UK lawyers aim to help Ugandan colleagues create a level playing field


Leeds lawyer Emma Pearmaine is preparing to take part in a training visit to help Ugandan lawyers develop their practices and compete more effectively.

Emma, head of family law at Simpson Millar, is one of four solicitors travelling to Uganda on Saturday November 10 for a seven-day visit. It is being organised by Huddersfield Law Society’s Uganda Twinning Group, of which Emma is an honorary member.

Joining Emma on the journey are John Royle, formerly a partner at Eaton Smith; Nigel Priestley, a partner at Ridley and Hall; and Ruth Miller, a solicitor at Armitage Sykes.

The team will present a series of workshops designed to help Ugandan lawyers in areas such as continuing professional development (CPD) and how to operate more profitably. Emma’s role involves giving talks on ‘Building a Successful and Profitable Team’ and ‘Professional Standards and Ethics’.

The Huddersfield Group has helped to set up resource centres across Uganda since its first training visit in 2003; a trip which Emma also took part in.

Since then, 19 members have travelled to Uganda and been involved in establishing a law library in the capital, Kampala, as well as presenting workshops to over 500 lawyers, focusing on management, ethics and skills.

"The aims of the resource centres is to provide support for Ugandan lawyers and students; to promote good governance, respect for rights and the rule of law in Uganda," explained Emma.

"Despite being the subject of major corporate investment, companies trading in Africa are mainly using their own legal teams and advisers instead of appointing local professionals. Our main aim is to help Ugandan lawyers become more competitive and assist smaller practices to raise their game and compete more effectively in their own local markets."

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