Nithya Partners > Colombo, Sri Lanka > Firm Profile

Nithya Partners
NO 97A, GALLE ROAD
COLOMBO 03
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka > Banking and finance Tier 1

Nithya Partners has a strong banking and finance practice that continues to be active in a number of large transactions. The group is particularly skilled at handling international loan transactions and debt issuances by corporate entities and the Government of Sri Lanka. Naomal Goonewardena leads the department, which regularly advises overseas banking entities on their debt financing and on their proposals to enter the local market.  n addition the group is recommended for its experience in international bond offerings and other areas such as syndicated loans, derivatives and asset backed financing as well as regulatory and compliance issues.  It also garners praise for its work on Islamic financing. Newly-promoted partner Peshala Attygalle is another known name for her work on cross-border debt transactions, project financing and banking regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Solutions are provided in a flexible manner while complying with the court of law requirements. The partners of the firm are efficient in providing solutions for international advisory services for cross-border agreements as well’.

‘Peshala Attygalle has good communication skills. She is a very good listener, able to orally articulate very good responses, also has very good written communication skills. She understands the situation well by listening, has the ability to draw reasonable and logical conclusions from the limited information that is provided. She has very good analytical skills, the ability to research information quickly and efficiently while preparing solutions for us. She is also able to understand the head office and the Sri Lankan law requirements and recommend solutions to meet all parties on a best effort basis’.

 

Key clients

Citibank N.A.

Sampath Bank PLC

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

Bank of China Limited

China Development Bank

Seylan Bank PLC

DFCC Bank PLC

Citizens Development Finance PLC

Softlogic Finance PLC

Commercial Leasing and Finance PLC

Work highlights

  • Acted as the legal counsel for the syndicated lenders in connection with a syndicated loan of Sri Lankan Rupees 6bn that was granted to Nations Trust Bank PLC with Hatton National Bank PLC acting as Agent.
  • Acted as the local legal counsel to China Development Bank in relation to a Renminbi 2bn  term loan facility to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka represented by The Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development.
  • Reviewing and updating the legal documentation for SAARC Development Fund for lending into Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Nithya Partners fields a knowledgeable and a 'strong M&A' team that handles the full range of corporate and commercial matters. It also garners praise for its equity capital markets expertise, frequently advising on IPOs, rights issues and the issuance of debentures. Under the joint leadership of Arittha R Wikramanayake  and Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga , the dynamic practice handles a diverse range of financial transactions and large mergers and acquisitions. In addition it is skilled at advising clients on foreign direct investment and exchange control matters. The group has a diverse portfolio of local and international clients including some of Sri Lanka's largest businesses.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A dynamic and capable team at Nithya Partners provides excellent support, adds value and provides a responsive service to our company. They have significant market penetration on behalf of domestic and international corporates which it advises on day-to-day operational commercial needs and on M&A transactions. The firm strives to ensure that its clients’ legal needs receive their due attention and timely advice‘.

‘Arittha Wikramanayake has participated in an advisory and representative capacity in drafting company agreements, contracts and advice on Securities Exchange. Also good at advising on all aspects of law relating to immovable property, litigation & dispute resolution and all forms of investments. Also I would like to mention Nirusha Ratnatunga who has delivered excellent support services‘.

‘Nithya Partners is by far the best in corporate M&A in Sri Lanka. The practice headed by Arittha Wickramanayake does a phenomenal job in doing so‘.

‘Arittha Wickramanayake – always gives fantastic advice for his clients which is extremely non-biased. Furthermore, the advice given is always in the best interests in the client. Dathika Wickramanayake – has excellent attention to detail with his work and is always extremely prompt with his responses. Furthermore, his analytical ability to solve a problem is much appreciated‘.

‘The partners and associates are very thorough and quick, always having the best interest of the client. Further, they are easily accessible which is most important.

Key clients

The Blackstone Group

Hirdaramani Investments Holdings (Private) Limited

Softlogic Holdings PLC

Orel Corporation (Private) Limited

Digital Mobility Solutions Lanka (Private) Limited

Union Bank of Colombo PLC

Renuka Capital PLC

Sunshine Holdings PLC

CIC Holdings PLC

D Samson Industries (Private) Limited

Ideal Industries (Private) Limited

Tempest P E Partners (Private) Limited

Ironwood Capital Partners

Hemas Holdings PLC

Moot Investment (Private) Limited

Capital Alliance Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as local advisors to the Blackstone Group on its acquisition of a majority stake in Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC through an SPV, PGP Glass Private Limited, as part of its global acquisition of the Piramal Group. This involved conducting a legal due diligence audit into Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC, advising the client on structuring the transaction in accordance with local securities laws and, thereafter, on conducting its open offer process under and in compliance with the Company’s Takeover and Mergers Code as well as liaising with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Colombo Stock Exchange on its behalf.
  • Advised Hirdaramani Investments Holdings (Private) Limited on the sale of an IT company, H One (Private) Limited to Dialog Broadband Networks (Private) Limited. The transaction was important for the reason that it was a sale of a subsidiary of the client, which is primarily a family-owned company, to a large investor in the country. Hence, being advisors to the seller, the team was required to guide the client through all aspects of the sale, providing them with detailed assurances on the transactional documentation.
  • Advised Sunshine Holdings PLC on the restructuring of its operations in the pharmaceutical business with another leading player in the said business, i.e. Akbar Pharmaceutical (Private) Limited. The restructure involved a merger of the two entities by an exchange of shares and a partial cash payment. The transaction was preceded by due diligences and other pre-transactional processes for which the firm was the sole legal advisor.

Sri Lanka > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Nithya Partners has a nimble team that specialises in all aspects of corporate and commercial litigation as well as banking and financial, infrastructure and project-related disputes. The team, which handles much of its own advocacy, also has particular expertise in telecommunications cases and IP-related disputes. It is also adept at handling complex consumer and customs litigation. Chanaka de Silva PC is a well-respected practitioner is notable in both litigation and international arbitration, and Aruna Samarajewa  also has a broad practice and handles a wide range of civil and commercial litigation matters as well as commercial arbitrations. The firm acts for a number of notable banks and energy companies, among others.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The dispute resolution team at Nithya Partners is versatile with its advice and approach to problem solving. The lawyers bring in a multidisciplinary perspective which is a great value addition at the strategy and negotiation stage. Chanaka De Silva PC is extremely detail oriented and hands on in the drafting process. His unique selling point is guiding and advising the client through the process‘.

‘A key strength is the business orientated solutions and practical advice rendered. Can always be reached for an urgent matter and response is very quick/immediate. The team is able to draw on the expertise of other practice groups within the firm as and when required‘.

‘Chanaka De Silva PC has criminal, civil and commercial law background and experience and is able to draw on this when rendering advice. Has good communication skills and is able to explain legal concepts simply to non-lawyers and commercial teams. Clients value the advice rendered, as well as the fact that he is available for quick advice and legal support when urgent matters arise‘.

‘Team members are friendly and approachable and also use advanced technology to liaise with the clients. Partners are knowledgeable and well experienced in their own areas of laws. They are also amicable in nature and approachable. Provide practical legal solutions for the problems in hand‘.

‘Nithya Partners is unique – it has a practical approach, client centric, adds value, easy accessibility, provides an exceptional service. Team has diverse skills and competencies coupled with ‘hands on’ experience and value added services. Partners of the firm are multi-disciplinary and there are reasonable charge out rates and no hidden costs and no surprises. Uses the latest technology in the practice. I have personally experienced how the Partners argue cases and how forceful and focused they are in giving the value added service to their clients’.

‘The partners are well experienced in their field and are able to offer practical advice. Aruna Samarajeewa is extremely helpful and assists with many of the queries even at short notice amidst his busy schedule which is a quality we value greatly’.

‘A very professional approach is taken in analysing the matter in hand and the response to the relevant claims. Understands the industry well. Charges are reasonable. Understands the industry. Very systematic approach. There is a two way communication. Sachintha Kahandage is a notable senior associate‘.

Key clients

Sri Lanka Telecom PLC

Richard Pieris & Company PLC

Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka & Finance PLC

CCL Pharmaceuticals (Pvt.) Limited – Pakistan

Vidullanka PLC

Lakdhanavi Limited

Asiri Hospitals Holdings PLC

Strategic Insurance Brokers (Pvt.) Ltd

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka

Bartleet Religare Securities (Pvt.) Limited

Renuka Capital PLC

Tudawe Brothers (Pvt.) Limited

Work highlights

  • Represents Tudawe Brothers (Private) Limited, a joint-venture partner of the consortium constructing Phase II of the Central Expressway. in a dispute concerning the joint venture partners and the project employer; the Road Development Authority of Sri Lanka. The Central Expressway Project is a highly publicised project in Sri Lanka, as it is meant to create a gateway to the Central and Northern regions of the country.
  • Chanaka de Silva PC is representing the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in a Fundamental Rights Application in the Supreme Court, on the issue of whether the practice of law in Sri Lanka could be conducted by persons not registered as Attorneys-at-Law by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, through a corporate entity incorporated by foreign parties.
  • Represented the Solicitor General of Sri Lanka in a Commission of Inquiry established by the President of Sri Lanka, in which she was named a respondent, and subsequently representing her  in the Fundamental Rights action filed, challenging the findings of the said Commission.

Sri Lanka > Projects and energy Tier 1

Nithya Partners is renowned for its expertise in all aspects of project finance, with a track record of deals in sectors such as conventional and renewable energy, telecommunications, transport and logistics. In the contentious space, the firm is also recommended for its advice to clients on disputes in this space, both litigated and arbitrator. Chanaka de Silva  is highly regarded for his work in this area and has advised, negotiated and structured several large infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘I had fantastic engagement with Nithya Partners team especially Chanaka De Silva PC. He was prompt and gave great inputs to us while finalising a complex Sri Lankan project’.

‘The team stands out in terms of: in-depth knowledge about the sector, experienced, and impressive credentials; responsive and trustworthy; deep understanding about the local regulatory environment and could assist your client to communicate effectively with relevant regulators; open to discuss adjustments to the fee quotes, and could take a flexible approach. ’

‘The team led by Chanaka de Silva pc has rich professional experience. They could bring local and international expertise to the project, and are equipped with international background and local knowledge. They could work with client in a hands on way and deliver legal services in a friendly, collaborative and pro-active way’.

Professional in approach. Understands the industry well. Advised on an overseas project on the Power Purchase Agreements , Implementation Agreement. Mr. Chanaka De Silva PC. Brings in the industry experience‘.

The partners are very knowledgeable in the subject matter and amongst the partners, probably have the most amount of experience in various aspects of litigation related to business and contract related matters. The partner/s I have had the pleasure of meeting/obtaining services from were very approachable, attentive and very thorough in understanding the matter at hand and provided me with invaluable advice and services when the necessity arose‘.

Key clients

Adani Group of India

Iluka Resources Limited

Vidullanka PLC

Gazelle Ventures PTE LTD

Lakdhanavi Limited

Magal Ganga Power Company (Pvt.) Ltd.

John Keells Holdings PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Lakdhanavi Limited from  the evaluation process of the bid, to clarifications and matters related to the procurement procedure and also represented the client in litigation in relation to the awarding of the contract for the Kerawalapitiya dual fuel power plant having an investment value of approximately $400m. The Firm is currently advising the client on the ongoing negotiations with the Ceylon Electricity Board, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the funding agency, in finalising the project agreements and in achieving financial closure.
  • Advised the Adani Group/ John Keells Holdings consortium in respect of the concession for the development of the Western Container Terminal of the Colombo South Port having an investment value of over $800m. The Firm advised and assisted the client in their negotiations with the Government and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. This is a vital investment for the expansion of the Port of Colombo and also one of the largest investments in the country at present.
  • Continues to advise the Australian mining company, Iluka Resources Limited, on the Sri Lankan legal and regulatory aspects relating to its investment in Puttalam Mineral Sands Project, particularly in respect of matters relating to exchange control, mining rights and licensing issues. This is one of the pioneering foreign investments into the mineral sands industry in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka > Real estate and construction Tier 1

Nithya Partners handles a vast array of construction and real estate matters ranging from commercial, residential and agricultural property developments to property-related issues for scientific developments and conservation projects. Seanika Pulle heads the department, which also frequently conducts real estate finance work. Oshini Siriwardhana is another notable member of the team who specialises in a wide range of property law and conveyancing issues.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Seanika Pulle is very experienced and thorough when dealing with complex real estate transactions and conducting due diligence’.

Nithya Partners, as the name suggests, are life-long partners. You can trust their legal opinion that it will hold in any court of law . I chose to work with Nithya and partners because you can Trust them wholeheartedly. Their solutions to issues are always innovative, clear and they are not afraid to think outside the box. The quality of work is of international standards and their legal team is not only extremely qualified but extremely pleasant to work with‘.

The team at Nithya Partners is approachable, easy to contact and quick to respond. Whilst they undoubtedly have many urgent matters to prioritise, they will always keep us aware of reasonable timelines within which to expect a response. They have delivered on the promised date‘.

They are detail oriented and have taken the time to explain and clear any doubts we may have. They provide a level of assurance and direction needed for clients‘.

Sri Lanka > Tax Tier 1

Nithya Partners has developed a strong reputation for its work on various tax structuring matters and for its advice on both direct and indirect taxes in Sri Lanka. The group also garners praise for its litigation practice and has been active in representing clients in tax appeals before the Tax Appeals Commission and the court. Head of department Naomal Goonewardena has a wealth of experience in this area.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The advice has enabled us to frame agreements with a foresight of potential issues that may pop up over time. They are approachable and willing to listen to our views rather than some legal practitioners just try to impose their legal view whether practically applicable or not. They are pragmatic and practical’.

Key clients

Seylan Bank PLC

Kegalle Plantations PLC

Lalan Rubber (Private) Limited

Ceylon Shell Flour (Private) Limited

Richard Pieris Rubber Compounds (Private) Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

McLarens Lubricants (Private) Limited

CIC Agri Business (Private) Limited

People’s Leasing & Finance PLC

Sathosa Motors PLC

Work highlights

  • Representing Seylan Bank PLC in an appeal which is pending before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal with regard to an assessment which had been issued on the Bank disallowing a certain proportion of its interest expense on the basis that its interest income included a component from Sri Lanka Development Bonds which was exempt from income tax.
  • Representing Kegalle Plantations PLC in an appeal which is pending before the Supreme Court with regard to an assessment which had been issued on the client on the basis that rubber trees do not constitute an unprocessed agricultural product.
  • Representing McLarens Lubricants (Private) Limited in a series of appeals which are pending before the Court of Appeal with regard to assessments did not apply a concessionary tax rate which had been claimed on the basis that the supply of lubricants to ships in international waters constituted an ‘export’.

Sri Lanka > Intellectual property Tier 2

Nithya Partners fields a full-service intellectual property offering that advises on a wide array of contentious and non-contentious matters. It is particularly recommended for its experience in handling the trade mark portfolios of local and foreign companies. The firm has recently noticed increased instructions in the pharmaceutical sector. Other strengths include helping clients with their patent portfolios. Under the leadership of Chanaka de Silva PC, Aruna Samarajewa  and Chamindi Ekanayake the practice regularly collaborates with foreign law firms and also conducts due diligence  exercises on IP matters for M&A transactions. The firm is also well-equipped to advise on non-disclosure agreements and other licensing matters.

Testimonials

‘Compared to other firms they have a good and competitive team. They are well experienced in the specific areas. When it comes to fees they always ensure fair charges for the service’.

‘We normally contact Chamindi Ekanayaka for all our trademark matters. Compared to others we have worked with over the past years she is professional, very cooperative, organised, dedicated and puts her full potential into the work assigned to her’.

‘The team is very reliable and capable of handling various IP matters. During Covid times, they put extra effort to provide us with services. Chamindi Ekanayaka is our key contact person. She has vast experience and always provided us with advice and services in a timely manner‘.

Nithya Partners has a highly skilled team for both trademark prosecution and litigation. They are very professional in their approach and very easy to work with. Chamindi Ekanayaka is our contact and she had been handling our trademark portfolio for years. Chamindi attends to our searches, fillings and hearings promptly. She can be contacted easily and also provides us necessary instructions whenever necessary‘.

Key clients

Sunshine Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka

Citizens Development Business Finance PLC, Sri Lanka

Richard Pieris Arpico Finance Limited

Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka

Getz Pharma International FZ LLC, Dubai

ARISTO Pharmaceuticals Private Limited, India

Giga Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka

Ceylon Fresh Teas (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka

Patpatride Limited, Sri Lanka

Tengri Aero (Private) Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Richard Pieris Arpico Finance Limited, where its use of the trademark and the tradename was challenged in the Commercial High Courts.
  • Successfully represented Maliban Biscuit Manufacturers in a trade mark violation matter in the Commercial High Courts where a competitor company was using a similar packing.
  • The firm manages the trademark portfolio of Citizens Development Business Finance PLC and also represents the client from time to time at the hearings conducted at NIPO.

The firm: Nithya Partners was established to deliver a modern and responsive service in corporate and financial law. The firm provides a full service, with its partners contributing a unique blend of multidisciplinary experience and knowledge gathered in the public and private sectors. This has enabled the firm to deliver innovative, timely and commercial solutions and thereby position itself as one of the leading law firms in Sri Lanka.

Areas of practice: Nithya Partners has participated in some of the largest cross-border investments and mergers and acquisitions of recent times. The firm has also leveraged its multidisciplinary capabilities and assisted in several corporate and debt restructurings and securitisations. It is also a leading project law firm, having been involved in transactions in diverse sectors that include energy, telecommunications, transport, utilities and port development.

Banking and finance: Nithya Partners maintains a strong practice in the area of banking and finance and has been actively involved in a number of recent large transactions. The firm has demonstrated its expertise in the areas of international bond offerings, loan financing (bilateral and syndicated loans, ECA-backed financing, and secured and unsecured financing), structured financing, derivative and financial products, regulatory and compliance advice, banking regulation, banking documentation, trade financing and Islamic financing. The firm also continues to act as principal counsel to several leading international banks which have established branch offices in Sri Lanka.

Conveyancing and real estate: Nithya Partners handles all aspects of conveyancing. The firm has represented a number of local conglomerates and foreign investors in the acquisition and development of residential, commercial and hotel properties.

Corporate, commercial and M&A: Nithya Partners is recognised as having one of the strongest practices in corporate, commercial and M&A. The firm has advised foreign and local clients on many of the largest transactions on and off the Colombo Stock Exchange. During the course of the previous year, the firm has dealt with a range of transactions in several sectors including cement, food, hospitality, property, IT, financial services and healthcare.

Intellectual property: Nithya Partners has focused on developing its intellectual property practice over the years. The division, which is headed by Mr.Aruna Samarajewa, offers a full range of services in IP-related matters. These include registration of IP rights, representing clients in safeguarding their IP rights at the National Intellectual Property Office, carrying out IP audits for companies, assisting clients in IP asset management, creating awareness of IP strategies, drafting of agreements, drafting patent specifications and litigation.

Litigation and dispute resolution: Nithya Partners’ dispute resolution practice is primarily focused on high-value and complex corporate and commercial dispute resolution. The firm represents several original and appellate courts in Sri Lanka. Nithya Partners also has a strong arbitration practice, with the firm representing large local and foreign corporates in both local and international arbitrations.

Project finance: Nithya Partners’ project finance practice is headed by Mr Chanaka de Silva, who is considered the foremost legal expert in project finance transactions and negotiations in Sri Lanka. The firm regularly negotiates and structures large infrastructure projects in diverse areas such as electricity, telecommunication, petroleum, roads, ports and mining.

Tax: Nithya Partners has been consistently rated as the top-tier law firm for Sri Lanka by the Tax Directors Handbook. The firm has been involved in representing several banks and corporates before the Tax Appeals Commission and the Court of Appeal. The firm has been engaged to advise and represent clients in disputes involving both direct and indirect tax matters.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Agency and distributorship
Alternative dispute resolution
Banking and finance
Capital markets
Commercial and civil litigation
Consumer law
Conveyancing and real estate
E-commerce
Foreign investment
Intellectual property
International trade
Joint ventures
Mergers and acquisitions
Project financing
Tax
Telecommunications
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Ms Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga  photo Ms Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga Partner
Number of lawyers : 15
English
Sinhala