Litigation & Mediation

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Litigation & Mediation

KATS has built an impeccable track record in litigation and has been involved in several groundbreaking and landmark litigation cases that have shaped the legal landscape of East Africa and 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 KATS whenever the stakes are really high or where the work requires original and unusually complex input.

Our litigation practice falls into three categories; Civil & Commercial, Criminal and Constitutional.

Our Civil & Commercial litigation practice includes but is not limited to; general and complex Commercial litigation, Bankruptcy, Insolvency, Debt Recovery & Receiverships, Banking & Finance, Class actions, Consumer protection, Contract law, Employment, Insurance law, Environmental, Energy, Oil & Gas law, Property / Real Estate, Professional liability, Medical negligence, Tax & Compliance, Family law & Administration of Estates, Trademark and Copyright related litigation.

Our legal arguments are comprehensively researched, logically developed, subjected to rigorous internal review prior to submission and simply and convincingly tailored for specific courts. We have an impressive record of success at all stages of litigation. With our exhaustive preparation, a victory in a trial court can withstand an appeal, or a loss can be reversed.

Quite apart from defending law suits, we routinely give advice to in-house counsel and corporate management on how to minimise their liability exposure in the day to day running of their businesses.

Our Criminal law practice is reknown nationwide. The Firm has represented clients in numerous high profile criminal proceedings.We were recently retained by the Government of Uganda to prosecute the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) top brass who were accused of corruption, abuse of office and treason.

We are also routinely instructed by our corporate clients to carry out private prosecutions. We maintain links with various private investigation firms in Uganda and handle private investigations on behalf of our clients.

Our lawyers have extensive experience in this practice area; the Criminal Law team includes a litigator who previously worked with the Ministry of Justice's Department of Public Prosecutions, a State Attorney with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions handling criminal prosecutions.

We also do a considerable amount of pro bono litigation work for various local Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's), Human Rights organisations and the Uganda Law Society (ULS). We have handled some of the mitigation hearings on behalf of several death row inmates affected by the ruling in Susan Kigula & 416 Ors v Attorney General (Constitutional Petition No. 6 of 2003).

"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 Partner's contributions to academic life, government reviews and constitutional law"

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

The 2011 Edition of Chambers and Partner's Global Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers lauded Professor Edward Frederick Ssempebwa, one of the firm's Senior Partners' thus ‘His capacity in constitutional law matters is very good.’

KATS has handled several landmark constitutional cases which have created and altered law and practice in Uganda and which have become compulsory reading at all East African Law Schools.

Case in point; the Firm handled, pro bono, a Constitutional Petition by four hundred seventeen (417) death row inmates, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, made by all prisoners on death row in any one country seeking to have the death penalty abolished. This widely celebrated ruling created a worldwide legal precedent and jurisprudence and led to the abolition of all mandatory death sentences in Uganda. This ruling has been relied upon and led to the abolition of the mandatory death penalty in eight (8) other African countries. This has saved the lives of thousands of people.

In recognition of the pre-eminence of our firm, one of KATS' Senior Partners, Professor Edward Ssempebwa was selected as the Chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission which was charged with reviewing and proposing amendments to the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. He had previously been a member of the 1995 Constitutional Commission which helped draft that Constitution. He was also recently appointed as a member of the Team of Experts charged with the review of the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. He was further enlisted to advise on the Constitution drafting exercise for the Republic of South Sudan.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

At KATS, we firmly believe in Alternative Resolution of Disputes (ADR), and generally regard the courtroom as a remedy of last resort. This is because, in many instances, litigation may not be the best approach to resolve a particular dispute, whether due to the inordinate delays in some matters due to the immense case backlog of courts, confidentiality issues, resources and more.

The Firm has qualified Arbitrators and Mediators who have handled arbitration and mediation both locally and internationally. We have therefore been involved in numerous arbitration, mediation and negotiation proceedings and have secured countless out of court settlements on behalf our clients that have saved them time, expense and other unforeseeable constraints of unnecessary litigation.

We advise clients in industry specific arbitral proceedings. Our lawyers are often called upon as arbitrators in complex commercial disputes and have appeared before arbitral tribunals for investors and disputes involving infrastructure project disputes.

KATS is part of a larger LEXAfrica Dispute Resolution practice group, which guarantees that we can help you to resolve your disputes all across the continent of Africa.

Key Contacts

Prof. Frederick E. Ssempebwa (SC)
Senior Partner
Fred K. Businge
Arthur Ssempebwa