2000 – 2009: A New Millennium

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

African proverb

Lawyers for Africa

KATS joins LEXAfrica, the first true network of leading law firms across the continent. It is also the largest legal alliance in Africa.

LEXAfrica comprises of leading law practices in 25 African countries with access to all the 54 countries in Africa. Presently, it has over 600 lawyers across Africa.

Through its LEXAfrica network, KATS extends its reach, with Africa wide access to leading practitioners from all the leading capitals and business hubs on the continent.

A matter of life and death

KATS argues the landmark case of Susan Kigula and 416 Others v Attorney General – a constitutional petition by 417 death row inmates challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty in Uganda.

This case is the first and only one of its kind anywhere in the world. It is the first class action by all prisoners on death row in any one country, seeking to have the death penalty expunged.

As a result of this case, mandatory death sentences in Uganda are abolished and to date, no civilian executions have taken place in Uganda since 2001.

Relying on this judgment, seven other African countries abolish mandatory death sentences. In neighbouring Kenya, then President, Mwai Kibaki, commutes over 4,000 death sentences to life imprisonment.

Return to Court

With the restoration of the East African Community, The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) is established, with a mandate to ensure compliance with the East African Community Treaty. Highest on the agenda is handling claims relating to good governance, which in many cases are more expeditiously handled at a regional level. 

Prof. Ssempebwa argues the very first case before the restored East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania.

He who drafts East Africa’s Constitutions

Prof. Ssempebwa serves as Chairperson of the Uganda Constitutional Review Commission, which reviews the 1995 Constitution of Uganda.

Later, he serves on the Committee of Experts which drafts the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. He is also enlisted to render advice on the Constitution drafting exercise of the Republic of South Sudan.  

Intellectual Property

KATS advises on the drafting and amendments to the following domestic Intellectual Property legislation: the Trademarks Act, the Copyright and Neigbouring Rights Act, the Patents Act.

 

Are you cross listed?

In a bid to diversify their shareholding, several Kenya based entities cross list their shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE). Among these are: Kenya Airways (the largest regional carrier), Equity Bank (the largest regional bank by capitalization) and Centum (one of the largest regional investment companies in East Africa). KATS advises all these entities.

Later, to further ease cross border share trading, KATS is retained to advise on the demutualization of the USE.

CROSSLISTEDFF

Sim Katende becomes the youngest lawyer to rise to the rank of partner in the history of KATS. He later becomes the youngest lawyer in East, Central and Southern Africa to be ranked as a Band 1 Star Transaction lawyer by Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers; a ranking he has maintained in every subsequent edition since then, to date.

Money, money, money

KATS advises several International and Regional Development Banks including but not limited to; Trade & Development Bank (TDB), East Africa Development Bank (EADB), Africa Development Bank (ADB), ICICI Bank UK PLC, SwedFund International Akitebolag, Agence Francais de Development (AFD) and China Development Bank on various development financings in the country.

 

Fred Kiiza Businge achieves national renown for his litigation practice. He continues to handle some of the most complex and law changing litigation cases on behalf of the Firm, where he wins several multi-billion shillings awards for the clients.

He is KATS’ principal aviation litigation expert,  and his contributions to the development of Aviation law in Uganda are noteworthy.

Fighting for the 'little' guy!

In 1977, the East African Community broke up leaving thousands of employees jobless and with no compensation. After a court battle lasting nearly twenty years, KATS secures the largest settlement in a class action suit for the former employees of the East African Community.

This landmark settlement is a catalyst for numerous other class action suits and settlements across the legal landscape in Uganda, particularly in the employment sector.

Ted Ssempebwa joins the Firm, and over time, becomes one of the leading authorities in Energy, Oil & Gas in Uganda.

He earns a reputation for helming cutting-edge litigation, including the largest class action award in Uganda’s history on behalf of war veterans from the World War II.  He also handles Criminal Litigation matters, most significantly handling some of the mitigation hearings on behalf of several death row inmates affected by the ruling in Susan Kigula & 416 Ors v Attorney General.