Pro Bono

"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"

Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2006 Edition.

At KATS, we are committed to both individual and corporate social responsibility – initiating selfless actions for the benefit of others in our community.

Public Interest Litigation

KATS has over the years been involved in ground breaking, law changing and jurisprudence creating pro bono litigation.

One of the outstanding cases in this sphere is the case of Susan Kigula and 416 Ors v Attorney General (Constitutional Petition No. 6 of 2003). We successfully handled up to appellate level at the Supreme Court, a Constitutional Petition by four hundred seventeen (417) death row inmates challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty in Uganda. This was the first class action by all prisoners on death row in any one country seeking to have the death penalty abolished, in the world.

The widely celebrated ruling of the Supreme Court case created a worldwide legal precedent and jurisprudence and led to the abolition of all mandatory death sentences in Uganda. Since 2001 there has not been a single Government execution in the civilian arena in Uganda.

This ruling has been relied upon and led to the abolition of the mandatory death penalty in eight (8) other African countries. In neighbouring Kenya, it inspired the then President of Kenya, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, to commute to life imprisonment, the death sentences of over four thousand (4,000) prisoners on death row in Kenya.

The Firm has continued for several years, to handle mitigation hearings on behalf of several death row inmates affected by the ruling, the last of which have only just been concluded in 2015, a conclusion to pro bono litigation initiated thirteen (13) years before, in 2002.

General Pro Bono Representation

The 30 - lawyer firm, the largest and oldest in the country, is particularly admired for its pro bono and cross-border work

Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2006 Edition.

KATS continuously provides free legal services to private indigent persons that require legal representation. We 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), in which we have successfully protected our client’s interests. We appear in court and conduct negotiations on behalf of these clients to ensure that they are not unfairly deprived of justice, merely because they cannot afford legal services.

Financial Aid

At Katende Ssempebwa and Company Advocates, one of our core values is giving back. To us, giving back time, money and services are measures of equal importance. We believe that the unique passions and talents of our team provide important value to our community.

KATS occasionally provides some financial assistance to outstanding law students with admissions to top tier international law schools.

The Firm also annually provides sponsorships to law students from the Law Development Centre, local universities including but not limited to Makerere University and Uganda Christian University, to participate in local, regional and international moot competitions such as the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in the United States of America and the All Africa Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

Charity Work

Members of the KATS team routinely volunteer their time and financial support to various charities such as the Sanyu Babies Home which are charitable organisations supporting needy children.

Our lawyers also advise and serve on boards of numerous hospitals, educational institutions and charitable organisations.

The Innovation Hub

KATS sponsors the ‘Innovation Hub’, a tech space that fosters innovation in the legal profession and enhances the mode of delivery of legal services and access to justice. The hub drives law tech, legal tech and civic tech to give practitioners and entrepreneurs the knowledge and opportunity to take advantage of 21st Century trends and movement. 

The Innovation hub’s collaborative approach empowers law firms, consumers, citizens and makes the government more accessible, efficient and effective. It connects the start-up community with legal expertise to solve challenges and create solutions and opportunities for people.The hub is a leading incubator for research, discourse and discussions on the opportunities that emerging technologies present to the legal profession, and it hosts summits, hackathons and conferences to engage and start conversations on the same.

Mentorship Programs

Uganda is one of the youngest countries in the world with majority of it’s population under the age of fifteen. As such, we are passionate about  investing in the youth, as they determine the direction our country takes.

Several lawyers at the Firm mentor the youth and regularly give motivational speeches at local universities law faculties, to encourage and empower them to pursue their dreams and equip them with practical advice for success in their chosen field.

For example, our Alice Namuli Blazevic hosts “Coffee with Alice”, a mentorship forum which is held monthly for law students and young graduates, geared towards bridging the gap between law school and legal practice. The forum is also aimed at nurturing young leaders and teaching them how to pay it forward.

Some lawyers at the Firm also assist in the coaching of mock trial teams in international moot competitions such as the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in the United States of America and the All Africa Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

The Annual KATS Moot Court Awards

In 2017, the Firm established the ‘Annual Katende Ssempebwa Moot Court Awards’ which celebrate and honour the Best Orator and Overall team of the Law Development Centre Moot Court competition. The Law Development Centre (LDC) is an educational institution for higher learning which offers law students a Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice – a pre-requisite to enrollment as an advocate and authorization to practice law in Uganda. The LDC Moot Court Competition is presided over by Judges of the Courts of Judicature in Uganda.