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Editorial

Overview

The elections of 2015 brought a time of instability for Sri Lanka with foreign investors unsure about the continuation of infrastructure projects as a result of the change in government. The new government has been in place for over a year now, and the country has regained stability with a renewal in infrastructure projects. However the establishment of the Land Act saw a 15% tax placed upon foreigners looking to acquire a lease in the country, as well as a complete ban on foreigners owning land. Although foreigners are able to acquire a leasehold, it has been commented that the tax has severely deterred foreign investors from setting up in the country. The downturn in high end real estate transactions and foreign investment is noted by many law firms. The government has made plans to abolish these restrictions but is yet to do so.

The Sri Lankan legal market does not allow international firms to operate in the country and as such all firms house Sir Lankan lawyers, many of whom are educated both in Sri Lanka and internationally. Julius & Creasy is one of the largest firms, with 19 partners and over 70 lawyers. F. J. & G. De Saram and Nithya Partners are also major firms in the country.

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