Banking and finance in Sri Lanka

D. L. & F. De Saram

D. L. & F. De Saram is particularly prominent in domestic and international banking and project finance transactions, including asset and structured finance matters. The practice is often engaged as counsel on cross-border international law matters. The team is jointly headed by Savantha De Saram, Prabash De Saram and Aloka Nandasena, all of whom complement their banking and finance expertise with knowledge of disputes, corporate and M&A, project finance and taxation.

Practice head(s):

Savantha De Saram; Prabash De Saram; Aloka Nandasena

Key clients


Citigroup, UK

BPPL Holdings PLC

Adani International Ports Holdings Pte. Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised a banking syndicate on the acquisition financing of USD 360Mn. provided to PGP Glass Private Limited, India acquiring the business undertaking of an Indian entity, having a listed subsidiary in Sri Lanka.
  • Advised the Adani International Ports Holdings Pte. Ltd on the proposed Term Loan Facility of USD 182 Mn proposed to be provided to Colombo West International Terminal Limited.
  • Advised BPPL Holdings PLC on the financing facility of USD 15 Mn proposed to be obtained from the United States International Development Finance Corporation by the client and its direct and indirect subsidiaries.

Julius & Creasy

The team at Julius & Creasy is particularly well versed in the drafting of loan and supporting security documentation for domestic lenders; they also provide local banks with expertise on general banking and regulatory matters. In addition, the team’s thorough knowledge in aircraft leasing matters means the practice is often acting as local counsel to foreign clients in such mandates. The team is overseen by Janaki Kumaraguru, she is particularly knowledgeable in financial regulation, services and structuring in addition to property and trade financing. Often, she assists major domestic and international clients on funds, derivatives and security. Priya Sivagananathan co-leads the team and is a seasoned practitioner who is often engaged in the de-listing of companies from the Colombo stock exchange.

Practice head(s):

Janaki Kumaraguru; Priya Sivagananathan

Key clients

Avolon Aerospace Leasing Limited

Nithya Partners

Nithya Partners routinely advises corporate entities, the Sri Lankan government, international banks, development and finance institutions as well as leasing and finance companies. Recently, the practice has handled loan transactions, debt issuances and its key strengths structuring, regulatory and compliance advice and banking regulation, among other matters. The team is overseen by Naomal Goonewardena, with 30 years of experience in the domestic financial sector, he is adept in the full array of financial law including bond issues and foreign direct investments. Peshala Attygalle regularly advises clients on a broad range of commonly occurring banking regulation and banking documentation issues. Associate Chalani Dissanayake has knowledge of compliance concerning foreign and domestic exchange regulations.

Practice head(s):

Naomal Goonewardena

Other key lawyers:

Peshala Attygalle; Chalani Dissanayake


‘The team is very competent, highly experienced and has the ability to come up with creative solutions. Naomal Goonewardena’s knowledge on law and finance is a real asset when it comes for corporate finance transactions.’

‘The combined knowledge of law and finance is a great asset. The innovative solution and strong structuring capabilities are unique.’

‘Very professional, courteous, helpful and in-depth industry knowledge.’

‘The team is very approachable and is quick to respond when services are needed.’

‘They are very knowledgeable and have a good business sense when giving their views on issues raised.’

‘They maintain a high standard of professionalism.’

‘Very supportive, knowledgeable and easy to approach.’

Key clients

Bank of China

Bank of Ceylon

Sampath Bank PLC

Seylan Bank PLC


People’s Leasing & Finance PLC

Softlogic Finance PLC

Citizens Development Business Finance PLC

Commercial Leasing and Finance PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of banks on a refinancing facility of United States Dollars Two Hundred and Twenty Five Million (USD 225,000,000/-) for the development of one of the largest mixed used properties in Sri Lanka.
  • Advised a consortium of local banks in relation to a term loan of United States Dollars Ninety Five Million (USD 95,000,000/-) to be used for part financing the development cost of a 350 MW LNG Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya, Sri Lanka.
  • Advised National Savings Bank on an issue of One Hundred Million (100,000,000) Unlisted Debentures of the Par Value of Rupees One Hundred (LKR 100/-) each totalling upto a sum of Rupees Ten Billion (LKR 10,000,000,000/-).

F. J. & G. De Saram

F. J. & G. De Saram advises local and international banks on the full array of matters, including lending and foreign exchange restrictions, among other work. The practice also actively assists payment service providers in matters relating to money laundering and bribery. Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene has expertise in investment markets, while Himali Mudadeniya provides knowledge of debt finance transactions and also assists international banks, as well as other financial institutions wishing to operate in Sri Lanka; the pair jointly head the team alongside Manjula Ellepola, who is particularly well versed in the security side of project financing transactions and is often involved in drafting security documents. Tilani Ford is particularly busy handling fintech matters, advising clients on domestic payment and settlement laws.

Practice head(s):

Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene; Manjula Ellepola

Other key lawyers:

Tilani Ford; Himali Mudadeniya


‘Very professional, courteous, helpful and in-depth industry knowledge.’

‘Himali Mudadeniya is a  stand out practitioners.’

‘The department’s banking and finance practice group have years of experience in this area.’

‘They have thorough knowledge of the relevant laws and regulations.’

‘Himali Mudadeniya has extensive experience in this sector and has in-hand knowledge on the current laws regulations and banking practices. Her work experience in the banking sector has been a bonus when consulting her for advice. Her advice is very practical and user friendly’.

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Citibank N.A.

Deutsche Bank AG

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A

Union Bank PLC

Capital Alliance Investments Limited

Nations Trust Bank PLC

Berendina Group


Vision Fund Lanka

State Bank of India

Work highlights

  • Advised DFCC in the borrowing of a USD 150 million loan from the Development Finance Corporation.
  • Advised ADB on the financing, establishment and incorporation of a proposed national credit guarantee institution.
  • Advised a development financial institution seeking to invest in debentures issued by a company incorporated outside Sri Lanka.

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan)

The team at Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) is often engaged in assisting domestic and international banks with financing arrangements for a variety of infrastructure projects, most notably power projects. The department, overseen by Pranavan Neelakandan and Janani Rajeswara, has also assisted senior lending companies for the development and maintenance of Queen Elizabeth Quay. The group advises both banks as well as finance companies on day-to-day matters, offering its input on loan agreements, trade financing, debt restructuring, and banking regulation and documentation.

Practice head(s):

Pranavan Neelakandan; Janani Rajeswara

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

Public Bank Berhad

National Savings Bank

First Capital PLC

Arpico Finance PLC

Shinhan Bank of Korea

World Bank

NXT Capital LLC

Credit Suisse (USA)

Qatar National Bank (Singapore)

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised on its security documentation with local entities of the North Technology Group (USA) in relation to its US$87.5 million lending.
  • Acted for Dane Engineering in a litigation matter against Seylan Bank PLC preventing the Bank from encashing a LKR 150 Million Performance Guarantee and succeeded in the first instance.

Sudath Perera Associates

Sudath Perera Associates advises clients on small and medium recoveries, damage claims, debt recoveries and non-performing loan facilities, among many other matters. Kaushalya Meedeniya combines his banking practice with advice on tax, regulatory compliance and project management matters alongside Gamini Balasooriya who co-leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Kaushalya Meedeniya; Gamini Balasooriya

Other key lawyers:

Niluka Wickremesinghe


‘Timely and efficient.’

Key clients

Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC)

Standard Chartered Bank

National Development Bank PLC

Nations Trust Bank PLC

Prime Finance PLC

Dialog Finance PLC

Orient Finance PLC

People’s Merchant Finance PLC

Tiruchelvam Associates

Tiruchelvam Associates has been busy combatting matters within the banking and finance sector relating to Sri Lanka’s economic crisis. The practice assists multinational as well as smaller clients on regulatory changes such as overcoming restrictions and management of salaries. Thanks to associate Thuwaraka Ganeshan’s IT expertise, clients have also been assisted on a diversity of fintech matters. The group has aided not-for-profit organisations and has consistently advised at reduced or pro bono rates to those concentrated on micro finance. Ramani Muttettuwegama leads the team and is adept in debt restructuring with her advice often coveted by international debt restructuring teams.

Practice head(s):

Ramani Muttettuwegama

Other key lawyers:

Thuwaraka Ganeshan

Key clients

Shearman & Sterling

De Heng Law Consultants

Anjjie Law Firm

Work highlights

  • Advised a global leader in business and financial data, news and insight and a company in e-commerce on an expansion of products offered on its platform.
  • Advised several multinationals on payment procedures for Sri Lankans’ participation in proposed employee stock options plans ad obtained special clearances from the Department of Foreign Exchange.
  • Advised a debt restructuring group on legal issues to be managed in capital debt restructuring in Sri Lanka.