Commercial Court Blocks DFCU Lawyers in Sudhir Case over Conflict of Interest

“Applicant (Crane Bank) has made out a case that the first respondent (Sebalu, Lule) has relevant information of the applicant. The information is relevant and I accordingly grant an injunction restraining the first respondent from handling any case involving the applicant. Respondents should pay costs of this application,” the ruling reads.

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City Tycoon Dr.Sudhir and his son Rajiv Ruparelia talking to Press after the court ruling at commercial court in Kampala on Monday 29 April.Photo:The Homeland Media Group

The Commercial Court in Kampala on Monday blocked Lawyers of Sebalu, Lule and Company Advocates from representing DFCU Bank in the case filed by City tycoon Dr.Sudhir Ruparelia over conflict of interest. The Court’s deputy registrar Festo Nsenga on behalf of Justice Paul Gadenya Walimbwa ruled that lawyers of Sebalu, Lule and Company Advocates could have come in contact with confidential information at the time when they represented Crane Bank and therefore, are conflicted to represent DFCU against their former Client-Crane Bank Limited. “Applicant (Crane Bank) has made out a case that the first respondent (Sebalu, Lule) has relevant information of the applicant. The information is relevant and I accordingly grant an injunction restraining the first respondent from handling any case involving the applicant. Respondents should pay costs of this application,” the ruling reads. Dr.Sudhir’s lawyers led by Joseph Kyazze said 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. Sudhir through his real Estate company; Crane Management services sued Dfcu Bank demanding payment of rent arrears amounting to Shs2.9bn in respect of tenancies of property formally owned by Crane Bank. In his suit, 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. He avers further that during their clients advocate Interaction with the Sebalu, Lule advocates, he divulged privileged and confidential information which Dfcu can exploit to his disadvantage in the present despite before court. Speaking to the press in a jovial mood outside the Court after the ruling, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia said that this was a historic ruling in the law fraternity because several other firms over the past which have conflict of interest have got away with it and continued to represent their clients. He added that he is now ready for the hearing of the main application. “Am very happy that our team of lawyers managed to put up evidence that were very clear and I think we shall have a good case when for hearing of the main application begins, but now that we implore young lawyers to learn good morals from others and respect ethical standards to do business perfectly well to avoid future contractions and conflicts of interest that causes confusion among clients they represent,” Sudhir said.

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