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Leading firms in Uganda

Bowmans - AF Mpanga Advocates

Bowmans - AF Mpanga Advocates provides a full-serviced offering but is particularly notable for its market-leading banking and finance and fintech practice. Active in some of East Africa’s largest mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and projects, the firm is sought out by domestic, regional, and international commercial banks, financial institutions, and multinational companies entering Uganda. David Mpanga leads the dispute resolution arm of the practice, with a focus on competition, human rights and constitutional law. Head of corporate William Kasozi specialises in project and corporate finance, syndicated lending, investments, compliance and restructuring, leveraging his in-house banking experience. Managing partner Ernest Wiltshire maintains a corporate and commercial, tax, and employment practice.

Practice head(s):

Ernest Wilshire; David Mpanga; William Kasozi

Other key lawyers:

Mercy Odu; Jonathan Kiwana

Testimonials

‘The team at Bowmans is highly responsive, providing clear and effective advice in complex and politically sensitive international mandates.’

‘David Mpanga and Jonathan Kiwana are highly recommended.’

‘The team was very helpful in navigating local litigation and dealing with a difficult opponent’s delaying tactics. They were responsive and clear in their advice and communications.’

‘Jonathan Kiwana and David Mpanga were excellent to work with. They kept us informed of progress, openly discussed our available options and gave clear and commercial recommendations.’

Key clients

CNOOC Uganda Limited

Citibank Uganda Limited

Google Inc

Bank of Uganda (Central Bank)

Standard Bank of South Africa

Uber Technologies Systems Uganda Limited

Century Bottling Company Limited (Coca Cola)

Absa Bank Uganda Limited

Vivo Energy Uganda Limited

Massmart in Uganda (Walmart Corporate)

dfcu Bank Uganda Limited

Sanlam Insurance

Equity Bank Uganda Limited

Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Allianz SE on the Uganda law aspects of its acquisition of the general insurance business of Jubilee Insurance.
  • Advised MFS Africa on a seed funding round towards a fintech start-up, Numida Uganda Limited.
  • Successfully represented New Vision Printing and Publishing Co. Limited against the Uganda Revenue Authority in a matter before the Tax Appeals Tribunal regarding Withholding tax worth over UGX 8 Billion.

ENSafrica

Phillip Karugaba  leads ENSafrica's team, which is known by international investors for its focus on energy, mining, TMT, and banking and finance across Uganda and East Africa. Karugba has 'a wealth of experience' in the capital markets, M&A and private equity spheres. Rachel Musoke  specialises in banking and finance -where she is particularly highly regarded for syndicated and bilateral loan transactions - real estate, tax and employment law. The firm also houses TMT sector projects expert Donald Nyakairu. Rehema Nakirya Ssemyalo and Sheila Ann Pacuto are other key names, focusing on M&A and project finance respectively.

Practice head(s):

Phillip Karugaba

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Musoke; Donald Nyakairu; Rehema Nakirya Ssemyalo; Sheila Ann Pacuto

Testimonials

‘Willingness to go the extra mile for clients.’

‘Rachel Musoke – incredibly dedicated to her clients.’

‘The team is extremely helpful and well organised. The billing process runs smoothly.’

‘Always eager to assist, very friendly and a pleasure to work with.’

The firm has the required expertise and are very good with commercial law advisory.

‘Phillip Karugaba is a very seasoned lawyer with a wealth of experience and always provides solutions.’

‘ENSafrica Uganda is a full service oriented legal firm, which covers all aspects of the corporate activity – incorporation, secretariat, licensing, M&A and more. The team is diligent, responsive and professional.’

‘Donald Nyakairu has proved to be an excellent advisor with vast knowledge in corporate law and relevant regulation, and always available to discuss urgent matters.’

Key clients

Direct Pay Group

Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank)

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO)

AgDevCo Limited

Investec Bank Limited

Jumo World Limited

Gaia Impact Fund

MFS Africa Ltd

Broll Property Group

Government of Uganda (“GoU”) through the African Legal Support Facility (“ALSF”)

Work highlights

  • Acted as Ugandan counsel to the lenders for a EUR 300,000,000 facility to the Government of Uganda for purposes of funding its development and infrastructure budget.
  • Acted as legal counsel to the Government of Uganda for advisory and capacity building services with respect to the negotiation of project documents for the USD 3.5 billion Uganda East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline Project.
  • Advised on the acquisition of DPO Group by Network International Holdings plc.

MMAKS Advocates

MMAKS Advocates routinely handles local and cross-border corporate and commercial transactions. Apollo Nelson Makubuya leads the projects, M&A, and banking and finance groups and has significant expertise within the oil and gas sector. Fiona Nalwanga Magona stands out for her 'wide experience’, particularly for regulatory work, compliance issues, and licensing regimes for local and foreign investors. Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe is the managing partner at the firm and head of litigation; he is frequently instructed in banking litigation.

Practice head(s):

Apollo Makubuya; Fiona Nalwanga Magona; Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe

Testimonials

‘High quality, efficient and legally sound’

‘What makes MMAKS unique for me is their deep sector experience and the fact that they are part of the Africa Legal Network, meaning through MMAKS and its affiliates, clients are able to get advice on a range of matters, spanning various jurisdictions in and out of Africa.’

‘I like the fact that they are very quick on their turn around times and their quality of work.’

‘What has stood our for me while working with Fiona Magona is her professionalism and her wide experience in corporate and commercial matters and mergers and acquisitions.’

‘MMAKS is a leading corporate law firm in Uganda. We choose to work with them because of their unparalleled expertise in Ugandan corporate law. They are very responsive and adhere to tight timelines. They accommodate client’s requests and are fairly flexible in fees.’

They are flexible in their billing and are available whenever they are called upon. They invest a lot in growing their staff and exposing them to be able to do better at their work and we can testify and see that the investment has paid off.

‘The MMAKS team can withstand any pressures and still deliver.’

Timothy Masembe is very good in litigation.’

Key clients

Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the Uganda National Oil Company.

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V (FMO)

Societe De Promotion Et De Participation Pour La Cooperation Economique SA (PROPARCO)

KFW Development Bank

Webber Wentzel

Allen & Overy LLP

Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates, Nairobi including Anjarwalla, Collins and Hadermoita Advocates Dubai

Trinity LLP

DFCU Bank Uganda Limited

Diamond Trust Bank Uganda Limited

Trinity LLP

Asante Finance Limited

Finnish Fund for Industrial Development Corporation (FINNFUND)

Absa Bank Uganda Limited

Uganda Breweries Limited

Prudential Assurance Uganda Limited

ICEA Lion General Insurance Company Limited

World Vision Uganda Limited

Shonubi, Musoke & Co Advocates

Shonubi, Musoke & Co Advocates continues to maintain  a strong practice across its full service offering. The firm serves as adviser to a number of major airlines, and represents local, regional, and international banks and lenders. In 2021, the firm saw a growth in its debt restructuring and insolvency practice. Hellen Nakiryowa is an experienced banking and finance practitioner, with a focus on trade, commodity, project, and asset finance. Andrew Kibaya is also a project and finance expert, particularly for tax, regulatory and transactional matters. Other names of note within the team include Innocent Kihika and Noah Edwin Mwesigwa.

Practice head(s):

Alan Shonubi; Peters Musoke; Noah Edwin Mwesigwa; Andrew Kibaya; Innocent Kihika

Other key lawyers:

Hellen Nakiryowa

Testimonials

‘This is a well established law firm that enjoys a sound reputation amongst the Ugandan business fraternity.’

‘The firm has handled numerous different issues quite ably and professionally.’

‘A reputable and reliable law firm.’ 

‘The services provided are prompt and of high quality.

They have deep legal knowledge and unique expertise. Moreover, the fees they charge are reasonable.’

‘Noah Mwesigwa is a top expert in Civil and Civil Procedure law. He has substantial experience and high-level litigation skills, being also very professional and timely in his responses.’

‘Flexibility in billing and customer centricity’

‘The individuals are professional, informed, knowledgeable and very approachable’

Key clients

Aga Khan Estates

British American Tobacco

Top Finance Bank

Scatec Solar ASA

AHC International

Hydro Nova/ Infraco

Capital Markets Authority

UMEME Limited

MTN-Uganda

TDB Bank(formerly PTA Bank)

Afriexim Bank

Government of the United States of America

Uganda National Oil Company

Orient Bank Limited

Bank of Uganda

Emirates Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advised Global Woods Ag. on the acquisition of all its assets and transfer of the entire business of Global-Woods AG to Nile Fibreboards Limited.
  • Advised Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) (formerly trading as PTA Bank) in respect of a Euro 300,000,000 syndicated term loan facility to the Government of the Republic Uganda acting through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
  • Advised Scatec Solar ASA on its USD 1.66Billion acquisition and development of the SN Power affiliated companies which included SN Powers shareholding in Bujagali Energy Limited the licenced operator of the Bujagali Hydro-electric project.

Engoru Mutebi Advocates

Engoru, Mutebi Advocates has a core focus on M&A and banking and finance. The firm is jointly led by Arnold Lule Sekiwano, who focuses on project finance, private equity, digital finance, and capital markets; Robert Apenya, whose expertise crosses over with Sekiwano's and also extends to the energy sector and public private partnerships; and Ivan Engoru, who heads the disputes arm of the practice, which has seen recent instructions concerning tortious liability and trademark disputes as part of the firm's burgeoning IP practice.

Testimonials

The firm has a highly competent digital and financial services practice.

The firm has an extensive and impressive capital markets and financial regulation profile.

We are pleased with their deep collaborations, and flexibility to team up with international and regional firms.

We think, that in terms of specialization in the capital market space, the firm is unrivalled. The depth of the legal team and quality of team members across the board makes the firm, one to go to. I highly recommend them.

The people are open and act swiftly without any delays.

The individuals are able to give you the attention required while acting professionally.

K&K Advocates

K&K Advocates' workload spans the full range of public law regulation, energy, and dispute resolution. The firm also offers a business service which supports clients in establishing and maintaining their businesses. Edwin Karugire regularly represents state regulatory bodies and companies in corporate matters. Peter Kauma and Kiryowa Kiwanuka focus on litigation. Energy is another area of expertise, with the firm on panels for both electricity generation and transmission entities.

Practice head(s):

Edwin KarugirePeter Kauma

Other key lawyers:

Kiryowa Kiwanuka

Testimonials

Client oriented and always available.

They understand the nature of our business and are always at hand to assist whenever needed.’

The K&K team are very thorough and professional in their work.

it is evident from the work done by them that they have done a lot of research to ensure that all the bases have been covered.

They are very responsive, the quality of their work product is excellent, their engagement with the case and the legal and factual issues is second to none.

Key clients

Uganda Communications Commission

Diamond Trust Bank Uganda Limited

Absa Bank Uganda Limited

Uganda Railways Corporation

Nile Fiberboards Limited

Uganda Civil Aviation of Authority

National Medical Stores

British American Tobacco Uganda Limited

Uganda Security Printing Company Limited

Africell Uganda Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Uganda Communications Commission on negotiations and drafting documentation for a Second National Operator Licence for MTN Uganda Limited for the operation of a Telecommunications System.
  • Advised Uganda Security Printing Company Limited and Veridos GmbH on negotiations and drafting documentation for the concession for the setup of a modern computerised driving license system and for the supply of driving licenses in Uganda.
  • Represented Absa Bank Uganda Limited in a claim by Ham Enterprises Limited seeking specific performance of a facility offer.

Kyagaba & Otatiina Advocates

Kyagaba & Otatiina Advocates was founded in 2019 and has quickly gained prominence in the market. Through its affiliation with Dentons the firm is able to offer cross-border advice across multiple practice areas. Doris Akol heads the firm’s tax practice and draws from her previous experience as Ugandan Revenue Authority commissioner general. Managing partner Dennis Otatiina is experienced in private equity projects. Pearl Nyakabwa leads the firm’s banking and finance and energy practices, and has an additional focus on the transport sector. Chairman and corporate and finance partner David Mpanga is also noted.

Testimonials

‘Value for money in billing.’

Available at needed time; business focused; balanced guidance knowing local practice.

Dennis Otatiina is a superb lawyer that will partner with a client to guide you through the tough decisions, always mindful of the balanced and nuanced business realities and local practice realities. He is clear, timely, and pleasant. Pleasure to work with.

A very knowledgeable and responsive team, willing to engage with the legal issues and find solutions.

Diligent and thorough.

Deliver outstanding legal service in a timely manner with absolute quality and engagement.

Mukumbya Musoke Advocates

Mukumbya Musoke Advocates is active in banking and finance, regularly advising financial service providers and project developers. Its recent workload includes restructuring and finance mandates for international banks, funds, and trading companies. Julius Musoke leverages previous in-house experience in development banks to advise on PPP and capital markets matters. Diana Kibuuka is a key figure for tax-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Julius Musoke; Diana Kibuuka

Testimonials

‘The firm is keen on developing it’s staff/resources through exposure to international markets and hence gives its clients that extra perspective which is very useful to guide the client in next steps. This is very satisfying and gives the client a feeling of local knowledge with international ingredient in regards to legal advice received.’

‘Julius provides great advisory support with his local and international perspective on mergers and acquisitions.’

Key clients

African Export Import Bank

FMO

DEG

Barclays Bank Plc

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

Eastern & Southern African Trade and Development Bank

East African Development Bank

Nedbank Ltd

IFC

African Development Bank

Bytelex Advocates

Bytelex Advocates has notable expertise acting for technology start-ups and emerging companies. Early stage financing and fintech are key areas for the firm, with the group also seeing a recent growth in instructions related to mobility solutions, logistics, energy, and infrastructure practices. Founding partner and early-state venture capital expert Raymond Asiimwe is a key name. Tax specialist Irene Eyogyiire and IP expert Martin Asingwire are also of note.

Practice head(s):

Raymond Asiimwe

Other key lawyers:

Irene EyogyiireMartin Asingwire

Testimonials

‘They are professional in their work. They deliver by going above and beyond.’

‘They have a diverse team and offer diverse services in their portfolio.’

Key clients

ARED Group Limited

Ubutaka Farm Mechanisation Limited

GIZ Rwanda

Kian Smith Trade & Co.

Kray Microfinance

Kava Juru Farms Limited

fieldcloud SAS

Yellow Card Financial Inc.

Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) 250 Startups Program in Rwanda

SHORA Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised on a securities flip transaction involving related entities incorporated in Uganda, Rwanda and the United States of America.
  • Advised on a capital raising of GBP20,000 using the unconventional shield – convertible revenue loan agreement.
  • Part of the consultant team that advised on the contents and drafting of the start-up focussed law in Rwanda.

Capital Law Partners & Advocates

Capital Law Partners & Advocates has notable strength in the agribusiness, financial services, environmental, health, and energy sectors, where it offers clients a full service. The practice is jointly led by Elizabeth Kutesa Mugumya, who is a key contact for oil and gas, and Christabel Katembwe Kutesa, who focuses on corporate and commercial matters.