Firm / Organisation

DL & F De Saram

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This content is provided by DL & F De Saram.

Senior Partner: Savantha De Saram
Partners: Dijen De Saram, Michael Sproule, Prabash De Saram, Niveditha Abayaratne, Shanthi John, Manjula Sirimane, Jivan Goonetilleke, Aruni Marcelline, Aloka Nandasena, Dasuni Wijayasriwardena
Number of partners: 11
Number of lawyers: 40
Languages: English, Sinhala, Tamil, Indonesian, Chinese

Firm Overview:
The firm, founded in 1898, is one of the oldest and largest laws firms in Sri Lanka. It is a leading general practice law firm and its areas of expertise cover all aspects of civil and commercial law, including foreign investment, construction, labour, banking, finance, admiralty, project finance, infrastructure and corporate law. In addition, the secretarial arm of the firm handles the incorporation of limited liability companies and helps to set up branch offices, liaison offices, and representative offices and provides secretarial services to over 500 companies including several companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange in Sri Lanka.

Main Areas of Practice:
Banking & Finance
Corporate M&A
Infrastructure (with emphasis on PPPs)
Employment & Immigration
Power & Energy Intellectual Property
Real Estate
Corporate & Commercial Litigation
Antitrust & Competition
Capital Markets & Securities
Direct & Indirect Foreign Investment
Corporate Secretarial Services (through Corporate Advisory Services (Pvt.) Ltd.)

Banking & Finance:
The firm’s banking practice has led complex cross border financing over the years and is regularly mandated by multi-national corporations and financial institutions to advise on a diverse range of transactions, including syndicated lending, trade financing, acquisition financing and regulatory compliance.
Key Transactions: Advising Commerzbank AG on the provision of a loan facility to National Savings Bank and advising the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Corporation Limited on their corporate mortgage transactions.
Key Clients: Axis Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank, The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Corporation Limited, Punjab National Bank (International) Limited, Commerzbank AG.

The firm has considerable experience in both domestic and cross border matters in relation to mergers and acquisitions and capital market transactions and advises on a broad range of matters relating to foreign investments, regulatory compliance, competition and antitrust, restructurings, insolvency and taxation.
Key Transactions: Advised HPL Properties Limited (listed on SGX) on the acquisition of Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, assisted Kohlberg Kravis & Co. Partners with the acquisition of the Flora Food Group and advised ADV Partners Advisors India Private Limited on the acquisition of Dutch Lanka Trailer Manufacturers Limited, along with its local subsidiary Dutch Lanka Engineering Private Limited.
Key Clients: HPL Properties Limited, Kohlberg Kravis & Co. Partners, Rentokil Initial PLC, PT Kalbe Farma.

The firm advises clients on the regulatory framework applicable to establishing renewable and non-renewable energy power plants in Sri Lanka, to supply the national grid in partnership with the government. It assists investors on the project cycle, from tendering procedures, cross border financing, labour requirements, operational issues and dispute resolution.
Key Transactions: Advising SK E&S on procurement under the Swiss Challenge process for the development of an integrated FSRU/pipeline project in Sri Lanka, including importation of LNG and sale of gas to the Ceylon Electricity Board on a BOOT basis, advised bidders on the Weliwita Bulk Water Supply Project of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board on PPP basis and advising Bluesky Power (Private) Limited, the project company for the BOOT Project for 300MW combined cycle power plant at Kerwalapitiya of the Ceylon Electricity Board.
Key Clients: China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, Seoyoung Engineering Co. Ltd., VPower Group International Holdings Limited, Manila Water Company, Inc., GCL Intelligent Energy (Suzhou) Co. Limited, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd.

Labour, Employment & Immigration:
The firm advises several multinationals and domestic corporations on the compliance with local labour laws and regulations.
Key Transactions: Advising the ‘INSEE’ Group on labour matters, advising ICICI Bank on severance and human resource matters, advising Tesco on human resource matters.
Key Clients: Nestle, Pernod Ricard, Aramex International, Coca Cola Sri Lanka, Allianz, Tesco, Courtaulds Group of Companies, Microsoft and Dell. 

The firm is regularly mandated to act on cross border matters, particularly in relation to cargo claims, vessel mortgage enforcement and crew arrests, salvage and ground handling disputes.
Key Clients: CMA CGM, Steampship Mutual, Ship Owners Mutual, North of England (P&I), Skuld, Hapag Lloyd.

Real Estate:
The firm advises on real estate transactions including acquisitions, sales, mortgages, leases, trusts and due diligence examinations.
Key Transactions: Advised HPL Properties (West Asia) Pte Ltd on mortgaging of its hotel properties in Sri Lanka under a refinancing transaction and advised Elysian Realty (Pvt) Ltd on its luxury apartment development project in Mirissa.
Key Clients: HPL Singapore, Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Ltd, Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC, Standard Chartered Bank, The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Corporation Limited.

Intellectual Property Rights:

The firm handles applications for the registration of trademarks, copyrights, industrial design, patents and related services, including litigation arising from infringements and trademark enforcements.
Key Clients: Pepsico, Hitachi Automotive Systems, TUI Group - TUI AG, TM Online Pte Ltd, Kalbe International Pte Ltd, Orange Brands Services Limited.

Corporate Secretarial Services:
The firm’s secretarial division, through its subsidiary, Corporate Advisory Services (Pvt.) Ltd. provides incorporation, secretarial and ancillary services to corporate clients. It is a virtual one stop shop for all matters pertaining to the establishment of a Company under the laws of Sri Lanka.
Contact: [email protected]
Tel: +94 777 891 696
Contact: [email protected]
Tel: +94 777 777 183