Swithin J. Munyantwali, Esq.

Practice Experience and Education

Practice Experience

Munyantwali is the Head of Appleton Luff’s East African Office. Appleton Luff is an international boutique law firm separately incorporated in Europe, Asia, the United States, and Africa. He is admitted to practice in the US state of Pennsylvania. A dual national of Uganda and United Kingdom (born in Edinburgh, Scotland), Munyantwali combines local knowledge with an international legal and business perspective and advises international companies on matters related to their East African activities; representative clients include Carnegie Mellon University (establishment of operations in Rwanda); SGS (establishment of operations in Uganda, and representation in contract disputes with regulator), and Tessenderlo, Belgium (East African Trade & Customs Fraud).

Experience as Arbitrator

Munyantwali has served as a party-appointed arbitrator under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (power and telecoms disputes), and currently the World Bank International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (energy dispute) – with seats in Tanzania, and Washington, DC. The matters in these cases range from $400 to $600 million.

International Law & Development

Swithin Munyantwali is the Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of the International Law Institute African Centre for Legal Excellence (ILI-ACLE), an affiliate of the International Law Institute, in Washington, DC. Since its establishment two decades ago, Mr. Munyantwali has led the operations of the Centre serving a broad constituency of sub-Saharan African governments, private and non-governmental organizations through technical assistance and training. The ILI-ACLE is Africa’s premier legal infrastructure development institution. Under Mr. Munyantwali’s leadership, ILI-ACLE has successfully implemented significant rule of law assignments in over 35 countries throughout the African region. The Institute has been engaged by major bilateral and multilateral donors and regional governments to implement a portfolio of projects including: establishment of public private partnership structures, court restructuring and upgrading, procurement reform, drafting of commercial laws, parliamentary strengthening, and various capacity building activities. The Centre, which has a Southern Africa office (in the Kingdom of Lesotho), completed an initiative funded by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Central Bank of Lesotho to strengthen the Lesotho judiciary. The work of the Center has resulted in extensive relationships with Governments and other entities across the sub-Saharan African region.

Academia, Speaking Engagements, Publications

Munyantwali has served as a Guest Professor at the Macau University of Science and Technology, as well as the City University of Hong Kong Law School. He has also lectured at Case Western Reserve Law School, University of Pacific McGeorge, the World Affairs Council in Sacramento, California, and Peking University (School of Transnational Law) in Shenzhen. Munyantwali is an adjunct lecturer at the Loyola Law School Masters in Law (LLM) Pro Law Program in Rome. Munyantwali has spoken at the Maine and Kreisky Forum in Camden Maine, and Vienna respectively. He has published broadly and been cited on the subject of legal and judicial reform.

Board Membership, Advisory

Munyantwali serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Barclays Bank in Uganda. He previously served as the Chairman of the Bank’s Human Resources and Compensation Committee, and as the Chair of the Board Audit Committee. In addition, Munyantwali serves on the Board of the International Law Institute in Washington, DC. Following an invitation of the Under-Secretary General of UN Habitat, Munyantwali served on a Special Committee counseling the agency on pro-poor housing investment initiatives in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. At the request of the Secretary General of Interpol, Munyantwali served on its Informal Board of Experts Bioterrorism Prevention Program. Munyantwali serves as the Judge (Vice-Chairman), Staff Appeals Tribunal at the East African Development Bank. Munyantwali serves on the Visiting Committee, at the Center for International Affairs, at Case Western Reserve University. Munyantwali was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the African Philanthropy Forum, a community of philanthropists and social investors

Munyantwali also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Emerging and Frontier Markets Association, and The New Markets Lab.


Munyantwali was educated in the United States and holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from St. Joseph’s University, a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and a Masters in International and Comparative Law, from Georgetown University Law Center.

Bar Admissions/Qualifications

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Professional Recognition

Member, Cosmos Club, Washington, DC

Inaugural Fellow, International Bar Association Fellowship for Innovation: Selected individuals “have already proven themselves as ‘thinkers’ and who possess the talent, vision and judgement to articulate potential solutions to some of the most compelling issues affecting the international community today, or in the future”.

Member, African Leadership Network


Uganda, United Kingdom


English, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Luganda, and Rukiga

Professional History and Affiliations

Membership of Professional Bodies

Admission to practice, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Member, Philadelphia Bar Association

Member, Cosmos Club, Washington, DC


English, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Luganda, and Rukiga


Citations, News Articles

  •  Judiciary to Empower Local Council Courts, New Vision, Uganda, October 2, 2015
  • Seeking Justice in Transitional Societies: An Analysis of The Problems and Failures Of The Judiciary In Nigeria, Okechukwu, footnote 62 – Brooklyn Journal of International Law
  •  Business Times, Economic and Financial Weekly, Dowans-Tanesco saga: Tanzania to pay security over ICC Award, Friday, August 2011
  • Oxford Journals, Arbitration Law Reports and Review, Dowans Holdings SA and Anr v Tanzania Electricity Supply Co Ltd, Commercial Court 27 July 2011


  • The Role of Legal and Judicial Reform in Promoting The Rule of Law and Good Governance in Africa, Published by Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 2003
  • Comprehensive Legal and Judicial Development: How Does the Legal Training Improve Participation in the Reform Process? – Bringing sub-Saharan African lawyers into the legal reform process: experiences and lessons of the International Law Institute Uganda Legal Centre of Excellence, 2001
  • The Importance of a Solid Legal Infrastructure in Enhancing Africa’s Economic Development – Chapter 13 – Revolution in the International Rule of Law: Essays in Honor of Don Wallace, Jr. (http://www.jurispub.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=17195)
  • The Need for a Southern African Development Institute in the Proposed Framework for the Economic Integration of Southern Africa’, Don Wallace, Swithin J. Munyantwali, Issue 4, pp. 147–171, Journal Of World Trade 1998

Teaching and Conference Appearances

University Lectures

  •  Mr. Munyantwali has lectured at Case Western Reserve University, McGeorge Law School, City University of Hong Kong Law School, Peking University School of Transnational Law, and Loyola Law School (Prolaw Program), Rome

Speaking Engagements

  • Special Guest: African Leadership Network, Crossing Boundaries Unafraid: Marrakech, Morocco, November 2015
  • Featured Speaker: Chinese Involvement in Africa: Is This a True Partnership? Mid Coast Forum on Foreign Relations, April 2015 Ref: http://news.mpbn.net/post/chinese-involvement-africa-true-partnership
  • Plenary Panelist: Governance as a Catalyst for Investment and Sustainable Energy Growth: Catalyzing Sustainable Energy Growth in Africa, US-Africa Energy Ministerial, June 2, 2014 Ref:http://www.usafricaenergyministerial.com/program.html
  • Panelist: Symposium on International Commercial Arbitration and ADR (co-hosted by The LCIA Users’ Council and The Uganda Law Society: Cultural Issues in Arbitration (managing relationships to avoid or control disputes; different approaches to the conduct of the arbitration proceeding), 13-14 June 2014
  • Panelist: Stephenson Harwood Arbitration Conference: Seminar on International Arbitration in Africa: London, 2013
  • Special Guest: The Impact of Legal Infrastructure on Africa’s Economic Development: World Affairs Council, November 2010 Ref: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/speaker-directory/swithin-munyantwali
  • Panelist: World Bank Institute, Judicial Reform for Improving Governance in Anglophone Africa: Continuing Legal and Judicial Education, November 13, 2003 (http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/92913/henny/zip/jr_africa/bios.html)
  • Special Guest: Annual Lecture, Nigeria Institute for Advanced Legal Studies: The Role of Legal and Judicial Reforms in Promoting the Rule of Law and Good Governance in Africa: Merit Center, Abuja, Nigeria (2003)
  • Panelist: A WORLD BANK CONFERENCE, Comprehensive Legal And Judicial Development: Towards An Agenda For A Just And Equitable Society In The 21st Century – How Does Legal Training Improve Participation In The Reform Process? June 5-7, 2000