Firm Profile > Nithya Partners > Colombo, Sri Lanka

Nithya Partners
Sri Lanka

Banking and finance Tier 1

Nithya Partners has a strong banking and finance offering under the leadership of Naomal Goonewardena. It continues to be involved in a number of large transactions particularly on multi-jurisdictional financings and debt issuances by corporate entities and the Government of Sri Lanka. The nimble team does a substantial amount of work with major international banks and continues to advise large leasing and finance companies. It also has particular strength in international bond offerings, debt structuring, structured financing as well as other matters such as regulatory compliance, trade finance, and Islamic finance. In addition, the department regularly advises overseas banking entities on debt financing in Sri Lanka as well as on proposals to enter the domestic market.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Naomal Goonewardena – he just has a brilliant mind. He’s my go to person for structuring complex and innovative transactions‘.

Key clients

Sampath Bank PLC

Seylan Bank PLC

National Development Bank

China Development Bank

Bank of China Limited

Citibank N.A.

Standard Chartered Bank

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Nithya Partners has a skilled and versatile team that acts for an impressive range of clients including some of the largest corporates in the country as well as a sizeable number of market intermediaries. Arittha R Wikramanayake is a known name particularly for his expertise in capital market matters while Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga has significant experience of a broad range of financial transactions such as private placements and IPOs. The team is also well-regarded for its work with clients on foreign direct investment as well as exchange control matters and frequently advises on corporate governance and on various compliance requirements. Other clients include SMEs and start-up companies.


‘I have worked with almost all the major legal firms in Sri Lanka. Nithya Partners is differentiated due to its 1) ability to take a commercial view; 2) extensive breadth of knowledge within the team; 3) accessibility; and 4) ability to work under tight timelines‘.

Arittha Wickramanayake – he’s an effective negotiator and takes a commercial rather than a strictly technical view. He’s also accessible and can work under a tight timeline‘.

Nirusha Ranjitkumar – she is a practical, commercially-oriented lawyer, who goes out of her way to get the job done for her clients‘.

Very swift and handles problems better than other firms‘.

Arittha – solves problems in a practical manner without exciting the client too much’.

‘The team is exceptional and well rounded in every facet. The team has key insights that is not matched by any of the other legal team I have worked with‘.

‘Dr. Aritha Wicramanayake : Excellent legal mind. I probably can call him a visionary and is able to quickly assess a situation and present a variety of options and scenarios even when we are at consultations with other senior lawyers. He is very respected among the top commercial circles in the country and is often called upon to be a main speaker at various top business forums, governmental and legal seminars and lectures‘.


Key clients

CIC Holdings Plc

Sierra Holdings Ltd

John Keells Holdings Plc

AIA Insurance PLC

Morison PLC

Chemanex PLC

Sampath Bank PLC

Hemas Holdings PLC

Union Bank Plc

HNB Finance Limited

Aavishkaar Frontier Fund

Ironwood Holdings Limited

Tempest P.E

BOV Capital Ltd

Akbar Brother Limited

JAT Holdings Ltd


Dispute resolution Tier 1

Nithya Partners has a superb practice that advises on all aspects of corporate, commercial, banking, infrastructure and project-related disputes. Significantly the partners appear before all courts and arbitral tribunals and handle a lot of their own advocacy. The team is also known for its expertise in telecommunication matters and is increasingly acting in complex intellectual property related disputes. Other strengths include advising on customs and consumer protection issues. Chanaka de Silva is a prominent figure in the market and Aruna Samarajewa also receives a lot of plaudits. In addition the firm has  recently instituted several actions on behalf of strategic insurance brokers seeking to prevent unregistered insurance brokers from carrying out re-insurance brokering businesses in the country.


Professional and knowledgeable. The lawyers work as a team. Very strategic in its approach‘.

The team studies the matter well and articulates the relevant facts. Understands the energy sector operations from construction to operations well. Mr. Chanaka de Silva (PC) has a way of obtaining clarification from the client and presenting the facts appropriately‘.

‘Nithya Partners has been my lawyers for over 12 years.  Nithya as a team has overall been very professional, diligent, reliable and dedicated in handling most of our cases which have numbered over 25 in different courts in the country, some of which are also in the Supreme Courts‘.

Nithya Partners provides comprehensive and practical commercial and legal solutions to complex commercial and corporate issues and disputes. Its key strength is that, being Counsel, the lawyers are able to not only advise but also litigate in dispute resolution. This feature makes them unique amongst legal firms. We work very closely with Chanaka and Aruna who take great care towards us as clients and their dedication to all our needs is par excellence and that’s very comforting‘.

Mr. Chanaka De Silva -handles all our court related work with great diligence. A very strategic and sharp mind with a high degree of depth in his arguments in courts and also written submissions. Has a thorough knowledge of commercial law in particular. Carries the highest degree of respect in the Attorney General’s Dept having started his career as a public prosecutor and served in it for many years. He is also one who is respected by the judiciary‘.

‘Mr. Aruna Samarajeewa -acts as a head among the junior counsel in our team, though he aptly deserves to be a senior counsel having worked on our cases for over 12 years. A very important part of the link in connection to our work‘.


Key clients

Sri Lanka Telecom PLC

Richard Pieris & Company PLC

Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka & Finance PLC

CCL Pharmaceuticals (Private) Limited – Pakistan

Vidullanka PLC

Lakdhanavi Limited

Asiri Hospitals Holdings PLC

Strategic Insurance Brokers (Pvt.) Ltd.

Bar Association of Sri Lanka

Bartleet Religare Securities (Pvt.) Limited

Projects and energy Tier 1

Nithya Partners is renowned for its expertise in project financing and has advised many clients on projects in the power and energy sector as well as on projects relating to telecommunications, transport and port development. It has acted for clients on a large number of independent power projects comprising HFO, diesel, LNG in addition to combined cycle and mini-hydro projects. The practice has an excellent reputation too for advising on disputes relating to infrastructure and project related transactions and has handled several infrastructure and project related arbitrations. Chanaka De Silva leads the practice and is highly regarded for his work on project financing matters.

Key clients

The Government of Sri Lanka

Iluka Resources Limited

Vidullanka PLC

Gazelle Ventures PTE LTD

Lakdhanavi Limited

Real estate and construction Tier 1

The agile team at Nithya Partners advises on a broad range of matters from commercial, residential and agricultural property development projects to scientific development and conservation property matters for various local and international companies, corporations and individuals.  It also advises on any property issues as they arise during testamentary proceedings and on trust-related property matters. There have been changes to the team at a senior level. The former head of department Samadhi Gajaweera is no longer at the firm and Seanika Pulle who joined from an inhouse position now heads the team. Pulle has considerable experience of handling large-scale investment and infrastructure projects as well as advising clients on the transfer of land in Sri Lanka.

Tax Tier 1

Nithya Partners has a strong reputation for its litigation advice and for its advice on direct and indirect taxes in Sri Lanka. It assists a number of high-profile clients in structuring their deals and is also skilled at representing clients in tax appeals before the Tax Appeals Commission and the court. The team under the leadership of Naomal Goonewardena is recommended too for its skill at representing clients in negotiations with various taxation authorities such as the Customs Department, the Excise Department and the Department of Inland Revenue. Another core focus of the practice is conducing tax due diligence audits.

Practice head(s):


Naomal is the best tax advisor in the country‘.

Key clients

Seylan Bank PLC

Kegalle Plantations PLC

Lalan Rubber (Private) Limited

Ceylon Shell Flour (Private) Limited

Richard Pieris Rubber Compounds (Private) Limited

Boehm Leckner (Private) Limited

McLarens Lubricants (Private) Limited

CIC Agri Business (Private) Limited

Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC

Sathosa Motors PLC

Intellectual property Tier 2

Nithya Partners has a versatile team that handles both contentious and non-contentious IP matters well. It is skilled at advising on trademark and copyright disputes. 2019 was a particularly successful year for it in terms of IP litigation as it obtained judgments in favour of its clients in several matters. The department routinely handles trademark portfolios for local and foreign companies and is well-equipped to also handle patent portfolios for its clients. Chanaka de Silva, Aruna Samarajewa and Chamindi Ekanayake are the most prominent members of the team.  The practice is also recommended for its IP due diligence work on transactional matters.


Its professional fees are very reasonable. Nithya Partners always tries to add something more when it comes to preparing written submissions and other submissions to be submitted to National Intellectual Property office. The lawyers do not just rely on the information we provide and always inquire and give more suggestions about what we could mention or what we can do. When it comes to time sensitive matters, they always try to do their best and follow up things in an orderly manner‘.

The lawyers are ready to help. Nithya Partners always keeps us updated us‘.

The lawyers are very responsible, work on time, approachable and friendly. Since intellectual property is a company sensitive asset, and we cannot rely upon everyone, the company always counts on this firm’s services. What I admire most is the relationship the lawyers build with the client‘.

There are some other firms that do not work on time and always ask for extensions of time. And sometimes some other law firms do not have good communication with their clients. When it comes to Nithya Partners luckily I never had to face any such difficulties such as late filings or requesting of extension of times due to their delays‘.

Ms. Ekanayake is very supportive and I sometimes get her advice for the things I handle by myself as well and she has never hesitated to help me when requested‘.

Key clients

Citizens Development Business Finance PLC, Sri Lanka

Centara Hotels and Resorts, Thailand

Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka

Renuka Group, Sri Lanka

Getz Pharma International FZ LLC, UAE

ARISTO Pharmaceutical Private Limited, India

CCL Holdings Limited, UAE


Anverally and Sons (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka

Ceylon Fresh Teas (Pvt) Ltd

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Agency and distributorship
Alternative dispute resolution
Banking and finance
Capital markets
Commercial and civil litigation
Consumer law
Conveyancing and real estate
Foreign investment
Intellectual property
International trade
Joint ventures
Mergers and acquisitions
Project financing
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga  photo Ms Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga Partner
Number of lawyers : 15