Bank of Uganda has acquired Sebalu Lule & Co. Advocates for representation in a multi-million dollar court case against wealthy businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.
BoU accuses Sudhir, the former Crane Bank proprietor, of taking out billions of shillings from the financial institution -leading to its collapse.
On the other hand, Sudhir blames BoU for flouting key terms of a Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement (CSRA) he signed with the central bank.
It’s now understood the new law firm will take over the case on behalf of BoU after Sudhir said the central bank’s lawyers – Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi of MMAKS Advocates and David Mpanga from FK Mpanga and Company Advocates were conflicted.
Sudhir argued the two counsels previously represented Crane Bank which was then under him, and should be dismissed on the grounds conflict of interest.
Sudhir contended Masembe and Mpanga advised Crane Bank’s board and management on a daily basis since 2005.
The businessman said during this time, “we as board members believed that MMAKS Advocates as our advisors were in fiduciary relationship with us and had an ethical duty of fidelity, loyalty and confidentiality and by accepting and prosecuting instructions of Bank of Uganda, MMAKS Advocates is in breach of its fiduciary obligationsto me.”
Sudhir wants court to direct that the lawyers be listed as his witnesses in the case.
Through his lawyers of Kampala Associated Advocates, Sudhir told court that on several occasions, companies in which he was a shareholder gave instructions to MMAKs Advocates and sought legal assistance from them.”
One of the tycoon’s lawyers Bruce Musinguzi went on to ask court to put into consideration a confession where counsels from MMAKS advocates admitted to getting instructed to look into the shareholding of Crane Bank as well as holding various trainings for Crane Bank Directors.
In reply to these submissions, Counsel Masembe from MMAKS had argued that his firm never represented Sudhir as an individual but his companies.
“We the lawyers are independent people; we are not mouthpieces of our clients,” he stressed.
This development comes at a time when Sudhir and BoU are expected to commence mediation process to resolve their issues as directed by court.
Sebalu & Lule is a leading Ugandan business law firm. Founded in 1980, we are one of the oldest and largest law firms in the country.
The full-service law practices with market-leading expertise in banking and finance, capital markets, projects and infrastructure, power (energy, oil and gas and mining), corporate and commercial law, mergers, acquisitions and private equity, employment and employee benefits, tax, real estate and conveyancing, non-profit organisations and commercial and civil dispute resolution.