In Kenya we have not had a formal ranking of lawyers.
For our list, Truly Kenyan polled more than 1000 law students from University of Nairobi, Moi University, JKUAT, Kenyatta University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Africa Nazarene University, Strathmore University and the Kenya School of law, We came up with the list of the 100 brilliant legal minds in the country.
Below is the list:
A master litigant, the court is truly his ring. He is a Senior Partner at Oraro & Company Advocates. He is also the firm’s founding partner. In the span of his 35 years of service at the firm, he has been involved in practicing litigation in the High Court, the Court Of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Kenya.
He is one of the best advocates we have in the country – he has an eye for detail, prepares well and has good presentation.
Mr. Oraro is a great lawyer for cases related to Banking, Corporate, Commercial Law and Civil and Criminal Litigation.
He successfully defended former Cabinet minister Henry Kosgey in a case at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The court threw out the case against Mr Kosgey due to insuﬃcient evidence. He also represented the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) at the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry.
Soft-spoken but with stinging facts on matters of law. Soft-spoken but has stinging facts on matters of law. He is a hard-working lawyer who presents himself well, and is highly regarded for his litigation experience. The brilliant lawyer is regarded in legal circles as the guru of constitutional and judicial service cases. He has been the lawyer for the late Cabinet Minister George Saitoti and represented him at the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry.
Ngatia is also the lawyer representing former Kenya Power chairman Samuel Gichuru and former Minister Chris Okemo in an extradition case where they are accused of defrauding the parastatal millions of shillings.
He is a former constitutional lecturer at the U.O.N and currently the Attorney General of the republic of Kenya.
Prior to becoming Attorney General he served in the defunct Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) and at the United Nations as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a member of the American Association of Trial Lawyers.
Former Dean, law school U.O.N and member of JSC- a master in Litigation and Arbitration and played a critical role in the recruitment of judges of the Supreme Court.
He is a senior partner in Ahmednassir, Abdikadir and Company Advocates alongside former Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed.
He is also the publisher of the Nairobi Law Monthly.
Impeccable mastery of language and partner at one the best law firms around. He is a “brilliant lawyer” who is held in high esteem across the market.
He represented Lord Decamere’s grandson when he shot a Kenyan on his expansive ranch near Nakuru and got away with it.
Her scholarly contribution on Land Law to the legal fraternity is enormous. She is Professor of Law at Strathmore University. She previously worked as an Associate Professor of Law at the School of Law, University of Nairobi and is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She has served as a Policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has published widely in the areas of international law, environmental law, women’s rights and property rights.
He is a successful practitioner, especially in the area of conveyance. Advocate of the High Court, expert on property rights and human rights and legal & ethical issues relating to health.
The longest serving AG, (Constitutional Law) He is the immediate former AG of Kenya. He served the Kenyan government as the chief Legal advisor for 20 years. He had worked under the Moi and Kibaki governments. Wako served as the Secretary General of African Bar Association between 1978 and 1980. He is a member of faculty at the University of Nairobi and he served as a committee member with the UN Human Rights.
He oversaw the transition from single party state to multi-party democracy.
#9 KENNETH FRASER (SC) – (litigation)
He joined Hamilton Harrison & Mathews as a clerk in 1966 and became a Legal Assistant in 1969. He heads the Litigation Department and is the senior partner of the firm. He has extensive commercial litigation and arbitration experience in connection with various aspects of banking law, state corporations, insurance law, communications law and commercial law. He has been advising a range of clients on several commercial disputes and litigation matters.
He is one of the most respected commercial litigation lawyers in Kenya
A man of vast experience, his legal mind and political career place him in a unique position. This is one of the senior lawyers who represented the CORD coalition in the petition case. He is a prominent lawyer in Kenya, a former Ugenya MP, former Minister and currently the Siaya County Senato. He contested as a presidential candidate in the 2002 general elections. During these elections Hon. Orengo had vied on the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
He served as the president of the student body in 1974 when he was a final year student at the University of Nairobi (UON).
#11 JOTHAM ARWA
One of the Best litigation lawyers. He is the Managing Partner of the law firm of Rachier & Amollo Advocates, where he heads Legal Consultancy and Commercial Law department. Arwa, arguably one of the most brilliant legal and analytical minds in the business, has tremendous experience in civil and criminal law in addition to his impeccable expertise in commercial matter. He has rendered numerous complex legal consultancy services on various fields over the years and has wealth of experience in legal and regulatory framework review. he has taught law in various universities and colleges including Kenya school of monetary studies, Kenya school of law, university of Nairobi and he is presently lecturing law at the Jomo Kenyatta university Agriculture and technology.
#12 PHEROZE NOWRJEE (SC) – (Litigation)
He is an iconic figure in the disputes arena, who is highly regarded for his knowledge of constitutional law. Clients seek his advice on particularly complex cases.
Currently, he is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Zanzibar and Tanzania. In addition to that, he is also a barrister on Linciln’s Inn. He earned a B.A. degree from Xavier’s and later attended Yale University from where he earned LLM degree in 1974.
#13 JOE OKWATCH (SC)-Civil litigation
#14 GIBSON KAMAU KURIA (SC)- (civil and criminal litigation)
Since 1975, Dr. Kuria has published many articles on constitutionalism, rule of law, human rights, legal education, family law, and succession in such scholarly journals as The East African Law Journal. On 28 March 2003, Dr. Kuria was appointed by the President to serve as assisting counsel in the commission to enquire into the Goldenberg Scandal.
He has received so many local and international award for championing for human rights.
#15 PAUL MUITE (SC) – (Constitutional Law)
Paul Kibugi Muite- a reformist, human rights lawyer, senior counsel, leader and politician. He is one of the founders of the original Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) before its breakup and became the first vice- chairman of FORD-K under the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
He is currently representing the Mau Mau against the British government.
#16 WILLY MUTUNGA (SC)- (Constitutional Law)
He is an intellectual, reform activist, and, since June 2011, the Chief Justice of Kenya and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya.
He is also the author of a number of widely published articles on the rights of detainees, the role of NGOs and civil society in democratization, the constitutional rights of Kenya’s nomad pastoralists, and the rights of tenants.
Until his appointment as the Chief Justice, Dr. Mutunga was the representative for the Ford Foundation in Nairobi, overseeing all grants making in the Eastern Africa region, mainly focusing on human rights and social justice and protection of women’s rights.
#17 PROF. PLO LUMUMBA- (Constitutional Law)
He has over 25 years’ experience in legal practice and academia. He has in-depth experience gained over the years in several practice areas as follows: civil litigation, commercial and conveyance law, trusts, probate and administration law, constitutional and family law, employment and labour law, administrative and human rights law.
P.L.O- Lumumba has lectured at the United States International University, Nairobi, the University of Nairobi, and Widener University (USA) Nairobi Summer Programs.
P.L.O- Lumumba is a renowned legal practitioner recognized by peers as a leading litigator in Constitutional Law and Judicial Review Cases. Ha also has been recognized by the Kenya- USA Society as a Leader in the mould of Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. With several thousand speeches on diverse subjects delivered in and outside Kenya, Lumumba is recognized as one of the leading public speakers in Kenya. In the period between 2002- 2005, Dr. Lumumba served as the Secretary (Chief Executive) of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, the body that was mandated to collect Kenyan views and prepare draft Constitution for deliberations at the National Constitutional Conference.
#18 RACHAEL OMAMO (SC)
A lawyer with vast experience. She is the first woman to become the chairperson of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). She is the immediate former ambassador to France and has been nominated to the powerful office of Defence Secretary. She was a member of the task force for the establishment of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, a member of taskforce on the Review of Landlord and Tenant legislation as well as Assisting Counsel to the Ndung’u Land Commission.
19 JUDY THONGORI- (Family Law)
a family lawyer and former executive director Fida
#20 MOHAMED NYAOGA- (Civil litigation)
He has extensive experience in civil and commercial disputes, and is also considered a go-to specialist for admiralty and maritime law. He specialises in corporate finance, civil and commercial litigation. He is a recognized authority on bank securities. In addition to the practice of Law, he is the immediate past Vice -Chairman of the Law Reform Commission and the Chairman of its Business Laws Committee.
#21 GEORGE KHAMINWA (SC) – (Litigation & Const. Law)
He is an eminent authority on constitutional law
#22 PHILIP MURGOR- (Criminal litigation)
He has swam in the rough and tumble world of local and international litigation, gaining invaluable experience as a state counsel, private practitioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions
#23 ERIC MUTUA
Chairman of the Law Society of Kenya, and expert in Constitutional Law has swam in the rough and tumble world of local and international litigation, gaining invaluable experience as a state counsel, private practitioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions
#24 AURELIO REBELLO- (Civil Litigation)
Veteran lawyer Aurelio Rebello was in the team of lawyers representing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the presidential election petition ﬁled by Mr Odinga.
Mr Rebello is best remembered for representing Mr Kamlesh Pattni in the Sh13.5 billion Goldenberg scandal.
#25 EVANS MONARI
Successful litigation lawyer, evident in Defending Retired Gen.Hussein Ali at the ICC.
#26 PROF. TOM OJIENDA (SC)
Successful practitioner in land law. He is a past President of the East African Law Society, past Chair of the Law Society of Kenya and Financial Secretary and Vice President of the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU). A seasoned lawyer and land expert, Ojienda was a consultant for both the Njonjo and Ndungu Land Commissions, and served as a member of the Legal and Technical Working Group in the National Land Policy formulation process.
He chairs the Land Acquisition Compensation Tribunal, sits on the Council of Legal Education, the Board of the American Biographical Institute, the International Bar Association, and the Kenya Industrial Property Institute and has previously chaired Legal Clinics at the School of Law, Moi University.
He has written two books on land law, one on the Law of the Sea and another on corruption and has also edited two books on democracy and constitutional change. He has consulted for the World Bank, USAID, ACCORD and EAC and continues to consult in the area of land reform.
#27 OTIENDE AMOLLO -
Tax Law expert and the current Chair of the Ombudsman Office. Before appointment to chair the Commission on Administrative Justice, he served in the Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review as one of the Nine Experts who delivered the Constitution of Kenya 2010.Otiende has served as Chairman, Secretary and Council member of the International Commission of Jurists Kenya Section (9 years), Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Council Member of the East Africa Law Society (6 years), Council Member of The Law Society of Kenya (2years), Chairperson and Board Member Action Aid International – Kenya (4 years), served in the Board of Kituo cha Sheria and in the Boards of various public and private entities.
#28 AARON RINGERA- (Constitutional Law)
He worked as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, a High Court of Kenya judge and a judge of the Court of Appeal.. He has also been the Solicitor-General of Kenya.
He became the director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA) in March 1999, succeeding the first director John Harun Mwau. KACA was succeeded by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission, which was established in 2003. Ringera was appointed as the director of KACC in August 2004, despite opposition from the Liberal Democratic Party, which was part of the NARC coalition government.
#29 SMOKIN WANJALA- (Constitutional Law)
He is an Associate justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya.. He holds a Ph.D in Law from University of Ghent, Belgium. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Columbia in the United States of America and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the University of Nairobi. Dr. Wanjala lectured at the University of Nairobi for 15 years where he taught International Law, International Human Rights Law, Land Law and Criminal Law.
Dr. Wanjala served as a deputy director in charge of prevention of the now defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.
#30 NJOROGE REGERU-(Civil Litigation)
He was the lead lawyer for The National Alliance (TNA) activists Moses Kuria, Dennis Itumbi and Florence Sergon who were challenging the inclusion of spoilt ballots in the calculation of votes attained by each presidential candidate in the March 4 election.
Mr Regeru is a seasoned lawyer who mainly specialises in commercial disputes. He is remembered for representing former Director of Intelligence James Kanyotu in the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry chaired by Justice Samuel Bosire. Mr Kanyotu had been named at the inquiry as one of the two shareholders of Goldenberg International.
He is also considered to be among Kenya’s top arbitrator
#31 KATWA KIGEN- (Civil Litigation.)
He represented H.E Deputy president William Ruto at the supreme court in the recent election petition. He is also representing journalist Joshua Sang at the international Criminal Court (ICC)
#32 NJOKI NDUNGU- (Constitutional and Human rights Law)
She is renowned for her efforts in the successive enactment of the Sexual Offences Act 2006 and Maternity and Paternity Act 2007. The former nominated Member of Parliament currently serves as a Supreme Court judge and executive Chairperson for Center for Legal Communication & Information in Kenya (CLICK).
#33 OCHIENG ODUOL- (Commercial Law and Civil litigation)
His forte is Civil Litigation, Appellate litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
#34 STEPHEN MWENESI
An astute lawyer with massive experience in Civil litigation.
#35 NANI MUNGAI – (Litigation)
He is fluent, eloquent and perfect knowledge of the law. He has the aura of seriousness and business!
#36 JUSTICE ISAAC LENAOLA- (Constitutional Law)
#37 OKETCH OWITI- Legal writing and research,litigation
#38 STEPHEN LIGUNYA- (Civil and Criminal Litigation)
#39 KYALO MBOBU-
A guru in the Law of Evidence
#40 OKONG’O OMOGENI (SC)- (Constitutional Law)
#41 APOLLO MBOYA (SC)- (Constitutional Law)
#42 MARTHA KARUA- (Constitutional and Human Rights Law)
#43 PROF. BEN SIHANYA
Master in Intellectual property Law and Constitutionalism
#44 STEVE KAIRU
An expert in Arbitration and civil litigation. He is a sole practitioner and works exclusively in arbitration. He is often called on to sit as an arbitrator.
#45 KIOKO KILUKUMI- (Civil and Criminal litigation)
#46 MOHAMED BALALA- (Commercial Law)
#47 PROF. KITHURE KINDIKI
He is an expert in International Trade Law
#48 PRAVIN BOWRY- (litigation and Constitutional Law)
#49 KIBE MUNGAI- (Civil Litigation)
#50 KERIAKO TOBIKO (SC) – (Criminal litigation)
#51 PROF. SITUMA- (Law of the Sea)
#52 LUCY KAMBUNI (SC)- (Civil Litigation)
#53 JUSTICE MAJANJA- (Constitutional Law)
#54 LOUIS ONGUTO- (Conveyance)
#55 DR. ELIZABETH MULI- (Commercial Law)
#56 CLIFF OMBETA – (Criminal Litigation)
#57 KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN- (Consitutional law,and International Trade Law)
He is a legal intellect.
#58 JOY ASIEMA- (Conveyancing)
#59 PROF. ODEK- (Litigation)
#60 ELISHA ONGOYA
master in Civil litigation
#61 DESTERIO OYATSI- (Commercial law)
#62 KETHI KILONZO- (Commercial Law and Litigation)
She has represented retired President Daniel Moi in a case in which he was sued alongside the State by former journalist and Alego Usonga MP Otieno MacOnyango for unlawful detention and torture. The court cleared Mr Moi. She also represented africog in the Supreme Court where she was the star counsel. She is the daughter of the late senior counsel Mutula Kilonzo. Ms Kilonzo is fast emerging as a promising young lawyer, handling landmark cases in the country.
#63 MOSES WETANGULA- (Commercial Law and litigation)
#64 FRANCIS OLALO- (Company Law)
#65 BETTY MURUNGI- (Constitutional and Human Rights Law)
#66 ABDIKADIR MOHAMMED- (Constituional Law)
#67 HARRISON KINYANJUI- (Litigation)
#68 PAUL NYAMONDI- (Civil Litigation)
#69 FLORENCE JAOKO - (Human Rights Law)
#70 CHARLES KANJAMA- (Constitutional law and Civil litigation)
Kanjama has over the years gained great experience in all branches of Commercial Law, including Banking & Insurance, Employment Law, Public Law Litigation, Criminal Law, Succession Law, Family Law and Children, Building Construction, General Contract, Tort Law-Libel and General Tort, Intellectual Property and Conveyancing work. He has a keen interest in Tax Law.
#71 NZAMBA KITONGA
He was the chairman of the committee of experts that gave birth to the new constitution.
#72 NANCY BARAZA- (Human rights Law)
#73 HARUN NDUBI- (Civil Litigation)
#74AMINA ABDALLA- (human right Law)
#75 TONY M’MAITSI- (Litigation)
#76 OMESH KAPILA (SC)- (Commercial Law)
#77 WAWERU GATONYA-(Litigation)
He represents big-ticket clients in litigation, and of late has acted for a number of major banks and government bodies.
#78 CHACHA ODERA- (litigation)
He is well regarded for his abilities in the courtroom, and for his highly active caseload.
#79 GEOFFREY IMENDE- (Litigation)
#80 MURIUKI MUGAMBI- (Co-operative Law and Litigation)
#81 ZUL ALI BHAI- (Commercial Law)
#82 PETER GICHUHI - (Litigation)
#83 ALLEN GICHUHI – (Commercial Law)
#84 USHWIN KHANNA- (Commercial Law)
He has extensive experience in civil and commercial disputes, and is also considered a go-to specialist for admiralty and maritime law.
#85 NAZIMA MALIK – (Litigation)
#86 THOMAS LETANGULE - (Litigation)
#87 JOHN OHAGA- (Litigation)
#88 WANYIRI KIHORO - (litigation)
#89 WAMBUA KILONZO - (Litigation)
#90 ZUL ALIBHAI - (litigation)
#91 GERVASE B.K AKHAABI- (Commercial Law)
#92 JASPER MBIUKI - (Litigation and Contract Law)
He is the general counsel to H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta
#93 KEN OGUTU - (Constitutional and Human rights Law)
#94 DEMAS KIPRONO TUIKONG - (international human right law)
He has also curved out a niche in the corporate sector and intellectual property law
#95 SCHOLA NYIKA - (Conveyancing)
#96 VINCENT ODONGO- (Company Law)
#97 WATHINGIRA GITURO- (Litigation)
#98 JEAN KIRAGU- (Litigation)
#99 STELLA WANGUI – (Litigation)
#100 MESHACK MWOLOLO
He is an international legal procurement specialist with extensive experience in asset management and procurement matters.
*(SC) – Senior Counsel
() – Area(s) of speciality
* The late Hon. Mutula Kilonzo (RIP) was Number 4 during the compilation of the list.
Special Contributors : Stephen Oriema