1980 – 1989: The KATS Way

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

Booker T. Washington

The KATS way:

The nine KATS principles for its successful legal practice are:

⦿ Consult, Consult, Consult;
⦿ Prepare, Prepare, Prepare;
⦿ Results, Results, Results.

The Founders develop the KATS model for talent training and client service that becomes the bedrock for a modern Ugandan law firm.  Law firms across East Africa have since replicated this model.

KATS hires the best law school graduates and through rigorous and expansive training imbues all its lawyers with the highest level of professionalism and a commitment to  excellence. KATS lawyers are given responsibility early on in their careers, and encouraged to pursue their dreams; legal or otherwise.

Political upheaval In Uganda

Between  1979 and 1985, Uganda has a revolving door of Presidents: Yusuf Kironde Lule, Godfrey Binaisa, Paulo Muwanga, Apollo Milton Obote and Tito Okello Lutwa. These are perilous times for the whole country and the economy.

Taking flight

KATS strengthens its aviation focus with key clients like: Kenya Airways (since 1982), Ethiopian Airlines (since 1985), KLM, Rwandair, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and more.

KATS also represents the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Entebbe Airport Ground Handling Services Operator – NAS.

Samuel Serwanga joins KATS, after leaving the  Department of Public Prosecutions, in the Ministry of Justice, where he was Head of Criminal Prosecutions. A seasoned and highly respected litigator, he has since become the Director of the Firm’s Litigation practice.


Liberation War

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni takes power in 1986 overthrowing the Tito Okello regime…

Rule of Law

KATS argues the landmark case of Ssempebwa v Attorney General, enshrining the application of the rule of law in Uganda; following the ouster of previous regimes. Under them, Uganda was governed by decree. Prof Ssempebwa is the Plaintiff, with John Katende representing him. 

This was one of the very first cases where a court ruled against a sitting president and declared a legislation which he had signed into law, null and void. It sent a very strong signal to the whole country that the Rule of Law had returned and that courts could provide justice. This ushered in a new era of unprecedented growth of legal practice in the country. The number of law firms and lawyers significantly increased as the public gained more confidence in the legal profession.

During these tumultuous times in Uganda’s history, the firm handles over 2,372 cases: civil, criminal and commercial litigation.

KATS Cases Handled