Upul Jayasuriya joined the Attorney General’s Department as a State Counsel in 1978 and was appointed as the First Legal Advisor of the Greater Colombo Economic Commission in the same year.
In 1982 he was appointed Chairman of Sri Lanka State Trading Tractor Corporation and in 1983 he was awarded the Top Young Outstanding Professional Award under the Entrepreneurship category for converting the corporation to a profit-making venture. Thereafter he took over reigns of Ceylon Oils & Fats Corporation.
Mr Jayasuriya was elected as the Secretary to the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) for the period 1991 – 1993. During this period he initiated the filing of nearly 3000 fundamental rights applications through the support of the BASL before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on behalf of those taken into custody in the 1989 insurrection. It paved the way for the release of a large number of detainees and expedited the instituting of legal proceedings against scores of others who were languishing in detention without valid charges.
In March 2013 Mr Jayasuriya was elected as the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka with the highest ever majority in the history of the Association. This was during a most critical time for the legal profession and independence of Judiciary in Sri Lanka, with the illegal removal of Dr Shiranee Bandaranayake the Chief Justice of the Country.
He was presented the 2015-Rule of Law Award of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association in Glasgow with a cash donation of US $5000. He presented it to the wife of a journalist who was murdered by the previous regime.
From 2015-2017 he chaired the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, the premier institution promoting FDIs in to Sri Lanka. Mr Jayasuriya has been a LAWASIA Executive Committee member since 2013, and was Chair of the organizing committee of the Golden Jubilee Conference held in Colombo - Sri Lanka in August 2016.