Email this page to a Friend

Email This Page

Slide background

Law firm in Uganda

LEX Africa member firm Katende Ssempebwa and Co is a top performing corporate and commercial law firm in Uganda

See more about the firm by clicking on the tabs below.

Firm Overview


Founded in 1969, Katende, Ssempebwa & Company Advocates (KATS) has grown to be Uganda's largest and leading law firm with over sixty (60) full time legal and support staff. We are more than a law firm; we are your trusted advisors and partners in the protection and the growth of your business and in ensuring your rights are fully protected.

KATS has forty seven (47) years experience providing world class legal and advisory services and has been consistently internationally ranked as the number one law firm in Uganda year after year by Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers For Business, IFLR 1000: Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms and the Legal 500; the premier benchmark league tables for lawyers worldwide.  

KATS is a full service law firm providing all manner of legal and advisory services including Transactional & Advisory services, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property and Business Support.

KATS boasts of some of the most talented, highly qualified and experienced lawyers in Uganda some of whom, uniquely in this market:

  • are dual qualified and licensed to practice in New York and London;
  • have received advanced legal training at some of the world's leading law schools including Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge and The London School of Economics;
  • have enjoyed secondments and practical legal training at leading international firms like Slaughter & May, Hogan Lovells, Eversheds and Doughty Street Chambers.

Our lawyers have the unique capability to handle matters in a manner that incorporates and balances the legal considerations in various jurisdcitions.

KATS has the size, strength and resources to provide quality results and has been a leading advisor on many ground breaking transactions that raise new and complex questions of law that have never been addressed in this region. We have consistently been the number one choice for clients with groundbreaking and unusually challenging transactions in the region and are a major player in the facilitation of the legal and economic development of the East African Community.  



Name: John W Katende

Title: Advocate

Degree: LLM (Harvard), LLB Hons (University of East Africa)

Litigation and dispute resolution
Corporate law
Corporate restructurings
Business and investment law
Banking and finance
International commercial transactions
Mergers and acquisitions

Firm Highlights


KATS has been consistently internationally recognised year after year as the number one law firm in Uganda by the benchmark league tables for lawyers around the world; Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers for BusinessIFLR 100 - The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms and the Legal 500.

Excerpts from some of these publications;

Chambers and Partners: Global Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers for Business

Band 1 - General Law

  "The Firm is singled out as a good choice for foreign companies looking to do business in Uganda, and this reputation is reflected in the group's impressive deals sheet."

  "Clients appreciate the 'responsive and informed' nature of the service, and value the fact that 'we are always treated with the utmost care and respect."

  "Commentators praised the firm's 'unprecedented level of work, professionalism and sheer commitment' during the landmark constitutional petition to abolish the death penalty in Uganda.

  Described as one of the longest-established practices in Uganda, "this Firm continues to be one of the most dominant in the market. Sources appreciate the depth of expertise on offer and the international background that the team brings to its work."

  "The 24 - lawyer team is distinguished by its wealth of resources: "They don't just assign you one lawyer - I have three other people I can call if I can't get hold of the key partner."

   'Market sources affirm that this ‘well established and respected’ firm founded in 1969 is a top-class outfit with very strong individuals.Clients appreciate the ‘responsive and informed’nature of the service, and value the fact that ‘we are always treated with the utmost care and respect’.

  Peers feel that the Firm houses ‘some of the best-trained senior lawyers in the country’ adding; ‘They have some high-quality young people as well.’ This Firm, the largest and oldest in the country, is particularly admired for its pro bono and cross-border work.'

  "Still the ‘best known firm in town’ this practice is admired not only for its excellent Commercial and Corporate departments, but also for its senior partners’ contributions to academic life, governmental reviews and constitutional law."

  This long established firm continues to take a leading role in top-level work, and advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious issues.

  "A top-tier Firm." "They've done really good work - very thoughtful and helpful."

  "Katende Ssempebwa has one of the best reputations. ‘It is the oldest Firm in the market and heavily respected for its longevity and the calibre of lawyers at the senior level,’ says a peer. ‘Their depth, reputation and level of expertise is top class’ says another."

  "With over 40 year’s experience in the market and 24 full-time lawyers on board, this Firm is the country’s oldest and largest, and provides ‘thoughtful and effective advice’. The team’s depth ensures it can provide the full range of services to clients, who appreciate that the lawyers ‘can handle multiple complex cases without any disruptions."


The IFLR 1000 - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms

Top Tier Firm - Financial and Corporate



The IFLR 1000 - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms

Top Tier Firm - Energy and Infrustructure



  "Katende, Ssempebwa is as close as you get to a market leader in Uganda. The Firm is very well established and very reputable and is the first port of call on big ticket deals for many international firms and global companies."

  "The Firm is probably the most visible on energy and infrastructure projects and it is also the most often recommended port-of-call for international clients."

  "Katende, Ssempebwa & Co. is one of the oldest and largest Firms. They have been around for a very long time and virtually all of us were part of the Firm and learnt our law is a brand and an aura."

  "This Firm has maintained a significant and pioneering presence in all areas of general and specialised transactional and litigation practice."

  "Most of the more challenging legal problems and assignments in Uganda have been handled by the Firm and many of the Firm's lawyers have behind them, a wealth of experience and backgrounds that have collectively enabled the Firm to pool its resources and consistently give comprehensive advice, even in the most unusual circumstances."

  "Its lawyers have received their legal training from the leading universities in the world and therefore have the unique capability to handle matters in a manner that incorporates and balances legal considerations of various jurisdictions."

  "Their depth, reputation and level of expertise is top class."

  Katende Ssempebwa & Co. is the country's longest standing premier league corporate commercial firm. The team boasts impressive credentials and includes numerous dual or triple qualified lawyers, as it encourages all its members to get a second degree. It is the biggest full service firm in terms of numbers and a member of the LexAfrica network.

  "The qualification and background of the senior and junior partners was impressive, they have a strong presence across all Africa with their network and every person we talked to had good things to say about them".

  "It has high calibre, dedicated and skilled staff..they also have a good rapport with local regulators, the Bank of Uganda and the Capital Markets Authority,"

  "You are also sure that their reputation will not be undermined, there are no skeletons in the closet."

  Katende, Ssempebwa ‘is a very prominent Firm in the country.’ The Firm is part of the LexAfrica network, which allows it relationships with foreign firms such as Werksmans in South Africa

  "Katende Ssempebwa has one of the best reputations. ‘It is the oldest Firm in the market and heavily respected for longevity and the calibre of lawyers at the senior level."

  "Katende, Ssempebwa & Co. is firmly in the premier league of corporate and financial firms."

  "The Firm boasts expertise in banking and corporate mandates and draws on the skills of some of the most highly trained lawyers in Uganda."

Practice Areas


Specialises in:
Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • general and complex commercial and civil litigation
  • bankruptcy
  • banking class actions
  • consumer protection
  • constitutional and human rights matters
  • contracts
  • criminal law
  • debtor-creditor issues
  • debt recovery
  • employee benefits
  • energy
  • environmental matters
  • insurance
  • labour and employment
  • leases and mortgages
  • professional liability
  • tax
  • trusts

Pro bono work for various local NGOs and Human Rights organisations and the Uganda Law Society.

Solicitor and Transactional

  • arbitration and dispute resolution
  • aviation law
  • banking law
  • bankruptcy law
  • business law
  • capital markets
  • civil rights law
  • commercial law
  • company secretarial work
  • constitutional law
  • copyright law
  • construction law
  • contracts
  • conveyancing
  • corporate law
  • corporate restructurings
  • criminal law
  • debt recovery
  • environmental law
  • equipment finance and leasing
  • family law/domestic relations
  • finance law
  • foreign missions
  • human rights law
  • immigration law
  • personal injury
  • immigration law
  • intellectual property
  • international law
  • investments
  • labour and employment
  • land transactions
  • landlords and tenants
  • liquidation
  • medial/entertainment
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • mortgages
  • non-profit and charitable organisations
  • patents/trademarks
  • privatisation and divestiture
  • products liability
  • receivership
  • securities
  • tax
  • telecommunications
  • utilities
  • trusts and estates