If you are in Uganda’s legal services industry and or a regular user of commercial lawyers you must have heard about the big industry movements mid-2019, that have now settled into what we now know is Ortus Advocates- a legal, tax and business advisory law firm. Each of the 12 partners, brings to the table a unique and rich experience in their respective fields allowing Ortus Advocates to offer a seamless service cutting across 15 practices, all under one roof.

The 15 practices, are: banking and finance; projects and infrastructure; energy, oil & gas and mining; insolvency & business rescue; energy & natural resources; mergers & acquisitions and tax. Other practices are: technology media & telecommunications; real estate and conveyancing; commercial dispute resolution; corporate & commercial law, registrar services, non-profit organisations, employment and intellectual property.

READ RELATED STORY: BALLS OF STEEL: Ortus Advocates, Kampala’s newest commercial law firm dares to break into the top 10 league

This, according to Bernard M. Katureebe, the Managing Partner will allow the firm to differentiate itself by offering cost-effective solutions, but much faster.

But who are the 12 partners?

CEO EA Magazine, here below takes a deep look into who the partners are and what they bring to the table:

1 of 12: Bernard M. Katureebe; Managing Partner

Services & Areas of Practice: Banking & Finance, Infrastructure & Construction, International Arbitration and Insolvency & Restructuring

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Cardiff University; Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice – Cardiff University

Bernard M. Katureebe; Managing Partner, Ortus Africa

Bernard is the Managing Partner of the  firm and the Head of the Banking and Finance Team with over 18 years’ experience in banking & finance, insolvency and restructuring. He is a dual qualified practitioner both as a Solicitor of England and Wales and an Advocate in Uganda.

Bernard is recognised as a leading lawyer with a vast experience in the areas of Finance (debt and equity), general banking (operational and regulatory) and financial services. Bernard regularly advises various domestic and foreign banks and other funds in Africa, and specialises in asset, project and/or infrastructure finance. He has been involved in reviewing the entire banking architecture in Uganda with a view of introducing Islamic Banking in the country. Bernard has previously served as director on the board of two listed companies on the Ugandan Stock Exchange.

He has consistently been recognised as a leading/recommended lawyer by the following reputable rating agency and its publication:

  • Chambers and Partners Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers 2019, Bernard has been described as “always amiable and able to provide comfort in pretty difficult situations”. 2018, 2017, 2016, “ He’s resilient in his pursuit for excellence”. 2015, 2014 – General Business Law: 2015 – “up and coming” General Business Law (Uganda).
  • IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate Guide 2019 – Highly Regarded, 2018, 2017, 2016 – Leading Lawyer (Uganda)
  • Legal 500 EMEA 2018

2 of 12: Birungi Kaburara Mugisha; Partner & COO

Services & Area of Practice: Banking & Finance, Projects & Project Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions

Professional Qualifications: Bachelors of Laws (Hons) – Makerere University; Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre.

Birungi is a Partner in the Banking and Finance practice with over 8 years specializing in banking and finance law, projects development and finance, energy and natural resources, mergers & acquisitions, real estate infrastructure and construction.

She also doubles as the Ortus Advocates’ Chief Operating Officer.

She has extensive experience in advising both local and international energy, infrastructure and real estate clients on the financing of major infrastructural and developmental projects including those relating to acquisitions, project and asset finance , secured and unsecured lending. She also has also proven experience in financial services regulation including bank regulatory, transactional, bank insolvency, compliance and supervisory matters.

Birungi was rated by the IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate guide 2018, 2017 as a “Rising Star” for Uganda. She has also been recognised by the Legal 500 EMEA 2018.

3 of 12: Simon Peter Kinobe; Partner

Services & Area of Practice: Dispute Resolution; Infrastructure & Construction

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Makerere University; Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre; Masters in Energy Law and Policy – Dundee University (in progress)

Simon Peter is a Partner in Ortus Advocates on the Infrastructure & Construction team.

He is also the current President of the Uganda Law Society.

His career spans over 18 years- having previously served as the Founding and Managing Partner of KMT (Kinobe, Mutyaba) Advocates. Before that, he was a Senior Inspectorate Officer, at the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) and a Lecturer of Law at Kampala International University.

In his previous service as a Council Member of the Uganda Law Society, he is credited for having played an integral role in the introduction of the Cluster System to the legal industry, which system seeks to group the members according to their areas of expertise and encouraged the sharing of knowledge.

Simon’s experience extends from project development, contract administration to dispute resolution advice offering our clients a unique understanding of the full cycle of a construction project.   

4 of 12: Rebecca Prossy Nambi; Partner

Services & Areas of Practice: Tax Advisory  

 Professional Qualifications:  Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Makerere University; Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre; Advanced Diploma in International Taxation – (CIOT – UK); ACCA and Master of Laws -Oil & Gas (Research level) – Uganda Christian University/Institute of Petroleum Studies (on going)

Rebecca is a lawyer and an experienced tax advisor with over 16 years’ experience. She has previously worked with Deloitte in Uganda, Kenya and the UK where she led and managed multiple tax engagements.

She provides comprehensive tax & legal services to assist clients create value through cost and risk management as well as on the tax implications of their business structures and transactions as well as their compliance and reporting responsibilities.

She also assists clients manage, understand and resolve complex disputes with  tax authorities, including pre-audit procedures or dispute prevention, tax audits or assessments, and dispute resolution or settlement.

5 of 12: Silver Kayondo; Partner

Services & Areas of Expertise: Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Fintech & Digital Banking; Regulatory & Compliance

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Ugandan Christian University; Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre; Masters of Laws (with distinction) – University of Pretoria; Advanced Certificate in Insolvency & Restructuring – South Africa Restructuring & Insolvency Practitioners Association (SARIPA).

Silver is a Partner on the Ortus Advocates’ technology, media & telecommunications and IP team. He is one of Uganda’s respected thought leaders on industry futurism, the 4th Industrial Revolution and Africa’s digital economy strategies.  

His areas of expertise include: emerging technologies, fintech & digital banking

media, telecommunications, venture capital and private equity. He has done secondment to the World Bank’s Law, Justice and Development Forum hosted by the Legal Vice Presidency in Washington, DC.

Among other milestones, Silver has previously acted for the Cryptocurrency Dealers Association of Uganda on implications of the Ugandan Central Bank’s policy stance on Crypto regulation.

6 of 12: Emily Gakiza; Partner

Services & Areas of Practice: Corporate & Commercial; Banking & Finance; Fintech

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Law (LLB) – University of Dar es Salaam; Master of Business Administration (MBA) – University of Leicester  

Emily is a Partner in the Ortus Advocates’ banking & finance team with over 22 years of experience. She was formerly a partner at Capital Law Partners & Advocates as well as the former Head of Legal and Company Secretary for Standard Chartered Bank- Uganda.

Emily is a finance, risk and governance professional who has had wide-ranging experience in the financial services sector including the implementation of compliance related innovation in the financial services and mobile money sector, anti-money laundering and sanctions. She has advised on various matters from financing, conveyancing, outsourcing, corporate real estate, employment and on governance.   

She is currently a co – convenor of the Finance and Banking Cluster of the Uganda Law Society and is an accredited IFC/ICSA Governance trainer. 

7 of 12: Kenneth Legesi; Partner, Ortus Africa Capital

Services & Areas of Practice: Corporate Finance Advisory; Management Consultancy; Business Strategy; Mergers & Acquisitions, Valuations; Capital Raising

Professional Qualifications: BSc Civil Engineering – Makerere University; Masters Environmental Engineering with Business Management – Imperial College London, UK; Chartered Financial Analyst Program – CFA Institute, USA

Kenneth is a Partner at Ortus Africa Capital, he is a dual civil engineering/infrastructure and finance/investment professional with over 17 years of providing strategy, planning and management as well corporate finance advisory services to both public and private sector clients.

His specialisation includes: design and implementation of business/operating models, leading on valuations, Mergers & acquisitions and capital raising transactions across diverse sectors, such as energy & resources, infrastructure & construction, financial services, TMT and intellectual property. 

Before Ortus Africa Capital, he was the Manager, Corporate Finance at Deloitte Uganda.

 8 of 12: Dorothy Kabugo; Partner

Services & Areas of Practice: Corporate & Commercial; Real Estate & Conveyancing; Oil & Gas; Mining; Dispute Resolution

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Law (Hons) – Makerere University; Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre; Masters in Oil & Gas Law – Uganda Christian University Mukono

Dorothy is a Partner at Ortus Africa in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure team.

She has spent 16 years’ as a corporate commercial lawyer, providing strategic advice on several commercial transactions, including advising on corporate structuring, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, as well as joint operating agreements.

She has previously served as Managing Partner at DN Kabugo Advocates and as Company Secretary on a number Boards. She is a member of the Natural Resources Audit Committee of Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development and sits on a number of boards as well.

Dorothy is a Rotarian, a legal researcher and a human rights defender. She has worked with Uganda Human Rights Commission, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative and is a member of the Professional Development Committee at Uganda Law Society. She is an entrepreneur, investment advisor, corporate governance specialist and a firm believer in development of National Content.  

9 of 12: Ronald Tusingwire; Partner

Services & Area of Expertise: Dispute Resolution   

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Makerere University; Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre; Special Diploma in Trial Advocacy Instruction – University of Washington School of Law

Ronald is a partner in Ortus Advocates’ dispute resolution team with over 14 years’ experience specialising in commercial dispute resolution in construction, transport and logistics, general corporate commercial law, taxation and banking and finance law.

Ronald is also a respected and experienced commercial mediator, a court accredited mediator and a certified trial advocate.

He has knowledge of FIDIC contracts and their application and is a member of INSOL International- a world-wide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialise in turnaround and insolvency. He has developed specialist knowledge with procurement disputes and routinely appears before the Public Procurements Appeals Tribunal, a fairly new area of practice Uganda.

10 of 12: Caroline Mbabazi; Partner

Services & Areas of Expertise: Energy, Mining, Oil & Gas; Infrastructure & Construction; Debt Recovery

Professional Qualifications: Bachelors of Laws (Hons) – Makerere University; Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre

Caroline is an Ortus Africa Partner in the energy mining and infrastructure practice with over 8 years’ experience specialising in commercial law with a focus on the energy, mining and infrastructure sector

She has advised on a variety of commercial transactions in the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure sectors and has participated in key transactions that have shaped the oil and gas, energy and infrastructure sectors.

In addition, Caroline was part of the team that participated in developing the national strategy and plan for petroleum transportation and storage in Uganda. She has participated in several land acquisition and resettlements as well as infrastructure projects.

Caroline has experience in environmental, land transactions, conveyancing and insolvency law.

11 of 12: Bernard Mukasa; Partner

Services & Areas of Practice: Corporate & Commercial; TMT & Intellectual Property; Labour & Employment; Regulatory & Compliance; Commercial Litigation; Insolvency & Business Rescue

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Makerere University; Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre; Certificate in Patent Drafting (WIPO/ARIPO); Certificate in Mediation (Pepperdine University & Uganda Law Society); Certificate in Trial Advocacy (Justice Advocacy for Africa & Uganda Law Society; Certificate in Enforcement of intellectual Property Rights (IDLO)

Bernard is an Ortus Advocates Partner in the technology, media & telecommunications and intellectual property practice.

He has been in the business for over 9 years, providing strategic commercial and transactional advice to clients in on intellectual property, technology, media, telecommunications and dispute resolution.

Bernard is the General Secretary of the Ugandan Law Society Intellectual Property Practitioners Cluster and a member of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Intellectual Property Department Users Forum. He is a registered African intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) Agent.

He is also a seasoned employment law practitioner handling both regulatory, compliance and restructuring. He is also a registered Insolvency Practitioner in Uganda and is an integral member of the Ortus Advocates’ commercial dispute resolution practice. 

12 of 12: Alexander Kibandama; Partner

Services & Areas of Expertise: Energy, Mining, Oil & Gas, Dispute Resolution, Infrastructure & Construction  

Professional Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Hons) – Makerere University; Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice – Law Development Centre

Alexander is an Ortus Advocates Partner in the Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure practice and has extensive experience of over 15 years advising on key mandates in the energy, infrastructure, oil and gas sectors in Uganda.

He is a widely respected as an authority on energy law in Uganda. He has also been involved in major acquisitions and infrastructure projects in Uganda, as well as acquisition regimes for land in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

He has undertaken legal due diligence and legal audits of a wide range of companies, including telecommunications companies and electricity transmission and distribution companies. He has been involved in developing the legal regimes for electronic commerce and climate change in Uganda. He is also published in key areas of law.

Alexander is recognised the IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate Guide as a “Rising Star” in Uganda for 2018, 2017, 2016.    

Muhereza Kyamutetera is the Executive Editor of CEO East Africa Magazine; strategic communications consultant, social-economic analyst and travel enthusiast based in Kampala.

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