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)
Labour 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 has built substantial expertise in complex cross border financing for both domestic blue ship companies and multinational corporations. It advises on exchange control laws and corporate financial transactions within the Sri Lankan legal framework.
Key Transactions: Acted for the Global Climate Partnership Fund on the Provision of Loans to local Bank; advised China Development Bank on investment laws in respect of public and private sector loans; advised HSBC with regard to supply chain finance in terms of Sri Lankan legal aspects.
Key Clients: Axis Bank, IFC, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Merrill Lynch-Bank of America, Global Climate Partnership Fund, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Exim Bank Comoros (South Africa).

The M&A team continues to be active in the fields of insurance, construction and pharmaceuticals. The team handles private equity and public mergers and acquisitions, and have recently been associated with two of the largest M&A transactions in Sri Lanka.
Key Transactions: Advised China Harbour Engineering Company Limited on its JV with Access Engineering PLC; acting for Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on its proposed investment in Amana Bank PLC; assisting Kohlberg Kravis & Co. Partners with the acquisition of Flora Food Group; assisting Kohlberg Kravis & Co. (Upfield).
Key Clients: China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, IDB, General Electric Company. Coco Cola Company.

Labour, Employment & Immigration:
The firm advises multinationals and domestic corporations on the compatibility of international labour regulations with Sri Lankan law.
Key Transactions: Advising Tesco and Microsoft on restructuring human resources; acting for Archer Daniels Midland Group on restructuring operations; acting in the capacity of General Legal Counsel for HR matters of Courtaulds Group of Companies.
Key Clients: Pernod Ricard, Aramex International, Holcim Lanka Ltd., Malaysian Airlines, Coca Cola Sri Lanka, Marriott International.

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: Assisting Seoyoung Engineering Co. Ltd in preparation of Feasibility Study for Light Rail Transit Program proposed by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development; advised a leading Chinese State owned Company on their investment in a power project as an equity investor or acting as an EPC contractor in a power project in Sri Lanka; assisted a leading Japanese Energy and Engineering Company in the establishment of a floating LNG Storage and regasification facility on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Real Estate:
The firm advises on land acquisitions and sales, mortgage and lease agreements, together with due diligence examinations on real estate and the preparation, attesting and registration of transfers and other title documents.
Key Transactions: Advised Jones Lasalle Property Consultants Pte Ltd.
Key Clients: TATA Housing, Jones Lang La Salle Property Consultants Pte Ltd, Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Limited, Expo Property Developers (Private) Limited, HRL Homes Lanka (Private) Limited.

The firm advises shipping and protection and indemnity interests on cross border disputes, with special emphasis on cargo claims, vessel mortgage enforcement and crew arrests, salvage and ground handling disputes.
Key Clients: Steamship Mutual, Ship owners Mutual, North of England (P & I), Skuld, Hapag Lloyd.

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