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Commercial Justice

UNRA sued over nonpayment of Shs400 million legal fees

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In the application 954 of 2016 that is before the Commercial Court, KKL Advocates claims that, on March 19, 2015, UNRA instructed them to defend the Authority in civil suit brought by Machinen Engineering Ltd and three others.

 

UNRA boss Allen Kagina.

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) must convince the Commercial Division of the High Court that a law firm they hired to represent them in a litigation does not deserve additional UGX415 million it is claiming or pay up.

Kasekende, Kyeyune and Lutaaya Advocates, better known as KKL Advocates, claim UNRA owes the local law firm UGX415 million in unpaid legal services

In the application 954 of 2016 that is before the Commercial Court, KKL Advocates claims that, on March 19, 2015, UNRA instructed them to defend the Authority in civil suit brought by Machinen Engineering Ltd and three others.

UNRA instructed KKL Advocates in a letter, it claims, and the case was before the High Court in Soroti.

“We [the law firm] accepted the instructions and indeed ably represented UNRA so much so that they managed to have the case against them withdrawn before trial,” KKL Advocates says in its affidavit.

The applicants say that, of the UGX550 million that had been agreed upon by the parties as legal costs, only UGX95 million was paid.

UNRA, however, claims that the money claimed by the advocates is not worthy of the services rendered as the case was withdrawn before trial.

“The amount claimed by the firm is not what they had agreed as per the August 16, 2016 memorandum of understanding, which amount they claim to have paid, hence are not entitled to such erroneous sums,” says the roads authority.

“Should KKL Advocates firm seek to secure payment of costs in absence of an agreement between the parties, then they should do so by way of filing an advocate-client bill of costs for taxation.”

In response, KKL Advocates contends that the negotiations alleged by UNRA to have led to the memorandum of association commenced after the taxation of the party to party bill, hence they were of no legal effect and the subsequent memorandum of association is illegal.

KKL Advocates claims that the amount due to them is that which is in the party to party bill to which UNRA consented, plus the additional one third of the advocates instruction between the advocate and the client as required by law.

The parties were slated to appear before Justice David Wangutusi but counsel for both parties made no show for the second time after doing the same on March 3, which had prompted the adjournment to April 16.

Kasekende, Kyeyune & Lutaaya Advocates or KKL Advocates is a Ugandan law firm based in the capital, Kampala. KKL Advocates was founded in July 2007 by the managing partnership of George Kasekende, Edmund Kyeyune and Alex Lutaaya Mukomazi.

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