President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday conferred Senior Counsel status on 24 advocates.

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena said the presidential prerogative to confer the rank and dignity of senior counsel is set out under the Advocates Act.

The 24 include Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua, Dr. Fackson Wainaina Kagwe, OM Parkash Nagpal, Pravan Kumar Bowry, Charles Waweru Gatonye and Rautta Athiambo.

Others are Fredrick Ngatia, Mohammed Nyaoca, Philip Murgor, Albert Mumma, Beautah Alukhava Siganga and Kiragu Kimani.

Judy Thongori, Taib Ali Taib Bajabir, Zehrabanu Janmohamed, Wilfred Nderitu, John Ohaga, Kioko Kilukumi, Patricia Mande Nyaundi, Dorcas Agik Odhong Oduor, Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed, Otiende Amollo and John Mugwimi Chigati are also on the list.

“His Excellency the President has on this day set his hand and seal to issue the letters of conferment bestowing the rank and dignity of senior counsel to 24 eminent and distinguished Advocates of the High Court,” read the statement to newsrooms.

Kanze said the rank of senior counsel is conferred in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee on Senior Counsel, to Advocates of the High Court who have distinguished themselves by rendering exemplary service in the legal and public service arenas.

“His Excellency conveys his warmest facilitation to the 24 Advocates whose contribution to law and development have secured their place at the apex of their profession and at the highest levels of national conscience,” she said.

Kanze said the date for conferment ceremony will be scheduled and notified.

In May, the Law Society of Kenya cancelled the conferment of senior counsel rank to 24 lawyers.

According to a letter seen by the Star, the society decided to revoke the conferment following questioning of the impartiality of the Committee on Senior Counsel recommendation.

In the letter, LSK president Nelson Havi said the application for conferment of ranks would be done again to ensure the process is credible and transparent.

On August 26, 2019, the Committee on Senior Counsel recommended 24 advocates out of 90 applicants for conferment of the rank of senior counsel.

The majority of LSK members expressed dissatisfaction with the composition of the committee and the impartiality of its members.

Two cases were filed challenging the conferment and concerns were raised on the validity of the advocates conferment rules, the LSK said.

The rules have been amended twice without public participation and this, according to the LSK, impacted negatively on the process of recommendation for conferment.

Consequently, the council deliberated on May 11, 2020, and resolved to set aside the decision the committee made on August 26.

This in effect cancelled the decision for conferment of the 24 advocates.