President Uhuru Kenyatta has conferred the rank of Senior Counsel on 24 Advocates of the High Court among them Kalonzo Musyoka (pictured) and Martha Karua.
“His Excellency the President has on this twentieth day of July 2020 set his hand and seal to issue the letter of conferment bestowing the rank and dignity of Senior Counsel to 24 eminent and distinguished advocates of the High Court,” read a statement from the Executive Office of the President.
The coveted legal title of Senior Counsel is set out under the Advocates Act is only taken up after an application by an advocate to the Committee on Senior Counsel after meeting all the requirements and being selected by the committee and the name later presented to the Chief Justice who then submits the list of names to the President.
Among the recipients are OM Parkash Nagpal, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Martha Wangari Karua, Fackson Wainaina Kagwe (Dr.), Pravin Kumar Bowry, Charles Waweru Gatonye, Rautta Athiambo, Fredrick Ngatia, Mohammed Nyaoga, Philip Murgor, Albert Mumma, Beautah Alukhava Siganga and Kiragu Kimani.
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Other names on the list include; John Chigiti, Kiragu Kimani, Rarieda MP Otiede Amollo, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s former legal adviser Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed, Zehrabanu Janmohamed and Tail Ali Taib.
Others include Dorcas Oduor, renowned family lawyer Judy Thongori, the former chief executive of the defunct Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Patricia Nyaundi, Kioko Kilikumi, renowned arbitrator John Ohaga.
However, the process of naming the 24 advocates has been marred with controversies and two petitions that aimed to block the presentations of the names to the president in 2019.
One petition challenging the process was by the Law Society of Kenya which wanted the revoking of the recommendations of the Committee on Senior Council made on 26 August 2019.
The other was steered by Hillary Mokaya and Nick Kyunuve who questioned the criteria for settling on the 24 names, giving no reason for the disqualification of the other applicants and citing misrepresentation in the composition of the selection committee.
Some of the requirements for a person to qualify for conferment of the rank of Senior Counsel include being an active legal practitioner and who undertakes training of other members in the legal profession and has not been found guilty of professional misconduct by the LSK Disciplinary Committee.
The candidate must be a person of integrity, irreproachable professional conduct and good character who has contributed to the development of the legal profession through scholarly writings and presentations.
However, the process of conferring the 24 advocates has been marred with controversies and two petitions that aimed to block the presentations of the names to the President in 2019.
One petition challenging the process was by LSK boss Nelson Havi-led council which wanted the recommendations of the Committee on Senior Council made on 26 August 2019 revoked.
The other was by Hillary Mokaya and Nick Kyunuve who questioned how the 24 selected advocates were settled on, giving no reason for the disqualification of the other applicants and citing misrepresentation in the composition of the selection committee.