Ian Humphreys slotted three first half penalties against his former employers but 11 unanswered points from Leicester in the second period secured victory for the hosts.
Ulster started brightly it took them just two minutes to open the scoring with Humphreys landing a monster penalty from 52 metres out.
Craig Gilroy was penalised for not releasing the ball and Toby Flood stepped up to cancel out Humphreys' effort from a similar distance.
Both sides struggled to create genuine try scoring opportunities as the greasy conditions made things difficult for both backlines. Gilroy burst through a gap but play was pulled back for obstruction, and at the other end Leicester started to build phases. The two flyhalves registered a further two penalties each to leave the score at 9-9.
Leicester then launched a dangerous three quarter move from just inside their own half and Alesana Tuilagi got the ball out wide and broke two tackles before Humphreys and Marshall combined to barge him into touch.
Half time: 9-9
The second half picked up where the first half finished with scoring opportunities restricted to kicks at goal. Leicester went ahead for the first time in the match when Flood scored his fourth penalty, while Humphreys missed his easiest chance of the night.
Paul Marshall's kicking game was a major plus for Ulster throughout the match, clearing danger but also applying pressure. Indeed, a clever kick from the lively scrumhalf forced Tuilagi back towards his own try line but the Tigers managed to escape unscathed.
Ulster were now starting to build pressure and Darren Cave made a couple of good breaks but Leicester's defence held firm.
With the introduction of England scrum half Ben Youngs, Leicester started to gain the upper hand in proceedings. After a number of phases Flood put in a well weighted grubber kick which centre Matt Smith followed up to touch down in the right corner. Flood missed the conversion attempt but his side now held a 17-9 lead.
Humphreys limped off in the final 5 minutes with a leg injury, allowing Paddy Jackson to take to the field for his European debut, along with Adam Macklin who had replaced Declan Fitzpatrick earlier in the half. The Ulstermen tried in vain to salvage a losing bonus point but were unable to do so.
Flood took his tally for the day to 15 points with the last kick of the game to secure a 20-9 win for the home side, their 17th consecutive home win in Europe. The result leaves Ulster occupying third spot in the pool ahead of their double header against Aironi next month.
|Leicester Tigers Score Card|
|Ulster Rugby Score Card|