LSK kicks off parallel bid to recognise top lawyers

Friday, September 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi. Photo/PD/File

 The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has initiated a parallel process of recognising the country’s top lawyers.

In an advertisement in a section of the media recently, LSK invited interested and qualified lawyers to submit their applications for the conferment of the tittle of “senior counsel”.

Development comes barely two months after President Uhuru Kenyatta conferred the title to 24 top lawyers, eliciting uproar from LSK. 

Yesterday, LSK president Nelson Havi maintained that procedural parameters were breached by the Executive when conferring the 24 lawyers with the title of senior counsel on July 20.

“Pursuant to Rule Five of the Advocates (Senior Counsel Conferment and Privileges) Rules, 2011 the Committee on Senior Counsel hereby invites any member with the relevant experience and interest in conferment of the rank of Senior Counsel to make an application for consideration by the Committee,” read the advertisement signed by the LSK secretary.

Lawyers are required to submit their applications together with such information or evidence necessary to ascertain that they meet the criteria specified under Rule 7, which stipulates that the member has complied with all the requirements for practice.

Senior counsel enjoys several privileges, among them, being allocated special seats in court, wearing special robes and preference in judicial matters.

“This rank gives a lawyer a bigger standing in the society. Such persons upon conferment, enjoy a variety of other privileges including, permission to charge double the fees allowed; other preferential treatment such as cases being mentioned before others.

It also enables a lawyer to gain more clientele, when such recognition is given,” Havi said yesterday.

When the senior lawyers appear before a tribunal, they wear sleeved waistcoats similar to those adorned by Court of Appeal judges.

Pursuant to Rule Seven of the said Rules, a person who qualifies for conferment of the rank of Senior Counsel must meet the requirements specified under Section 17 (2) of the Act. 

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