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

F. J. & G. De Saram
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka > Banking and finance Tier 2

F. J. & G. De Saram advises various international banks, other financial institutions and development organisations as well as local banks and microfinance institutions. In addition, the team frequently advises local corporates on borrower-side work. Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene and Himali Mudadeniya co-head the department, which deals with a broad array of issues from regulatory matters to jurisdictional opinions and receives a regular stream of instructions from some major international law firms. The group is growing its fintech practice too and is experienced in advising on Islamic financing.

Other key lawyers:


‘Very much inclined to explain any of their remarks and provide extended memos (for no additional fee) when clients have difficulty handling some legal point, and very conscious of clients’ needs to understand better Sri Lankan law. With FJ&G de Saram we have a real collaboration, they get fully involved in their part of the transaction. ’

‘Tilani Ford is my usual contact. The team remains dedicated to handle our requests, even for their last mandate which was smaller than previous ones. We are fully satisfied’.

‘It has a knowledgeable and experienced legal team. The lawyers are easy to approach and provide appropriate solutions to your problem’.

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Citibank N.A. (Colombo Branch)

Deutsche Bank AG (Colombo branch)

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A (Colombo Branch)

Union Bank PLC

Capital Alliance Investments Limited

Nations Trust Bank PLC

Berendina Group

Lakjaya Microfinance Limited

Vision Fund Lanka

State Bank of India

Sri Lanka > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

F. J. & G. De Saram has an agile team that is well-equipped to handle multiple corporate and M&A transactions at the same time. The strong practice advises on international mergers and acquisitions that impact on subsidiaries in Sri Lanka and on the merger and acquisitions of local companies and other entities. It has substantial sector expertise in various areas including insurance broking; e-commerce, education as well as banks and financial companies. Ayomi Aluwihare-Gunawardene; Shehara Varia and Anjali Fernando are among the primary contacts at the firm. Buwaneka Basnayake and Shanaka Gunasekara  are also well-regarded.


‘The team is efficient, diligent and has been very conversant about the subject. It has also been a very personable experience to engage with the team who has stepped above and beyond to fulfill its responsibilities’.

‘Shehara Varia is a very knowledgeable and competent professional who is totally conversant on the subject of M and A. Her counsel has been invaluable to our endeavour. Her efficiency was also an asset to help expedite this sale for us. She engaged with all parties concerned, accessed the required resources and helped to ensure a successful conclusion of the transaction’.

‘The senior partners’ exceptional subject knowledge, skills and experience. Ayomi Aluwihare – Exceptional knowledge/skills/experience in subject matter. Shanaka Gunasekera – Very good knowledge/skills. Buwaneka Basnayake – Very good knowledge/skills’.

The lawyers have a great ear to the ground and are used to dealing with large global clients. Shanaka Gunasekara has been prompt, responsive, and client-friendly‘.

The team at FJ and G de Sarams, especially the firm’s partner, Buwaneka Basnayake, reflects exceptional professionalism, diligence and efficiency in performing their services in corporate/commercial matters. Buwaneka is extremely helpful, efficient and professional in his approach to work. His knowledge in corporate legal matters is exceptional and has always been our ‘go -to’ legal authority whenever faced with complex legal hurdles in the day to day operations of the business‘.

Its wide ranging experience in the field of corporate law. Mr. Buwaneka Basnayake, partner for his ability to grasp the intricacies of the clients’ issues quickly and being able to advise accordingly. Also for being very approachable’.


Key clients

Colombo International Container Terminals (Private) Limited

China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited

Colombo Stock Exchange

Pearson Lanka (Private) Limited

Shangri-La Hotel, Sri Lanka



Unilever Sri Lanka Limited

Piramal Glass of India

Dialog Axiata PLC

Sunshine Holdings Limited

Ceylon Biscuits Limited

Hela Clothing Group of Companies

Tata Steel Limited

Khaitan & Co (Rabindra Jhunjhunwala, Partner)

D L A Piper (Singapore) (Meraj Noor, Partner)

Eversheds (UK) (Paramjit Singh, Partner)

TMI Associates


Rizing LLC

Allen and Overy

Baker and McKenzie

Jun He

Work highlights

  • Advised a development financial institution as local law counsel on the legal feasibility of the development of a renewable energy park in the Pooneryn Peninsula, in Northern Province that generates electricity (using solar power and wind power) .
  • Advised China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (“CMPort”) from a local law perspective on a sale of 23.5% of its shares in Gainpro Resources Limited.
  • Advising Dialog Broadband Networks (Private) Limited (“DBN”) on the acquisition of shares in the largest reseller of Microsoft enterprise solutions in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka > Dispute resolution Tier 2

The team at  F. J. & G. De Saram is led by Avindra Rodrigo PC. It provides advisory as well as advocacy services to a wide range of local and foreign clients in all of the local courts, tribunals, administrative and statutory bodies. The team is also recommended for its work on complex international arbitrations. Rodrigo PC is immensely experienced in advising on all aspects of commercial disputes before the courts and arbitral tribunals, and regularly appears before the the appellate courts as well as before the Labour Tribunals too.

Practice head(s):


The team is clearly experienced in litigation and arbitration in Sri Lanka. We also found them willing to be flexible during the pandemic: they got everything done that needed to be done in spite of the sometimes severe restrictions. We particularly appreciated them going above and beyond in navigating the backlog in the courts and ensuring that the hearing dates were maintained so as to ensure the continued progress of the dispute. We found Avindra Rodrigo PC confidence-inspiring: he clearly knows the law and the practice in Sri Lanka, and gave us the reassurance we needed to move forward with the dispute in an unfamiliar jurisdiction‘.

The firm has dedicated power to handle each specialised area of the practice and they are exceptionally competent in such areas. Speed in responding and accuracy of the advice given are at a very high level. The team does lots of pre-preparations before any consultation and is very resourceful during the consultations‘.

FJ&G de Saram assisted our company in quite a complex dispute with an international ICC arbitration held in Singapore. The team which assisted us before, during and after the arbitration was extremely professional, all members of the law firm worked very hard and showed excellent skills. Avindra Rodrigo PC was the key person of the firm who assisted us. Somebody in Sri Lanka told me, before we started the arbitration, that he is “the best litigator” in Sri Lanka. I really feel this is correct, because he was just fantastic in all phases of the arbitration‘.

FJ&G de Saram’s legal knowledge is up to date. They have an excellent approach to dispute resolution. Solutions are very practical and commercially cost effective.‘.

‘FJ&G de Saram is the classic legal firm with contemporary practices. It has a young and vibrant team guided by the senior and seasoned attorneys. The team delve into details using all kinds of resources including social media in gathering the relevant information to deal with the case’.

‘The team is quick and responsive, especially in urgent cases. The lawyers have a sound grasp of international legal and commercial principles which allows for easy alignment of litigation strategy. There is partner-level engagement at most times which makes for easier and more effective case management’.

Key clients

Interna Contract SPA

Dialog Axiata PLC

Siemens Limited, India

Nyras Limited, UK

Haecker Kuechen GMBH & Co. KG, Germany

Pöyry Switzerland Limited

IFS AB, Sweden

Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC


State Bank of India

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Dialog Axiata PLC and Dialog Broadband Networks (Private) Limited in challenging the allocation of the mobile frequency spectrum by the Sri Lankan telecommunications regulator to a State-owned competitor.
  • Successfully advised and appeared on behalf of Nyras Limited in negotiating a settlement in proceedings relating to the liquidation of the national carrier of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Airlines.
  • Successfully advised and appeared for Interna Contract SPA in arbitral proceedings and in enforcing the arbitral award in Sri Lanka, in relation to a dispute under the contract for the interior works for the Grand Hyatt Project in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka > Labour and employment Tier 2

At F. J. & G. De Saram the employment practice sits within its corporate department and advises various local and foreign clients on a range of employment matters, including advising on the transfer of employees and related redundancies, as well as on the labour ramifications of redundancies. Shehara Varia heads the department that enjoys a steady flow of instructions from some international law firms.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Professional, service-orientated and helpful‘.

The team is very reactive and easy to work with. Very pragmatic approach to resolving  problems. I worked with Shevanthi Seresinhe-Perera. She is an outstanding lawyer. Very reliable answers and guidance in a country where I do not have any legal insight‘.

‘FJ&G De Saram has the best team to handle labour law and employment related matters. They are well experienced, and professional in client service and support. The team always comes up with the best solution in labour law issues in diverse industries’.

We have been taking services for the past 3 years from FJ &G De Seram, where they have segregated teams for each and every client. We have a designated lawyer for employment matters, and expert personnel for contract management which is unique compared to any other legal firm that I dealt during my 10-15 years career‘.

‘The team is extremely helpful and they are extremely knowledgeable and provide practical advice. We share a great professional working relationship. They have always gone above and beyond to help with legal matters. They are surely thoughtful and knowledgeable. Very professional and they achieve deadlines‘.

Key clients

Global Communities


Shangri-La Hotel Lanka (Private) Limited / Shangri-La Investments Lanka (Private) Limited


Persistent Systems Lanka (Private) Limited

Japan International Corporation Agency – Sri Lanka Office

Emirates Group

Pearson Lanka (Private) Limited

Dialog Axiata PLC

Work highlights

  • Reviewed for Fabristeel (Private) Limited the templates for the employment contract, confidentiality undertakings; non-compete agreement and advised it on matters arising therefrom in terms of Sri Lanka law.

Sri Lanka > Real estate and construction Tier 2

F. J. & G. De Saram has a wide-ranging practice that advises on diverse areas such as property ownership and the creation of security over properties in addition to all types of commercial contracts and lease agreements. The team under the leadership of Manjula Ellepola is also well-regarded for its work on mixed development projects and condominiums, as well as the real estate aspects of M&A deals.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Their diligence and thoroughness specially for the purchase of real estate in Sri Lanka has been of invaluable help to me personally. They actually take care of everything and they leave no stone unturned to ensure that everything is in order. They are very diligent, which I think is a great help in the longer term. Manjula Ellepola is a seasoned professional. She knows the sector exceptionally well and she also enjoys an outstanding reputation in this category in the country. In fact it is believed that if she pursued a land/property purchase you can rest assured that there will not be anything overlooked‘.

‘Legal drafting of contracts, quality of professionals. Santhushi Wickremasinghe of FJ&G De Saram’.

We recognise FJ&G de Saram as one of the best firms engaged in real estate and construction practices. The team consists of well talented and experienced members‘.

Key clients

MAS Fabric Park (Private) Limited

Brandix Group

State Bank of India

Jetwing Hotels

Hayleys Group

Intrepid Group of Companies

Roshanthi Fernando

Ranil de Silva

Nations Trust Bank PLC

Indian Overseas Bank

Mr. JMS Brito

Aitken Spence PLC

Logiwiz Limited

Advantis Projects and Engineering Company (Private) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Aitken Spence plc by conducting a due diligence study of the real estate aspects of a company’s subsidiaries prior to an acquisition.
  • Advised Piramal India Private Limited by conducting a vendor’s due diligence study of the real estate aspects of company’s subsidiaries prior to the acquisition.
  • Regularly advises MAS Fabric Park (Private) Limited in the preparation of the Supplemental Agreements, Sub-Lease Agreements, and Cancellation of Lease/License Agreements pertaining to the properties in which the client conducts its business operations, attending to the execution thereof, and attending to the registration thereof at the relevant Land Registry.