Founding, Senior Partner
+256-414-233770 / 233908

John W Katende is one of the two Founding Partners and Senior Partners of KATS. He is also the Firm's Managing Partner.

His experience spans over fifty (50) years practice in Uganda and the East and Central African region.

In his career, Mr. Katende has been involved in any and everything that has to do with law and legal practice in Uganda. Ask any judge or legal practitioner and with unanimity, they concur that without doubt Mr. Katende is one of the finest lawyers in the country's history.

Mr. Katende has lectured law at Uganda’s premier tertiary institution, Makerere University and has served as an external examiner for the Universities of Dar-es-Salaam, Zambia, Malawi and Nairobi for several years. He has authored many a learned treatise including 'The Law of Business Associations in East and Central Africa' which is one of the leading texts in all the law schools across East and Central Africa.

His distinguished career in the academic field is rivalled by equal merit in the practice of law. He has been involved in a lot of groundbreaking and law-creating litigation that has significantly contributed to the evolution of jurisprudence and legal practice in Uganda. Outside the courtrooms, Mr. Katende has been involved in the structuring and planning of many of the largest commercial ventures in Uganda and he continues to routinely advise leading commercial concerns in Uganda on a day-to-day basis.

He has over the years developed expertise in the areas of Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration, Corporate and Commercial Law, Capital Markets, Banking & Finance, International Trade, Mergers & Acquisitions.

He has served in various capacities as a Director or as Chairperson of the Boards of several large domestic and multinational corporations. For over thirteen (13) years, Mr. Katende was the Honorary Attorney General and Chief Legal Advisor to the Kingdom of Buganda and to His Majesty the Kabaka of Buganda. He was also the Chairperson of the Buganda Constitutional Review Commission.

On the 28th March, 2018, Mr. Katende was awarded the Special Rank of Senior Counsel (the highest honor in the legal fraternity) by the Chief Justice of Uganda, Hon. Bart Katureebe.

Sample Professional Accolades

Mr. Katende has been internationally recognized as one of the only two Senior Legal Statesmen in East Africa by the Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business:

  • In the 2017 Edition, it was observed that he is well regarded by his peers, who laud his "incredible" profile in the market. He is a seasoned corporate and transactional lawyer. 
  • In the 2016 Edition it was noted that he is a highly regarded and distinguished practitioner with a wealth of experience advising on corporate transactions and financing.
  • In the 2015 Edition it was stated, 'John Katende is “well respected" among peers for his extensive experience in financings, M&A and restructurings.'
  • The 2014 Edition noted that; 'With over four decades of experience, managing partner John Katende is widely regarded as a doyen of Ugandan law.'
  • The 2013 Edition states that 'John Katende is a ubiquitous figure in the Ugandan legal market, with decades of experience in litigation and non-contentious commercial issues.'
  • The 2012 Edition remarked that ' The renowned John Katende can draw on more than 40 years of experience in litigation, and also works on non-contentious matters spanning the spectrum of corporate law.'
  • The 2011 Edition described Mr. Katende as one of the leading figures in the country with a source stating ‘I don’ t think there are any people working at that level of success in Uganda. He is very skilled at what he does.'
  • The 2010 Edition observed that 'The Managing Partner John Katende brings over 40 years of experience to his corporate work.'
  • In the 2009 Edition, the Guide stated that  "Founding Partners John Katende and Edward Ssempebwa are ‘greatly esteemed by the legal fraternity.' "
  • In the 2006 Edition, ‘Big ideas man’ John Katende was praised for being ‘exceptionally strong’ in corporate and commercial transactions.
  • In the 2004-2005 Edition, ‘Extremely shrewd’ Partner John Katende is highly regarded for his expertise in company law matters in Uganda, being the author of the leading textbook in East African Law Schools on company law. His clients include a number of foreign investors establishing and registering enterprises in Uganda. He is also an honorary Attorney General and Chief Legal Advisor to HM King Ronnie of Buganda.
  • 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, it was noted that; John Katende has been involved in a lot of ground breaking and law creating litigation and has contributed significantly to the development of the law and its practice in Uganda. Outside the courtrooms, he is a leading practitioner in areas relating to business corporate and commercial law. He has been involved in the structuring and planning of many of the largest commercial ventures in Uganda and continues to  routinely advise leading commercial concerns in Uganda on a daily basis.

Mr. Katende is ranked as a leading transactional lawyer by IFLR 1000 - Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms in its 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 & 2010 Editions.

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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
  • +256 - 414 - 233770/ 233908