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Bank Of Uganda Still In Touch With Dropped Lawyers In Sudhir Case

The High Court (Commercial Division) on December21, 2017 disqualified lawyers David Mpanga of FK Mpanga Advocates and Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe of MMAKS Advocate from representing Bank of Uganda (BoU) against businessman Sudhir Ruparelia over conflict of interest.

The Central Bank is accusing property mogul Sudhir and his Meera Investments of fleecing the then Crane Bank of Shs397bn in disputed transactions.

The ruling was read out by deputy registrar Lillian Bucyana on behalf of Justice David Wangutusi.

That meant that BoU was to acquire new lawyers to argue the case.

However, BoU said that it would appeal the ruling for it doesn’t want to lose the conflicted lawyers.

According to reliable sources, BoU is said to be still in touch with the two prohibited law firms with the view of retaining them in this case.

It is alleged BoU staff including Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende, Executive Director in charge of Supervision, Justine Bagyenda and legal chief Margaret Kasule, have been meeting with Mpanga and Masembe over the matter since the December ruling.

The law firms have also since vowed to appeal the judgment.

Before the two law firms were employed by Bank of Uganda, they provided legal advice to Sudhir’s Crane Bank.

In his argument to get the law firms from representing BoU, Sudhir argued that in the process of representing and advising Crane Bank, the lawyers in question became aware of confidential facts about him because of the trust that was involved.

On their part, the lawyers asserted that in the 7 years they dealt with Sudhir, they were acting for Crane Bank, and thus “they could not have come across any facts which are prejudicial to the Applicant (Ruparelia).”

“In summary, the 1st and 2nd respondents (Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi and David Mpanga) represented Mr Ruparelia and he is their former client, so representing the current client (BoU) would be advantageous to them,” ruled justice David Wangutusi.

“In the result, the 1st and 2nd respondents are disqualified as being counsel for BoU. Application is allowed and costs shall abide in the main case.”

Sudhir and BoU are into mediation talks, with Principal e Judge Yorakamu Bamwine as mediator. This is aimed at settling the case out of Court.

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