Leading firms in Uganda

Bowmans

Bowmans' Uganda office fields a sizeable team of experienced partners and associates and forms part of the firm's broad network of offices across the continent. It has established itself as a leading firm in the tech space, where it acts for major multinationals entering or operating in Uganda. On the contentious side, the litigation team was further bolstered in 2019 by the arrival of Genevieve Kampiire from the Attorney General’s Chambers at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. The team particularly stands out for IP litigation, with Frederick Mpanga a name to note for this work. David Mpanga has established a strong profile for constitutional, human rights and competition litigation. Meanwhile, the firm's governance, compliance and investigations team has recently acted for a number of clients in sensitive investigations concerning alleged fraud and mismanagement. William Kasozi, senior associate Mercy Odu and associate Haawa Bukenya are also noted.

Key clients

Cipla QCiL

East and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

dfcu Bank Limited

National Development Bank PLC

CDC Group PLC

Delta Petroleum Uganda Limited

Investment Funds from Health in Africa

Warburg Pincus LLP

ROKO Construction Uganda Limited

Celanese Sales Germany Gmbh

Standard Bank of South Africa

Equity Bank Uganda Limited

Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited

Century Bottling Company Uganda Limited

Lion Assurance Uganda Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised CiplaQCIL on its IPO, a dual listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange and the Nairobi Securities Exchange as the primary listing.
  • Advised CDC Group PLC on the Uganda leg of its proposed equity investment ($200m) into Liquid Telecoms Holdings Limited (a parent of Liquid Telecom Uganda).
  • Acted for Celanese Sales Germany Gmbh in a claim for international sale of goods fraud and a claim relating to an unpaid seller for goods supplied to Monster Beverages Uganda Limited.

Sebalu & Lule Advocates

Sebalu & Lule Advocates remained busy during 2019, handling a number of big-ticket transactions and complex disputes. During the year, the firm also increased its partner number to 10 with the promotions of Michael Mafabi and Paul Mbuga to the partnership. In recent work, Mbuga worked alongside Gertrude Karugaba to advise Stanbic Bank Uganda on a corporate reorganisation by which the bank created a holding company structure, including transferring the banking business undertaking to a banking subsidiary. Financial services specialist Barnabas Tumusingize handles contentious and non-contentious matters; Moses Segawa heads the employment and benefits practice; and Nicholas Ecimu is a leading practitioner in energy and infrastructure projects. The firm is the Ugandan member of the DLA Piper network.

Key clients

Bank of Uganda (Central Bank)

MTN Uganda Limited

Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited

Standard Chartered Bank Uganda Limited

Barclays Bank of Uganda Limited

dfcu Bank Limited

Centenary Bank Uganda Limited

Hima Cement (LaFarge)

Vivo Energy

National Social Security Fund

Umeme Limited

Total E&P

Tullow Operations Pty

Total Uganda

Civil Aviation Authority

Sinohydro Corporation

British American Tobacco

East African Development Bank

Trade and Development Bank

UAP-Old Mutual Insurance

Bollore Logistics

Toyota Uganda

Kinyara Sugar Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the publicly-traded Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited on a corporate reorganisation by which the bank created a holding company structure.
  • Acted as local counsel to the lenders of the 250MW Bujagali II hydro-power project on the $403m project refinancing.
  • Advising National Social Security Fund (as the private counterparty) for the development of a $222m government campus on a public-private partnership basis (build, own and transfer) with the government of Uganda.

Shonubi, Musoke & Co Advocates

The sizeable team at Shonubi, Musoke & Co Advocates expanded further at the associate level with the hire of Ishmael Tumusiime and Alex Kabayo from an in-house position and private practice, respectively. The firm has maintained a strategic alliance with multinational firm Norton Rose Fulbright since 2015, and it also has a branch in Bujumbura, Burundi. It covers the gamut of legal services, with particular specialisms in M&A, finance and energy and infrastructure projects. It maintains longstanding relationships with several of its clients, which include leading financial institutions, airlines and energy companies. Noah Mwesigwa specialises in corporate and commercial transactions, and associate partner Hellen Nakiryowa advises on trade, commodity, project and asset finance, syndicated lending and secured and unsecured lending. Other key partners include Innocent KihikaNoah EdwinAndrew Kibaya and Alan Shonubi.

Key clients

Umeme Limited

Eskom Uganda Limited

Nc Bank Limited

Jubilee Insurance Company Limited

Orient Bank Limited

Uganda Development Bank

Bredero Shaw International Bv

Bank Of Uganda

Total

General Electric

Google

Emirates

Agakhan Foundation For Economic Development

Tororo Cement Limited

Maersk/ Damco

Abi Finance

Kalangala Infrastructure Services

Standard Bank

Serena Hotels

Sheraton

Work highlights

  • Advising Bank of Africa Kenya on the sale of its entire shareholding in Bank of Africa Uganda to BMCE Bank Morocco.
  • Advising African Development Bank on a sovereign-guaranteed line of credit facility to Uganda Development Bank Limited.
  • Advising Mustard Seed Foundation on the development of a 12.3MW biothermal plant in northern Uganda.

ENSafrica

The Kampala office of pan-African firm ENSafrica is led by Phillip Karugaba. It works with its longstanding clients, which - with its established strength in the banking and finance space - include multinational banks and development finance institutions. Recent highlights include Rachel Musoke's advice to AgDevCo on financing provided to Gulu Agricultural Development. On the M&A side, the team has recently seen an uptick in acquisitions by foreign investors of businesses in the fast-moving consumer goods and agribusiness sectors. Corporate and commercial law expert Donald Nyakairu is particularly active in the tech and telecoms sectors.

Practice head(s):

Phillip Karugaba

Key clients

AgDevCo Limited

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden (“FMO”)

DEG- Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited

Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC)

The government of Uganda

Uganda National Oil Company

CNOOC Uganda Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on a syndicated loan financing to MTN Uganda by Stanbic Bank.
  • Advising AgDevCo Limited on financing to Gulu Agricultural Development Limited.
  • Acting for a syndicate of lenders on a $9m financing to SolarNow Safi 3 Limited, a local company providing solar energy solutions in Uganda.

K&K Advocates

K&K Advocates counts leading Ugandan companies and financial institutions among its clients. The firm excels in the energy and oil and gas sectors, and has additional expertise in public law, public procurement and regulatory matters. Edwin Karugire and Peter Kauma have been working alongside international firms to advise the Uganda National Oil Company on the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. Dispute resolution also features among the team's workload; Kiryowa Kiwanuka is an experienced litigation and energy lawyer, while Thomas Ocaya has established a notable defamation and employment litigation practice. Pheonah Nankunda is a key associate.

Key clients

SGS Uganda Limited

British American Tobacco (BAT)

Uganda Security Printing Company Limited

Uganda National Oil Company Limited

Uganda Railways Corporation

National Medical Stores

Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited

The Kingdom of Buganda

Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited

Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited

National Social Security Fund

Uganda Development Bank

Orient Bank Uganda Limited

Airtel Uganda Limited

National Water & Sewerage Corporation

Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the government of Uganda acting through its implementing agency, the Uganda National Oil Company, on the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline.
  • Advising on the procurement for the design, build, finance, operation and transfer of the Kampala-Jinja Express Highway PPP Project.
  • Defending National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in a challenge that sought to injunct the fund from accessing possession of its land measuring 842.12 acres at Nsimbe Estates.

MMAKS Advocates

A member of the Africa Legal Network, MMAKS Advocates has a strong presence in Uganda, where it acts for major local and international clients. Its work is broadly split into four practice areas: commercial and corporate advisory; property, banking and finance; litigation; and intellectual property. Senior partner Apollo Nelson Makubuya is an expert in international human rights law, and also advises on large corporate transactions, including in the mining and energy sectors. Corporate, private equity and projects specialist Fiona Magona draws on over 13 years of experience.

Practice head(s):

Apollo Nelson Makubuya

Bytelex Advocates

Established in 2014, Bytelex Advocates has carved out a niche in advising start-ups and emerging companies, and continues to attract new clients. Sector specialisms include tech, fintech, energy and infrastructure. Raymond Asiimwe is the founding and managing partner; Eyogyiire Irene specialises in energy, finance and tax; and Martin Asingwire heads the litigation and ADR department.

Practice head(s):

Raymond Asiimwe

Key clients

Zipline International Inc.

Absolute Energy

Innovex ltd

ThinkIT Ltd

Richard Musinguzi Studios Ltd

Printboda Ltd

Shock drift technologies Ltd

Epartograph

Work highlights

  • Advised Zipline International Inc. on the requisite legal requirements for setting up in Rwanda and Ghana.
  • Acted for Absolute Energy Africa Limited on its proposal to expand the capacity of one of its grids.
  • Advised a biotech company on a patent application and other matters.

Capital Law Partners & Advocates

Capital Law Partners & Advocates maintains a varied legal practice, covering everything from trade marks to debt recovery to land acquisition. The firm's clients are likewise diverse, and include companies operating in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, financial services and agriculture sectors. Elizabeth Kutesa Mugumya and Christabel Katembwe Kutesa, who was promoted to partner in 2018, are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Christabel Katembwe Kutesa

Engoru Mutebi Advocates

Major multinational companies and financial institutions turn to Engoru Mutebi Advocates for advice in the areas of banking and finance, corporate M&A and infrastructure and projects. 2019 was another busy year for the firm, which saw an uptick in interest in PPPs and cross-border corporate transactions. Arnold Lule Sekiwano advises on corporate, competition and capital markets matters and has additional expertise in fintech and digital finance; Robert Apenya advises across commercial, corporate, projects and IP.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Islamic Development Bank on the entire regulatory and legal framework relating to sovereign borrowings by the government and state entities.
  • Advised the World Bank on the legal, regulatory and tax framework in Uganda to enable the creation of a capital market instrument to crowd in domestic institutional investors to finance infrastructure projects in Uganda.
  • Assisted the Financial Access Commerce and Trade Services Africa with its reorganisation.

Kampala Associated Advocates

Kampala Associated Advocates has an impressive contentious and non-contentious practice. Tax is a prominent area at the firm, and it has recently handled a number of tax disputes on behalf of clients. Key practitioners in the sizeable team include managing partner Joseph Matsiko, experienced tax lawyer Oscar Kambona, litigator Augustine Obilil Idoot and associate Barbara Musimenta.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Matsiko

Key clients

Nile Breweries Limited

Plexus Cotton Limited

GOTV Uganda Limited

Jervois Mining Limited

Tugende Limited

CNOOC Uganda Limited

MTN Uganda Limited

Bujagali Energy Limited

Africell Uganda Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Kobil Uganda on the acquisition of 23 petroleum retail outlets in a transaction worth over $9m.
  • Advised Standard Charted Bank on the restructure of a loan facility.
  • Assisted Great Lakes Textiles Limited, a subsidiary of Plexus Cotton Limited, with the termination and demerger of a venture that it was a part of.

Katende, Ssempebwa And Company

Katende, Ssempebwa And Company has successfully established itself as a significant firm in M&A, IP and litigation in the Uganda legal market. It has an impressive commercial litigation practice and has handled complex public interest litigation. Fredrick Ssempebwa, John Katende and Sim Katende are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Sim Katende

Mukumbya Musoke Advocates

Mukumbya Musoke Advocates focuses on corporate and commercial transactions and projects, with clients including financial service providers, project developers, contractors and a range of corporates active in various sectors. In recent work, Julius Musoke and Diana Kibuuka advised Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and FMO (the lenders) on the due diligence, bankability analysis and project structuring of the Kikagati power project.

Practice head(s):

Julius Musoke; Diana Kibuuka

Key clients

African Export Import Bank

FMO

DEG

Cipla Limited

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

Eastern & Southern African Trade and Development Bank

East African Development Bank

Nedbank Ltd

IFC

African Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Nedbank Limited, the financier of the roll out of Vodafone’s 4G LTE network in Uganda, on the winding up and insolvency of Vodafone Uganda T/A Afrimax Uganda Limited.
  • Advised Cipla Limited (India) and Cipla EU (UK) ,in their capacity as controlling shareholders, on the IPO of their Ugandan subsidiary (Cipla-qcil) on the Uganda Securities Exchange.
  • Advised Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and FMO (the lenders) on the development and financing of the Kikagati power project along the border of Uganda and Tanzania.

Onyango & Company Advocates

Onyango Owor is the managing partner at Onyango & Company Advocates, which provides a full-service offering, advising international clients on a range of commercial, corporate and real estate transactions and tax. Adania Annet Bada heads the litigation and pro bono departments.

Practice head(s):

Onyango Owor

Signum Advocates

Signum Advocates is equipped to advise numerous practice areas, and has a niche in IT, telecoms, e-commerce and digital banking. Batanda Gerald joined in 2018 from the Attorney General’s Chambers of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.