List of Senior Counsels in Kenya

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Who are the Senior Counsels in Kenya? Why are they called that? What’s the qualification of becoming a senior counsel and what benefits do they get? Here, we’re going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about the SC status.

The Guide Kenya

Senior Counsels in Kenya

The Law Society of Kenya has a seniority ladder for everyone in his or her advocate’s roll. A student is different from a fresh graduate, and the graduate is also different from a rookie who’s just been admitted to the bar. Then, we have Advocates of the High Court, Commissioner of Oaths and at the very top of the chain, the Senior Counsels.

List of Senior Counsels in Kenya
Comprehensive list of lawyers with Senior Counsel Status in Kenya

Senior Counsels status is a position introduced in 2003 through an amendment to the Advocates Act’s amendment. The law has been changed several times since then to bring new privileges to people who are Senior Counsels.

Before 2003, they were called members of the Queen’s Counsel. That’s the status accorded to high-profile precedent-setting attorneys in the United Kingdom.

If you remember the Late Former Vice President Wamalwa Kijana, he was often referred to as a Barrister of the Queen. It didn’t mean that the Royal Family of England had been involved in any criminal activity or that Wamalwa represented them in court. No, it simply means that Kijana was a Senior Counsel.

In the past, the status was earned by people who had served as chairpersons of the LSK. But, today, every advocate must apply to a special panel that vets if they are worth being conferred with the special status.

There are less than 30 Senior Councils in Kenya. That’s because the process of becoming one is quite rigorous. To become a Senior Counsel, you must have attained the following qualifications:

How to Become a Senior Counsel:

  • Have at least 15 years of experience in High Court cases.

In short, you must have been an advocate of the High Court for a period of at least one and a half a decade. Not every lawyer is a commissioner of oaths or high court advocate. It means that you’re not always involved in “petty crime” cases but instead, the high profile litigation.

  • Featured in precedential cases

You must have been involved in a case or cases that end up being used as precedents. A precedential case is one that is used by future benches as part of the law. It sets the way for future cases.

  • Have inspired junior lawyers.

To be a leader, you must inspire other leaders. And, to be a senior counsel, you should be able to train or guide upcoming lawyers. This favors law professors who don’t necessarily practice the profession in courtrooms.

  • Approval by a vetting committee of Senior Counsels and advocates

The surest way to know that a lawyer is reputable is to find out what their colleagues say about them. Likewise, the best way to tell if a lawyer qualifies to be a senior counsel is through the approval by a vetting committee. In most cases, the panel consists of senior counsels and advocates of the high court. When an advocate applies to become a senior counsel, the board determines whether they are qualified.

  • Conferment of Senior Counsel Status by the President

The committee then recommends successful candidates to the president of the Supreme Court, who is also the Chief Justice. Here, the head of state confers the powers the title to the individuals. And, that’s how they become senior counsels!

Senior Counsels Benefits

According to the 2014 Amendment of the Advocates Act Rule 19, the Senior Counsels have special privileges which include the following:

  • They are allowed to wear special robes to the courtroom.
  • They’re favored in the courtroom seating arrangement- They sit at the front. If the courtroom is crowded, the junior lawyers stand while the SC sits.
  • Their cases are prioritized and heard before others.
  • They can advise the judges or members of the bench about courtroom procedures.

Full List of Senior Counsels in Kenya (as of August 2019)

  1. Zahir Malik
  2. Lee Muthoga
  3. Joe Okwach
  4. Paul Muite
  5. Paul Wamae
  6. Gibson Kamau Kuria
  7. Omesh Kapila
  8. Prof. Patricia Kameri-Mbote
  9. Lucy Kambuni
  10. Joyce Majiwa
  11. Okong’o Mogeni
  12. Keriako Tobiko
  13. James Orengo
  14. Amos Wako
  15. GBM Kariuki
  16. Fred Ojiambo
  17. Hon. Dr. Willy Mutunga
  18. Nzamba Kitonga
  19. Ken Fraser
  20. Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai
  21. Kenneth Akide
  22. George Oraro
  23. Ahmednassir Abdullahi
  24. Prof. Tom Ojienda
  25. Raychelle Omamo
  26. Pheroze Nowrojee

I know you are already asking, what about the rest? What about other famous barristers in Kenya? Where are they? Well, the truth is that not everyone qualifies to be a lawyer.

While there are about 16,000 in the Advocates Roll, only the 26 named above are have attained the title of Senior Counsels in Kenya.

Deceased Members of the LSK Senior Council

Lawyers who have held the SC title before but passed include:

Mutula Kilonzo- One of the best but deceased Senior Counsels in Kenya
Senior Counsel Mutula Kilonzo (Deceased)
  • SC Mutula Kilonzo
  • SC: Peter Pelley
  • SC Stewart M.C. Thomson
  • SC Gautama Satish
  • SC Achroo R. Kapila

Aspiring Senior Counsels

In June 2019, about 60 advocates applied to become SCs. Whether their names will be approved is a decision to be made by the vetting committee. Here are their names:

  • Otiende Paul Amollo
  • Karua Martha Wangari
  • Gichuhi Allen Waiyaki
  • Murgor Philip Kipchirchir
  • Kipkorir Donald Benedict
  • Gross Anthony Frederick
  • Kanjama Charles Njiru
  • Dr. Muigua David Kariuki
  • Prof. Sihanya Bernard Murumbi
  • Kili Hosea Kimutai
  • Regeru Njoroge
  • Kioga Mnkanata Mburugu
  • Musakali Catherine
  • Laibuta Kibaya Imaana
  • Chigiti John Mugwimi
  • Gathenji Mbuthi
  • Kigen Joseph Kipchumba Katwa
  • Mweseli Tim Okonda Andrew
  • Arwa Jotham Okome
  • Nderitu Wilfred Ngunjiri
  • Thongori Judy Wanjeri
  • Mutua Eric Kyalo
  • Nyaoga Mohamed Jairus
  • Rachier Ambrose Dickson Otieno
  • Adere Steven Ruphinus
  • Odhong Dorcas Agik
  • Prof. Mumma Albert Oduor
  • Lubulellah Anthony Milimu
  • Letangule Thomas
  • Odede Roseline Adhiambo Odhiambo
  • Rao Sharadkumar Sadashiv
  • Hon. Murungi Kiraitu
  • Muturi Njee
  • Wanjama Ezekiel N. K.
  • Kibara Geoffrey Gichira
  • Ole Kina Tukero
  • Omwela Richard
  • Onyinkwa Joseph Ibrahim
  • Dr. Kagwe Fackson Wainaina
  • Mccourt Kevin Dermot
  • Kamotho Kenneth Waiganjo
  • Nagpal Om Parkash
  • Njagi Nyaboke Jane
  • Kinuthia Rumba Njoroge
  • Oira Thomas Ratemo
  • Hon. Musyoka Stephen Kalonzo
  • Ngatia Fredrick H
  • Taib Taib Ali
  • Munyithya Justus Maithya
  • Gatonye Charles Waweru
  • Githiru Mark Nganga
  • Mbobu Mathew Kyalo
  • Gaturu Evans Thiga
  • Awori Violet Tsisiga
  • Maema William Ikutha
  • Yonah Aggrey Orao Obura Geoffrey
  • Kilonzo Noah Wambua
  • Ambassador Shitsama Aggrey Shikanga
  • Siganga Beauttah Alukhava
  • Prof. Sifuna Nixon Wanyama
  • Dr. Khaminwa John Mugalasinga
  • Dr. Ndegwa Paul Wamuti
  • Odongo Patrick Lutta
  • Kihara Charles Njuru
  • Monari Evans Nyarongi
  • Mwamu James Aggrey Otigo
  • Gichia Wa Kiragu Kimani
  • Ohaga John Morris
  • Kapila Surinder
  • Athiambo Rautta
  • Kilukumi Kioko
  • Michuki Jane Wanjiru
  • Janmohamed Zehrabanu
  • Sharma Chander Parsram Ramesh R.
  • Ochieng James Oduol
  • Kigano Clement Muturi
  • Ochieng Nyamodi Nyamogo
  • Guserwa Judith Abrahams
  • Mohamed Abdikadir Hussein
  • Mwangi Paul Muriithi
  • Shah Amritlal Bhagwanji
  • Marende Kenneth Otiato
  • Nyaundi Patricia Mande
  • Sehmi Rapinder Singh
  • Ameyo Kenneth Dan
  • Bowry Pravin Kumar
  • Aoko Mercy Otieno
  • Mukele Gabriel Kwoba
  • Gulenywa Alice Tsiyeri Jonathan
  • Kamau Karori

And that’s the list of the senior counsels in Kenya. As you may notice, it comprises the most famous, experienced and the bigwigs of the legal profession. It’s no wonder that we’ve featured them heavily in our review of the best lawyers in Kenya.

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