We possess extensive experience in civil and commercial litigation and commercial arbitration. We have been involved in several landmark cases in the fields of banking and financial law, construction, tax, commercial agreements, insurance, real estate, employment, regulatory affairs, product liability, insolvency and debt recovery, and in specialized spheres of law such as constitutional law, procurement, expropriated properties, utilities, employee benefits and aviation negligence. We possess the local knowledge to apply the regulatory, economic, political and cultural context to legal issues and develop competitive case strategies.

We represent clients in numerous key business sectors across all levels of the local and regional judicial system, including the East African Court of Justice. Our dispute resolution lawyers work closely with the firm’s other practice areas to provide a seamless and fully integrated service.

In arbitration, we have a strong track record of acting for leading multinational corporations and local entities in domestic and international arbitration. Our arbitration practice combines extensive regional and global resources with the DLA Piper Africa Group and the larger DLA Piper Global International Arbitration practice.

Our team advises a broad range of clients, including foreign investors, government and government entities, financial institutions and project sponsors. In addition to a fully established commercial arbitration practice, we offer investors advice on a range of substantive investment protections available under Ugandan law as well as under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties. We are part of a global respected team of seasoned investment arbitration practitioners.

Notable recent work highlights include:

Litigation:

  • Acted for British American Tobacco Uganda in prosecuting a landmark economic rights constitutional petition to challenge the Tobacco Control Act 2015 before the Constitutional Court.
  • Acting for the Central Bank in connection with a landmark breach of trust and fiduciary duty claim against the former shareholder of a distressed financial institution and a related party to the shareholder.
  • Acting for dfcu Bank Limited in defending high-value litigation arising out dfcu Bank’s purchase of the assets and assumption of liabilities of Crane Bank Limited (following the placement of Crane Bank Limited into receivership by the Central Bank).
  • Acting for Barclays Bank of Uganda in defending a complex and high-value claim for fraud and breach of duty in relation to the receivership of a borrower.
  • Acting for TOTAL E&P, Tullow Operations and China National Offshore Oil Corporation in a landmark and complex lawsuit that challenges the validity and legality of exploration and production licences issued to the oil companies, including a challenge of the Government of Uganda’s constitutional trustee ownership of mineral resources.
  • Acting for the Civil Aviation Authority as an intervener in connection with a dispute related to the use of and payment for airport space before the East African Court of Justice.
  • Acted for Standard Chartered Bank Uganda before the First Instance and Appellate Divisions of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in a US$ 12 million dispute founded upon a claim on a guarantee issued by Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Acted for the National Social Security Fund, the country’s statutory provident fund, in its challenge of a US$ 20 million arbitral award before the Supreme Court.
  • Acted for Sinohydro, the EPC contractor for the construction of the US$ 2 billion 900 MW Karuma hydro-power dam, in suits filed by third parties against the Government of Uganda and SinoHydro seeking to challenge the contract award to Sinohydro.
  • Acted for British American Tobacco Uganda in a GBP 5.8 million contract dispute with a group of tobacco farmers before the Supreme Court of Uganda, including in landmark post-judgment proceedings that invoked the inherent powers of the Supreme Court.
  • Acted for the Civil Aviation Authority, the aviation industry regulator, in successfully defending a landmark US$ 20 million aviation negligence claim before the Court of Appeal.
  • Acted for Nairobi Java House, East Africa’s leading gourmet restaurant chain, in a landmark trademark law dispute against a business competition regarding the registrability of the word ‘java’.
  • Acted as co-counsel to Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank, Diamond Trust Bank and Centenary Bank (as representatives of the entire banking industry) in the challenge of a statutory instrument that sought to impose a parallel trade licensing regime for the banking sector.

Arbitration:

  • Acted alongside the DLA Piper Africa (Kenya) and DLA Piper London teams in advising the Republic of Kenya in a multibillion dollar ICSID arbitration brought by an investor in the mining sector.
  • Acted alongside the DLA Piper London team in advising Georgia on contentious clauses in a bilateral investment treaty.
  • Acted alongside the DLA Piper London team in advising an oil and gas major in an English law London seated LCIA arbitration on a significant gas pricing dispute.
  • Acted for Cotecna Inspection Services SA in a multimillion dollar London seated LCIA arbitration arising out of a Collateral Management Contract.
  • Advised and acted for the New Forests Company in a major New York seated AAA arbitration arising out of a significant supply contract dispute.
  • Successfully acted for Aegis Media South Africa Proprietary, a subsidiary of Dentsu Aegis Network Limited, a company incorporated in England and Wales in a high value contractual dispute involving non-payment of fees under an affiliation Agreement in Uganda seated LCIA arbitration proceedings.
  • Advised the Uganda National Roads Authority in a multibillion dollar ICC Arbitration arising from a road construction project.
  • Successfully acted for the British American Tobacco Uganda Limited in a high-value contractual dispute involving the sale and distribution of finished tobacco products in CADER Arbitration proceedings.
  • Successfully acted for Africell Uganda Limited in a multibillion shilling contract dispute involving an alleged breach of distributorship agreements in ad hoc arbitration proceedings.
  • Successfully acted for Rift Valley Railways Uganda Limited in a multimillion dollar construction dispute under the CADER Arbitration rules.
  • Successfully acted for Xpectrade Limited in a multi-billion-dollar contract dispute against the Uganda Investment Authority.
  • Advised and acted for Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited in high-value ad hoc arbitral proceedings in a claim for breach of contract.
  • Advised and acted for Total Uganda Limited in ad hoc arbitral proceedings in a dispute over a prime service station.
  • Advised and acted for Shell Uganda Limited in ad hoc arbitral proceedings in a high value contractual dispute concerning the supply of liquified petroleum gas.
  • Advised and acted for the Church Commissioners Holdings Limited in arbitration and pre-arbitral proceedings under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act for provisional measures in the commercial court arising out of a multi-billion-shilling construction dispute.