Chanaka de Silva handles the litigation and project finance aspects of the Firm's practice.
Having represented many leading companies in litigious matters, his forte is in the fields of alternate dispute resolution and litigation. He appears in all levels of courts in Sri Lanka and has handled several high profile international and local arbitrations, representing both local and foreign corporations and multinationals.
He is also well known for his expertise in project finance transactions and negotiations. Chanaka has been involved in advising, negotiating and structuring several large infrastructure projects in diverse areas such as electricity, telecommunication, petroleum, roads, ports and mining and in several privatisations.
Chanaka is also an expert in legal due diligence projects and has acted on behalf of several multinational companies, both local and foreign.
Chanaka began his legal career as a State Counsel in the Attorney-General's Department in 1987, after having been admitted to the Bar in 1986. He resigned from this position at the end of 1996 to form Nithya Partners.
During the period he served in the Attorney-General's Department, he specialised in banking and commercial law issues, as well as litigation. He also advised the Government of Sri Lanka on various issues involving infrastructure development, project finance, restructuring and corporatisation transactions. These included projects in the Electricity, Ports and Mining Sectors.
Since 1995, Chanaka also functioned as the Senior Legal Consultant to the Secretariat for Infrastructure Development and Investment, and its successor, the Bureau of Infrastructure Investment. This involved advising the Government and the relevant Governmental Agencies on large scale infrastructure projects, more particularly with regard to preparation of Requests for Proposals, selection of preferred Bidders and the negotiation of Project Agreements on behalf of the Government and the relevant Governmental Agencies.
He also functioned as a Legal Advisor to the Public Enterprise Reform Commission of Sri Lanka. The position involved the provision of legal advice relating to the public enterprise restructuring and privatisation process in Sri Lanka.
Chanaka has also served in various committees relating to public enterprise restructuring. He was a member of the three-member committee appointed by Her Excellency the President of Sri Lanka to examine Land Lease Agreements relating to the estates of Estate Owning Companies and to propose the restructuring arrangements necessary for the privatisation of the Estate Owning Companies. He was also a member of the committee appointed by the Minister of Highways to examine the Thoroughfares Ordinance and to propose a new draft National Highways Act. He was a member of the group of consultants appointed to formulate proposals to enhance competition among port operators in Sri Lanka and has been a member of several committees for the drafting of legislation, including legislation relating to banking and debt recovery.
Chanaka has also been a member of the Advisory Commission on Intellectual Property of Sri Lanka. The Intellectual Property Act No 36 of 2003, which is presently in force, was drafted during his tenure as a commission member. He also represented Sri Lanka at several sessions of the WIPO in Geneva.
Chanaka has been endorsed as a Leading Lawyer by Asialaw Leading Lawyers Survey in the fields of Dispute Resolution, Banking and Project Finance.
He has also been ranked as a leading individual in Dispute Resolution and Banking by Chambers & Partners.