Lawyer Bernard Oundo, a Senior Partner at Citadel Advocates, was elected President of the Uganda Law Society (ULS) on Saturday.
Oundo, also the current President of the East Africa Law Society, replaces Pheona Wall, who has been in office since September 2020. Pheona Wall replaced Simon Peter Kinobe.
The tight race had six candidates, namely: Angwesh Diana, Oundo, Chemisto Shuaib Kubai Rayan, Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka, Karemire Mugagga Mukuye, and Olivia Kyarimpa Matovu.
The tight competition was between Oundo and Ninsiima, who are both alumni of Uganda Christian University (UCU) and Makerere University respectively. Oundo garnered 1056 votes while Ninsiima got 723 votes.
Oundo’s win makes him the first UCU alumni to become the ULS president, a professional association that brings together all lawyers in Uganda.
In 2021, Oundo was elected the president of the East Africa Law Society (EALS), a professional association that brings together all lawyers in the EAC region.
He garnered 793 votes, translating into 56.6 per cent of the total votes cast to become the president of the EALS for 2021–2022.
He is a certified Public-Private Partnership (PPP) specialist with over 10 years of experience in project finance gained from various advisory roles on government privatization and PPP projects.
Oundo is experienced in evaluating project proposals, structuring project financing, negotiating concession agreements as well as carrying out due diligence.
Some of the projects he worked on include; the Standard Gauge Railway line, crude oil pipeline, transmission lines, and oil refinery spanning four countries Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Rwanda under the Northern Corridor Initiative.
Prior to joining the private legal practice, he had worked for close to nine years with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, first as a Legal Counsel with the Privatization Unit and thereafter with the Department of Project Analysis and PPPs.
He was also a member of the Board of the Uganda Railways Corporation, a position he held for three years.
Oundo was responsible for providing guidance and oversight support to the management of the Corporation in the execution of its core mandate of monitoring the Rift Valley Railway (RVR) Concession. He also ensured the Concessionaire meets its obligations under the Concession Agreement.
Oundo holds a Master of Laws in Petroleum Law and Policy with distinction from the University of Dundee – United Kingdom.
In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (Summa cum Laude), from Uganda Christian University, and a Master of Law from Makerere University.