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Michael Mafabi represents corporate, state entity clients and foreign investors in major disputes arising out of banking and financial services, commercial contracts, insurance, construction, negligence and product liability, transport, real estate, regulatory affairs, public procurement and international trade and investment. Michael has acted for clients in high value matters in the East African Court of Justice, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of Uganda. Michael’s disputes practice and experience extends to in international arbitration under both domestic and international arbitration frameworks, including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the London Court of International Arbitration and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Experience has included advising:

  • TotalEnergies E&P in relation to a public law claim in which the claimants alleged that the procurement process for TotalEnergies’ USD5 billion commercial oil development program in Uganda is non-compliant with local content requirements.
  • dfcu Bank in a public interest action where the plaintiffs challenged dfcu Bank’s purchase of the assets and assume the liabilities of Crane Bank following the placement of Crane Bank into statutory management and receivership by Bank of Uganda.
  • MTN Uganda in judicial review proceedings that challenged the imposition of transitional license fees of USD14 million by the sector regulator.
  • Aegis Media South Africa Proprietary, a subsidiary of Dentsu Aegis Network Limited in a high value contractual dispute involving non-payment of fees under an affiliation agreement in Uganda seated LCIA arbitration proceedings.
  • Government of Kenya, alongside the DLA Piper Africa (Kenya) and DLA Piper London teams, in in a multibillion-dollar ICSID arbitration brought by an investor in the mining sector.
  • Africell Uganda Limited in a multi-billion-shilling contract dispute involving an alleged breach of distributorship agreements in ad hoc arbitration proceedings.

Professional Qualifications

  • Advocate admitted to the High Court of Uganda.


  • Queen Mary University of London: Master of Law (Comparative and International Dispute Resolution).
  • Uganda Christian University, Mukono: Bachelor of Laws.
  • Law Development Centre: Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (bar qualification).


  • Member of the East African Law Society.
  • Member of the Uganda Law Society.
  • London Court of International Arbitration (Young International Arbitration Group).
  • Young International Council for Commercial Arbitration.
  • Institute of Transnational Arbitration.
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Implications of party conduct and key risks for parties who frustrate arbitral proceedings

The High Court (Commercial Division) in Kampala delivered an important decision relevant to arbitral practice in Uganda. In Miscellaneous Cause No. 021 of 2021 (Lakeside Dairy Limited v International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation in Kampala (ICAMEK) and Midland Emporium Limited), the Court declined to set aside an arbitral award rendered by an arbitral Tribunal under the auspices of ICAMEK as the administering institution under the ICAMEK Arbitration Rules.