President Uhuru Kenyatta has conferred the title of SENIOR COUNSEL to 24 top individuals mostly in private practice and public service after a long wait. The new members of the exclusive top bar includes former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and NARC Kenya leader Martha Karua.
Others on a list of 24 senior lawyers and advocates of the High Court released on Monday by State House include are Hon Dr. Otiende Amollo, Fredrick Ngatia and former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Philip Murgor.
Others are renowned arbitrator John Ohaga, family lawyer Judy Thongori, former chief executive of the defunct Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Patricia Nyaundi and Kioko Kilukumi.
OM Parkash Nagpal, Fackson Walnaina Kagwe, Pravin Kumar Bowry, Charles Waweru Gatonye Rautta Athiambo, Mohammed Nyaoga, Albert Mumma, Beautah Alukhava Siganga, Kiragu Kimani, Taib Ali Taib Bajabir, Zehrabanu Janmohamed, Wilfred Nderitu, Dorcas Agik Odhong Oduor, Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed and John Mugwimi Chigiti have also joined the coveted, exclusive club of senior lawyers in the country.
Those who missed out but deserve to be named to the prestigious club include veteran John Khaminwa and East African Court Of Justice judge Justice Charles Nyachae.
The Presidential Prerogative to confer the rank and dignity of Senior Counsel is set-out under the Advocates Act.
The rank of Senior Counsel is conferred in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Senior Counsel, to Advocates of the High Court of Kenya who have distinguished themselves by rendering exemplary service In the legal and public service arenas.
The head of state congratulated the new Senior Counsels saying the date for the conferment will be communicated.
“His Excellency conveys his warmest felicitations to the twenty-four Advocates whose contributions to law and development have secured their place at the apex of their profession and at the highest levels of the national conscience, ” the statement reads in part.
Kenya now has 50 Senior Counsels including the newly conferred.
The last time the prestigious title, similar to the Queen’s Counsel in the British legal system, was conferred was in 2012.
In May, the High Court suspended the Law Society of Kenya’s decision to revoke a list of the lawyers who had been proposed for conferment of the rank of senior counsel.
Kalonzo and his colleagues, in their petition, accused LSK President Nelson Havi of Conflict of Interest.
In a communiqué on May 13, Havi said the list was revoked during a council meeting held on May 11 following complaints that the selection process was flawed.
Consequently, Havi said the about 90 applicants, who expressed interest to join the special club in 2019, will be considered alongside those who applied this year.