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Court sets new date for Sudhir, conflicted lawyers’ case

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Court has set April 3, 2019 as the date for hearing of the case in which businessman Sudhir Ruparelia sued city law firm Sebalu & Lule Advocates, seeking to stop them from representing dfcu Bank for alleged conflict of interest, having worked for some of his companies some time back.

Justice Paul Gadenya of Commercial Court declined to commence the hearing of the case on Wednesday and instead decided to give another date after two judges opted out.

“I had asked this case to be mentioned because it is my first time dealing with it. However all I want now is to have the hearing plan for this application,” Justice Gadenya said.

The case was first handled by Justice Elizabeth Jane Alividza who stepped aside, handing the responsibility to Justice David Wangutusi who also pushed it back to her before finally landing to Justice Gadenya.

The case was fixed for hearing on the new date after all parties agreed that they had no witnesses they intended to call in court for cross examination.

However, Peter Walubiri the lawyer representing Sebalu and Lule Advocates asked court to allow him to file an affidavit in reply to Mr Ruparelia’s affidavit citing there were new issues brought up which do not pertain in the case. Court has granted him leave to file on March 21 before the hearing starts.

Also read: https://eagle.co.ug/2018/12/18/court-orders-sebalu-lule-advocates-off-crane-management-services-case.html

Ruparelia, in his lawsuit filed in December last year, pointed out that Sebalu and Lule Advocates should not be representing Bank of Uganda and dfcu Bank since it has already represented Crane Management Services that owned Crane Bank which was controversially sold to dfcu Bank in January 2017.

Crane Management Services sued dfcu bank demanding rental arrears amounting to Shs2.9b and $385,728.54 in respect of tenancies of suit properties that were formally owned by Crane Bank.

“In view of the advocate-client relationship between the applicant (Crane Management Services Ltd) and the 1st respondent (Sebalu & Lule advocates), the latter’s continued participation as defence counsel for the 2nd respondent (Dfcu bank) herein, which is the defendant in High Court Civil Suit (HCCS) No. 109/2018 against the applicant/plaintiff, is prejudicial to the applicant’s head suit,” reads the petition in part.

Ruparelia also wants the court to issue a permanent injunction, restraining Sebalu & Lule Advocates from appearing as defence counsel for dfcu bank in the other court case that the two principals are battling out.

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