Leading firms in Uganda
Bowmans stands out for its cross-border capabilities; its African office network comprises eight offices in six countries on the continent. The firm has carved out a niche in fintech, which is part of its broader TMT practice. David Mpanga is skilled in corporate and M&A and litigation, including constitutional and human rights disputes. Ernest Wiltshire’s experience spans labour, immigration and tax law and product liability litigation. Financial services expert William Kasozi is the managing partner.
‘One of the top full-service law firms in Uganda’, MMAKS Advocates covers the gamut of business law, with specialised lawyers dedicated to distinct areas of practice. The IP department manages the IP portfolios of household name multinationals and also has a good track record in litigation and anti-counterfeiting. In M&A, recent highlights include Fiona Magona’s advice to a private equity fund on the potential acquisition of an East African insurance company. Corporate and commercial department head Apollo Nelson Makubuya is noted for his ‘commercially savvy advice’. ‘Up-and-coming’ associates Mark Turyamureba and Primah Atugonza Kyambadde also receive praise. Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe and Moses Adriko are leading litigators.
‘Flexible and reliable’ firm Shonubi, Musoke & Co Advocates is well versed in high-value transactions, including M&A, cross-border finance deals and energy and infrastructure projects. In an illustration of its strength in the banking and finance space, a team led by Noah Mwesigwa advised the lenders on a receivables-based syndicated facility to M-Kopa. The firm further bolstered its corporate and compliance capabilities with the hire of Elizabeth Karamura from Deloitte. Innocent Kihika, Andrew Kibaya and the ‘very professional and knowledgeable’ Hellen Nakiryowa are other names to note.
Under the leadership of Phillip Karugaba, ENSafrica’s Uganda office goes from strength to strength, continuing to expand its market share while also maintaining longstanding relationships with existing clients. 2018 was a busy year for the team; its banking and finance and corporate departments saw particularly high volumes of work. In a recent highlight, a team led by Bernard Katureebe advised Netherlands Development Finance Company on the financing of a 15MW hydro-power dam. Rachel Musoke’s expertise includes banking and real estate; Donald Nyakairu draws on over 30 years’ experience in corporate and commercial matters, particularly in the TMT space; and Rehema Nakirya Ssemyalo specialises in M&A, private equity and corporate restructurings.
A leading firm in the oil and gas and electricity sectors, K&K Advocates advises public and private companies in Uganda, and also acts as local counsel to multinational clients with operations in the country. On the contentious side, recent highlights include representing longstanding client British American Tobacco in a claim concerning excise duty before the East African Court of Justice; Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Edwin Karugire and Peter Kauma were instructed on the case. Litigator Thomas Ocaya stands out for his defamation and employment law expertise.
Full-service firm Katende, Ssempebwa And Company has a diverse client base that includes leading banks, insurance companies, airlines, energy companies and NGOs, among others. Commercial litigation is a particular strength, and the firm stands out for its ability to take on complex public interest litigation. Senior partners Fredrick Ssempebwa and John Katende and corporate and commercial expert Sim Katende are leading figures in the team.
Highly regarded firm Sebalu & Lule Advocates is the Ugandan member of the DLA Piper network, and as such benefits from an extensive network of offices on the African continent and further afield. It acts for listed and unlisted companies across the TMT, real estate and construction, insurance and energy sectors, among others. Commercial and finance expert Gertrude Karugaba and Barnabas Tumusingize, who has an active contentious and non-contentious financial services practice, are key figures in the team.
Capital Law Partners & Advocates
Capital Law Partners & Advocates has an impressive client base of local and multinational clients, which turn to the firm for corporate, financial and regulatory advice. Its IP practice is also of note; the team handles patent and copyright infringement, registration and anti-counterfeiting. Managing partner Elizabeth Kutesa Mugumya advises on corporate and commercial transactions and disputes. William Were and Emily Gakiza are additional contacts.
Founded in 2015, Engoru Mutebi Advocates has already gained traction in the market and is attracting instructions from high-profile companies inside and outside of Uganda, particularly in corporate, finance and capital markets transactions. In one highlight, Arnold Lule Sekiwano, as Ugandan counsel, advised Platinum Equity on the acquisition of Johnson & Johnson's glucose blood monitoring business. Priscilla Mutebi is a key contact in the real estate and conveyancing department.
Onyango & Company Advocates
International companies seek out Onyango & Company Advocates for commercial transactions, investments, real estate developments and tax issues. Adania Annet Bada leads the litigation and pro bono departments and Miriam Babirye Kaggwa heads the not-for-profit practice. Onyango Owor is the managing partner.