Firm / Organisation

MMAKS Advocates

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Managing Partners: Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe
Co-Managing Partner: Moses Jurua Adriko
Number of partners: 8
Number of fee earners: 14 based in Kampala, Uganda
Number of lawyers: 23
Languages: English

Firm Overview:
MMAKS Advocates is a leading law firm in Uganda, ranked as Band 1 and Tier 1 by international legal directories such as Chambers Global, IFLR 1000 and PLC Which Lawyer.

The firm was formed by a ground-breaking merger of three prominent law firms in 2005, and today stands as one of Uganda’s largest law firms with a total of 23 lawyers, many of whom have qualifications from international universities and have worked with leading international law firms. Two of the firm’s senior partners are qualified solicitors of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. MMAKS is an ALN firm. ALN is an alliance of leading corporate law firms currently in fifteen key African jurisdictions, including the continent’s gateway economies.

MMAKS is a full service law firm offering the specialist practice areas set out below. The firm has been involved in several landmark cases in the courts of law in Uganda, and also provides strategic and commercial transactional advice to an array of high profile local and international entities. MMAKS is committed to delivering practical and high quality legal services with professional integrity.

Main Areas of Practice:  

- Commercial and corporate advisory 
- Property, Banking and Finance 
- Litigation 
- Intellectual Property

Commercial and Corporate Advisory: 

a) Mergers and acquisitions
b) Private equity
c) Energy and oil & gas
d) Projects and infrastructure
e) Mining
f) Capital markets
g) Employment
h) Fintech

Property, Banking and Finance: 

a) Real Estate
b) Banking
c) Corporate and Project Finance

Litigation:

a) Civil Litigation
b) Commercial Litigation
c) Criminal litigation
d) Debt recovery

Intellectual Property:

a) Trademark registration, renewals and oppositions
b) Patent applications
c) Copyright defences and registration

Commercial and Corporate Advisory:

This team has a proven track record in structuring innovative and commercially sound transactions for local and international investors and businesses.

The team has been involved in several groundbreaking cases in Uganda, including the recent negotiation of the Project Framework Agreement for the construction of Uganda’s first ever oil refinery. It routinely advises on major projects and infrastructure, mining, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, private equity, general corporate, investment and regulatory advisory across industries like telecommunications, insurance, broadcasting, financial services, agribusiness, food, beverages and consumer goods.

The team is headed by two partners: Apollo. N. Makubuya and Fiona Magona.

Key Deals:
Advising the Government of Uganda in connection with the terms of the Project Framework Agreement for the development of the first ever oil refinery in Uganda.

Advising SN Power Invest Netherlands in connection with its acquisition of a 49.75% stake in Bujagali Energy, the largest hydropower plant in Uganda.

Key Clients:
Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Barclays Bank of Uganda, Tullow and Prudential.

Key Contacts:
-Apollo. N. Makubuya
Tel: +256 752 785 666
Email: [email protected]

-Fiona Nalwanga Magona
Tel: +256 784 905 725
Email: [email protected]

Property, Banking and Finance:

The Property, Banking and Finance team specialises in banking, project finance and real estate. It has handled the largest financing deals in both hydro and solar energy under the GefFit Programme in Uganda. The team is on the panel of all the leading commercial banks in Uganda, including Stanbic Bank Uganda, Barclays Bank Uganda, Standard Chartered Bank, and Diamond Trust Bank Uganda. It also works closely with international law firms and development finance organizations like Allen & Overy, Webber Wentzel, Michelmores and Hogan Lovells, FMO and PROPARCO.

The team is headed by Apollo. N. Makubuya.

Key Deals:
Acting for Regional Education Finance Fund for Africa, an affiliate of the BlueOrchard Group, in connection with a USD 2 million facility to a large microfinance institution in Uganda for the development of education finance.

Acting for FMO and Finfund in connection with the restructuring of a USD 10 million facility to New Forests Company, including providing advice on conversion of debt to equity, competition law, and regulatory matters; reviewing of the restructuring documents; and issuing validity, capacity and enforceability legal opinions.

Advising MTN Uganda in connection with the acquisition of a commercial property to house their headquarters in Uganda valued at USD 11 million.

Key Clients: FMO, PROPARCO, KFW, CDC
Key Contact: Apollo. N. Makubuya
Tel: +256 752 785 666
Email: [email protected]

Litigation:

MMAKS has an experienced and widely respected litigation team in Uganda. This is made up of eleven lawyers who handle litigation, debt recovery, arbitrations, mediations and other forms of dispute resolution. Members of the team have been involved in ground-breaking cases, in the areas of contract, enforcement, commercial and criminal litigation, corporate debt recoveries, realization of securities, real estate, among others.

The team represents the Central Bank of Uganda together with several leading commercial banks in the country like Stanbic Bank, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Diamond Trust Bank. It handles a huge debt recovery portfolio covering the key commercial banks in Uganda. The team has also handled land mark cases in the country which have greatly shaped the legal landscape in the country, including tax cases, enforcement of foreign judgements and the liquidation of several financial institutions.

The team is headed by Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi.

Key Deals:
Successfully defending Centenary Bank, East African Development Bank, Harveen Gadhoke, George Opiyo, Mukono Industries (U) and Hussein Muhammed in connection with a suit seeking special damages of Ug.Shs. 32.4 billion for breach of loan facility contracts and fraud in sale of mortgaged property.

Key Clients:
Bank of Uganda and the key commercial banks in Uganda

Key Contact:
Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi
Tel: +256 772 776 611
Email: [email protected]

Intellectual Property (IP):


MMAKS is arguably the leading IP firm in Uganda. The IP team has extensive experience in handling IP related matters and has one of the largest IP portfolios in Uganda. The IP team advises on acquisition, maintenance, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, including trademarks, patents, copyrights and industrial designs. The IP team routinely handles high profile IP litigation and anti-counterfeiting cases. MMAKS is currently working on the formulation of Uganda’s first anti-counterfeiting manual. This will require the team to work closely with government bodies such as the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, the Judiciary, Uganda Police and the Uganda Law Reform Commission, among others.

The team acts as intellectual property agents for a number of local and international clients, including Diageo, Cipla, Google, Wal-Mart Stores, Hewlett Packard, Chevron Intellectual Property, Apple, The Gillette Company, Union Des Associations Europeennes De Football (UEFA), The Procter & Gamble Company, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, among others for the maintenance of their IP rights in Uganda.

The team is headed by Victor Mathias Ssekatawa.

Key Deals:
- Acting for Beiersdorf, an international cosmetics and personal care products’ manufacturer, in connection with a trademark infringement and passing off suit valued at USD 1 million and obtaining an order against infringement of the Nivea trademarks and brand.
- Acting for Chevron Intellectual Property, the marketing arm that owns and licenses intellectual property of the Chevron Corporation, a multinational energy corporation, in connection with a trademark cancellation, infringement and passing off matter, including obtaining an order for the cancellation and removal from the register of a trademark infringing the Delo and Havoline trademarks.

Key Clients:
Diageo, Cipla, Google, Wal-Mart Stores, Hewlett Packard, Chevron Intellectual Property, and Apple.

Key Contact:
Victor Mathias Ssekatawa
Tel: +256 772 212 142
Email: [email protected]