Sri Lanka

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Chambers Colombo

Founded in 1995, Colombo-based domestic law firm Chambers Colombo includes key figures in senior partner Kusal Subasinghe and partners Dhammika Ranasinghe and Nihal Jayawardene.


Focusses / specialisms  

The firm caters to the needs of SMEs and is noted for its corporate and M&A and project development work. Sectors of activity include technology, mining and real estate.

D. L. & F. De Saram

Founded in 1898, DL&F de Saram is one of the oldest and best-known full-service law firms in Sri Lanka. The firm maintains an office in Colombo and is a member of Lex Mundi.


Focusses / specialisms 

The firm provides project finance and project development advice and has strong banking, capital markets and corporate and M&A practices. 

The firm often acts alongside major international law firms and is experienced in advising on a range of matters including mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, regulatory compliance and project finance. 

The projects team is often active in the energy, transport, oil and gas, social infrastructure and utilities sectors.


Key clients 

Notable clients include Aman Group, Windforce, Rentokil Initial UK, Trelleborg, GPV International, Sojitz Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Amazon, Sumitomo Mitsui, Facebook and Nippon Express (South Asia and Oceania).


Research period review: 33rd edition (2022/2023)  

During the review period, the financial and corporate team often acted on the side of lenders and advised on matters such as financial investment and financing. It also acted for acquirers on private acquisitions. 

In the projects space, the team was involved in various sectors, including entertainment and energy. 

The firm recruited Ramesh Perera as consultant counsel.  


Deal highlights: 33rd edition (2022/2023)  

BPPL Group’s $15 million financing. 

D P Logistics acquisition of Pulsar Shipping Agencies and Pulsar Marine Services. 

Permira’s acquisition of Acuity Knowledge Partners. 

A 100MW solar farm and infrastructure project in Kilinochchi.


Client feedback: 33rd edition (2022/2023)  

Financial services regulatory 

“I got the right advice and the drafts of required documentation in good time, enabling us to execute those in a timely and professional manner.”



“DL&F De Saram have been extremely professional and prompt in their legal advisory services. They have shown a high level of proficiency to analyse complex legal issues arising out of the sale or purchase of shares of a listed company under Sri Lankan laws.” 

“They provide highly professional services and do more than expected at all times.”



“DL&F have excellent and detailed knowledge of the relevant laws in Sri Lanka and were able to provide comprehensive responses to our queries.” 

“They are well connected to the outside/international legal firms and well acquainted with the capabilities of such law firms. They went out of their way to send the RFPs, summarise data, and were with us until selection.” 

“They provide punctual response and precise advice.”  


Hansi Abayaratne 

“Hansi always provides the support, advice and solutions we ask for, and on time. Her in-depth knowledge and commitment are commendable. She never hesitates to do or say the right thing. If she is busy, she always assigns someone to attend to our requests or, alternatively, gets very senior partners involved to provide the right solution to our requests/needs.” 

“Very committed and knowledgeable in banking law.”


Jivan Goonetilleke 

“He provides precise advice and has the knowledge for the requested scope of work.” 


Aloka Nandasena 

“Ms. Aloka Nandasena has been a thoroughly proficient and astute lawyer to have worked with. Along with great communication skills, she is extremely skilled in breaking down complex legal issues and has a great commercial sense of the needs of the client. She also has sound knowledge of Sri Lankan stock exchange laws.” 

“She is very knowledgeable and helpful at all times.”  


Ramesh Perera 

“Ramesh provided clear and concise advice addressing our queries and demonstrated a good knowledge of relevant Sri Lankan law.” 

FJ&G de Saram

Founded in 1841, FJ&G de Saram is the oldest law firm in Sri Lanka and is headquartered in Colombo.


Focusses / specialisms  

The firm is ranked Tier 1 across the board in the financial and corporate space. 

The banking team assists both international and domestic clients including banks, financial institutions, leasing companies, private equity firms, multinational corporations, government bodies and payment service providers. 

The project team’s experience covers a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, energy, transport, utilities and telecommunications. 

The firm’s corporate team advises across the spectrum of corporate mandates and has experience advising on both domestic and cross-border deals.


Key clients 

Notable clients include hSenid Business Solutions, Asian Development Bank and Hela Apparel.


Research period review: 33rd edition (2022/2023)  

During the research period, the capital markets team was particularly active on equity mandates, and it mainly worked for issuers. 

Partner Pavithra Navaratne left the firm.


Deal highlights: 33rd edition (2022/2023)  

Balangoda Plantations rights issue. 

Nithya Partners

Founded in 1997, Colombo-headquartered Nithya Partners is among the best-regarded law firms in the financial and corporate space in Sri Lanka.


Focusses / specialisms  

The firm is one of the market leaders in the financial and corporate space and is ranked Tier 1 in banking, capital markets, M&A, project finance and project development. 

The banking team has experience advising both lenders and borrowers on a range of financing mandates. 

The corporate and M&A team is experienced in acting for clients such as corporates and financial institutions on a variety of matters, including buy and sell acquisitions and joint ventures. 

Sectors of activity include banking and financial services, technology and telecommunications, energy, and transport.


Key clients 

Clients include Bank of China, Bank of Ceylon, DFCC Bank, State Bank of India, Capital Alliance, Brown and Company, Resus Energy, Diesel & Motor Engineering, Ironwood Investments, New Fortress Energy and Lakdhanavi.


Research period review: 33rd edition (2022/2023)  

The banking team was active for a mix of lenders and borrowers on asset finance, trade finance and financing.  

In the capital markets area, the firm advised on debt and equity transactions. It kept busy with debenture issue, IPOs and private placement of shares. 

The M&A team was very active in acquisitions for both the buy and sell sides. The firm covered clients from different sectors including financial services, agriculture, and consumer goods and services. 

In projects, the firm was active on energy and mining projects.


Deal highlights: 33rd edition (2022/2023)  

Brown and Company’s debenture issue.  

CT CLSA’s acquisition of the entirety of the shares of Guardian Acuity Asset Management. 

State Bank of India’s $1 billion credit facility. 

UB Finance’s IPO. 

The Western Container Terminal of the Colombo South Harbour project.


Client feedback: 33rd edition (2022/2023) 

Capital markets 

“They have the ability to advise on legal as well as tax-related matters – very knowledgeable and able to provide practical solutions within the applicable framework.”


Financial restructuring 

“They have in-depth knowledge on and around the relevant laws/regulations related to restructuring and provide very specific and effective legal solutions for various restructuring scenarios.”



“They are experts in their field and have a good work ethic. They are very responsive and gave very practical advice.” 

“They provide advice on M&A, taxation, and drafting the SSPA.” 


Peshala Attygalle 

She is supportive and accommodative to all requests.


Naomal Goonewardena 

Naomal is an experienced and senior legal adviser, who is very thorough in the laws and regulations of Sri Lanka. He takes his time to ensure our client gets the best possible solution. Further, he has a very good knowledge around the financial aspects of a company, which he leverages to recommend very creative, out-of-the-box structures for financial restructuring. This is an added advantage we see from a legal adviser. 

Very knowledgeable on legal, finance and tax matters. He has the ability to provide a holistic solution considering other areas of concern.


Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga 

“Clear communication.” 

“She is very accessible and responsive. She gives clear and concise feedback and is extremely good at meeting tight deadlines. Her industry expertise is also very good, and we can always rely on her to come through.” 

Heritage Partners

Heritage Partners is a boutique law firm based out of Colombo that specializes in corporate, securities and financial law. The firm is focused on the Sri Lankan market. Key figures include precedent partner Arittha Wikramanayake, who was formerly the director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka. 


Focusses/ specialisms       

The firm focuses on banking, financial services and investment management. 

In M&A, the firm’s specialties include venture capital transactions and legal due diligence audits. Its client base includes many HNIs and angel investors in the VC space.  


Key clients 

Key clients include Colombo Stock Exchange, Sampath Bank, CIC Holdings, Softlogic Holdings, LOLC Holdings, Cargills (Ceylon), Capital Alliance, Diesel & Motor Engineering, BOV Capital, MAS CapitalBluestone Capital and Lankan Angel Network. 

John Wilson Partners

Established in 1920, John Wilson Partners is headed by name partner John Wilson and is located in Colombo.


Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is active in banking, M&A, project finance and project development. Sectors of activity automotive, technology, insurance, hospitality, industrials and manufacturing, and retail.


Key clients  

Key clients include BUPA Global, Ernst & Young, Kitz Corporation, Cisco Systems, and T Choithram and Sons.


Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

During the research period, the firm advised on market entry, buy-side acquisitions, and exits. A highlight mandate saw the firm advising a logistics company on a high-value acquisition.

The firm welcomed partner Mohan Rupesinghe to its corporate team, while corporate partner Usha Sivagurunathan left the firm.


Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Orana market entry

Lanka Princess Hotel wind up

Sagittarius Digital Engineering wind up


Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Bank lending : Lender side

"Great attention to detail. They hire quality professionals, Thorough investigation of circumstances and evidence. Forthright and honest. Diligent,"


Financial services regulatory

"Detailed, worked hard to understand the product history,"



"Excellent and concise advice which resolved the issues we faced very quickly."


John Wilson

"Thorough knowledge of legal aspects of my case. Honest; straightforward; determined."

"Very proactive; strong technical legal ability; very responsive."

Julius & Creasy

One of the oldest law firms in Sri Lanka, Julius & Creasy was established in 1879 and is known for its high-quality financial and corporate work. The firm has two offices in Colombo. 


Focusses/ specialisms       

In the banking space, the firm has significant experience advising foreign lenders on syndicated loans to domestic companies and the government. The firm also advises international banks, investment banks and fund managers on derivatives-related transactions. Additionally, the firm specializes in aircraft leasing and acts as local counsel to foreign lessors and financiers. 

In capital markets work, the firm takes on matters related to a wide range of financial products and transactions. These include options, futures, derivatives, bond issues, IPOs and listings, rights issues, private placements and debentures. 

The corporate and M&A team is experienced advising clients from a range of sectors, including technology and telecommunications, food and beverage, professional services, insurance and real estate. 


Key clients 

Key clients include Blue Point Capital Partners and HID CID. 


Client feedback: 32nd edition (2022/2023) 


"J&C were very responsive and always made themselves available despite the time difference with the UK. They never missed a deadline and would keep us updated. The work that they completed was of an excellent standard and we would know that it would be completed to a very high standard. Additionally, the members of J&C we worked with were all very friendly and we very much enjoyed working with them." 


Project development

"Unlike many lawyers in Sri Lanka, Julius & Creasy lawyers were very prompt and very passionate about their undertakings." 

Sudath Perera Associates

Nawala-headquartered full-service law firm Sudath Perera Associates has been active since 2002. Key figures include Dushyantha Perera, who serves as the head of the firm’s corporate and commercial practice. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is recognised for its banking and finance and M&A capabilities.

It has expertise in inbound foreign direct investment, public-private partnerships (PPPs), M&A and corporate restructurings. Key sectors of focus include retail, pharmaceuticals, energy and consumer goods.


Key clients

Key client names include People’s Merchant Finance, Navara Capital, MAGA Engineering, Nippon Paints Lanka, Copreus and Bolton Labs.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the firm notably advised on several corporate restructuring mandates and was also often engaged to provide regulatory compliance advice. One highlight saw the firm advise on the restructuring of a bank.

A staffing change saw the departure of corporate partner Suhadini Wickremasinghe, who left to pursue independent legal practice.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Bolton Labs restructuring

Nippon Paints restructuring

People’s Merchant Finance restructuring


Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)


“Its lawyers are very responsive and are very knowledgeable.”

“The firm is well-reputed in the field of M&A and corporate law. The firm has a dynamic team that is very knowledgeable and experienced in M&A and divestitures.”


Private equity

“Subject knowledge, flexibility, and promptness.”



Full-service law firm Varners has been active in Sri Lanka since 1986. Key figures include partners Rajaratnam Selvaskandan, Mahinda Haradasa and Vinothini Amarasekara. The firm maintains two offices in Colombo.


Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is recognized for its well-established banking, M&A and project development practices.

It has experience advising domestic and foreign clients on a range of matters including restructuring, debt and equity offerings, infrastructure projects, project financing, market-entry, and shareholder exits.


Key clients  

The firm recently acted for clients including Galle Face Properties, Marsylka Manufacturing Company, Bank of China, Ceyline Holdings, CHEC Port City Colombo and Cashwagan.


Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

During the review period, the firm was particularly active on corporate and M&A and project development work. A cross border highlight on the corporate side saw the firm acting for a multinational conglomerate on a high-value acquisition. In a standout projects deal, the firm advised an international client on a first of its kind land reclamation and development project in South Asia.

In banking, the firm recently advised a conglomerate on regulatory compliance matters and on a joint venture in the fintech space. The firm was also active in the capital markets space and assisted an international client with its listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The firm expanded its corporate team with the addition of partner Rahal Gunaratne from Dissanayake Amaratunga Associates.


Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Capital Metals LSE listing

Colombo International Financial City

Comercial Projar corporate restructuring

Mannar mineral sand exploration

Soorya Bala Sangramaya


Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)


"Structuring and content of agreement."

"Professional, in-depth knowledge of subject. Expertise on M&A. Quick responses to queries."


Project development : Mining

"They have provided sound and pragmatic advice on how to deal with this case."


Restructuring : Corporate

"Detailed preliminary surveying. Efficient execution. Excellent understanding of foreign clients' concerns and practical operational difficulties we face locally. Practical consultation/advice given based on latest legislation. Very attentive to smallest detail and focus on solving clients' needs."


Vinothini Amarasekara

"Listening and diagnosing the problem; communication and availability; network of contacts; practical knowledge and experience."

"As well as being a very nice lady to deal with, she has provided us with sound and pragmatic advice."


Raj Selvaskandan

"Strong analytical skills and structuring."

"Expertise on M&A and industry knowledge."