60 lawyers to battle for admission as Senior Counsels

Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. [John Muchucha/Standard]
The Law Society of Kenya has approved 60 senior lawyers to battle it out for admission to the prestigious club of Senior Counsels.

It will however not be an easy task for the candidates to pass the tough requirements set by the committee of senior counsels and the vetting procedure to prove one’s track record of integrity and unquestionable professional conduct.

Former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua are among lawyers cum politicians seeking to join the exclusive club which enjoys privileges and prestige similar to those of the Queens Counsel (QC) in the United Kingdom.

Although Musyoka and Karua have more that the required minimum 15 years experience as an advocate, they will have to meet the tough condition requiring them to prove their contribution to scholarly writings within the legal profession.

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According to the LSK nomination criteria, the candidates will also demonstrate that they have argued a substantive precedent setting case before a superior court or international court, have undertaken community service and served LSK in any capacity.

Some top lawyers shortlisted to battle it out for the honorary title include Fred Ngatia who was recently ranked the top lawyer in the country in dispute resolution by the global lawyers’ audit firm Chambers and Partners.

Ngatia was rewarded for the notable public interest cases he handled in 2018, including the landmark case at the Supreme Court which abolished the mandatory death sentence thereby coming to the rescue of over 4,000 prisoners of death row.

Former Director of Public Prosecution Philip Murgor, Central Bank of Kenya Board Chairman Mohammed Nyaoga, LSK president Allen Gichuhi, and Political Parties Dispute Tribunal chairman Kyalo Mbobu are also in the race to join the rank of Senior Counsel.

Lawyers Katwa Kigen and Evans Monari who successfully represented former police boss Hussein Ali and Journalist Joshua Arap Sang at the ICC have also made the shortlist.

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The selection panel has the Committee of Senior Counsel chairman Fred Ojiambo, former AG Prof Githu Muigai, Retired Court of Appeal Judge GBM Kariuki, Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi, FIDA Chairperson Josephine Mong’are and lawyer Chacha Odera.

From the time of its inception in 2003, only 26 out of over 15,000 practicing lawyers have been admitted to enjoy the benefits of SC.

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Law Society of KenyaSenior Counsels