President Uhuru Kenyatta has conferred eight prominent lawyers with the rank of Senior Counsel – a top recognition in the legal profession.
In a gazette notice dated Friday, August 5, Uhuru honoured the lawyers including former Law Society of Kenya president Allen Gichuhi for years of service in line with the Advocates Act.
Karori Kamau, who represented Attorney General Paul Kihara during the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) suit, was also conferred the status.
Undated Photo Allen Gichuhi Former LSK President Addressing a Past Function
“I have conferred the rank and dignity of Senior Counsel on the following advocates of the High Court of Kenya. May it be known that the aforementioned have all the precedences of the rank,” read the gazette notice,” Uhuru declared.
Other lawyers added to the exclusive club include McCourt Dermot, Lilian Mwaura, Mbuthi Gathenji, Kibeyt Jinaro, Eric Kyalo and Charles Kanjama.
Notably missing from the list was lawyer John Khaminwa, who has vast experience in the field, despite concerns by his colleagues after he missed out on other conferments.
Uhuru noted that the new Senior Counsels should be addressed using their new title and would, with immediate effect, enjoy the privileges of holding the rank.
According to the Advocates Act, the president confers the lawyers upon receiving a list of names submitted by the Committee on Senior Counsel through Chief Justice Martha Koome.
Those eligible for the rank must have practised as an advocate of the High Court for at least 15 years and have not been found guilty of professional misconduct by the LSK Disciplinary Committee.
The distinguished lawyers enjoy privileges including the right to sit in front of judges in a court of law. They also get to wear sleeved waistcoats similar to those worn by judges in the Court of Appeal.
Prominent Kenyans who hold the rank include Azimio running mate Martha Karua, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and flamboyant lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi.
Others include Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Senior Counsel Phillip Murgor, former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and former Attorney General Amos Wako.
CJ Martha Koome poses for a group photo with Senior Counsel members on Wednesday, July 14, 2021