Meet Counsel Smith, Uganda’s Next Top Young Advocate

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Upon successfully completing his Bar course at law development, Counsel Smith Kiiza decided to pursue a duo degree in Masters (LLM) and PhD (LAW) in India which is funded by the Government of India Scholarship, hopes to use his Bar Course and Law Degree to further his ambitions in the various fields he holds interests.

Smith is a writer and Author of over 20 books, including law books, spiritual books, business guides, relationships books, and Christian books all available on Amazon and all the online bookshops, and has different publications or Dissertation, which were published in international journals like in vidhia Agaz journal including the rights of accused and also the rights of children with disabilities, among others and has presented different papers in different international conferences including International Conference on Human Rights and Constitution Law.

The young Advocate greatly participated in the research drafting and guiding of various bills and Acts of parliament like the Local Governments Act, NSSF Act, Parliamentary Elections Act, and Presidential Election Act However he also drafted and introduced the Tree Planning Bill alone to the parliamentary legal committee.

Smith is currently a lawyer in an international law firm in India called Harison Associates and has greatly represented and some signed him as a private lawyer to different stakeholders/clients in and outside of Uganda including the current president of Kenya, H.E. DR. William Ruto, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, Indian Association in Uganda, Winnie Byanyima, Basajja Balaba Hassan, president of witchdoctors in Uganda, Robert Amanya, Religious leaders and currently an Executive legal officer to Euro Exim Bank an international UK based Bank.

Smith in an Exclusive Interview with this News Website Stated his Journey as follows.

QN1. SMITH, LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL SUMMARY

I am an Optimist in belief, the tool that empowers me and those around me. That belief has laid the foundations for the contributions I have made to my professional work and the lives of people throughout my career in many folds.

Counsel Smith Kiiza

QN2. WHO IS SMITH IN DETAIL? TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROFILE – Skills, Expertise and Experience

I completed a postgraduate bar course at Law Development Center, and I graduated from Kampala International University with a degree of bachelor of laws (second class upper with honors). In the past years of my career development, I have attained excellent leadership and academic excellence through my participation in leadership at the school of law and in different organizations.

I am a proactive and competitive legal professional with strong analytical skills, demonstrated leadership skills, trustworthiness, highly self-motivated, with a high sense of transcendence of duty. I pay great attention to detail, exude excellence at all my work and can work under minimum supervision. I am a team player with the ability to work well with colleagues to accomplish a shared goal and vision.

In the execution of my duties, I have tremendously contributed to the machinery that provides the legal framework for good governance. I also worked in the Parliament as a legal assistant, where I provided advisory services to ministries, departments and agencies of government, including the drafting, perusal and clearance of contracts, agreements, and treaties as well as providing legal opinions on a range of issues.    I also served as a legal assistant at the Legal Department Directorate of the First Parliamentary Counsel where I was responsible for prosecuting errant laws.

In the course of my career, I have served as a member of various Contracts Committees for different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including Ministries of Education and Sports, Health, Private Sector Foundation, the Uganda Road Fund, Uganda Land Commission and Uganda Electricity Distribution Company. This exposure has enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) Act, and hence provide legal guidance on public procurement to the entities highlighted above.

Driven by the urge and passion to share legal knowledge with the upcoming legal generation, I have been a part-time lecturer at Kampala International University and Islamic University in Uganda where I have taught Administrative Law, International Trade and Investments and Intellectual Property Rights and more others for the first year Moreover, lecturing enables me to do research in various fields of law hence enhancing and updating myself on new trends in the legal profession. No wonder, my practice has always been up-to-date with the current developments and trends in the legal arena.

Before joining the lecturing, I started my career as a Legal Assistant with Katende, Ssempebwa and Company Advocates, a reputable law firm, where I gained practical experience in drafting pleadings in preparation for the court process, interviewing clients to ascertain the facts of the private cases and offering legal advice to various private litigants on the various laws.

On the social front, despite my very busy schedule, I have a passion for charity work. I engage, participate and support a number of Christian and Mosque projects as well as other community-based initiatives.

I have been involved in training and advisory services to different organizations, NGOs and Individuals. I have had wide regional exposure through conferences, seminars and workshops as an attendant to some and a facilitator to others.

QN3. HOW ABOUT SKILLS AND CORE COMPETENCIES?

Tell Us About Your Technical Skills!

  • I possess adequate knowledge of the law and procedure. Analytical, with proven ability to absorb facts, tease out issues, identify the law applicable, draw conclusions and make recommendations. This has enabled me to render well-reasoned and practical legal opinions and has averted probable legal liability against the Government.
  • Strict adherence to due processes and procedure, both internal and external procedures as specified in rules, laws, code of conduct or established organizational norms and practices.
  • I possess excellent knowledge of legal reforms, policy reforms and formulation as well as excellent skills in statutory interpretation and knowledge of the legislative process.
  • I Possess a good understanding of the theories (textualism and purposive), canons, and tools of statutory interpretation bearing in mind the judicial trends and practical consequences of applying a preferred interpretation to evaluate the validity of that interpretation.

Management skills?

  • I work with a high level of integrity, independence, accountability, professionalism, and high commitment to the firm’s missions and values. Policy management.
  • I have developed firm critical thinking and problem-solving skills, strong team-building skills with the ability to lead and motivate teams.
  • I possess the capabilities to set and clearly communicate priorities to the team and motivate them towards achieving results within set timelines, resources as well as constraints.
  • I have mastered the art of effective delegation through the empowerment of teams, team cohesion and institutionalizing feedback mechanisms that work.

Leadership Skills?

  • I am Skilled and knowledgeable in negotiations, decision-making skills, planning and procurement functions, strong teamwork and ability to work under pressure, and excellent communication.
  • I am a good listener and take keen attention to understanding information and seeking clarity where necessary. I have learnt to be patient with teams and often extend courtesy and respect in the course of interactions with colleagues without losing sight of the overall goal that is to be attained. I have mastered the art of persuasion to ensure that agreement always arrives no matter the circumstances.
Smith having a good time outside office

Research and report writing skills?

  • I have garnered vast experience in research and report writing, the skills I gained from my previous works at the Kats Advocates. My tenure at the Chamber was also rewarding in this case as the legal work required extensive research in order to write well-reasoned legal opinions anchored in the law.

I have acquired vast knowledge and skills through work as well as rigorous training and exposure as highlighted above. In my work experience, I have gained an enriched experience in legal research, strategy development, people management, and negotiation.

I have not only mastered various people-management techniques but also enhanced my analytical and problem-solving skills. Through my work, I have got exposed to and clearly understand the operations of the state and government, and the community’s socio-economic dynamics and garnered great strength in building and managing teams, negotiation, objective judgement and reporting. I believe in integrity and fairness, knowledge and experience sharing, and readily accept and learn from constructive criticisms.

I have a good track record of integrity, reliability, commitment, discipline and sense of duty, adaptability, and flexibility. I am an ardent timekeeper, a reliable team leader and player, and open-minded.

I am capable of working in a computerized environment and possess proven managerial abilities coupled with the ability to work without supervision.  This is blended with my developed interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multinational and cross-cultural environment together with my inherent and professionally reinforced respect for people irrespective of their gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, capability, professional discipline, experience as well as culture.

From the experience accumulated over the years, I have learnt to prioritize tasks, make sound judgments and take decisions informed by the law and reason. I have also learnt to categorise tasks depending on urgency and their level of importance and thus adapt the order of performing tasks as necessary requires. This has enabled me to keep calm and focused even under inevitable conditions of immense pressure.

QN5. TELL US ABOUT PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Member of the Uganda Law Society.
  • Member of East African Law Society.
  • Member of Africa Legal, part of the Africa Professional Services Group.
  • Member of Asian law society
  • Member of the Indian Law Society.

Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at thestandard256@gmail.com
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