Firm Profile > Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) > Colombo, Sri Lanka

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan)
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka > Labour and employment Tier 1

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) advises on the full array of labour and employment matters and is regularly instructed by major corporate clients on various regulatory, advisory and contentious matters. It routinely advises on the unlawful termination of employment and also advises on trade union negotiations, workforce reduction exercises as well as employee transfer programmes in the aftermath of corporate restructurings. The practice with Pranavan Neelakandan, Saravanan Neelakandan and Janani Rajeswara at the helm has also been busy advising on voluntary resignation schemes, maternity benefits in addition to other areas such as probation periods. The nimble team frequently represents clients too before the labour department, labour tribunal and in court proceedings.

Key clients

First Capital PLC

United Tractor & Equipment (Private) Limited

The Design Group Five International (Private) Limited

VFS Lanka (Private) Limited

Lanka Hotels & Residencies (Private) Limited

Taisei Corporation of Japan

Neeyamo Inc. (U.S.)

Findmyfare (Private) Limited

Xinda Lanka (Private) Limited

Usha International Limited

Kuwait Airways

British Airways

Foysonis (Private) Limited

Gestetner of Ceylon PLC

CINEC Maritime Campus

Sri Lanka > Private client Tier 2

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) advises individuals, family groups, foundations and trustees on wills and probates as well as on intestate succession and estate management. Other areas of expertise include advising on the re-sealing of foreign probates as well as acting for a number of trusts including some charitable trusts. The department that is headed by Sashidevi Neelakandan , Janani Rajeswara and Sivananthavalli ThuraRaja continues to act for several clients in various contentious and testamentary matters such as advising on pleadings and representing clients at court. The practice also frequently assists foreign clients and non-resident Sri Lankans on matters involving the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Key clients

CANE Trust

Raising Sun Trust

Sivapoomi Trust

Oxonian Heart Foundation

Sri Lanka > Projects and energy Tier 2

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) continues to advise national and foreign clients on various large scale development projects, joint ventures, private-public partnerships and BOOT projects. It is skilled at advising on syndicated loans and all contracts relating to power projects. The practice has recently been active in advising on the shift towards renewable energy (especially wind power generation). Saravanan Neelakandan, Pranavan Neelakandan and Janani Rajeswara are the names to note.

Key clients

International Finance Corporate


Asian Development Bank

AES Corporation

WindForce (Pvt) Ltd

PowerGen Lanka (Pvt) Ltd

Hayleys PLC

Nirmalapura Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd

Serendib Flour Mills

China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (China)

Lanka Hotels & Residencies (Private) Limited NoTaisei Corporation of Japan

China National Technical Import & Export Corporation

Keangnam Corporation of Korea

Mustafa Group of Singapore

The Design Group Five International (Private) Limited

Sri Lanka > Real estate and construction Tier 2

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) has a broad practice that is well-equipped to advise on both real estate and construction transactional matters for many developers, landowners and purchasers  and on all aspects of condominium law, deeds of transfer and registrations of title. It also represents clients before the Land Acquisition Board of Review as well as any appeals of such decisions. The first-class team is adept at advising clients on any restrictions on foreign ownership as well as advising clients on other property matters as they arise during testamentary proceedings and any property-related trust issues. It routinely advises companies on commercial and retail leasing and on construction matters. Sashidevi Neelakandan and Saravanan Neelakandan are among the names to note.

Key clients

The Design Group Five International (Private) Limited

Taisei Corporation of Japan

China National Technical Import & Export Corporation

Keangnam Corporation of Korea

L&T Construction

Dunamis Capital PLC

Nextventures Limited

Kelsey Homes (Private) Limited

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC

Lanka Hotels and Residencies (Private) Limited

Steradian Capital Investments

Mustafa Group of Singapore

Elisabeth Moir School

Sri Lanka > Shipping Tier 2

With Pranavan Neelakandan at the helm at Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) the team continues to advise international shipping companies, ship owners, charterers and P&I Clubs on a broad range of contentious matters. Such disputes are frequently cross-border and relate to issues such as cargo claims, ship mortgage enforcement actions and vessel arrests. The practice is adept too at advising on the purchase, appraisement, sale and the registration of vessels. In addition it frequently works with some international law firms on shipping matters.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Hindage Oilfield Services Limited

Ocean Connect Marine Inc

DVB Bank (London)


National Bank of Fujairah

Sri Lanka > Tax Tier 2

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) frequently advises domestic and international clients on tax structuring, direct and indirect tax as well as on double taxation issues. The agile team is adept too at advising clients on special exemptions that are granted by the regulatory authorities. In addition it routinely advises clients on the structuring of foreign direct investments in Sri Lanka. The team has also got substantial experience of representing clients in tax appeals before the Court of Appeal. Heads of  department Saravanan Neelakandan and Pranavan Neelakandan are the names to note.

Key clients

First Capital Treasuries Limited

Taisei Corporation (International) of Tokyo

Berendina Stichting Trust

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC

Acuity Partners (Private) Limited

Orient Finance PLC

IWS Investment (Private) Limited

Malwatte Valley Plantation PLC

Softlogic Life Insurance PLC

Illukkumbura Industrial Automation (Private) Limited

Commercial Credit and Finance PLC

Natwealth Securities (Private) Limited

Sri Lanka > Banking and finance Tier 3

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) has been busy advising banking syndicates comprising leading local and international banks on many financing arrangements for infrastructure projects and power projects in particular. Key areas of expertise include debt structuring, loan agreements, trade financing and banking regulations as well as Islamic financing. Saravanan Neelakandan and Pranavan Neelakandan are at the helm.

Key clients

Citibank N.A.

American Express Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Public Bank Berhad

National Savings Bank

Indian Overseas Bank

First Capital PLC

Arpico Finance PLC

Orient Finance PLC

Shinhan Bank of Korea

World Bank

NXT Capital LLC

Credit Suisse (USA)

Qatar National Bank (Singapore)

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Sri Lanka > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) advises numerous foreign clients on the formation of joint venture companies and offshore companies and also advises a multitude of companies on matters relating to the SEC regulations, the Colombo Stock Exchange Listing Rules and other matters relating to the issue of new shares and debentures. It frequently acts as local counsel on large multi-jurisdictional matters alongside international law firms and maintains a close working relationship with various key bodies in the country such as the Registrar of Companies and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. Saravanan Neelakandan, Janani Rajeswara and Pranavan Neelakandan head the department.

Key clients

First Capital PLC

Dunamis Capital PLC

Allianz Insurance Lanka Ltd

Allianz Life Insurance Lanka Ltd

Allianz SE of Germany

Autogrill Espana S.A

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC

United Tractor & Equipment (Private) Limited

The Design Group Five International (Private) Limited

VFS Lanka (Private) Limited

Lanka Hotels & Residencies (Private) Limited

LankaClear (Private) Limited

CleanCo Lanka Limited

Tata Communications Group

Samsung C&T Corporation

ODLO International AG


Smith & Nephew PLC

Usha International Limited

Sri Lanka > Dispute resolution Tier 3

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) has an active team that advises a number of Sri Lankan listed companies and global conglomerates on a wide range of disputes from the District Court and tribunals through to the Supreme Court. It handles all aspects of disputes from civil, commercial and appellate litigation and also has expertise in international arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards as well as admiralty and shipping disputes. Under the leadership of Pranavan Neelakandan and  Saravanan Neelakandan the group is skilled too at advising clients on resolving disputes with the Government. The practice is also known for its representation of listed companies in several writ applications in environmental matters and other disputes over pricing regulations.

Key clients


Panasonic Corporation

Research in Motion

Marriott Worldwide Corporation

Cargill Incorporated

Tramontina SA

St. Gobain Abrasives Limited

CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

First Capital PLC

United Tractor & Equipment (Private) Limited

The Design Group Five International (Private) Limited

Hindage Oilfield Services Limited

Taisei Corporation of Japan

Ceylon Steel Corporation

China National Technical and Import Corporation of China

Keangnam Enterprises Limited

Nextventures Limited

Public Bank Berhad

Mobitel (Private) Limited

Arpico Finance PLC

Resus Energy (Private) Limited

Findmyfare (Private) Limited

Gestetner of Ceylon PLC

Phil East Asia Construction Limited

Adamjee Lukmanjee Estates (Private) Limited

Hemas Pharmaceuticals (Private) Limited

Darshan International (Private) Limited

Built Element Limited

CINEC Maritime Campus

SMI Coated Products (Private) Limited

Lanka Reality Leisure (Private) Limited

Cinemas Limited

Kelsey Homes (Private) Limited

Lalan Rubbers (Private) Limited

Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry


Sri Lanka > Intellectual property Tier 3

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) has a strong track record in contentious and non-contentious IP matters and continues to handle a large volume of trademark, industrial design and patent applications for a number of local and foreign clients (including some Fortune 500 multinational companies). The diverse practice is adept at advising on the protection and transfer of IP rights following a corporate restructuring and is also skilled at advising on IP litigation. In addition the team receives a regular stream of instructions from several major international law firms. Heads of team Pranavan Neelakandan and Sivananthavalli ThuraRaja are key figures in the market.

Key clients

Rolls-Royce PLC

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited


Audi AG

Volkswagen AG


Bugatti International SA

Ferrari SPA

Automobili Lamborghini SPA

Honda Motor Company

Yamaha Corporation

Suzuki Corporation

Kawasaki Corporation

Nissan Corporation

Datsun NoKia Motor Corporation

Hyundai Motor Company

Toyota Financial Services Corporation

Kubota Corporation

JCB Corporation

Caterpillar Inc

Konecranes Global Corporation


Research in Motion

Panasonic Corporation

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Samsung Electronics

LG Electronics

Canon Corporation

Nikon Corporation

Fujifilm Corporation


Marriott Worldwide Corporation

Sheraton International IP LLC

Hilton Worldwide

Ritz Carlton Hotel Company

Steigenberger Hotels AG

Hard Rock Cafe

Movenpick Holdings AG

Virgin Enterprises Limited


Standard Chartered Bank

DBS Bank

Deutsche Bank AG

Deutsche Telekom

Cargill Incorporated

Nando’s Limited

Kraft Food

Sunkist Growers Inc

Tramontina SA

Visa International

American Express

Emirates Airlines

Qantas Airways

Air China

Akzo Noble Coatings International BV

Asian Paints

Hafele GmbH


Basf SE


Hermes International

NGB Corporation

NSK Limited

YKK Group

Philip Morris Products SA

Staedtler GmbH

Monami Co. Ltd

Grunenthal GmbH

Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited

Sun Pharmaceutical

USV Pharmaceutical



Schneider Electric



HEAD Technology GmbH

Tesco Store Limited

United Biscuits (UK) Limited



Levi Strauss

Giorgio Armani SPA

Abercrombie & Fitch Europe SA

Asos PLC

Geox SPA

Klipsch Group Inc

Seagate Technology LLC

St. Gobain Abrasives Limited

CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC

Ceylon Biscuits

Finlays Colombo Limited

Himalaya Herbals

United Breweries

TNT Express

Armani Exchange

VFS Global Services

Macmillan Publishers

University of Cambridge


Bremont Watches

Shinsegae International

Yupo Coporation

China Central Television

Pigeon Corporation

Neelakandan & Neelakandan (formerly Murugesu & Neelakandan) is one of the leading and oldest full-service law firms in Sri Lanka and has been in practice for almost 60 years.

The Firm was founded in 1962 by late Mr. Velupillai Murugesu, and built to be recognised as one of the most efficient and leading professional law firms of an international repute by late Mr. Kandiah Neelakandan.

The Firm has been satisfying its foreign and local clients with its dynamic approach and high calibre expertise. During almost six decades, the Firm has built a reputation for meeting its clients’ needs without compromising ethics, integrity and professionalism.

Neelakandan & Neelakandan is a member of Meritas, one of the world’s largest alliances of prequalified independent law firms and the local correspondent firm for Allen & Over LLP.

Currently our Firm consists of the following four Partners:

  1. Sashidevi Neelakandan, Attorney-at-Law, is the Precedent Partner who has been in practice for over 40 years;
  2. Pranavan Neelakandan, Attorney-at-Law, who has been in practice for over 10 years; is a Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and a graduate of Durham University, UK.
  3. S. ThuraiRajah, Attorney-at-Law, who has been in practice for over 50 years; is an Attorney-at-Law, Solicitor of England & Wales and Head of Intellectual Property; and
  4. Janani Rajeswara, who has been in practice for over 15 years, is a Solicitor & Barrister of New South Wales, Australia, a Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and a graduate of Durham University, UK.
  • Our Firm also consists of three Legal Counsel:
  1. Thishya Weragoda, Attorney-at-Law who counts over thirteen years of practice as a private Counsel in several fields including commercial, intellectual property law, fundamental rights, administrative law and property law, in both original and appellate Courts.
  2. Pulasthi Rupasinha, Attorney-at-Law who counts over nine years of practice as a private Counsel practising corporate and commercial law, intellectual property law, administrative and public law, employment law and law of arbitration etc.
  3. Maithreyi Rajasingam, Attorney-at-Law and Barrister-at-Law (Lincoln’s Inn) who counts over six years of practice as a private Counsel practising commercial law, intellectual property law and administrative and public law, amongst other fields

Firm was involved in almost all the leading power projects in Sri Lanka. The Firm acted for the senior lenders IFC, CDC and DEG in the Asia Power Project. The Firm acted for the syndicate of six banks which financed two power projects of Aitken Spence and also advised AES Kelanitissa in their 168 MW power project.

The Firm has acted for a number of leading banks in Colombo in various matters related to banking, including American Express Bank, Citi Bank NA, Habib Bank AG Zurich, Shinhan Bank of Korea, CIMB Investment Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Union Bank of Colombo PLC, Hatton National Bank PLC and Commercial Bank PLC. It acted for Emirates Bank International when it divested its interests in its Colombo branch to the Hatton National Bank.

The Firm has advised the World Bank in updating its Global Insolvency Database (GILD) in respect of Sri Lanka Insolvency and Creditor Rights.
The firm advised Nations Trust Bank which took over the business of Overseas Trust Bank branch in Colombo. The Firm’s services were also sought by Standard Chartered Bank in its integration of Standard Grindlays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank in Colombo. The Firm advised the American Express Bank on divesting of its commercial banking and foreign exchange services to Nations Trust Bank, and continues to advise American Express Bank on its operations in Sri Lanka.

The Firm advised LankaClear the National Clearing House, in connection with the Inter-Bank Payment Switch and the Cheque Imaging, Truncation System and also advised Allianz Insurance Lanka Limited and Allianz SE on the formation of its life insurance company, Allianz Life Insurance Lanka Limited.

The Firm advised Next PLC in its global restructuring of its business including the takeover of NV Manufacturing Limited and advised Debenhams PLC in connection with franchising arrangements in Sri Lanka and Samsung C&T Corporation, on its potential entry into the Sri Lankan market and on all matters relating to local laws.

The Firm is also acting for two of the main contractors of the US$741m
Southern Transport Development Project for construction of the southern
expressway and advising a contractor in the Outer Circular Highway Project.

The Firm continues to advise Keangnam Corporation of Korea Condominium
Development Project and is also advising a foreign client which is constructing a five star hotel in Colombo and is also advising various clients on tourism hotel projects throughout the country.

The Firm advises clients on large scale infrastructure projects including two foreign contractors of the Southern Transport Development Project.

The Firm continues to handle a large volume of trademark, industrial design and patent applications for a number of local, as well as foreign clients (including fortune 500 companies), including Rolls-Royce, BMW, Google, Citibank, Marriott, Research in Motion, Samsung, Hilton Worldwide, Audi AG, Panasonic, LG, Hyundai, Levi Strauss, Debenhams, ICI Paints Akzonobel, Visa International, Staedtler, TVS, Kraft, Hermes International and Victoria’s Secret.

The Firm also advised Google Inc on illegal registrations of its domain name. The Firm has also been advising clients in infringement of trademark and related litigation and continues to act for Marriott and BMW in a trademark/tradename infringement matters.

The Dispute Resolution practice of the Firm covers, civil, commercial and appellate litigation arising from a range of matters including contractual disputes, professional negligence, defamation claims, environmental issues, debt recovery, intellectual property infringement & unfair competition, insolvency proceedings, trust disputes, property disputes and appeals. The Firm also has expertise in international arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards, Admiralty and shipping and handle pre-litigation negotiations.

The Firm advises domestic and international clients on tax structuring, appeals, direct and indirect tax, double taxation and special exemptions granted by regulatory authorities and also advise on structuring foreign direct investments into Sri Lanka.

The Firm handles a range of real estate and construction transactional work and advise many developers, landowners and purchasers on condominium law, deeds of transfer and registration of instruments of title.

The Firm has a full-scope employment practice which is regularly instructed by household-name corporates on regulatory, advisory and dispute resolution mandates and has strong experience with matters with both contentious and non-contentious labour matters.

The Firm continues to advise international shipping companies, ship owners, charterers and P&I clubs in contentious matters; cross-border disputes, relating to cargo claims, ship mortgage enforcement, vessel arrests and maritime litigation.

The Firm also advised and acts for Clients in testamentary proceedings and trust matters relating to property.



Department Name Email Telephone
Admiralty and shipping
Banking and finance
Civil litigation
Conveyancing/real estate
Customs and exchange control
Debt recovery
Dispute resolution
Due diligence
Energy/power projects
Foreign investment
Intellectual property
Infrastructure and project finance
Insolvency/corporate restructuring
International trade
Joint ventures
Labour and employment
Mergers and acquisitions
Syndicated loans and structured finance
Telecommunications and IT
Total number of lawyers : 15
Partners : 4
Legal Counsel : 3
Associates : 8
a worldwide network of independent law firms covering more than 100 countries; exclusive member of Meritas.
Contacts : S Neelakandan (
Contacts : P Neelakandan (
Contacts : J Rajeswara (
Contacts : S ThuraiRaja (