20 lawyers removed from roll of advocates since 2017

Thursday May 16 2019

Christine Siranga

Principal State Counsel in the Advocates Complaints Commission Christine Siranga makes a presentation during a symposium in Nyeri on May 14, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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A total of 19 lawyers have been struck off the roll of advocates for professional misconduct within a period of two years, the Advocates Complaints Commission has said.

The Principal State Counsel in the commission Ms Christine Siranga said the lawyers were punished between the period starting February 2017 and April 2019.

She added that in the same period the commission’s disciplinary tribunal suspended 33 other lawyers while a group of others were admonished.

Ms Siranga said the number of complaints raised by the public against lawyers practicing in the country is on the rise, noting that the commission will not relent in whipping the rogue advocates.

Speaking in Othaya during a public sensitisation session on legal aid, Ms Siranga said the commission is currently receiving an average of 1,000 complaints in a year against the more than 11,000 practicing lawyers in the country.

“Most of the complaints involve withholding of funds, failure to account and failure to render professional services. About 70 per cent of the complaints involve the three offences,” said Ms Siranga.

She noted that the commission has embarked on an exercise of educating members of the public on their rights and duties of the commission in respect to the legal sector.

Ms Siranga advised the public to make use of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) in conducting research about a lawyer’s practice before engaging for services.

“At the LSK website you will be able to know whether the lawyer you are engaging is fake, inactive, struck off, suspended or active so as to avoid being conned. Also when you feel dissatisfied with the lawyer’s conduct report to the commission,” she advised the villagers.

Among the improprieties the residents in Othaya raised against lawyers included overcharging, inadequate representation in court and lawyer’s failure to appear in court.

The commission officials have been visiting counties of Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Embu and Meru counties in Mt Kenya region and Nakuru, Eldoret, Nandi, Transzoia and Elgeyo Marakwet in Rift Valley.