Prof. Frederick E. Ssempebwa (SC)
Professor Ssempebwa, the other Founding and Senior Partner of KATS, is the Supervising Partner of all legal work undertaken by the Firm.
Seldom does one person combine success both in the academic and practice arenas, but Professor Ssempebwa has achieved just that. He has not only participated in groundbreaking litigation (he appeared in the first case brought before the newly instituted East African Court of Justice), but has been instrumental in the formulation of numerous laws in Uganda. As a celebrated Professor of Law at Makerere University in Uganda as well as the Universities of Dar-es-Salaam and Zambia, he has reached the pinnacle in the academic field.
Professor Ssempebwa has practiced law both within and outside the courtrooms with distinction for over fifty (50) years and he is a leading consultant in several areas of practice in Uganda.
He has meritoriously earned the title of “Senior Counsel” in the Ugandan Courts of Judicature and his outstanding scholarly record has made him a leading authority in Uganda on matters relating to Revenue Law and Taxation, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Conveyance and General Litigation. He is one of the most respected and most widely consulted lawyers in Uganda.
Professor Ssempebwa was a member of the 1995 Constitutional Commission which helped draft the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and was the Chairperson of the Uganda Constitutional Review Commission which was charged with reviewing the same Constitution six (6) years later. He was a member of the Committee of Experts charged with advising on the amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, was enlisted to advise on the Constitution drafting exercise for the Republic of South Sudan. He sits on the Judicial Service Commission of Uganda that makes recommendations for the appointment of Judges in Uganda.
Professor Ssempebwa has been instrumental in the drafting of various pieces of legislation, regulations and rules governing regulatory bodies including but not limited to; the Insurance Act, the Tax Appeals Tribunal Act and its Rules as well as the Uganda Communications Commission Rules. He was a Member of the Taxpayers Advisory Committee of the Uganda Revenue Authority(URA) from 2000 to 2002, a Member of the Minister of Finance Advisory Group on drafting the Income Tax Act, 1987 and a Consultant to the Ministry of Finance and the URA on forming the Tax Appeals Tribunal and drafting the aforementioned Tax Appeals Tribunal Act.
The Professor has on several occasions served as President of the Uganda Law Society (ULS), is a former President of the East African Law Society (EALS) and has also served in a ministerial capacity in the Government of Uganda. He sits on the Boards of several major corporate bodies and Government Parastatals in Uganda.
Professor Ssempebwa is a published author and has written extensively. He holds several awards of recognition and distinguished service from ULS, EALS and the Institute of Chartered Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU).
His highly anticipated book “East African Community Law” was launched on the 27th November, 2015 at the EALS 20th Annual Conference and General Meeting in Zanzibar, East Africa.
On the 28th March, 2018, Professor Ssempebwa was awarded the Special Rank of Senior Counsel (the highest honor in the legal fraternity) by the Chief Justice of Uganda, Hon. Bart Katureebe.
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Sample Professional Accolades
Professor Ssempebwa has been consistently recognized in:
Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers
“Co-founder Edward Fredrick Ssempebwa is an esteemed individual in Uganda. Peers hold him in high regard for his wealth of experience in tax law and commercial litigation.”
Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, 2020 Edition
- In the 2019 Edition, market commentators stated that they hold Professor Edward Fredrick Ssempebwa in high regard: “He commands respect because of the work he’s done over many years.” A skilled litigator, he is also known for his tax expertise.
- In the 2018 Edition, it was noted that the Professor is recognised by his peers as a strong name in the market. He has expert knowledge of tax law as well as constitutional law.
- In the 2017 Edition, he is lauded for possessing particular expertise in constitutional matters, and it is observed that he also acts on commercial disputes relating to tax law. It is also noted that he assisted the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development with its procurement of a lead investor in an oil refinery.
- In the 2016 Edition, it was observed that Edward Frederick Ssempebwa is a “brilliant and wise lawyer” with standout litigation experience and involvement in constitutional matters.
- In the 2015 Edition, the Professor was described as “a veteran of the Kampala legal scene, whose advice is sought on constitutional matters and regional mandates too”.
- In the 2014 Edition, Edward Fredrick Ssempebwa is lauded by interviewees as “one of the eminent figures of the legal progession.” His extensive knowledge base includes valuable expertise in constitutional matters.
- In the 2013 Edition, it was recognized that ‘Fellow Senior Partner Edward Fredrick Ssempebwa, is also a pre-eminent figure in the Ugandan legal world.‘
- In the 2012 Edition, it was noted that the Professor is the former head of the Constitutional Review Commission and is a renown litigator. ‘His capacity in constitutional law matters is very good.’
- In the 2011 Edition, it was observed that Edward Ssempebwa focuses on litigation issues.
- In the 2008 Edition, the Guide noted that; Founding Partners John Katende and Edward Ssempebwa are ‘greatly esteemed by the legal fraternity.‘The ‘highly regarded’ Edward Ssempebwa is an important adviser and a key litigator in the local legal world… One market source praised his ‘impressive influence’ and ‘exemplary professionalism.’
- In the 2006 Edition, the Professor was described as ‘excellent, cool headed and judicious. Edward Ssempebwa has impressed interviewers this year with his corporate and tax expertise, winning several prestigious appointments.’
- In the 2004-2005 Edition, the Professor was praised as a ‘well-respected Senior Partner, a revenue and tax law specialist, who is also a Professor at Law at Makerere University.’
- In the 2003 Edition, it was stated that ‘interviewees name John Katende as an expert on Ugandan company law, whilst Edward Ssempebwa, Professor of Law at Makerere University, is an active litigator and advisor across the board. Their peers esteem them both for their substantial knowledge and experience.
- In the 2000-2001 Edition, Professor Ssempebwa was commended as ‘a lawyer of the highest order.’ He was described as an authority on matters relating to Revenue Law and taxation and Constitutional Law.
Ranked as a Star Transaction Lawyer by IFLR 1000: Guide to the World Leading Financial Law Firms:
In the IFLR 1000 – Guide to the World Leading Financial Law Firms; 2019 and 2018 Editions, the Professor was ranked as ‘highly regarded.’ In the 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 & 2010 Editions, the Professor was ranked as a leading transaction lawyer.
Specifically in the 2014 Edition, he was recognised as a leading legal figure in the region who has done considerable high profile work on national legislation (including on the Constitution of South Sudan).
- Prof. Ssempebwa is ranked as a Leading Individual by the 2019 Edition of the Legal 500.