agreement template.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Savantha De Saram

DL & F De Saram

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Savantha De Saram is distinguished by one source who reports that he "gives very good, practical advice" and is also"smart and pragmatic." He is well versed in acting for foreign corporations on restructuring and M&A matters, and has advised CCCC and China Harbour Engineering on establishing a USD1.3 billion specialised industrial zone in partnership with the government of Sri Lanka in the Hambantota.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Roshani Kobbekaduwa

FJ & G de Saram

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Roshani Kobbekaduwa is highly proficient in advising on market exits as well as on real estate transactions including land leases. She is also skilled in handling inbound and outbound investments and corporate restructurings, and advised Crystal Martin Ceylon in connection with a USD11.9 million amalgamation of four companies into one.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Paul Ratnayeke Associates

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Paul Ratnayeke of Paul Ratnayeke Associates is singled out by a client as a "good and well-respected lawyer," and a peer concurs that he has "a well-established practice." He has a wealth of expertise in corporate matters, and is best known for his extensive track record representing local businesses.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

FJ & G de Saram

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Shehara Varia remains a popular choice amongst international corporations making investments in Sri Lanka. Her highlights include representing Indochine Holdings on its USD15 million acquisition of Orit Apparels Lanka and its subsidiary Orit Trading Lanka.

^ See whole ranking table