Four new President’s Counsel take oaths before Chief Justice

Four lawyers took oaths as President’s Counsels before Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, February 16. Dr. Dayanath Jayasuriya, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, Dinal Phillips and Anil Tittawella were the four lawyers who took their oaths before the Chief Justice.

Dr. Dayanath Jayasuriya, (LL.B. University of Ceylon and Ph.D. in Law, University of Colombo), became an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in June 1973.  In February 1974, he joined the Attorney-General’s Department and as a State Counsel and later as a Senior State Counsel he appeared, until 1983, in several important cases before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Constitutional Court, High Courts and other courts. 

Dr. Jayasuriya has worked in Geneva, Vienna, Bangkok and New Delhi where he held senior positions within the United Nations.  In 2000, he was appointed Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also appointed as the C.E.O. of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka and the Founder President of the South Asian Insurance Regulators’ Forum.

In March 2003, he left Sri Lanka to function as the Senior Adviser to the Government of Pakistan and head of the UNAIDS Secretariat in Islamabad. He returned to Sri Lanka in mid-2004 to assume duties as Chairman of the SEC and Insurance Board. He served as the Chairman of the IOSCO President’s Committee in 2005. He was appointed by the Constitutional Council as a Working Director of the Public Utilities Commission and also served as a Founder Director of the National Procurement Agency. Thereafter he was based in Singapore as the Regional Director (Academic Affairs) of the International Compliance Association.

Dr. Jayasuriya has written more than 20 books, 25 monographs and published over 200 articles. His books have been cited in judgements of the United States Appeal Courts and are standard works of reference for professional and post-graduate courses.  He has been a Visiting Professor of Mercantile Law at the University of the Free State in South Africa, a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Boston and a guest lecturer at several British, American, Canadian and Australian universities.

An old boy of St. Peter’s College, Colombo, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, graduated with an LLB (Honours) from The University of Colombo in 1978 and a first class Honours from the Sri Lanka Law College at the final exam held in 1980.

Enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law in the same year, he has been practicing in the Original, Appellate Courts and before Statutory Tribunals in the Civil and Public Law fields.   

A past Lecturer of the University of Colombo’s faculty of Law, Geoffrey Alagaratnam has a track record of over Twenty Nine (29) years of legal practice in areas of Commercial Law including Company, Banking, Intellectual Property, Insurance, Investment Law, Land Law and Industrial (Labour) Law. He worked in the Chambers of the Late G. F. Sethukavaler, P.C and the Late A. J. I Thilakawardena. He is a thespian and has interest in choral music.

An old boy of Royal College and St. Josephs, College, Dinal Phillips, took oaths as an attorney-at-law in 1982. He has followed the Maritime Law Short Course at the University of Southampton, UK; Enrolled as a Solicitor of England & Wales and holds a Diploma in Intellectual Property from the University of London. From a long lineage of lawyers, his maternal grandfather, Joseph Francis Martyn, was the first Sri Lankan to be a Partner of Julius & Creasy; the law firm which was later headed by his own father Rex Phillips. He apprenticed under the late G.F. Sethukavaler, PC and P.A.D. Samarasekera, PC. He was also one of the first Juniors of K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC.

Dinal Phillips served as Chairman of the Intellectual Property Advisory Commission for five years and was an active member of the Bar Association in the 1980's and was the chairman of the junior bar committee and seminars committee. In 2001, he was legal counsel for Sri Lanka Cricket and subsequently was also legal Counsel for the Sri Lanka Rugby Union. He has had a wide practice in the original and appellate courts in admiralty law, company law, international arbitration, labour relations and family law and is currently specializing in intellectual property law.

Past president of the Royal College class of ‘72 Group, he is a frequent theatre goer and is an avid sports and wild life enthusiast.

Anil Tittawella, a product of Royal College Colombo and the Sri Lanka Law College, he took oaths as an attorney-at-law in 1985. Early stages of his practice he devilled in the Chambers of President’s Counsel Daya Perera and the late Sarath Muttewegama essentially practising in the area of criminal law. From about 1987, he concentrated in the fields of Civil and Commercial law in the chambers of K. Kanag-Isvaran, Presidents Counsel and also functioned as Counsel in the law firm F.J & G de Saram.

During his over 20 year career as a Counsel, Tittawella has been actively involved in and practiced in the civil, corporate, commercial and administrative fields of law, before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, District Court, Labour Tribunals as well as domestic and international arbitration panels.

During his professional career he has held several key positions i.e. Member of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Committee on Company Law Reform 1995 – 1996; Member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Committee on Company Law Reforms 1993; Member of the Sri Lanka Swedish Joint Legal Team to Formulate the new Arbitration Act of Sri Lanka 1994 – 1997; Legal Consultant, Airports and Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka 1994 – 1997; Founder member 1995, The Institute of Commercial Law and Practice Sri Lanka, responsible in setting up The Arbitration Centre in Colombo, affiliated to the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce; Commission Member, 2000 – 2002, Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and Member – Insurance Board of Sri Lanka,2001 – 2002. He is also a director of several companies.

Tittawella also holds a Masters Degree in Law specialising in International Environmental Law. He is the youngest son of the Late Justice Noel Tittawella

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