F. J. & G. De Saram > Colombo, Sri Lanka > Firm Profile

F. J. & G. De Saram
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

F. J. & G. De Saram assists clients on the full spectrum of corporate and commercial law, with the practice’s key strengths lying in M&A, taxation and capital market matters, among other work. The team works alongside domestic as well as international blue-chip companies, and as of late, has advised on anti-laundering policies in line with domestic law. Team head Buwaneka Basnayake is highly proficient in the entire array of commercial matters, particularly in capital markets and company law, and offers his expertise in restructuring work involving large amounts of companies. Alongside Bassnayake, Shanaka Gunasekara thrives in pre-litigation employment advisory matters, data protection and privacy, computer law and telecommunication. Other names overseeing the practice include Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene, Shehara Varia and Anjali Fernando.

Practice head(s):

Buwaneka Bassnayake; Shanaka Gunasekara; Ayomi Aluwihare; Shehara Varia; Anjali Fernando.


‘FJ&G has a strong team of partners and lawyers that provide an efficient and comprehensive legal service in corporate and M&A work.’

‘We have been impressed by their depth of knowledge and responsiveness to queries, particularly compared to other legal firms we have dealt with in Sri Lanka.’

‘They are also well placed to consider unusual corporate or transaction structures and provide solutions for our requirements’.

‘Buwaneka Basnayake is a one of the best corporate lawyers we have dealt in Sri Lanka or elsewhere. He has extremely in-depth knowledge of Sri Lankan companies and capital market legislation, and is always very thorough and solution-driven when providing responses to our queries.’

‘Buwaneka Basnayake supported us in complex international acquisitions and corporate restructurings. He is also very responsive to requests and easy to each for quick clarifications.’

‘Friendly service.’

Key clients

Asia Development Bank

Reliance Retail Ventures Limited

Colombo Stock Exchange

Pearson Lanka (Private) Limited

Shangri-La Hotel



Unilever Sri Lanka Limited

Aitken Spence

Dialog Axiata PLC

Sunshine Holdings Limited

Ceylon Biscuits Limited

Hela Clothing Group of Companies

Tata Steel Limited

Khaitan & Co

D L A Piper


TMI Associates


Rizing LLC

Allen and Overy

Baker and McKenzie

Jun He

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel for Asian Development Bank in this matter which was in relation to an investment of up to USD 80 million in John Keells Holdings PL.
  • Advised Jetwing Hotels Limited as lead counsel on the acquisition of a company, including reviewing and negotiation of the underlying transaction documents.
  • Advised Hela Apparel Holdings Limited (the Company) on the legal and regulatory aspects of a listing, carried out a limited due diligence on the company, and advised on the drafting of prospectus based on the findings of the due diligence.

Sri Lanka > Real estate and construction Tier 1

F. J. & G. De Saram is home to a team with extensive knowledge in real estate matters such as property ownership, conveyancing and notarial practice, mortgages and security interests in property. The group assists its wide range of clients in drafting the full spectrum of lease agreements, sale and purchase agreements, deeds of transfer, deeds of partition, deeds of exchange, deeds of declaration and lease agreements. The team also advises regional and multinational clients on mortgage laws and is headed by Manjula Ellepola, who advises clients on investments in property alongside drafting security documents on the financing of significant infrastructure projects. At associate level Ruwani Dantanarayana is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Manjula Ellepola

Other key lawyers:


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

‘Very reliable and professional.’

Key clients

MAS Fabric Park (Private) Limited

Brandix Group

State Bank of India

Jetwing Hotels

Hayleys Group

Intrepid Group of Companies

Van Rees Ceylon Limited

Mr. JMS Brito

Nations Trust Bank PLC

Indian Overseas Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised on the acquisition of a boutique hotel located at Bentota, Sri Lanka by the name “Saman Villas” where the department conducted a land due diligence for the purposes of the said acquisition.

Sri Lanka > Banking and finance Tier 2

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:


‘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.

Sri Lanka > Dispute resolution Tier 2

F. J. & G. De Saram advises a broad range of clients on disputes across the full array of sectors including banking and finance, insurance and reinsurance and M&A. The group is principally focused on international arbitration, representing clients predominantly as claimants taking action against the State. With over 25 years of experience in advisory services, Avinda Rodrigo heads the practice, which thrives in handling lucrative engineering and construction disputes.

Practice head(s):

Avindra Rodrigo


‘I can rely on them, very professional and they have the subject knowledge.’

‘Very professional team, they follow the dispute very carefully and assist the client very well.’

‘Avindra Rodrigo performed very well in all of his activities related to an international arbitration for our company.’

‘This is one of the most notable firm in Sri Lanka.’

‘When we reached them at first instance with requisite details they took time to analyse the merits and came up with the detailed report listing all the relevant and important factors.’

Key clients



Siemens Limited

IBM World Trade Corporation

Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka (Pvt) Ltd

C.H. Robinson Freight Services Limited

AFRY, formerly known as Pöyry Switzerland Limited

Insync Bikes Limited, formerly Avocet Sports Limited

Maeda Corporation

Nishimatsu Construction Co. Limited

Haecker Kuchen GmbH & Co KG

Work highlights

  • Advised Lanka IOC PLC on the lease of an Oil Tank Farm in a dispute involving the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the Government of Sri Lanka.
  • Represented Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. before the Court of Appeals in a dispute with Sri Lanka Customs relating to the alleged undervaluing of imports.
  • Represented AFRY, formerly known as Pöyry Switzerland Limited (AFRY) against the Ceylon Electricity Board. Disputes arose under two contracts for consulting services in respect of Phase 1 and 2 of 300 MW Puttalam Coal Power Project in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka > Labour and employment Tier 2

The employment practice at F. J. & G. De Saram, which sits within the firm’s corporate department, is praised for its ‘exceptional level of support, detail and practicality’. Clients benefit from the team’s ability to advise on the transfer of employees, voluntary retirement schemes resulting from business transfers or mergers, corporate restructuring, and the sale or purchase of assets. Shehara Varia heads the practice, which includes the ‘exceptionalShanaka Gunasekara, who specialises in pre-litigation employment advisory matters.

Practice head(s):

Shehara Varia

Other key lawyers:


‘The exceptional level of support, detail and practicality of advice provided.’

‘Shanaka Gunasekera has been exceptional. He takes the time to understand the context thoroughly and and provides the most practical advise. In the event of complexities, he also seeks opinions/views from his colleagues and provides a consolidated response.’

Key clients

Global Communities


Shangri-La Hotel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd / Shangri-La Investments Lanka (Pvt) Ltd


Persistent Systems Lanka (Pvt) Ltd

Japan International Corporation Agency – Sri Lanka Office

Emirates Group

Pearson Lanka (Pvt) Ltd

Dialog Axiata PLC

ING Business Hubs B.V. (Sri Lanka branch)

Ferrero Lanka (Pvt) Ltd

Avery Dennison

Mazarin (Pvt) Ltd

Gifted Technologies (Pvt) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised ING Hubs B.V. on employment law matters relevant at the time of setting up the branch office in Sri Lanka.
  • Advised Ferrero Lanka (Pvt) Ltd on employment law matters relevant to the restructure of the business in Sri Lanka.