Two influential and admirable individuals, Tivanka Ekaratne and Yashara Wijesinghe have set standards for success and define determination and hard work to a great extent.
Accrediting a legacy in the family, Tivanka Ekaratne, Founder & Managing Partner of Ekaratne Associates, having its corporate office at Shangri-La, Colombo, is a distinguished Senior Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and has a remunerative practice in a vast area of Law.
Tivanka, the leading counsel in Customs Law, was once the President of the Colombo Law Society 2019/20 and was the youngest person to be elected in such a distinctive role. Furthermore, he is the author of the book “Digest of Cases on Customs Ordinance,” making him the youngest author of a Legal Publication. Viewing his academics, he holds a Master of Laws degree in International Trade Law from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom and a Postgraduate degree in Intellectual Property Law. In addition, he is also pursuing a Master of Laws degree in International Business and a PhD in Customs Law.
As a consultant for several domestic and international companies, Tivanka was also a member of the group formed to recommend revisions to Sri Lanka’s Customs Ordinance and was named to the Cabinet-approved Experts Committee on the Establishment of Courts Administration Service in February 2021. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the United Kingdom, the International Bar Association, the Asia Pacific Regional Forum, and the IBA Judges’ Forum. He was also a member of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka’s Executive Committee from 2019 to 2021. In addition, he received the prestigious Selvadurai Sivarasa Award.
Viewing what it has been like managing Ekaratne Associates, Tivanka expresses how challenging it is to meet deadlines, manage two offices and such a large staff amidst regular court work and family. Yet, despite that, he has always managed to enjoy his work and balance his life while enjoying a game of golf.
According to Tivanka, when asked about the benefits and drawbacks of having his wife as a business partner, he conveys his own set of advantages and disadvantages. While most people believe that combining business and pleasure isn’t, Tivanka finds it a fantastic source of strength to have Yashara by his side, emphasising that he wouldn’t trust anybody more than his wife and the good fortune she brings him.
Speaking on why he chose the legal industry and what sets EA apart from other law firms, Tivanka quotes Justice Iyer, who describes the legal profession as “the most brilliant and attractive of peaceful professions, with responsibilities both inside and outside it that no person carrying on any other profession has to shoulder.” In response to the subject of legal practice, he states that an “advocate has to deal with the greatest possible range of human connections and has his mettle constantly tested from every aspect.” For the same reason, an advocate has a high social standing, which should not be abused at any cost.” However, Tivanka came from a family of 3rd generation lawyers; thus, there wasn’t much for him to read to comprehend the same.
Amidst these professional challenges and responsibilities, Tivanka manages to accomplish his duties as a husband, engaging with friends and family while progressing academically. Tivanka ends his statement with a reliable and robust quote; “Be smart to hire the right lawyer who can “win a no-win situation by rewriting the rules.”
Speaking to Yashara Wijesinghe, she is currently functioning as a Senior Partner at Ekaratne Associates. An Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, she is a seasoned lawyer. She has been in practice for over 15 years, guiding the Law, legal procedures, and a wide range of associated concerns. Academically, Yashara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Australia and consistently exhibits masterfulness in all her dealings with her clients. She also has vast expertise in Legal, Secretarial, and Notarial work.
When questioned about the Pros and Cons of having her husband as a business partner, Yashara classifies that many people hear that working with a spouse on a business is complex. For some, it simply isn’t doable. However, if it can be made to work, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, emphasising her belief that two heads are better than one and that the client benefits the most from it. An agile, strategic thinker, Yashara adds her final statement, “Only the strongest women become Lawyers.”
Tivanka and Yashara discuss how they continue to promptly provide their clients with highly experienced, effective, and inventive legal representation. They take the time to listen to and understand their clients’ concerns before developing a solution that precisely addresses their specific requirements. The renowned duo believes in establishing and sustaining a constructive environment for both clients and employees.
To summarise, they discuss their ambitions for the future of Ekaratne Associates, which is to be the top and trusted legal firm by exceeding their client’s expectations at every level. Tivanka and Yashara are constantly aligned with their local and global partners. They are committed to offering exceptional, personalised services to both local and international clients to create outcomes that allow corporations to reach the top of their respective areas and individuals to achieve their goals.