Tiruchelvam Associates > Colombo, Sri Lanka > Firm Profile

Tiruchelvam Associates
116/10 ROSMEAD PLACE
COLOMBO 7
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Tiruchelvam Associates has extensive experience of advising local and foreign clients (both individuals and corporates) on a variety of deals such as capital market transactions and cross-border M&As. It is also recommended for its restructuring work and for its advice on foreign exchange transactions. ‘The team working with us is like an extended part of our own team ’ say clients. Asanka Abeysekera and Laila Nasry co-lead the team that is strong in the not-for-profits and start-up arenas as well. The group enjoys a close working relationship with the various local regulators such as the Registry of Companies and the Department of Foreign Exchange of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Testimonials

‘Key capabilities include sound subject knowledge and the fact that they can be relied upon to provide the appropriate advice at all times. As our company secretaries, we appreciate the fact that they have specialised partners/teams to handle any legal matter that arises. Their flexibility and availability outside office hours for urgent matters or simply for a bit of advice is much appreciated’.

‘Nirosha Peiris provides sound legal advice on a variety of matters and keeps track of our legal compliances as per Sri Lankan law. Her flexibility, friendliness, and availability is very much appreciated. She is very pleasant to work with and her opinion is very much respected and trusted. She certainly has our best interests at heart’.

‘Any team is as great as the people who make up the team. We have been very impressed by the personal commitment shown by all who we engaged with at TA. Nirosha Peiris has been most helpful, prompt and professional in all her dealings with our network in executing any work on our behalf ‘.

‘Very thorough. You always feel safe and that you are taken care of. Very knowledgeable. Positive and attentive . A very proactive and personable team who is extremely easy to work with’.

‘We are glad that we went to Tiruchelvam Associates as the complexity level of our requirement was very high and as a result, it needed expertise and research. We’ve found the expertise and professionalism at Tiruchelvam Associates to be exceptional. They always maintained clarity, paid personal attention to all details and walked the extra mile for us. We worked closely with Laila Nasry, Partner and Nirosha Peiris, Senior Associate in our matters. They both have strong eye for detail and maintain excellent documentation practices as well’.

‘ Nirosha and Adheeba are doing everything to make things possible and it is very pleasant to work with them. We are working together on collaborative documents and I am very satisfied with the final documents that have been created and submitted to the authorities for validation’.

‘The team has been very supportive and responsive. Plus, the relationship has been smooth and effective. Assigned individuals know the company and history and are very friendly, supportive and flexible. Namely, Heshika has been very supportive throughout’.

‘Efficiency and competency. Tiruchelvam Associates took over our corporate secretarial and legal matters about a year ago. Our regulatory compliance and governance have shown remarkable improvement since then. Robustness, accuracy, and clarity in their response. Nirosha Peiris and Laila are the lawyers with whom I work closely, and more with the former. She’s a no-nonsense lawyer’.

Key clients

Galadari Hotels (Lanka) PLC

Galadari Brothers LLC

Takeda Group of Companies

HCL Technologies

Sarvodaya Group of Companies

Global Payments Asia-Pacific Limited/ Global Payments Inc.

Novo Nordisk A/S

Heineken Lanka Limited

AH International

Cisco Systems Management B.V.

Industry Sector Councils

Women’s Fund Asia

Work highlights

  • Advising Takeda Group of Companies on entry into Sri Lanka’s heavily regulated pharma industry including setting up a presence in Sri Lanka subject to the restrictions on foreign ownership in the pharmaceuticals, on risks of being a minority shareholder and on minority protection rights.
  • Advised on a joint venture with one of Sri Lanka’s  logistics companies and a Singapore based Shipping Agency.
  • Represented Dahnay Logistics Lanka (Private) Limited at the Department of Foreign Exchange to regularise the foreign shareholders’ investment in respect of shares in the client.

Sri Lanka > Labour and employment Tier 1

Tiruchelvam Associates has a portfolio of local and multinational clients in the manufacturing, power and energy sectors as well as in other areas such as pharmaceutical, information technology and the service sectors. It is also adept at advising on the employment aspects of cross-border deals in relation to employee share option schemes and receives plaudits for its work in assisting clients on data protection matters. Ramani Muttettuwegama  leads the group that is equally adept at advising employers and employees, and is known for her trade union law expertise. Michael Paiva heads the immigration practice at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I worked with Heshika Rupasinghe and Ramani Muttettuwegema. They were very professional, corporative and experts in the field. Reponses were quick and they were very attentive at all times’.

‘We are happy with the support / advice received from Tiruchelvam, for the international client staff on hiring procedures and visa handling according to the local immigration compliances. I must say the advice we have received from the respective team was quite amazing. ’

‘Michael Paiva who has handled our account was available for any calls, and support’.

‘The team has been very supportive and responsive. Plus, the relationship has been smooth and effective’.

‘Assigned individuals know the company and history and are very friendly, supportive and flexible. Namely, Heshika Rupasinghe has been very supportive throughout’.

‘The expertise within the team is a main strength. The service provided is efficient, professional while maintaining good relationships. The expertise, professionalism and efficiency have been the notable qualities’.

Key clients

Studio M CMB (Pvt) Ltd

Hoist Support S L (Private) Limited

FAKHOURY GLOBAL IMMIGRATION

Work highlights

  • Reviewed the client’s templates of the offer letter and employment terms and conditions to ensure that they complied with local law.  
  • Advised the client on managing the employment remotely during the pandemic and the structuring of allowances from a labour and tax perspective.  
  • Advised on workforce restructuring as a part of the client’s global restructuring programme. Also advised the client on data protection and GDPR compliance from a Sri Lankan labour law perspective.  

Sri Lanka > Private client Tier 1

Tiruchelvam Associates has a diverse practice that frequently advises on uncontested testamentary related matters such as intestate succession, probate and the execution of notarial instruments. Under the leadership of Asanka Abeysekera and Laila Nasry, the first-class team also drafts deeds, wills and other agreements for high-net-worth clients. It also continues to be busy advising on the re-sealing of foreign probates.

Testimonials

‘The lawyers we dealt with to undertake the estate work, lease and sale of property were knowledgeable and thorough. As I live abroad they were invaluable in managing the sale process, especially during this COVID period. They worked in cooperation with the realtors to achieve excellent results’.

‘The lead lawyer was Asanka Abeysekera. We have been pleased with her work and expertise in the area of family law. When necessary she brought in lawyers to give us guidance’.

‘Tiruchelvam Associates has been providing me with legal services for some 20 years. They have provided a very professional and competent service and maintained a high standard of integrity. I have frequently sought their advice on legal issues as I value their experience and knowledge of Sri Lankan laws and processes‘.

‘I have always found the people who I communicate with at Tiruchelvam Associates to be cordial and responsive. They seem to value their clients and treat them with due regard to be able to respond to the client’s needs. I have frequently dealt with Asanka Abeysekara and value her experience and willing responses‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on the repatriation of funds in two diplomatic bank accounts in Colombo. The team  made representations on behalf of the client before the Department of Foreign Exchange (DFE) and was successful in negotiating and obtaining special permission from the DFE within a short span of time.
  • Advised the client on the most feasible structure to let out the resort for operations and management by a third party. The firm also drafted a Management Agreement to ensure that the clients’ interests are fully covered.
  • Continuing to represent the client in an action to re-seal foreign letters of administration that have been issued by the High Court of New Zealand, in respect of the estate of the late Asuramuni Silva.

Sri Lanka > Projects and energy Tier 1

Tiruchelvam Associates is known for its work in the energy sector and is led in this space by energy law specialist Laila Nasry. In addition it has an excellent working relationship with all regulators and receives plaudits for its work on PPP projects and for its advice on environmental legislation. Senior associate Nirosha Peiris also plays a pivotal role in major projects.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘We consulted Tiruchelvam Associates for their expertise and vast experience in the energy sector. We have found the team’s expertise and professionalism to be exceptional’.

‘Expertise and experience of Laila Nasry, partner in the energy sector were the key factors for us to consult Tiruchelvam Associates for our legal matters. She guided us through company due diligence, drafting several legal letters, regularising the foreign investment, RTI application process, CID process, arbitration process and similar. The precision of her work and her ability to foresee problems and react in a proactive manner were exceptional’.

Key clients

Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka

Fujisun (Pvt) Ltd

Takeda Group of Companies

Pidilite Lanka (Private) Limited

Work highlights

  • Commissioned by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka to draft guidelines on the shifting/removal of electric poles/lines on public roads
  • Advising Fujisun (Pvt) Ltd on the licensing, investment and disputes relating to a Solar Power Project.
  • Facilitating the entry of Takeda Groups’ newest vaccine into the Sri Lankan vaccines market .

Sri Lanka > Tax Tier 1

Tiruchelvam Associates advises an array of foreign and local clients on local and cross-border matters. It is well-versed in all aspects of direct and indirect tax and frequently advises corporates, not-for-profit entities and individuals. Ramani Muttettuwegama  is a key member of the department and has considerable niche expertise in advising not-for-profit organisations on various issues. The group is also well-equipped to advise overseas clients that have a corporate presence in Sri Lanka on double taxation issues and other matters such as the taxation of foreign employees.

Testimonials

‘Key capabilities include sound subject knowledge and the fact that they can be relied upon to provide the appropriate advice at all times. We appreciate the fact that they have specialised partners/teams to handle any legal matter that arises. Their flexibility and availability outside office hours for urgent matters or simply for a bit of advice is much appreciated. Also, appreciate the fact that they provide legal notes free of charge whenever a law is amended.’

‘Ramani Muttettuwegama provides sound legal advice on a variety of tax matters. Her approachability and friendliness even though she is a senior partner and availability via email, WhatsApp/Zoom as well as via telephone at any time is very much appreciated. She is very pleasant to work with and her opinion is very much respected and trusted. She certainly has our best interests at heart’.

TA has a  diverse team. The unique aspect about  the associates and partner at TA is that they always seek to develop relationships with their clients rather than treating clients on their matters on a case-by-case basis.  The keen approach of building relationships helps develop empathy towards clients which strongly supports effective, efficient, and sustainable results for client matters and client’s long-term solution seeking efforts. Ramani Muttettuwegama is one such partner who managed to build empathic relationships with her clients and guide her associates on the same path’.

Sri Lanka > Real estate and construction Tier 2

Tiruchelvam Associates has a busy real estate and conveyancing practice, which acts for both foreign and domestic clients. Asanka Abeysekera and her team handle property sales, leases and mortgage deals. The group also assists clients who live outside Sri Lanka by helping with any applications for special permission from the Central Bank to transfer funds overseas and by assisting clients with various applications for tax clearance certificates.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Personal approach, using technology in communications with the client and its diversity make Tiruchelvam Associates special. The partners & associates are very approachable via electronic media or via individual telephone services. They are very courteous and helpful – nothing is too much for them.’

‘I also need to mention that during the pandemic where travel restrictions were in place, I was unable to travel to Colombo to sign a lease agreement that they had prepared. They made sure that the Power of Attorney was drafted for me, organised to get me to sign it electronically and then got one their staff to take to the person who was given power of Attorney to sign the necessary documents without charging me extra and giving me confidence that matter was handled in a very professional and compassionate manner’.

‘The exceptional service and attention to detail. They go over and above to make sure that my work gets the best possible attention’.

‘Asanka Abeysekera is a true legal superstar. She has helped me countless times, and is one of the most careful, knowledgeable and helpful people I have ever met’.

‘They are very collaborative and capable. The client is very free to raise any question at any time with the firm. Always they are going with new technology and diversity. Each and every individual who I had to contact was very capable. I have bothered them many times to explain the same thing to me. But they replied to me in the same manner without any argument‘.

Key clients

CARE FOR EDUCATION

MITSUI & CO. LTD

GALADARIHOTELS (LANKA) PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on the construction aspects of the expansion of its Sri Lankan factory.
  • Advised Care for Education (a not for profit subsidiary of a US based agency) on receiving immovable properties situated in Sri Lanka which involved examining the restrictions on land ownership by non-Sri Lankans.
  • Advised the client on a condominium unit that was purchased by the client by paying full consideration, to enter into a sale and purchase Agreement with the developer as the mortgage on the property is yet to be relieved by the bank.

Sri Lanka > Banking and finance Tier 3

The banking and finance department at Tiruchelvam Associates is overseen by firm managing partner Ramani Muttettuwegama . The group advises on various local banking regulations and licensing requirements and regularly liaises with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Department of Foreign Exchange. It also boasts significant experience in e-commerce matters and has noticed increased work in the fintech on digital payments and data protection, as well as on cyber security issues. Other names to note include senior associate Nirosha Peiris.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

  • Advised on several fin – tech products the client sought to launch from a Sri Lankan regulatory perspective. Provided general advice on digital payments and navigating the licensing and regulatory payment and settlement landscape in Sri Lanka.
  • Advised a bank on the limits of activities for the client’s representatives in Sri Lanka in the absence of a registered presence there. The advice also included an immigration component.
  • Assisted the client in making a complex special application to the Department of Foreign Exchange.

Sri Lanka > Dispute resolution Tier 3

Tiruchelvam Associates has an agile team that handles all aspects of litigation from advising on how to resolve potential disputes to representing clients in court. The team covers a broad array of matters from family disputes to commercial litigation, and is also well-regarded for its work in corporate investigations, private client litigation and handling whistleblowing claims. Laila Nasry  heads the department. Ayendra Wickremesekera is another prominent member of the group who is vastly experienced in handling a sizeable caseload of  difficult cases and is particularly skilled at advising on labour law cases.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team takes good time to collect the needed input and the necessary details to come up with the correct next step/action. The lawyers care about the tiny details in order to ensure that no gaps are left. Professionalism in every and each step‘.

‘The team worked well together, coordinated its work well and delivered a good product within the agreed time. Laila Nasry is very service-orientated, works well in English and had a good, solution-orientated approach‘.

Key clients

ITCA Global Services B.V.

Srikantha Motors

Dilini Gunatilleke

Sarvodaya Sustainable Economic Enterprise Development Limited

Galadari Hotel (Lanka) PLC

Work highlights

  • Acted for a leading global manufacturing conglomerate in carrying out a legal investigation to inquire into a complaint received from an employee of the Sri Lankan subsidiary of the client, alleging financial fraud committed by the senior management of the said subsidiary, in relation to the procurement of goods and services.
  • Advised a private client on the best course of action to pursue in instituting legal action against a leading blue-chip company in Sri Lanka, which is the owner of a top hotel chain, due to whose negligence the client suffered life threatening personal injury.
  • Successfully negotiated and settled a potential dispute between the client ( ITCA Global B.V. – a global watchdog for software licensing compliance) and an international construction company carrying out foreign sponsored government projects and that was involved in software piracy and software licensing infringement.

Sri Lanka > Intellectual property Tier 4

Tiruchelvam Associates handles all aspects of intellectual property matters from trademarks, design and patent filings to prosecutions, enforcement and opposition actions. It is retained by a number of significant multinational clients and regularly conducts detailed due diligence exercises as well as negotiating licensing agreements and assignments for these clients. The group is well-equipped to handle all aspects of disputes relating to IP infringements. Ramani Muttettuwegama  and Michael Paiva co-lead the dynamic team, which has been increasingly appearing before the Intellectual Property Office in matters relating to the tea, coffee and pharmaceutical sectors.

Testimonials

‘Great firm; great team. Very responsive and professional’.

‘They are responsive and are our ‘go-to’ team for intellectual property matters in Sri Lanka’.

‘Michael Paiva is a responsible person overseeing the matters that we entrust them with’.

‘The firm surely has a deep knowledge and expertise about intellectual property practice in the country, including recent updates. Mr. Michael Paiva always proactively updates us on the work in progress, also on the recent situations in the country that may impact on our interests‘.

 

Key clients

FARMAPATENT LTD. ŞTI

JK MARCAM LLP

SULLIVAN IP SOLUTIONS

HEALTHNET INTERNATIONAL (PVT) LTD.

SARVODAYA SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT LIMITED

EBEYONDS (PVT) LTD

SYNAPSYS LTD.

Work highlights

  • Represented an entity with major stakeholders in the construction industry of Sri Lanka (including major investors from foreign jurisdictions engaged in foreign sponsored governmental projects) in order to successfully enforce the licensor’s IP rights.
  • Drafted an IT software as a service (SaaS) agreement for the client relating to the licensing of one of its key ecommerce solutions and associated intellectual property to its clients.
  • Representing the client in safeguarding several of its trademarks relating to vaccines in Sri Lanka.

The firm: Tiruchelvam Associates was established in 1982, by Dr Neelan Tiruchelvam PC and Sithie Tiruchelvam. It developed from the chambers of former senator, minister and solicitor-general of Sri Lanka, M Tiruchelvam KC. Dr Neelan Tiruchelvam was a scholar, an internationally recognised constitutional lawyer, a member of parliament and a visiting professor at Harvard Law. Dr Tiruchelvam’s constitution making skills were renowned, and he assisted in the drafting of several constitutions of Central Asian countries and also post-conflict Ethiopia.

Since 1999, Sithie Tiruchelvam has led the firm as precedent partner. Her expertise includes representing foreign and domestic multinationals in corporate and commercial transactions. She served on the board of John Keels Holdings, one of three blue chip companies in Sri Lanka as a non-executive director and has played a pivotal role in some of Sri Lanka’s most ground-breaking investment ventures. Sithie was renowned for her contributions to the field of human rights and has served on the boards of several non-profit organisations.

The firm is now led by three partners, Asanka Abeyesekera, Ramani Muttettuwegama and Laila Nasry.

Asanka heads the corporate affairs and real estate divisions of the firm. Her expertise in investment law stems from her initial work with Sri Lanka’s first investment regulator (the Greater Colombo Economic Commission, the Board of Investment’s predecessor). Coupled with her experience as vice president – legal for the Vanik group, at that time Sri Lanka’s premier investment banking group.

Ramani is the managing partner of the firm. Specialising in IT and telecom law, she also supervises the employment, immigration and intellectual property divisions of the firm. Her extensive background in human rights makes her a skilled negotiator and she is TA’s key representative with regulators.

Laila leads the litigation and arbitration practice of the firm and also manages much of the mergers and acquisition work of the firm including commercial contracts. She joined the firm after managing a considerable portfolio at the Attorney General’s department of Sri Lanka and is an expert on laws and regulations on energy and natural resources, often requested for expert legal advice by Sri Lanka’s leading energy experts. Laila’s work with the AG’s department has given her much expertise on infrastructure and development related projects and she advises on multi faceted projects. Laila, also advises many of the firm’s clients engaged in the global healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.

Areas of practice: The firm provides a broad spectrum of services which range from corporate and commercial practice encompassing advisory services, intellectual property, real estate and conveyancing, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. The firm’s corporate secretarial arm, Central Corporate and Consultancy Services (Private) Limited, provides services to corporate clients in all stages of their business life, from incorporation to liquidation. The firm frequently counsels multinational investors and corporate clients both local and foreign in a variety of industries and businesses, including but not limited to, the banking and finance sector, power and energy, telecommunications, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, information technology, tourism, immigration, intellectual property, taxation and infrastructure development.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Corporate/M&A Ramani Muttettuwegamarmuttettuwegama@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Corporate/M&A Laila Nasrylnasry@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Corporate Finance & Banking Ramani Muttettuwegamarmuttettuwegama@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Corporate Finance & Banking Asanka Abeysekeraaabeysekera@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Power & Energy Laila Nasrylnasry@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Telecommunications & ICT Ramani Muttettuwegamarmuttettuwegama@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Corporate Secreterial Asanka Abeysekeraaabeysekera@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Corporate Secreterial Nirosha Peirisnpeiris@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Corporate Secreterial Heshika Rupasinghehrupasinghe@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Real Estate & Conveyancing Asanka Abeysekeraaabeysekera@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Real Estate & Conveyancing Volya Siriwardanavsiriwardana@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Litigation and ADR Laila Nasrylnasry@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Litigation and ADR Ayendra Wickremesekeraawickremesekera@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Litigation and ADR Abirami Nithiananthananithiananthan@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Intellectual Property Michael Paivaapaiva@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Intellectual Property Thuwaraka Ganeshantganeshan@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Immigration Ramani Muttettuwegamarmuttettuwegama@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Immigration Michael Paivaapaiva@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Taxation Ramani Muttettuwegamarmuttettuwegama@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Taxation Abirami Nithiananthananithiananthan@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Employment& Labour Ramani Muttettuwegamarmuttettuwegama@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Employment & Labour Thuwaraka Ganeshantganeshan@tiruchelvam.com+94-11-2690037, 2698110, 2686019
Number of lawyers : 12
English
Sinhala
Tamil
IPBA
BASL
TRACE International
American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka
Managing Partner : Ramani Muttettuwegama
Partner : Laila Nasry
Partner : Asanka Abeysekera