Local lawyers press case to oil regulator for first choiceThe Uganda Law Society (ULS) President, said local capacity is adequate except for the most complicated cases.
August 12—Ugandan lawyers are pressing a case for first priority in the provision of legal services in the oil and gas sector.
In talks with officials from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) recently, Simon Peter Kinobe, the Uganda Law Society (ULS) President, said local capacity is adequate except for the most complicated cases.
He cited Section 125 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act 2013 states that preference will be given to goods which are produced or available in Uganda and services which are rendered by Ugandan citizens and companies. The law provides that where the goods and services required are not available in Uganda, they shall be provided by a company which has entered into a partnership with a Ugandan company.
However, the Upstream Petroleum National Content Regulations 2016 lists 16 categories of goods and services that are ring-fenced for Ugandans, but it does not include legal services.
Ali Ssekatawa, the PAU Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, agreed with the ULS, but advised their members to register on the National Supplier Database (NSD) and the National Oil and Gas Talent Register (NOGTR).
“The law requires that suppliers of goods and services to Uganda’s oil and gas industry are sourced from the NSD. The first step, therefore, is to ensure you are registered,” he said.
However sources say major international oil and gas firms usually have their own legal representation in tow and the best that local lawyers can hope for is ‘laying the ground- work’ for insights to Ugandan laws.