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Our Mission

To satisfy our clients’ needs by providing unparalleled, affordable, quality, legal and advisory services with utmost dedication and professionalism.

Our Vision

To meet and exceed our clients’ expectations by continuously improving the quality of our client care and our legal and advisory services.

Founded in 1969, Katende, Ssempebwa & Company Advocates (KATS) has grown to be Uganda's largest and leading law firm with over sixty (60) full time legal and support staff. We are more than a law firm; we are your trusted advisors and partners in the protection and the growth of your business and in ensuring your rights are fully protected.

KATS has over forty six (46) years experience providing world class legal and advisory services and has been consistently internationally ranked as the number one law firm in Uganda year after year by Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers For Business, IFLR 1000: Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms and the Legal 500; the premier benchmark league tables for lawyers worldwide.  

KATS is a full service law firm providing all manner of legal and advisory services including Transactional & Advisory services, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property and Business Support. A more detailed listing of the services we provide, can be found here PRACTICE AREAS

KATS boasts of some of the most talented, highly qualified and experienced lawyers in Uganda some of whom, uniquely in this market:

  • are dual qualified and licensed to practice in New York and London;
  • have received advanced legal training at some of the world's leading law schools including Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge and The London School of Economics;
  • have enjoyed secondments and practical legal training at leading international firms like Slaughter & May, Hogan Lovells, Eversheds and Doughty Street Chambers.

Our lawyers have the unique capability to handle matters in a manner that incorporates and balances the legal considerations in various jurisdcitions.

Although headquartered in Kampala, Uganda, KATS has an Africa wide legal presence as a member of LEXAfrica: Africa's first and largest Legal Alliance comprising of over five hundred (500) lawyers in twenty eight (28) jurisdictions across Africa. This makes us a gateway for any legal or advisory inquiry you may have regarding any issue on any matter in any major jurisdiction in Africa.

KATS has the size, strength and resources to provide quality results and has been a leading advisor on many ground breaking transactions that raise new and complex questions of law that have never been addressed in this region. We have consistently been the number one choice for clients with groundbreaking and unusually challenging transactions in the region and are a major player in the facilitation of the legal and economic development of the East African Community.  

We are a full service law firm providing any and all legal and related advisory services in diverse legal practice or business areas. While we encourage our lawyers to specialise, we also train them to ensure that they are flexible enough to undertake new and challenging assignments that may not have been their primary areas of specialisation.

Our practice is divided into four (4) major areas:  (1) Transactional & Advisory services (2) Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) (3) Intellectual Property (4)  Business support

TRANSACTIONAL & ADVISORY SERVICES

The Firm has maintained a significant and pioneering presence in all areas of general and specialised transactional practice. Most of the more challenging legal problems and assignments in Uganda have been handled by the Firm and many of our lawyers have behind them, a wealth of experience and backgrounds that have collectively enabled us to pool our resources and consistently give comprehensive advice; even in the most unusual or demanding circumstances. 

LITIGATION & ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

We have built an impeccable track record in litigation and have been involved in several groundbreaking and landmark litigation cases that have shaped the legal landscape of East Africa, many of which are now compulsory reading at all East African law schools.

Our Firm’s reputation in this field is such that clients with major litigation matters who may routinely use other firms turn to us whenever the stakes are really high or where the work requires original and unusually complex input. We also do a lot of pro bono work for various local non governmental organisations (NGOs) and human rights organisations and the Uganda Law Society.

At KATS, we believe in Alternative Resolution of Disputes (ADR) and generally regard litigation as a remedy of last resort. We have therefore been involved in a substantial amount of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and negotiation proceedings and have secured countless out-of-court settlements on behalf our clients saving them precious time, innumerable expenses and other unforeseeable constraints of unnecessary litigation.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

The KATS team has a seasoned Intellectual Property department that negotiates property rights agreements, handles trademark, patents, utility models and copyright application procedures, declarations of use and their renewal. We handle protection of these marks, patents, copyrights and neighbouring rights. Our credentials speak for themselves. We have enforced Intellectual Property rights in matters involving copyright infringements, trademark violations, licensing and exploitation country wide and internationally and have successfully handled the first unfair competition and predatory pricing action in Uganda.

BUSINESS SUPPORT

In addition to the traditional legal services, our firm also provides additional Business Support services that our clients require in order to undertake smooth execution of setting up and handling the day to day operations of their businesses in Uganda. These include but are not limited to:

  • Company Secretarial Services
  • Procuring of Work Permits
  • Private Investigations
  • Estate Management

KATS has been consistently internationally recognised year after year as the number one law firm in Uganda by the benchmark league tables for lawyers around the world; Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers for BusinessIFLR 100 - The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms and the Legal 500.

Excerpts from some of these publications;

Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers for Business

Band 1 - General Law

  "The Firm is singled out as a good choice for foreign companies looking to do business in Uganda, and this reputation is reflected in the group's impressive deals sheet."

  "Clients appreciate the 'responsive and informed' nature of the service, and value the fact that 'we are always treated with the utmost care and respect."

  "Commentators praised the firm's 'unprecedented level of work, professionalism and sheer commitment' during the landmark constitutional petition to abolish the death penalty in Uganda."

  "Go-to practice for clients in the financial sector seeking advice on commercial transactions. Leading team with renowned capabilities in banking, corporate and financing mandates. Has expertise in both contentious and advisory matters. Additional experience in assisting international corporations, particularly those in the telecom sector, with multi-jurisdictional deals."

  Described as one of the longest-established practices in Uganda, "this Firm continues to be one of the most dominant in the market. Sources appreciate the depth of expertise on offer and the international background that the team brings to its work."

  "The 24 - lawyer team is distinguished by its wealth of resources: "They don't just assign you one lawyer - I have three other people I can call if I can't get hold of the key partner."

   'Market sources affirm that this ‘well established and respected’ firm founded in 1969 is a top-class outfit with very strong individuals.Clients appreciate the ‘responsive and informed’ nature of the service, and value the fact that ‘we are always treated with the utmost care and respect’.

  Peers feel that the Firm houses ‘some of the best-trained senior lawyers in the country’ adding; ‘They have some high-quality young people as well.’ This Firm, the largest and oldest in the country, is particularly admired for its pro bono and cross-border work.'

  "Still the ‘best known firm in town’ this practice is admired not only for its excellent Commercial and Corporate departments, but also for its senior partners’ contributions to academic life, governmental reviews and constitutional law."

  This long established firm continues to take a leading role in top-level work, and advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious issues.

  "A top-tier Firm." "They've done really good work - very thoughtful and helpful."

  "Katende Ssempebwa has one of the best reputations. ‘It is the oldest Firm in the market and heavily respected for its longevity and the calibre of lawyers at the senior level,’ says a peer. ‘Their depth, reputation and level of expertise is top class’ says another."

  "With over 40 year’s experience in the market and 24 full-time lawyers on board, this Firm is the country’s oldest and largest, and provides ‘thoughtful and effective advice’. The team’s depth ensures it can provide the full range of services to clients, who appreciate that the lawyers ‘can handle multiple complex cases without any disruptions."

The IFLR 1000 - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms

Top Tier Firm - Financial and Corporate

The IFLR 1000 - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms

Top Tier Firm - Energy and Infrustructure

 

  "Katende, Ssempebwa is as close as you get to a market leader in Uganda. The Firm is very well established and very reputable and is the first port of call on big ticket deals for many international firms and global companies."

  "The Firm is probably the most visible on energy and infrastructure projects and it is also the most often recommended port-of-call for international clients."

  "Katende, Ssempebwa & Co. is one of the oldest and largest Firms. They have been around for a very long time and virtually all of us were part of the Firm and learnt our law there...it is a brand and an aura."

  "This Firm has maintained a significant and pioneering presence in all areas of general and specialised transactional and litigation practice."

  "Most of the more challenging legal problems and assignments in Uganda have been handled by the Firm and many of the Firm's lawyers have behind them, a wealth of experience and backgrounds that have collectively enabled the Firm to pool its resources and consistently give comprehensive advice, even in the most unusual circumstances."

  "Its lawyers have received their legal training from the leading universities in the world and therefore have the unique capability to handle matters in a manner that incorporates and balances legal considerations of various jurisdictions."

  "Their depth, reputation and level of expertise is top class."

  Katende Ssempebwa & Co. is the country's longest standing premier league corporate commercial firm. The team boasts impressive credentials and includes numerous dual or triple qualified lawyers, as it encourages all its members to get a second degree. It is the biggest full service firm in terms of numbers and a member of the LexAfrica network.

  "The qualification and background of the senior and junior partners was impressive, they have a strong presence across all Africa with their network and every person we talked to had good things to say about them".

  "It has high calibre, dedicated and skilled staff..they also have a good rapport with local regulators, the Bank of Uganda and the Capital Markets Authority,"

  "You are also sure that their reputation will not be undermined, there are no skeletons in the closet."

  Katende, Ssempebwa ‘is a very prominent Firm in the country.’ The Firm is part of the LexAfrica network, which allows it relationships with foreign firms such as Werksmans in South Africa

  "Katende Ssempebwa has one of the best reputations. ‘It is the oldest Firm in the market and heavily respected for longevity and the calibre of lawyers at the senior level."

  "Katende, Ssempebwa & Co. is firmly in the premier league of corporate and financial firms."

  "The Firm boasts expertise in banking and corporate mandates and draws on the skills of some of the most highly trained lawyers in Uganda."


Legal 500:

Band 1 - General Law

 

We are different because of the way we treat you, our clients, and the effort we take to ensure that we provide solution oriented advice for all your needs.

Our Firm presents a number of strengths that guarantee that we will be able to provide the best quality services to clients in a timely and cost efficient manner:

Our reputation

KATS has over fourty six (46) years’ experience in providing world class legal advisory services and has been internationally recognized year after year as the number one law firm in Uganda by Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, IFLR 1000: Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms and the Legal 500.  

Our size

The Firm is the largest in Uganda and we dedicate all the considerable and combined manpower and technology resources to our client’s work. Our size enables us to afford each client personal attention and ensures that there is always a lawyer available at any time to respond to our client’s needs without compromising on any of our other commitments. Our size also gives our clients the benefit of several lawyer’s experience in approaching any of their assignments and this guarantees significant cost savings owing to economies of scale.

Our global network

KATS is proudly a member of the LexAfrica network, which is a network of leading law firms in Africa. LexAfrica was founded in 1993, has twenty eight (28) African countries and is rated by Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers as a leading law firm network. This healthy collaboration and continuing relationship with leading professionals within and outside Uganda has greatly enhanced the quality of our services to our clients and significantly improved the Firm’s professional profile and the talents of its lawyers.

Our vast experience

Since 1969, KATS has accumulated tremendous experience in all aspects of law practice in Uganda and we therefore have the knowledge, resources and experience to provide our clients with practical and problem solving advice on any transaction they may require. The combined experience and reputation of our partners is a great asset to the Firm as well as to our clients.

Our lawyer’s qualifications

KATS' lineup of lawyers is formidable, the Firm has cream of the country. Our lawyers have the prerequisite credentials, skills and experience to afford our clients unparalleled legal advice and attention.

Three (3) of our lawyers are admitted to practice law in New York and one (1) as a Barrister in the United Kingdom. Several lawyers have received advanced training from the foremost universities in the world including but not limited to; Harvard University, Columbia University, Cambridge University, University of Belfast, London School of Economics, University of Houston and University of Capetown. 

Several of our lawyers worked on major assignments with leading lawyers from most of the leading firms in Europe particulalry the magic circle firms, USA, South Africa, Asia and most of the leading firms in East Africa. Several of our lawyers have also participated in secondments and practical training fellowships at other leading law firms in Europe, USA and South Africa including but not limited to Slaughter & May, Hogan Lovells, Eversheds and Doughty Street Chambers.

Our professional standards

Only the very best will do! KATS insists on the highest professional standards in handling all of our assignments. It has been our bedrock principle to offer all our clients very good value for their money and we make no compromises to our professional standards in this regard. Our lawyers take great care to be responsive to our client’s inquiries and requirements to ensure overall satisfaction and in all cases meet and exceed our client’s expectations. Suffice to say, KATS is an extremely efficient Firm, handling all our esteemed client’ smatters with speed, efficacy and professionalism.

At KATS, our growth and reputation is built upon putting you, our esteemed client, first. 

This has been our foremost objective for more than fourty six (46) years. We recognize that ours is a service industry, whose primary obligation is to help clients solve their problems by way of advice or dispute resolution. We are cognizant of the reality that you are the reason for our success and we commit to always focus on achieving the best legal outcome for you.

YOU CAN COUNT ON US:  

To provide quality service 

We deliver the highest quality, cutting edge and strategic services to our clients to help them achieve their goals. We are therefore constantly reinventing our practice and rapidly expanding to satisfy our ever-growing clientele and to meet your ever increasing professional challenges and requirements today.

To always be committed people 

We are an industrious, energetic and highly skilled team of professionals - attorneys and staff - deeply committed to serving our clients. We conduct ourselves according to the highest standards of ethics, collegiality and mutual respect and recognize that our reward depends on responding immediately to your needs.

To provide clear direction 

We strive for long-term relationships with each client that builds trust and confidence which comes from a thorough understanding of our clients’ industries and from our unwavering and single-minded dedication to service. We work together as a team, and maintain close contacts with numerous law offices from almost all the major capitals in the world to enhance the quality of our services. We are a member of LEXAfrica, which, as the largest African legal network offers limitless potential for our clients as it provides a gateway to Africa to companies seeking to do business on the continent.

To take responsibility for our work 

Each one of our clients is assigned a Partner. The Partner in charge has primary responsibility for the client’s work and dealings with the Firm and the Partner is assisted by a team of 1 – 4 Associates depending on the client's and the transaction's requirements.

To always keep in touch  

We keep our clients informed by email, telephone, letter, social media and fax as to the progress of their matter. We endeavour to send our clients copies of relevant correspondence and documents so that they are fully involved in the process. We expect and encourage our clients to call us at any stage to discuss progress and seek clarification on any issues.

To take pride in achievement 

Every day we work hard to earn our client's trust by anticipating their needs and faithfully protecting their interests. We strive to create an atmosphere that challenges our lawyers not just to meet the client's expectations but to exceed them; not just to respond to needs, but to anticipate them. We are accountable for the business we manage and enjoy our work and find fulfillment in doing it, and doing it well.

You are our main client.

Our other clientele comprises of major international and local corporations, national and international commercial, savings and merchant banks and other financial institutions; foreign investors and their local subsidiaries, international development institutions, multilateral agencies, international financing and lending institutions; the Government of Uganda and the Governments of other nations, parastatals and non-governmental organisations, airlines, oil and insurance companies; a wide range of industrial and commercial establishments of all kinds; international law firms, accounting firms and other consultancy firms and most of the prominent individuals in the nation’s economy and other sectors.  We are a significant player in the facilitation of East Africa's legal and economic development.

Providing unrivalled services to our clients is the commitment of this Firm and the hallmark of our practice. We recognise that ours is a service industry and we work with each client throughout an engagement to ensure that our staffing, strategy, and procedures are designed to yield the result they seek, at a fair price and on a timely basis. We strive for long term relationships that build trust and a thorough understanding of our clients' industries.

A sample list of our clients in any particular practice area (subject to client confidentiality requirements) is available upon request, kindly contact us at: kats@kats.co.ug.

SOME OF THE FIRM ACCOLADES/RANKINGS

ABOUT KATS

We are a full service advisory Law Firm providing any and all legal and related advisory services in a variety of legal practice or business areas. KATS has over forty six (46) years' experience in the industry, providing world class legal services and has been consistently and internationally recognised year after year as the number one Law Firm in Uganda by Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers for Business, IFLR 1000 - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms and the Legal 500 the benchmark league tables for lawyers worldwide.

Get in touch

  • Physical Address
    Radiant House
    Plot 20, Kampala Road
    P.O.Box 2344, Kampala
    Uganda
  • +256 - 414 - 233770/ 233908
  • kats@kats.co.ug