Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, former Justice Minister Martha Karua, and veteran lawyer Fred Ngatia have been listed among 24 lawyers selected for the senior counsel conferment.
According to a report by the Nation, the names of the three will be forwarded to Chief Justice David Maraga who will, in turn, forward them to President Uhuru Kenyatta for gazetting.
The lawyers mentioned in the list have been selected by the Senior Counsel Committee.
The list also includes Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dorcas Oduor, former Director of Public Prosecutions Phillip Murgor, renowned arbitrator John Ohaga, renowned family lawyer Judy Thongori, and the former chief executive of the defunct Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Patricia Nyaundi.
Lawyer Kioko Kilikumi, Rautta Athiambo, Wilfred Nderitu, Prof Albert Mumma, Pravin Bowry, and John Chigiti are also on the list.
Following a successful vetting process of 90 applicants for consideration, LSK began sending out notification letters to successful applicants on September 19.
A letter sent to the successful applicants’ reads, “he committee at its meeting held on August 26, 2019, considered your application. We are pleased to inform you that your application was successful.”
If the president approves the gazetting of the applicants, they will raise the number of senior counsels in the country.
According to the LSK website, there are currently only 26 members of the exclusive club of lawyers.
However, with two members on the list having passed on over the years, if all of the applicants will be approved the number will rise to 48 excluding the deceased.
The two are Joe Okwach, who passed on in July 2017 and Mutula Kilonzo who died in 2013.
The number of women holding that rank will also go up from the current four. Before the new selections, the four women who were members of the exclusive club are Prof Kameri-Mbote, Ms Kambuni, Joyce Majiwa, and Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.
Members of the Senior Counsel Committee who vet the applicants include Justice Mohamed Ibrahim, Justice Martha Koome, Justice Jacqueline Kamau, three representatives of senior counsels, namely Omesh Kapila, Patricia Kameri-Mbote and Lucy Kambuni.
Additionally, three representatives of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) are also in the committee, Lillian Renee-Omondi, Nicholus Bichanga, and LSK president Allen Gichuhi, as well as the Attorney General Paul Kihara.
The title of Senior Counsel is conferred on eminent lawyers and is considered the zenith of professional achievement for having irreproachable professional lives. It is similar to the Queen’s Counsel in the British legal system.