The Commercial Division of High Court will next week start hearing an application filed tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, which among others seeks to disband the team of lawyers representing Bank of Uganda and Crane Bank in a countersuit he filed against them last month.
The Central Bank and Crane Bank are represented by two law firms; MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates.
Sudhir, through his lawyers, wants the court to issue a permanent injunction or a restraining order stopping the two firms from representing the two institutions in the High Court case.
He also wants members of the two law firms to be declared as potential witnesses in the same case, and therefore barred from representing BoU and Crane Bank.
The court, during the hearing will be determining whether or not — as claimed by Sudhir’s lawyers, — MMAKS and AF Mpanga are conflicted in representing BoU and Crane Bank, and therefore in violation of the advocate-client privilege.
The Commercial Court today set Wednesday September 13th, next week to entertain this application.
Sudhir in the application argues that lawyers Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi and David Mpanga from the two firms previously served as his personal and bank lawyers and “cannot appear as counsel in a matter in which they have potential to be witness and are conflicted, and that they cannot appear against former and current clients, or in matters where they will be in breach of their fiduciary relationship.”
According to Sudhir, during the management and conduct of the affairs of Crane Bank, the executive directors regularly consulted and wholly relied upon the advice of MMAKS Advocates and in that consultation, the board and management shared facts which are in issue in the fraud case.
Sudhir argues that by virtue of being a shareholder and director of Crane Bank, he was a client of Mpanga and Masembe “within the meaning of the Advocates Act and that all times there was advocate-client relationship and a fiduciary relationship between me” and the lawyers.