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Top Litigation Lawyer: Nelson Andayi Havi, 49th POLSK

Havi is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a brilliant legal mind of 18 years good standing having signed the Roll of Advocates on 12th June 2003. After working for a few law firms, Havi established his eponymous medium-size law firm, Havi & Company Advocates, offering specialist legal services.



The 48th President of the Law Society of Kenya Nelson Havi who is eyeing Westlands Constituency MP in 2022

If to “nelson” is to aggressively tackle a wrestling opponent, then, no lawyer since Nelson Mandela can rival Nelson Havi in living the true meaning of the word. You can love or hate Havi, glorify or pillory Havi, acclaim or disclaim Havi, agree or disagree with Havi, the only thing you can’t do, however much you try, is ignore Havi. Even the harshest of the critics of the 49th President of Law Society of Kenya readily admit that Havi is not just one of the best lawyers in Kenya today, he is a legal force of hurricane magnitude and, by all standards, a brave soul committed to restoring LSK to its former glory as the vanguard of rule of law in Kenya.

Havi: A Legal Force of Hurricane Magnitude

Havi is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a brilliant legal mind of 18 years good standing having signed the Roll of Advocates on 12th June 2003. After working for a few law firms, Havi established his eponymous medium-size law firm, Havi & Company Advocates, offering specialist legal services in the areas of public interest litigation, commercial litigation, arbitration, corporate finance advisory services, conveyancing, intellectual property rights and debt collection. Havi and his firm have handled numerous landmark and reported cases at the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

One poignant example that go to prove Havi is a quintessential lawyer is the appeal case of Stanley Kang’ethe Kinyanjui vs. Tony Keter & 5 Others [2013] eKLR. Havi acted for the Appellant (Mr. Kinyanjui) in challenging a ruling and an order of the High Court of Kenya at Eldoret (J.R. Karanja, J.) made on 9th December 2011 by which the sale by public auction, transfer of and resultant title to L.R. 7741/149/3 Kitisiru Estate Nairobi, were set aside following an application dated 17th June 2011 by the 2nd respondent, Salim Suleiman (Suleiman). In urging the appeal, Havi attacked the competency of the application to set aside the sale that was before the learned judge. He criticized the learned judge for applying the overriding objective as a panacea for Suleiman’s failure to properly invoke the court’s jurisdiction and to comply with the rules of procedure. He also lambasted Suleiman for flouting procedural rules and wondered why he waited until year 2011 to challenge the sale that occurred in 2009.

The Court of Appeal (Waki, Mwera & Kiage JJA) agreed with Havi holding in favour of his client that: “While fully cognizant of the court’s primary duty to do justice untrammeled by procedural technicalities, we are also aware that litigation is a game with clear rules of engagement. It is not open to parties to pursue and for courts to allow, a path of circumventing the rules that are imposed to aid in the attainment of justice…. It is unfortunate that the learned judge rather peremptorily dismissed the valid objections that had been raised against Suleiman’s application. He ought not to have heard it. He certainly should not have granted it… This appeal succeeds. The ruling and order of the High Court made are 9th December 2011 is set aside in entirety. The notice of motion by Suleiman (the 2nd respondent) dated 17th June 2011 is dismissed with costs. The costs of this appeal shall be borne by the 2nd respondent.”

In addition, Havi has acted in dozen other reported and precedent-setting matters including Miguna Miguna v. Permanent Secretary, Office of The Prime Minister & Another [2011] eKLR where he acted for Dr. Miguna suing then PM Raila and his office challenging his termination and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta v. Nairobi Star Publications Limited [2013] eKLR where he successfully argued a preliminary against the petition by the current President of the Republic of Kenya seeking to gag The Star and convinced the High Court (Lenaola J, as he then was) to strike off the Petition. Havi also acted in Safaricom Limited v. Porting Access Kenya Limited & another [2011] eKLR, Tatu City Limited & 3 others v Stephen Jennings & 6 others [2017] eKLR, Real Deals Limited & 3 Others v Kenya National Highways Authority & Another & another [2015] eKLR, and Magnate Ventures Limited v Kenya Railways Golf Club; Backlite Limited (Interested Party) [2019] eKLR.

Havi: A Brave Soul Committed to Restoring LSK

In the Tatu City Limited case, the subject matter was the over Ksh. 50 Billion (USD 500 Million) tatu City development project and Havi was acting for the plaintiffs. Havi credits the case with opening his eyes to the reality of the endemic corruption and impunity at the Land’s Office and Companies Registry at the time. His persistency and determination saw an overhaul of the operations in the Companies Registry and Land’s Office including the transfer and suspension of many officers who had grounded the two institutions at the centre of conveyancing and commercial legal practice. Havi persisted in his quest for reforms in Land’s Office and Companies Registry even after he was elected as Chairman of Nairobi LSK Branch and today his efforts have paid off because operations in both entities are undergoing digitization.

Over the years, Havi has proven himself to be a man who is never afraid to go to any length even if it means walking alone or earning the ire of high-placed enemies in his uncompromising defense of the rule of law and constitutionalism. Since taking oath of office as President of LSK, Havi continues to disappoint those who expected his zeal and vibrancy in the quest of making LSK relevant a defender of rule of law to wane with the passing of months. Now, more than a year since he was elected, Havi remains true to the undertaking he signed on 20th January 2020 committing to focus on serving LSK Members if elected the 49th President without fear or favour.

In living true to his calling to reform LSK, Havi has not hesitated in taking to task a section of the LSK Council, a group within the Senior Counsel Bar, the Attorney General and Solicitor General, the Judicial Service Commission, the Lady Chief Justice Designate and even the President. Remarkably, in all the instances when Havi has taken on a matter in public interest, the best his critics can do is question his methods or his approach. The motive of Havi to serve the society and the public good is never in question nor is the content of his arguments for the causes he embraces. Always over-prepared and articulate, in his time as LSK President, Havi has produced some of the best legal memoranda ever associated with the Law Society of Kenya in its 72 years’ history.

Havi: What is the Next Chapter?

Nelson Havi is the proverbial man in “If”, the Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem. Havi is the man who keeps his head when all around him are losing theirs and blaming it on him. He talks daily with crowds of his followers on social media but still keeps his virtue. He walks with royalty by dint of his position but has never lost his common touch. Neither foes nor friends can hurt Havi, all count on him to do the right thing, but none is too close to compromise him. Truly, Havi is a man of all seasons, at home in his village backyard being installed as Omwimili wa Balagoli by the Maragoli Council of Elders as he is in Supreme Court arguing the next groundbreaking case, happy keeping the company of who is who in Kenya as he is hanging out with law students in one of the local varsities.

Little wonder the news that Havi has trained his eyes on being next Westlands MP next year has left many devastated aspiring hopefuls in its wake and stirred a frenzy of excitement among the area constituents who received his bid with open arms. “The Constitution enumerates functions and duties of a Member of National Assembly thus: making laws and protecting the Constitution; determining allocation of national revenue and oversight of its expenditure; reviewing conduct of State officers and oversight of State organs; and infrastructural development, wealth creation and poverty alleviation at the constituency level. I have accepted the request of the People of Westlands Constituency to serve them and the Nation in that capacity effective August, 2022 or earlier if Parliament is dissolved,” Havi tweeted recently.


Top Lawyer | Kenya Podcast, Episode 5: Dr. Wilfred Mutubwa, Dr. Mutubwa Law Advocates




Dr. Wilfred A.  Mutubwa is a Chartered Arbitrator (C. Arb) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb); Chairman Emeritus of the CIArb- Kenya Branch and African Arbitration Association’s African Arbitrator and ADR Practitioner of the Year 2023. He is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya in good standing with a post-Admission experience of 18 years.  He holds LL.B (Honours) and LL.M Degrees and LL.D focusing on International Economic Law from the University of South Africa. His research focuses on Trade and Investment Dispute Resolution systems in African regionalism and integration efforts.  He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law; a Post Graduate Diploma in Arbitration (CIArb –UK); and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Arbitration from the Africa Arbitration Academy.  He is an Accredited Mediator by CIArb–UK and the Court Annexed Mediation Programme (CAMP) of the Kenyan Judiciary.

He is the founding Principal at Dr. Mutubwa Law Advocates; he is a senior Lecturer and Dean of the School of Law, Mt. Kenya University. He is also a course Director and Tutor in Arbitration and Mediation at CIArb-UK. He previously taught Commercial Transactions at the Kenya School of Law and Riara University.

He was recently appointed as one of the Court Members Representing the Republic of Kenya to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the leading treaty arbitration organisation in the world.  He is currently a member of the Task Force appointed by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya on ADR and specifically mandated to roll out Court Annexed Mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

He is an Arbitrator listed on London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA); Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC); the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA); the Kigali International Centre for International Arbitration; the African Arbitration Association (AAA); and the CIArb President’s Panels. He also serves on the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (AFSA) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) international Arbitration Panels. He is a fellow of the Africa Arbitration Academy.

In 2021 he was appointed by the President of the Republic of Kenya to serve on the KNHR Commission Selection Panel, and by the Chief Justice of Kenya to serve as a Member of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal. He was conferred with the exemplary recognition of the Order of the Grand Warrior of the Republic of Kenya by the President in the year 2021.

He has experience in over 60 Arbitrations and Mediations, as arbitrator, Mediator and Party Representative. He is currently serving in five investor-state arbitral references at the PCA.  He has published a book, Commercial and Investment Arbitration: An African Perspective; and over 30 Articles on the subject in peer reviewed Journals. During his tenure as the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya branch, he authored the State of Alternative Dispute Resolution Report (ADR) in Kenya, 2021. He has spoken in numerous conferences and has taught as a guest/visiting Lecturer in various universities including Strathmore University and University of Pretoria.

In 2017, he was recognised by IArb Africa as one of the top 100 Arbitrators in Africa. In 2020 he was named as one of the Top 50 rising Arbitration Personalities in Africa. In 2021 he was named by the Business Daily as one of the top 40 under 40 personalities in Kenya. In December 2022 hew was named top 30 Promising Arbitration Practitioners in Africa by the Africa Arbitration Academy; and ADR Practitioner of the year by the Nairobi Law Society Trust. He was also recognised as the ADR Practitioner of the year in the Nairobi Legal Awards. In October, 2023 The Lawyer Africa recognised him as a Top Arbitrator in Kenya.

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Top Lawyer | Kenya Podcast, Episode 3: Gladys Mwangi, Nderi & Mwangi Advocates




Gladys Mwangi is a highly skilled Senior Legal Expert and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with over 17 years’ experience in providing a wide-range of cost-effective legal services that foster innovative approach in resolution of legal disputes. She specializes in Commercial Law and Family Law, where she offers both litigation and mediation services. In 2023, she was listed as one of TOP 100 LITIGATION IN KENYA IN 2023 for being one of the most distinguished litigators in Kenya.

Gladys is highly regarded as a Disputes Lawyer with a well-earned reputation of resolving complex legal disputes through litigation and mediation in the most efficient manner. She is highly skilled in court documentation and making persuasive arguments in court. She has prosecuted and defended many cases in superior courts, specialized courts and Tribunals in the Republic of Kenya. Recently, Gladys published what has become a popular textbook, Civil Litigation in Kenya, cementing her position as the emerging leading authority in the area.

Gladys is a Partner at Nderi and Mwangi Advocates in Charge of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department. She is also the founder of Accord Mediation Chambers. She believes that commercial and family disputes can be resolved harmoniously by applying ADR (especially mediation) where litigation is not ideal. Hence, Accord Mediation Chambers compliments the dispute resolution legal services provided by Gladys and her team at Nderi & Mwangi Advocates. In addition, Gladys is very proficient in drafting and reviewing complex and specialized contracts. Gladys is also a trainer and has been engaged to offer bespoke legal training to small groups, corporates and NGOs in Estate Planning, Business Succession Planning and Labour laws.

Aside from her legal practice, Gladys is a respected Law Intellectual and a Lecturer of Law at Kenyatta University School of Law where she has also served as the Deputy Director of Students affairs. She is an active Member of Law Society of Kenya and East African Law Society and has served as a member of the Gender committee which supports society in making policies and driving discussions on matters of gender and law.

Gladys holds Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law. She also holds Master of Laws (LLM) in Law, Governance and Democracy from the University of Nairobi. In addition to being an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, she is a certified and accredited Mediator ( by the Institute of Chartered Mediators & Conciliators (ICMC) and the Judiciary of Kenya), a Certified Secretary (CS) and member of Institute of Certified Secretaries (ICS), a Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public.

For more information on Gladys Mwangi, her book and services, visit her Website: for more.

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Dr. Kariuki Muigua’s 21 Years Journey to Top Arbitrator in Kenya 2023




The Top Arbitrator in Kenya 2023 Delivered to Dr, Kariuki Muigua, PhD for Excellence in Arbitration

The Top Arbitrator in Kenya 2023, African Arbitrator of the Year 2022 and African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022 has 21 years as Arbitrator and ADR Practitioner under his belt. This is what informed our award of the Top Arbitrator in Kenya 2023 as a befitting tribute to mark more than two (2) decades of excellence as Arbitrator, Mediator, Adjudicator, Scholar, Mentor, Author, Leader and trendsetter in Arbitration and ADR Practice. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is the second Arbitrator to be declared the Top Arbitrator in Kenya, the first to be to be awarded the Inaugural CIArb Kenya Lifetime Achievement Award and to be declared both the African Arbitrator of the Year and the African ADR Practitioner of the Year and the first East African to become African CIArb Trustee 2019 to 2022 (now emeritus).

Dr. Kariuki Muigua’s ADR career started in 2002 when he took the Special member course in 2002 leading to membership of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb). In the same year, he also became a member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) (2002). In these two decades, Dr. Muigua has since consistently and excellently practiced ADR as Arbitrator, Mediator, Scholar, Publisher, Leader and Consultant and earned numerous awards and recognition as a leading ADR Practitioner in Kenya.

Three years after qualifying as Member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Dr. Kariuki Muigua graduated with Master of Laws (LL.M) in 2005 from the University of Nairobi specializing in Environmental Law, Natural Resource Conflicts and Dispute Resolution especially mediation. He continued to undertake domestic and international commercial arbitrations as well as facilitating training of new members at the CIArb (Kenya).

Dr. Muigua completed Arbitration Module 4 Course leading to Fellowship to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) in October 2010. He also undertook the Certified Professional in Managing Workplace Conflict from the Mediation Training Institute (International). The following year, on 2nd December 2011, he successfully defended his PhD Thesis titled “Resolving Environmental Conflicts in Kenya through Mediation” at the University of Nairobi on 02/12/2011 focusing on the areas of Public Participation, Mediation and Environmental Democracy. Dr. Muigua graduated with Diploma in Arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) in 2012.

In 2012, Dr. Kariuki Muigua was elected Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya branch) where he served for the next 3 years up to 2015 being actively involved in the organization and coordination of the Institute activities and promotion of use the of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods in Kenya. His tenure was pivotal as it marked the constitutional transition period which included efforts to spearhead the mainstreaming of ADR methods into the justice system as envisaged under Article 159 of the Constitution culminating in launch of the Court-Annexed Mediation Pilot in 2015. He was awarded the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Chairman’s medal with a citation for exemplary service in December, 2015.

Dr. Muigua has also served the Council of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya) and as a Member and Past Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Information Technology (IT) and Member of the Legal Committee of the Institute. He also founded the Alternative Dispute Resolution Journal, the Official Journal of the Chartered Institute of the Arbitrators (Kenya Branch). He is a Member of Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) International Panel of arbitrators and Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) Panel of International Arbitrators, Panel of Domestic Arbitrators and Panel of Domestic Mediators.

In January 2015, Dr. Muigua was conferred the rank of Chartered Arbitrator, the highest status of an Arbitrator. In the same year, he was also admitted as an Accredited Mediator by the Mediation Training Institute (International). In 2019, he was voted unopposed as the CIARB Regional Trustee for Africa where he represents Africa at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Board of Trustees which is responsible for all the monies as well as the strategic direction of the Institute. In 2020,  he was appointed by the Attorney General as a member of the National Steering Committee for Formulation of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy, 2020 representing the Academia.

Indeed, in September and 2012 he was engaged as a Consultant by Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and IDLO in preparing a report on the “Framework for the Consolidation and Harmonization of National Policies, Strategies and Legislative Instruments Relating to Access to Justice in Kenya.” In August 2013, he was engaged as a Consultant by the Kenya Land Alliance in preparing a “Review and Analysis of its draft ADR guide and Training Manual with a view to improve on its contents and structure to match the intended use of offering guidance in resolution of land disputes.”

To date, Dr. Kariuki Muigua continues to serve as the Tutor and Assessor at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators-Kenya where he researches and teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods at all levels. He has published numerous articles and papers on Alternative Dispute Resolution. Dr. Muigua is also the author of the leading books on ADR in Kenya: Resolving Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya (2013) and Settling Disputes through Arbitration in Kenya, the Edition (2022) which are available for free download in Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates as part of Social Responsibility and mentorship to upcoming Arbitrators.

Importantly, Dr. Kariuki Muigua has been ranked among the top 10 arbitrators in Kenya for the last five (5) years in a row by the prestigious Chambers & Partners Lawyers Directory as having “an astute understanding of arbitration and mediation” and being at the forefront of ADR in Kenya. In 2021, he scooped the three top ADR Award in Kenya, namely, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award, Law Society of Kenya ADR Practitioner of the Year Award and ADR Publisher of the Year Award. Thus, as he commemorates 20 years of ADR Practice, Dr. Kariuki Muigua has clearly earned the reputation and respect of his peers as a leading ADR Practitioner in Kenya and across Africa. In 2023, Dr. Kariuki Muigua was nominated by the Republic of Kenya as a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

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