We have one of the largest banking and finance practices in Uganda, and our firm is renowned for its understanding of the legal, commercial, regulatory and operational aspects of the banking sector in Uganda.

Our practice’s services and advice covers all areas of banking and finance law and financial services, including financial institutions’ regulation. We provide advice on retail, corporate and investment banking, syndicated lending, acquisition finance, asset-backed finance, trade and commodity finance and micro-finance. We have also developed specialised expertise on three significant financial products introduced by the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Act 2016: agency banking, bancassurance and Islamic banking.

We are currently retained as legal counsel to twelve commercial banks in Uganda, act for two regional development banks – the East African Development Bank and the Trade and Development Bank – and execute mandates as local counsel to leading financial institutions across the world. We also act for non-bank lenders such as investment funds, venture capitalists and special-purpose financiers.

We are also retained by Bank of Uganda, the sector regulator, and in 2012, our specialist banking expertise was called upon to perform high-level compliance audits on two local commercial banks.

Notable recent work highlights include:

  • Acted as local counsel to Standard Chartered Bank London, FMO, European Investment Bank and BNP Paribas, as the outgoing lenders, in connection with the US$ 403 million project re-financing of the 250 MW Bujagali II hydro power project.
  • Acting for the borrower in connection with a US$ 40 million facility from a European DFI for the development of a cogeneration plant and factory refurbishment.
  • In banking M&A, acted as transaction advisor and project manager to dfcu Bank for its purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities of Crane Bank Limited following the placement of Crane Bank into statutory management and receivership by Bank of Uganda.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank Uganda on an International Swap Dealers Association (ISDA) hedging transaction (interest rate swaps) worth US$ 322 million between Standard Chartered Bank Uganda and the Government of Uganda. The interest rate swap relates to a concessional loan agreement between the Government of Uganda and the Export-Import Bank of China to finance the US$ 1.4 billion 600MW Karuma hydro-power dam.
  • Advised dfcu Limited for a US$ 50 million bridging finance facility from Arise B.V, a specialist development finance vehicle sponsored by Norfund, FMO and Rabobank, for the injection of capital into dfcu Limited’s banking subsidiary dfcu Bank following dfcu Bank’s purchase of the assets and assumption of liabilities of Crane Bank Limited.
  • Acted for the Trade and Development Bank for a total of US$ 37.7 million in project finance facilities to the developers of three run-of-the river mini hydro-power dams in Uganda.
  • Acted for the Trade and Development Bank for a landmark US$ 20 million murabaha financing (Islamic finance) facility to a leading downstream petroleum company.
  • Acted as local counsel to a leading Asian export credit agency for a US$140 million facility to the borrower to finance export-import transactions with a Japanese conglomerate.
  • Acted as local counsel to a multilateral development finance institution for a US$ 15 million line of credit to a leading regional development bank.
  • Acted as legal counsel to Barclays Bank of Uganda Limited, Barclays Bank Mauritius Limited and Absa Bank (as hedge counterparty) for a US$ 40 million project re-financing facility to an independent power producer for the expansion of the borrower’s heavy fuel oil plant.
  • Acted as local counsel to the lender for a US$ 38 million trade finance facility to a cross-jurisdictional wheat processing company.