Khawar Qureshi, the newly appointed British Advocate, has drawn mixed reactions after he appeared in court for the case against Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
A spot check reveals that he is deemed ‘a very powerful advocate’ from several quarters.
Legal directories consistently recognise him with Chambers and Partners.
He has been described as “completely what the modern barrister should be like,” and an advocate “who is effortlessly able to cross jurisdictions.”
The McNair Chambers, a group of international commercial lawyers says the lawyer ‘works incredibly hard and gets on top of both the legal issues and the facts.’
Other than the Queen’s Counsel title, which is the greatest honor awarded by the Queen of England to a Barrister in recognition of expertise in Legal Advice and Advocacy, he also holds several coveted titles.
Qureshi was called to the Bar in 1990 and three years later, he became the youngest ever advocate to have appeared before the International Court of Justice.
The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and he was Counsel for Bosnia in the Genocide case against Yugoslavia.
He holds a Master of Law (LLM) and Bachelor of Law (LLB, First Class) from the University of Cambridge.
He has taught commercial law at Cambridge University, public international law at Kings London and was appointed a visiting lecturer in commercial law at the University of London in 2006.
It is also in this year that he was became the Queen’s Counsel; a senior barrister appointed on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.
He was selected as one of the 20 barristers for the “A” Panel Treasury Counsel to advise and represent the UK government in civil matters.
Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) Noordin Haji on Tuesday announced the appointment of Mr Qureshi to join the team handling the case against Mwilu.
Despite ruffling feathers particularly in the Defence team, the DPP has stood by his decision saying the independence of Qureshi is key for the Mwilu case.
Senior Counsel James Orengo on Thursday opposed Qureshi’s appointment on grounds that he does not possess documents such as certificate of admission allowing him to practice in Kenya.
The secretary of prosecutions Dorcas Oduor however responded saying that the DPP in consultation with the Attorney General have the right to select individuals for legal assistance irrespective of nationality.