The Commercial Court in Kampala has set April 24, 2019 to deliver its ruling on a matter in which lawyers representing business tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia asked Commercial Court to disqualify Sebalu, Lule and Company Advocates, the law firm representing DFCU Bank in a case filed (against DFCU) by Crane Management Services Ltd.
In the suit, Crane Management Services Ltd cites a conflict of interest on the part of the law firm.
Sudhir Ruparelia’s real estate and property management firm sued DFCU Bank accusing it of defaulting on rent payments on properties which house Crane Bank.
Sudhir’s lawyers led by Joseph Kyazze told Court on Wednesday that the lawyers of Sebalu Lule Advocates were in 2016 hired by Sudhir to draw and review tenancy agreements of Crane Management services Ltd and in the process, they came into contact with his confidential information.
Crane Management services sued DFCU Bank demanding payment of rent arrears amounting to Shs 2.9 billion in respect of tenancies of property formally owned by Crane Bank.
Crane Management Services contend that when DFCU took over management of Crane Bank, it illegally took possession of the rental facilities from which the real estate company seeks to recover its arrears.
Crane Management argues further that during their interaction with the Sebalu, Lule advocates at their clients then, the lawyers gained access to confidential information which DFCU can exploit to their disadvantage since they are now their ally.
“Engaging and participating in our agreement is so evident and they can’t deny it, they had access to the payments agreements and emails. It is so sad that these senior counsels are setting a wrong example to the youth of this country, they should stand to maintain integrity,” Said Crane Management Director, Rajiv Ruparelia after court.
In response however, the firm of Sebalu Lule which is represented by Peter Walubiri asked the judge to dismiss the application for lack of merit saying the tenancy agreements drawn in 2006 are not confidential in any way to dent Sudhir’s case.