The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji is among 48 other applicants who are seeking to be conferred with the Senior Counsel title.
Other prominent applicants include former Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission chair Isaack Hassan and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
Last year, former LSK President Allen Gichuhi, his predecessor Eric Mutua, veteran lawyer John Khaminwa and Donald Kipkorir were dropped off the race of the honorary title after vetting. They have however re-applied.
Others seeking the title include Former Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board chairman Sharad Rao, and Kamau Karori and William Maema, two partners in one of the country’s largest commercial law firms, Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates, Catherine Musakali, Wambui Njogu, Jane Sumbeiywo, Maria Goreti, Jacqueline Waihenya, Michi Karimi and Deputy Chief Justice Julie Soweto, Patrick Lumumba, Njoroge Regeru, Paul Nyamodi, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier and Ochieng’ Oduor, Ben Shinaya, a lecturer at UON who also served as Raila Odinga’s lawyer during the 2017 presidential election petition, John Chebii, Musili Wambua, Justry Nyaberi and Ken Kiplagat.
Earlier in May, the nomination of former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka Kibaki-era Justice Minister and Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua for conferment of the rank of senior counsel were revoked.
The two members of the legal profession were among a list of 24 lawyers who were selected by the Committee on Senior Counsel in August 2019 to join the exclusive club of senior lawyers in the country.
The names were forwarded to Chief Justice David Maraga who was expected to transmit the same to President Uhuru Kenyatta for gazetting but that didn’t happen.
But in a communication by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to all its members, LSK President Nelson Havi stated that the list was set aside on May 11 after numerous complaints including two suits filed in court to challenge the nominations on various grounds.
“On 26th August 2019, the Committee on Senior Counsel (Committee) recommended twenty-four (24) Advocates out of ninety (90) applicants for conferment of the rank and dignity of Senior Counsel. A majority of members expressed dissatisfaction in the manner of composition of the Committee and the impartiality of its members, in particular, the three (3) Judges,” said Havi.
The last time the prestigious title similar to the Queen’s Counsel in the British legal system was conferred was in 2012.