The High Court has set December 21, 2017 as date to make a ruling on the suit in which Kampala businessman Sudhir Ruparelia wants law firms MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates, to be kicked out of the case he is embroiled in with Bank of Uganda.
The two firms represent the Bank of Uganda but Mr. Ruparelia argues that both are acting in conflict of interest as they have represented him and his companies for over a decade and, should therefore act as witnesses in Uganda’s biggest commercial case.
The head of the Commercial Court Justice David Wangutusi heard the application of tycoon Ruparelia, seeking to restrain lawyers David Mpanga of AF Mpanga Advocates and Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe of MMAKS Advocates from representing Bank of Uganda and Crane Bank in the 400bn case.
Mr. Ruparelia was represented by a legal team from Kampala Associated Advocates led by Peter Kabatsi who informed court that lawyers Masembe and Mpanga have a conflict of interest as they have been listed by the businessman as his witnesses to testify in his favour against Bank of Uganda allegations that he caused financial loss to the defunct Crane Bank.
While pleading his case, the businessman’s lawyers revealed that Masembe and Mpanga have been the businessman’s lawyers for over 12 years and that they are privy to confidential information that could be prejudicial to his case.
Lawyer Bruce Musinguzi adduced evidence of numerous transactions to court, in which Masembe and Mpanga represented Crane Bank, Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera investments.
Sudhir’s lawyers further argue that the lawyers’ actions violate the advocate-client relationship and the professional conduct regulations.
However, in their defense, both Masembe and Mpanga insist they want to go on with the case, arguing that they did not represent Sudhir as an individual.
The High Court Registrar, in a letter dated December 12,2017, has urged both parties to send in their legal representatives in case they won’t be available or else the suit will be determined in their absence.