Leading Individuals

Shipping in Sri Lanka

D. L. & F. De Saram

D. L. & F. De Saram has a thriving shipping and admiralty practice that specialises in rem actions and ship arrests as well as cargo claims, vessel mortgage enforcement actions in addition to salvage and ground handling disputes. The team works on a myriad of shipping and international trade matters relating to issues such as vessel collisions, charter parties, bills of lading as well as advising on all aspects of maritime litigation and arbitration. It also handles non-contentious matters such as ship sales. Jivan Goonetilleke has played a pivotal role in many of the firm’s most significant shipping and admiralty assignments. Savantha De Saram  is also vastly experienced in this area. Associate Nadine Puvimanasinghe is another key member of the team.

Other key lawyers:

Nadine Puvimanasinghe


‘The most knowledgeable team in Sri Lanka that knows about Shipping & Logistics‘.

‘Jivan Goonetilleke always gives us the most appropriate solution or suggestion when it comes to any legally concerned case‘.

Key clients

The London Club P&I Limited

West of England (Hellas) Limited

UBS Switzerland AG

Mercmarine Group of Companies (Mercmarine Emerald Shipping Company, Sri Lanka and Germany)

Fleet Management India Private Limited

The North of England P & I Association Limited

The Shipowner’s Protection Limited

Steamship Insurance Management Services Limited

Orient Overseas Container Line (China) Co. Limited. (“OOCL”)

CMA CGM NoVitol Asia Pte Ltd

Assuranceforeningen SKULD (Gjensidig)

The Standard Club Europe Ltd (as managed by Charles Taylor & Co Limited)

Darby Maritime Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing the London Club and its member, the Owner of the MV “X-Press Pearl”, the operators of the vessel and its crew. The said vessel caught fire in the Outer Port Limits off the Port of Colombo on or about 21st May 2021. The fire completely destroyed the vessel and its cargo and was reduced to a wreck. The vessel subsequently sank. Such events led to the worst marine environmental incident in Sri Lanka’s recorded marine history.
  • Advised West of England (Hellas) Limited through Holman Fenwick Willan on matters relating to the fire that erupted on board the MT “New Diamond” and subsequent legal implications and environmental hazards that resulted from the fire.
  • Acting as counsel and legal advisors to UBS Switzerland AG in a significant matter that  constitutes the first of such actions filed in Sri Lanka in relation to the insolvency of Gulf Petrochem Group. The vessel and crew were subsequently abandoned by the owner citing unavoidable financial constraints. UBS has now made arrangements to supply the vessel.

Julius & Creasy

Julius & Creasy handles dry and wet shipping cases, including vessel arrests and cargo claims, as well as salvage work and enforcement of ship mortgages. Senior partner and head of team Sakeen Cader advises many local and foreign clients, including numerous P&I Clubs, charterers and ship-managers.

Practice head(s):

Sakeen Cader

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan)

With Pranavan Neelakandan and Thishya Weragoda at the helm of the practice group, Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) continues to advise international shipping companies, ship owners, charterers and P&I clubs on various contentious matters and on cross-border disputes. These disputes relate to issues such as cargo claims, ship mortgage enforcement actions as well as vessel arrests. The practice is also skilled at advising on the purchase, sale and registration of vessels and receives a steady flow of instructions from international law firms.

Key clients

Hindage Oilfield Services Limited

Ocean Connect Marine Inc

DVB Bank (London)


National Bank of Fujairah

Work highlights

  • Representing the Hindage Oilfield Services Limited in proceedings before the Admiralty Court and managed to get a vessel released from arrest. The matter is being contested at trial.
  • Advising the National Bank of Fujairah on a potential arrest relating to a mortgage claim.