Nithya Partners > Colombo, Sri Lanka > Firm Profile

Nithya Partners
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka > Banking and finance Tier 1

Nithya Partners routinely advises corporate entities, the Sri Lankan government, international banks, development and finance institutions as well as leasing and finance companies. Recently, the practice has handled loan transactions, debt issuances and its key strengths structuring, regulatory and compliance advice and banking regulation, among other matters. The team is overseen by Naomal Goonewardena, with 30 years of experience in the domestic financial sector, he is adept in the full array of financial law including bond issues and foreign direct investments. Peshala Attygalle regularly advises clients on a broad range of commonly occurring banking regulation and banking documentation issues. Associate Chalani Dissanayake has knowledge of compliance concerning foreign and domestic exchange regulations.

Practice head(s):

Naomal Goonewardena


‘The team is very competent, highly experienced and has the ability to come up with creative solutions. Naomal Goonewardena’s knowledge on law and finance is a real asset when it comes for corporate finance transactions.’

‘The combined knowledge of law and finance is a great asset. The innovative solution and strong structuring capabilities are unique.’

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

‘The team is very approachable and is quick to respond when services are needed.’

‘They are very knowledgeable and have a good business sense when giving their views on issues raised.’

‘They maintain a high standard of professionalism.’

‘Very supportive, knowledgeable and easy to approach.’

Key clients

Bank of China

Bank of Ceylon

Sampath Bank PLC

Seylan Bank PLC


People’s Leasing & Finance PLC

Softlogic Finance PLC

Citizens Development Business Finance PLC

Commercial Leasing and Finance PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of banks on a refinancing facility of United States Dollars Two Hundred and Twenty Five Million (USD 225,000,000/-) for the development of one of the largest mixed used properties in Sri Lanka.
  • Advised a consortium of local banks in relation to a term loan of United States Dollars Ninety Five Million (USD 95,000,000/-) to be used for part financing the development cost of a 350 MW LNG Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya, Sri Lanka.
  • Advised National Savings Bank on an issue of One Hundred Million (100,000,000) Unlisted Debentures of the Par Value of Rupees One Hundred (LKR 100/-) each totalling upto a sum of Rupees Ten Billion (LKR 10,000,000,000/-).

Sri Lanka > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Nithya Partners' core strengths lie in resolving corporate and commercial disputes, with the practice being particularly knowledgeable in litigation relating to telecommunication, projects, energy, infrastructure and construction related matters. Chanaka De Silva, a seasoned practitioner, co-heads the team and is an expert in alternate dispute resolution. Aruna Samarajeewa is the other practice head; he is accomplished within consumer matters and customs law. Given his experience, he possesses a strong roster of regional and multinational clients.

Practice head(s):

Chanaka de Silva; Aruna Samarajewa


‘The legal acumen and practical approach of the counsel means they have the ability to turn round a matter fast.’

‘With Chanaka De Silva’s extensive experience and commercial knowledge he has the ability to give practical and business oriented solutions. In times of urgency he is reachable for quick summary advise.’

‘The firm’s dispute resolution team is headed by one of the industry’s best litigation lawyers.’

‘We consider the firm for any material and significant disputes without any second thoughts.’

‘The advice given is generally very sound and very practical.’

‘We have the utmost confidence in their capabilities.’

Key clients

New Fortress Energy Inc. USA

Tudawe Brothers (Pvt) Ltd.

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Sri Lanka

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka

Vidullanka PLC

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Sri Lanka

Asiri Hospitals Holdings PLC

Strategic Insurance Brokers (Pvt.) Ltd.

HNB Finance PLC

Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka

Work highlights

  • Represented the bar association of Sri Lanka in a fundamental rights application.
  • Represented the New Fortress Energy group of USA, in public interest litigation cases concerning the agreements entered into by the Government of Sri Lanka.
  • Represented Tudawe Brothers, 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.

Sri Lanka > Projects and energy Tier 1

Nithya Partners is recognised for its work within the project development and project finance spaces. The practice supports clients on projects across a diverse range of sectors, including power and energy, telecommunications, infrastructure and port development. The team also acts on disputes relating to infrastructure and project transactions. Chanaka de Silva is recommended for advising, negotiating and structuring large infrastructure projects in the electricity, telecommunication, petroleum, road, ports and mining industries.

Practice head(s):

Chanaka de Silva


‘Understands the energy sector well.’

‘Good and thorough knowledge of the renewable energy sector.’

Key clients

Lakdhanavi Limited

Adani Group of India

Vidul Lanka (Private) Limited

Metrocorp (Pvt.) Ltd.

Roughton Consultants, UK

Gazelle Capital Pte Ltd

China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd.

New Fortress Energy of USA

Maga Engineering (Pvt.) Ltd.

Tudawe Brothers (Pvt) Ltd.

Iluka Resources Limited

Magalganga Power Company (Pvt) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Lakdhanavi Limited in relation to a multi fuel 300MW Cyle Power Plant Project.
  • Advised New Fortress Energy Inc. on the transaction with the Government of Sri Lanka for the supply of LNG to the Yugadhanavi Power Plant, Sobadhanavi Power Plant and other future power plants in the Kerawalapitiya area.
  • Advised the consortium Adani Ports and SEZ Limited and John Keells Holdings PLC on the development of the West Container Terminal of the South Harbour of the Colombo Port on a PPP basis with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.  

Sri Lanka > Real estate and construction Tier 1

The team at Nithya Partners is well equipped to advise domestic, international, individual and corporate clients on a diversity of real estate mandates, including property related to scientific development, as well as commercial, residential and agricultural development projects. Head of the department Seanika Pulle is frequently engaged in handling due diligence land related matters: alongside her strong involvement with government institutions, her expertise is coveted on the drafting of leases, licenses and mortgages alongside advising domestic transfers of lands, houses, condominiums and residential apartments. Oshini Siriwardhana supports the team in drafting and carrying out reports on titles as well as deeds of conveyancing.

Practice head(s):

Seanika Pulle

Other key lawyers:


‘I believe the most unique feature of this team is where they all take a personal interest in the client’s matter, this makes us continue to work with this team for all our property related matters.’

‘Seanika Pulle has impeccable knowledge in the subject area.’

‘The Nithya team’s strength lies in their sound knowledge of the relevant law and thoroughness in formulating documentation.’

‘Their quick turnaround on a recent construction matter was of immense value in proceeding with the project well within the agreed timelines.’

Sri Lanka > Tax Tier 1

Nithya Partners handles the breadth of tax law related issues; it is renowned for providing advice on both direct and indirect taxes in Sri Lanka. From a tax advisory perspective, the practice assists clients in structuring their deals by focusing on tax implications and planning. In relation to litigious matters, the firm represents clients before the Tax Appeals Commission, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Naomal Goonewardena is recognised as a key practioner within this space.

Practice head(s):

Naomal Goonewardena


‘Intricate technical knowledge linked with ability to understand business situation.’

‘They think out of the box and are quite innovative in approaching issues and suggesting solutions.’

‘Naomal Goonewardena is a good listener to our views and will explain his views in layman’s language.’

Key clients

Seylan Bank PLC

Kegalle Plantations PLC

Lalan Rubber (Private) Limited

Ceylon Shell Flour (Private) Limited

HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

McLarens Lubricants (Private) Limited

Peoples Bank

People’s Leasing & Finance PLC

Nestle Lanka PLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Seylan Bank PLC in an appeal before the Supreme Court with regard to an assessment which had been issued on the bank disallowing a certain proportion of its interest expense.
  • Representing the 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 the sale of rubber trees arising from the replantation program does not constitute an ‘unprocessed agricultural product’ in order to qualify for a Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption under the Value Added Tax Act, No. 14 of 2002, as amended.
  • Represented McLarens Lubricants (Private) Limited in a series of appeals before the Court of Appeal with regard to assessments which had been issued on the client disallowing a concessionary tax rate which had been claimed on the basis that the supply of lubricants to ships plying in international waters was an ‘export’.

Sri Lanka > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Nithya Partners covers the full range of corporate activity and governance matters. The team frequently structures significant capital raising and M&A regional transactions, also possessing thorough experience in handling compliance and regulatory requirements. In addition, the group specialises in business restructuring alongside complex shareholder litigation. With over 30 years of experience in Sri Lanka’s financial sector, Naomal Goonewardena heads the practice, possessing a strong roster of domestic and multinational clients; his core strengths lie in international bond issues, derivatives, taxation and foreign direct investments. Nirusha Ranjitkumar is the other co-head and is particularly seasoned in assisting clients in foreign direct investment and exchange control laws and has been instrumental in significant domestic M&A.

Practice head(s):

Naomal Goonewardena; Nirusha Ratnatunga


‘The team has great knowledge.’

‘Neomal is has vast knowledge and experience in the industry compared to the competitors.’

‘Reliable service in M&A.’

Key clients

LB Finance PLC

Tempest P.E Partners

Ambeon Holdings PLC

Sunshine Holdings PLC

PGP Glass

Technomedics International (Pvt) Ltd

Commercial Credit and Finance PLC

RIL Property PLC

Tropical Health (Private) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tempest P.E Partners and a consortium of investors in their acquisition of SLT Campus Limited.
  • Advised Ambeon Holdings PLC on the disposal of its equity stake in South Asia Textiles Limited to Hayleys Fabric PLC for a sum of approximately LKR 3.9 Billion.
  • Acted for PGP Glass, in its acquisition of Piramal Glass PLC, one of the largest acquisitions on the CSE with a deal value of LKR 6.8 Billion.

Sri Lanka > Intellectual property Tier 2

With Chanaka De Silva, Aruna Samarajewa and Chamindi Ekanayake at the helm, Nithya Partners provides end-to-end intellectual property advice. The firm deals with a mixture of non-contentious and complex, high-calibre cases for both local and international clients. The team is skilled at managing trademark portfolios, and is handling a growing caseload in the pharmaceutical sector. Hearings before the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) is a particular strong point as the firm is regularly retained by companies to manage their extensive trademark portfolios, including one of the largest tea exporters in Sri Lanka. Other areas of expertise include patent portfolio management and due diligence investigations, especially in relation to M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Chanaka De Silva; Aruna Samarajewa; Chamindi Ekanayake


‘They are very professional and have been delivering their services to our satisfaction. Nithya Partners has expertise not only in intellectual property but in other areas of law such as litigation and investments as well and it had been very helpful in our field of work.’

‘Our first point of contact is Chamindi Ekanayake. We find her very attentive and her practical knowledge in intellectual property matters have been very useful to us. She is contactable at any time and is capable of providing solutions to our issues very efficiently.’

‘Through my experience with Nithya Partners, I have found them to be extremely hands on with their work and are very thorough in their research and legal opinions.’

‘I have worked very closely with Chamindi Ekanayake and have found her to be professional, prompt and extremely competent in her work. It has been a great experience.’

‘The expertise in the intellectual property rights is commendable. The professionals who handles conceptualization and litigation work are very sound in addressing the issues and advisory.’

‘Other than litigation, brand registration and renewal work is also handled by Nithya Partners where the Account Manager provides the client with a very comprehensive service and assures records management and registration is up to date. Follow-up and done on a continuous basis.’

Key clients

The University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Dipped Products PLC

Sunshine Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka

Citizens Development Business Finance PLC, Sri Lanka

Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka

Getz Pharma International FZ LLC, Dubai

ARISTO Pharmaceuticals Private Limited, India


Ceylon Fresh Teas (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka

Anverally and Sons (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka

Work highlights

  • Advised the Accelerated Higher Education Expansion and Development Operation of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts, a World Bank funded project to protect IP rights of their innovations.
  • Represented a client on a matter concerning the refusal by the NIPO to register the new nutrient ‘Vitagen’ on the ground that there were some other phonetically similar marks registered under the NIPO.
  • Amended applications to suit the requirements of the NIPO and assisted the client to file their applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The firm: Nithya Partners was established in 1997 with the goal of delivering a modern and responsive service in corporate and financial law. The Firm is led by a group of Partners who combine a unique blend of multi-disciplinary experience along with an extensive knowledge base of several years of legal practice in the public and private sector. These strengths have allowed the Firm to deliver innovative, timely and commercially viable solutions to clients, and thereby position itself as one of the leading corporate law firms in Sri Lanka, within a relatively brief period.

Areas of practice: Nithya Partners is a full service law firm with a strong presence in all the main practice areas such as Banking and Finance, Corporate, Commercial and M&A, Project Development, Dispute Resolution, Tax, Real Estate and Intellectual Property. Nithya Partners has participated in some of the largest cross-border investments, mergers and acquisitions of recent times. The firm has also leveraged its multi-disciplinary 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 continues to maintain its strong practice in the area of banking and finance and has been actively involved in a number of large transactions which have taken place recently. The firm has demonstrated its expertise in the areas of international bond offerings, loan financing (bilateral and syndicated loans, ECA backed financing, 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 lawyers 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, glass, food, hospitality, property, energy, freight forwarding, IT, financial services and healthcare.

Intellectual property: Nithya Partners has focused on developing its intellectual property practice over the years. The division 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 has been involved in most of the largest project development 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 in Sri Lanka for Tax. The firm has represented and is representing several banks and corporates before the Tax Appeals Commission, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The firm has been engaged to advise and represent clients both local and foreign in disputes involving both direct and indirect tax matters.

Agency and distributorship Ms. Nirusha 11 4712625 (Ext 203)
Alternative dispute resolution Mr Chanaka de Silva, 11 4712625 (Ext 207)
Banking and finance Mr. Naomal 11 4712625 (Ext 209/210)
Capital markets Ms. Nirusha 11 4712625 (Ext 203)
Commercial and civil litigation Mr Chanaka de Silva, 11 4712625 (Ext 207)
Consumer law Mr. Aruna 11 4712625 (Ext 208)
Conveyancing and real estate Ms. Seanika 11 4712625 (Ext 211)
E-commerce Mr. Aruna 11 4712625 (Ext 208)
Foreign investment Mr. Naomal 11 4712625 (Ext 209/210)
Intellectual property Ms. Chamindi 11 4712625 (Ext 215)
International trade Ms. Nirusha 11 4712625 (Ext 203)
Joint ventures Ms. Nirusha 11 4712625 (Ext 203)
Mergers and acquisitions Ms. Nirusha 11 4712625 (Ext 203)
Project financing Mr Chanaka de Silva, 11 4712625 (Ext 207)
Tax Mr. Naomal 11 4712625 (Ext 209/210)
Telecommunications Mr Chanaka de Silva, 11 4712625 (Ext 207)
Peshala Attygalle photoMs Peshala AttygallePartner
Chamindi Ekanayake  photoMs Chamindi Ekanayake Head of Department: Intellectual Property
Naomal Goonewardena  photoMr Naomal Goonewardena Precedent Partner
Seanika Pulle photoMs Seanika PulleHead of Department: Conveyancing & Real Estate
Nirusha Ratnatunga photoMs Nirusha RatnatungaPartner
Aruna Samarajewa photoMr Aruna SamarajewaPartner
Chanaka de Silva, PC photoMr Chanaka de Silva, PCPartner
Number of lawyers : 16