As countries like Tanzania and Burundi drag their feet on the EAC integration, lawyers in the region have agreed to build synergies meant to catalyze integration. This was revealed on Friday during a party at Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) headquarterds in kampala along Lumumba avenue. Addressing lawyers from the region and beyond, KAA Managing Partner Sam Mayanja announced that KAA had reached an understanding with a number of other equally top-notch law firms in all the countries making the EAC block.

In the presence of KAA partners from London based Denton SNR, Mayanja announced that KAA had cemented a partnership building collaborative synergies with leading law firms like Trust Chambers of Rwanda, Hamilton of Kenya(the oldest lawfirm in east Africa having been founded by white settlers). Mkono Associates in Tanzania (has existed for over 40 years), Mkono Associates of Burundi and South Sudan’s “Sudan Associated Advocates” (SAA).

“As the presidents do their part, we have decided to engage in efforts which will harness their efforts in the course of time. When we come together, we build synergies and efficiency and thereby serving our customers better within our respective countries and beyond” Mayanja said as Elly Karuhanga and other KAA partners nodded in approval. Other KAA bosses like David Mpanga, Dr. Charles Kalumiya, Oscar Kambona, Joseph Matsiko and others flanked Mayanja as he made his speech. KAA’s clients from all over the world were represented at the event which was preceded by a daylong retreat for all Denton associated firms from within East Africa, U.K., Canada, America and Dubai. It is at this annual meeting that Denton associated firms meet to agree on strategy and priorities for the coming year. This was the first time Africa was hosting this high profile gathering.

Paul bugingo who heads African practice at Denton represented other global Denton bosses. Elly Karuhanga was MC and cracked guests ribs with his witticism.

Guests included DFCU MD Juma Kisaami, the NC bank’s MD and Standard Chartered bank MD Herman Kasekende among other top corporates. Foreign affairs Ministry PS James Mugume was there and in his long speech took corporate leaders present through the hitherto unforeseen opportunities associated with a successful EAC integration. “As the PS Foreign Affairs who has been involved in many things concerning the EAC, I can tell you the sky is the limit. Just get together as lawyers or bankers and support integration.” said Mugume who also thanked KAA for the initiative to organize the event. He also saluted KAA for creating job opportunities and being a trend setter in as far introducing best legal practices in Uganda is concerned. The leading law firm employs 30 full time lawyers and over 30 paralegals within Uganda alone not including its operations elsewhere. Its clients are drawn from the cream of the Ugandan society including Tullow Oil, President Museveni and many other big name citizens. “If KAA doesn’t lead the way in getting the legal fraternity participate in the fast-tracking of the EAC integration, who will?” one of the nights speakers rhetorically argued.

RedPepper December, 9th , 2013.

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