Plus - Appreciation

Ever-grateful client remembers a great lawyer

H. L. de Silva

Several letters have appeared in newspapers about the late H. L. de Silva, President’s Counsel, who passed away recently. Most of the eulogies have come from members of the legal profession. I write this letter as an ever-grateful client who received his professional services free of charge.

When I first met H. L. in his chambers, he was seeing me for the first time. He greeted me cordially and asked me to relate my story. When I had finished, he said I was not at fault, and that he would appear for me free, along with his junior colleague.

Thereafter we had several consultations. He spent hours in solitude, thinking about how he would conduct the case and bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. His wife Manel patiently typed out his briefs. Most of it was done overnight.

H. L.’s well-known professional integrity helped to convince the judges that his submissions were honest. H. L. was a deeply religious man who read his Bible even during his free time in courts.

I condole with his family in their great loss. Most assuredly, H.L. has been welcomed through the pearly gates to enjoy eternal rest.

Incidentally, the other senior lawyers, the late Vernon Wijetunga, QC; R. K. W. Goonesekere; the late Edward Deraniyagala, the late E. D. Wickramanayake, and Hugo Anthony – also waived their fees in my case.

I was privileged to have met all these scions of the noble profession of the law in my quest for justice.

Priyani Soysa

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