By: 3 November 2016
Huddersfield solicitors gear up to visit Uganda and share modern legal practices with country’s lawyers

Four Huddersfield lawyers from the Uganda Twinning link project will travel to the country during National Pro Bono Week to further the Huddersfeld Law Society’s work with Ugandan lawyers.

Nigel Priestley of Ridley & Hall, Paul Beevers, an independent mediator and two solicitors from Ramsdens, Jane Holroyd and Sarah Ward, will all travel to Africa next week to help monitor a programme which provides legal representation and legal advice to protect vulnerable children in Patongo, Northern Uganda. The mentoring is being carried out in partnership with Chance for Childhood and the Uganda Law Society through funding from the Huddersfield Law Society charity.

The group – which recently won the Pro bono award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards – is currently
hoping to find an alternative source of funding for the programme.

The Twinning link project has delivered tangible benefits to Ugandan lawyers and the community at large. The group members themselves have benefited greatly from the experience and personal development which has come from being involved in the project.

Holroyd, a solicitor in Ramsdens’ commercial team said: “The Uganda Twinning Project is a brilliant project that has proved to be a huge success over the 14 years it has been running. Therefore when I was given the opportunity to take part in the project and go out to Uganda to see first-hand the amazing work the project do and to give presentations to Ugandan lawyers, I jumped at the chance.

She said that client care and professional standards were a particular issue for the Ugandan Law Society and that she was hoping to teach some Ugandan lawyers about the importance of high client care principles.

“My second presentation will relate to the drafting of partnership agreements,” she said.

“This will be part of a series of presentations by our group relating to expansion and mergers. Most Ugandan lawyers do not trust their peers and therefore the aim is to show them that coming together as partners can work and how the relationships with their fellow partners can be regulated.”

Ward, a solicitor in Ramsdens’ family team said: “Having been involved in the Uganda Twinning project almost since its inception I am looking forward to the opportunity to visit the country again. Over the years I have been involved in packing and sending books to Uganda, raising money through softball tournaments, curry evenings and quizzes.

“But it was going to Uganda to deliver training which has been the most enjoyable and memorable aspect. Ten years ago I went, very nervously, for the first time and delivered a lecture on trial preparation and witness evidence and then went to visit the Legal Resource Centre, supplied with books from Huddersfield, and also to the source of the Nile and the Equator. Now I am ready to embark on another trip, this time lecturing on family law, but again looking forward to meeting some wonderful people and seeing the effect, in Uganda, of the work that the Twinning Project has done over the years.”

Kate Donaldson, a partner at Ramsdens, said that it was fantastic that Ward and Holroyd were travelling to Uganda.

“I was excited about getting involved with this project in 2002 and continue to be inspired by the dedication and enthusiasm of the group,” she said.

“We raise funds during the year – watch out for your next chance to support this unique project!”

The Uganda Twinning project has also been recognised nationally when it was Highly Recommended at the Law Society’s Excellence Awards.