Solicitors governing body: Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL)
Competition authority: Consumer Affairs Authority
IFLR1000 ranking categories:
Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Project Development, Project finance
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon until 1972, is a tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean lying off the southeast coast of peninsular India. It started to open up its economy in the 1970s but the country suffered more than two decades of unrest, corruption and a destructive civil war. After the end of the war in 2009, the country enjoyed a period of economic growth with government-led investment in infrastructure and development. But political uncertainty arose after this year’s election in August when government economic projects were halted in light of political reforms.
The winning party has pledged to unite under national rather than ethnic or regional lines and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged the country to move forward to a brighter future.
The country’s legal system is a mixture of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and Jaffna Tamil customary law. The market is mainly dominated by local law firms.
US-based international law firm Duane Morris is one of the few global players present in Sri Lanka. It had formed an alliance with local firm Gowers International Legal Consultants & Corporate Lawyers through Duane Morris’s Singapore-based joint venture Duan Morris & Selvam.
Candy Chan - Journalist - Asia-Pacific
DL&F de Saram is a leading firm across the board.
Recently the firm advised MBSL Insurance on the placement of its shares and provided local counsel advice toSeoyoung Engineering in relation to the feasibility study for Light Rail Transit Program and on the Sri Lankan regulatory and legal framework for PPP projects.
Key clients include JPMorgan Chase, China Development Bank and HSBC.
Julius & Creasy specialises in banking and finance, often acting as local counsel to foreign banks that lend to the Sri Lankan government.
The firm recently had several deals with international banks, such as providing counsel to China Development Bank on laws connected to receivables financing, in addition to other matters regarding loans.
Key clients include HSBC, China Development Bank and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.
Nithya Partners’ expertise lies in project development and finance work, and the firm is involved in the energy, telecommunications and transport sectors.
The firm provided advice and consultancy services to the government of Sri Lanka on improving the capability to manage PPPs in respect of infrastructure projects, and advised a Singapore company, Gazelle Ventures, during the acquisition of a local entity.
Key clients include Sampath Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank.
"The lawyers are some of the best in the business. A mix of both local and international experience. They are always available on short notice and provide the best advice." – Capital markets, M&A
"Nithya Partners has five partners out of which we have obtained the expertise and advice on various related subject matters from two, and we are satisfied with the services rendered by both Counsels." - Project development, M&A, Banking and finance