Upcoming advocates have been urged to interest themselves in providing legal expertise in the new lucrative oil and gas sector.
“What is needed for young lawyers is to acclimatise themselves with how the oil and gas sector works. Land is a very big factor in this sector since there are disputes especially on passage of the crude oil pipelines,” Mr Denis Kusasira, the managing partner ABMAK Advocates urged the young lawyers.
“So your role as lawyers will be to represent those citizens with land acquisition and compensation disputes where the oil pipeline is to pass,” he added.
Mr Kusasira was responding to a question from one of the young lawyers participating in the online discussion about how they can get employed in the sector.
The online discussion handled various topics including; impact of Covid-19 on the oil sector, interventions made to address the impact and opportunities available for the lawyers.
Mr Ali Ssekatawa, the director Legal and Corporate Affairs of Petroleum Authority of Uganda, said oil and gas is a new industry in Uganda and therefore, it’s not taught at law school.
He also advised the advocates to interest themselves in the new venture by reading widely about it since lawyers are described as “transactional advisers”.
“There are employment opportunities available for you in both government and private sectors. There is also a big opportunity for us to get into joint ventures,” Mr Ssekatawa said.
About the impact of Covid-19 on the sector, Mr Ssekatawa noted that since government halted all land transactions in the lockdown, the same measures have slowed down on the Uganda’s progress to realising the oil exploration since land is a big factor in oil industry.
According to oil experts, Uganda is expected to get its first oil barrel in 2022.
Other panellists on the webinar discussion; Sam Ahamya, the managing partner- Ahamya Associates and Advocates and lecturer at the Institute of Petroleum Studies- Kampala, Mr Samuel Sebikali, the legal counsel at Newplan, Ms Saad Asmahaney, a petroleum lawyer and adviser to the finance minister on Petroleum Revenue Investment Reserve Fund Committee, Mr Peter Muliira, the chief legal and Corporate Affairs at Uganda National Oil Company and Dr Victoria Nalule, the research fellow, extractives Hub at university of Dundee.