Practice Experience

Swithin Munyantwali Esq. is the Head of Appleton Luff’s East African Office. He is admitted to practice in the US state of Pennsylvania. Born in the United Kingdom and educated in the United States, Mr Munyantwali combines local knowledge with an international legal and business perspective. He regularly advises international companies on matters related to their East African activities, and has served as an arbitrator in ICC and ICSID investment disputes.

Mr Swithin 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. He is an annual lecturer at the Loyola Law School LLM Pro Law Program in Rome.

Mr 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 (on whose Board he serves). Since its establishment 17 years 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: 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), recently completed a project funded by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Central Bank of Lesotho to strengthen the Lesotho judiciary.

Mr Swithin Munyantwali serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Barclays Bank in Uganda. He previously served as the Chairman of the Board’s Human Resources and Compensation Committee, and as the Chair of the Board Audit Committee. In addition, Mr. Munyantwali serves on the advisory boards of the New Markets Lab, Emerging and Frontier Markets Association, UNCTAD’s Dispute Resolution Program, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Bioterrorism Prevention Programme), the ABA-UNDP Advisory Board Centre and 32 Degrees East. Following an invitation of the Under-Secretary General of UN Habitat, he 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, Mr. Munyantwali served on its Informal Board of Experts Bioterrorism Prevention Program. He also serves as the Vice Chairman, Staff Appeals Tribunal at the East African Development Bank.


Mr. Munyantwali is also one of the first three recipients of the International Bar Association’s Fellowship for Innovation Award – which rewards proven thinkers who possess the talent, vision and judgment to articulate potential solutions to some of the most complex issues affecting the international community. He is a Member of the African Leadership Network, where he recently received an award recognizing the outstanding work of the International Law Institute African Centre for Legal Excellence, in Africa.


Academic Activities

Mr. Munyantwali has served as a Guest Professor at the Macau University of Science and Technology and the City University of Hong Kong Law School. He has lectured at Case Western Reserve Law School, University of Pacific McGeorge, the World Affairs Council in Sacramento, California, Peking University (School of Transnational Law) in Shenzhen, and the Mid Coast Forum on International Affairs in Camden, Maine. He is an annual lecturer at the Loyola Law School Masters (LLM) Pro Law Program in Rome.


St. Joseph’s University (B.Sc Criminal Justice)(1988)

Juris Doctor , Case Western Reserve Law School (1992)

Masters in International Law (LLM), at Georgetown University Law Centre (1993)




Membership of Professional Bodies

Admission to practice, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Member, Philadelphia Bar Association

Member, Cosmos Club, Washington, DC



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


  • 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

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
  • 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: 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