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Asia-Pacific Guide
Firm Profile

DL & F De Saram

Firm Profile


  • 47 Alexandra Place
  • Colombo
  • Western Province
  • Sri Lanka
  • 7

Firm profile submitted by DL & F De Saram

Senior Partner: Dijen De Saram
Partners: Michael Sproule, Savantha De Saram, Prabash De Saram, Manjula Sirimanne
Number of partners: 9
Number of lawyers: 36
Languages: English, Indonesian, Sinhala, Tamil

The firm, founded in 1898, is one of the oldest and largest laws firms in Sri Lanka. It is a leading general practice law firm and its areas of expertise cover all aspects of civil and commercial law, including foreign investment, construction, labour, banking, finance, admiralty, project finance, infrastructure and corporate law.
In addition, the secretarial arm of the firm handles the incorporation of limited liability companies and helps to set up branch offices, liaison offices, and representative offices and provides secretarial services to over 500 companies including several companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange in Sri Lanka.

Practice Areas:
Banking & Finance
Corporate M&A
Employment & Immigration
Power & Energy
Intellectual Property
Real Estate
Corporate & Commercial Litigation
Anti-Trust & Competition
Capital Markets & Securities
Direct & Indirect Foreign Investment
Corporate Secretarial Services (through Corporate Advisory Services (Pvt.) Ltd.)

Banking & Finance:

The firm has built substantial expertise in complex cross border financing for both domestic blue ship companies and multinational corporations. It advises on exchange control laws and corporate financial transactions within the Sri Lankan legal framework.
Key Transactions: Acted for the Global Climate Partnership Fund on the Provision of Loans to local Bank; China Development Bank, advised on investment laws in respect of public and private sector loans.
Key Clients: Asian Development Bank, Axis Bank, IFC, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Merrill Lynch-Bank of America, Global Climate Partnership fund, Japan Bank for International Corporation.

The M&A team continues to be active in the fields of insurance, construction and pharmaceuticals. The team handles private equity and public mergers and acquisitions, and have recently been associated with two of the largest M&A transactions in Sri Lanka.
Key Transactions: Acquisition of AVIVA NDB Insurance by AIA (USD 100 million); sale of Lafarge Holcim of its shares in Holcim Lanka Ltd. (USD 373 million) Advising General Electric Company on the merger of its subsidiary with ShipXpress inc.

Labour, Employment & Immigration: The firm advises multinationals and domestic corporations on the compatibility of international labour regulations with Sri Lankan law.
Key Transactions: Advising Tesco and Microsoft on restructuring human resources; acting for Archer Daniels Midland Group on restructuring operations.
Key Clients: Pernod Ricard, Aramex In- ternational, Holcim Lanka Ltd., Malaysian Airlines, Coca Cola Sri Lanka, Marriott International.

Infrastructure: The firm advises clients on the regulatory framework applicable to establishing renew- able and non-renewable energy power plants in Sri Lanka, to supply the national grid in partnership with the government. It assists investors on the project cycle, from tendering procedures, cross border financing, labour requirements, operational issues and dispute resolution.
Key Transactions: China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd in relation to the Colombo Port City Development Project (USD 1.5 billion) and the establishment of a specialised industrial zone in Hambantota with the Gvt of Sri Lanka. Advised a leading Chinese State owned Company on their investment in a power project as an equity investor or acting as an EPC contractor in a power project in Sri Lanka. Assisted a leading Japanese Energy and Engineering Company in the establishment of a floating LNG Storage and regasification facility on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Real Estate: The firm advises on land acquisitions and sales, mortgage and lease agreements, together with due diligence examinations on real estate and the preparation, attesting and registration of transfers and other title documents.
Key Transactions: Advised jones Lang Salle Property Consultants pte ltd in the sale of Weligama Hotel Properties Pvt ltd approved by the Board of investment of Sri Lanka to set up and operate The Marriot Resort affiliated to Marriot Resort.
Key Clients: TATA Housing, Jones Lang La Salle Property Consultants (Singapore) PTE.

Shipping: The firm advises shipping and protection and indemnity interests on cross border disputes, with special emphasis on cargo claims, vessel mortgage enforcement and crew arrests, salvage and ground handling disputes.
Key Clients: Steamship Mutual, Ship owners Mutual, North of England (P & I), Skuld, Hapag Lloyd.

Intellectual Property Rights: The firm handles applications for the registration of trademarks, copyrights, industrial design, patents and related services, including litigation arising from infringements and trademark enforcements.
Key Clients: Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd, Seven up Netherland BV, Motorola, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Pure gold jewelers.

Corporate Secretarial Service: The firm’s secretarial division, through its subsidiary, Corporate Advisory Services (Pvt.) Ltd. provides incorporation, secretarial and ancillary services to corporate clients. It is a virtual one stop shop for all matters pertaining to the establishment of a Company under the laws of Sri Lanka.

Contact: [email protected]
Tel: +94 11 2695782 Ext: 208
Contact: [email protected]
Tel: +94 11 2695782 Ext: 210