alexa Sh600m for duty free case lawyer - Daily Nation

Sh600m for duty free case lawyer

Wednesday March 24 2010

By NATION Correspondent

A city lawyer is to be paid Sh600 million for representing the government a decade ago. Dr Ken Kiplagat was claiming Sh3.4 billion but the court reduced the amount to Sh600 million.

He defended the government in a case filed in the Netherlands by Dubai businessman Nassir Ibrahim Ali over the ownership of World Duty Free, a chain of shops at the country’s international airports.

Bill of costs

Milimani Commercial Courts deputy registrar Shadrack Okato on Wednesday said that after taxing the bill of costs, Dr Kiplagat was entitled to Sh600,341,251.

The lawyer defended the government against World Duty Free in 2000, a claim disputed by Attorney General Amos Wako.

According to the AG, Dr Kiplagat was appointed to facilitate international lawyers to interview potential witnesses and collect evidence in Kenya.

The lawyer moved to court in 2005, seeking payment for allegedly defending the government when World Duty Free accused Kenya of illegally terminating its contract and demanded Sh40 billion before the international court.

Some Sh2.8 billion was taxed by the court from Sh3.4 billion demanded by Dr Kiplagat. Mr Okato dismissed a preliminary objection raised by the Attorney General questioning whether he had jurisdiction in the case.

It was a double blow for the government, which had earlier lost an application before the High Court. The application sought to stop the taxation case.

The AG moved to the High Court, seeking to stop the proceedings to allow the government argue its objection before the bill was taxed.

But, Mr Justice Luka Kimaru dismissed the application, saying it lacked merit and that the AG was abusing the process of the court.

He said the government should wait for Mr Okato’s decision and if aggrieved, it can appeal. According to the Advocates Remuneration Act, the bill was attracting 16 per cent interest every year.