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Hall of Fame Litigation Lawyer: Hon. Prof. Tom Ojienda, SC, MP

Prof. Tom Ojienda and Associates Advocates is the best living proofs that Prof. Ojienda SC is not just a great lawyer, he is a transformative leader with undeniable Midas touch. Prof. Ojienda SC has led the firm from scratch to its current stature as one of Kenya’s top-tier law firms.

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The Founder and Managing Partner of Prof. Tom Ojienda, SC and one of Kenya's Giants of Law, Legal Practice and Legal Academia

Prof. Tom Odhiambo Ojienda SC is an advocate of the rank of Senior Counsel who has a knack for transforming the landscape of every aspect of legal practice he ventures into. He has made game-changing contributions, from legal academia to professional associations’ leadership, litigation to legal consultancy and advocacy, legal research authorship to being an elected and celebrated representative of his peers at the Judicial Service commission and to politics of devolution as elected Senator. These remarkable traits have rubbed very well on the eponymous firm Prof. Ojienda SC founded 30 years ago, Prof. Tom Ojienda and Associates Advocates, as it lives its mantra of staying ahead of the game.

Before Prof. Ojienda SC did it, many assumed it was impossible for one to be a leading lawyer running a top-notch legal practice, an active law academic and professor and top professional association representative, all at the same time. Those who excelled in legal academia were happy to settle for just that while those who were heading top-tier law firms and practicing at the top of specialist legal areas eschewed any attempt to offer professional associations elective leadership.  Prof. Ojienda, SC is the first Kenyan lawyer to achieve the status of a successful legal practitioner, a legal academic acknowledged as an authority, a prolific legal author and a beloved elected representative of your peers, all rolled into one.

Prof. Tom Ojienda and Associates Advocates is the best living proofs that Prof. Ojienda SC is not just a great lawyer, he is a transformative leader with undeniable Midas touch. Prof. Ojienda SC has led the firm from scratch to its current stature as one of Kenya’s top-tier law firms. While at it, he has also built a dedicated team of advocates recognized for offering exceptional legal services to businesses, corporate entities, banks, insurance and financial institutions, government and private clients. In turn, the firm has immensely contributed in shaping the legal landscape by representing its clients in local, regional and international courts and tribunals and providing world-class specialized legal services and meeting its clients’ needs with unmatched client care and professionalism.

The firm has four core departments; Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Department, Corporate and Commercial Department, Real Estate Transactions Department, and Legal and Consultancy Department. Over the years, the Litigation Department of Prof. Tom Ojienda & Associates has earned the firm recognition from peers and clients alike, by successfully handling landmark cases in the Superior Courts of Kenya that are widely reported and quoted as precedents in criminal law, electoral law, dispute resolution, land law, family law, commercial law and other areas of Law. The firm has acted for diverse client’s including individuals, State agencies, private entities, county governments and multinational agencies in Subordinate Courts, the High Court of Kenya, the Court of Appeal of Kenya, the Supreme Court of Kenya, the East African Court of Justice and the COMESA Court of Justice.

The reported cases handled by Prof. Tom Ojienda & Associates include Speaker of the Senate & another v Attorney-General & 4 others [2013] eKLR; Gitarau Peter Munya v Dickson Mwenda Kithinji & 3 Others [2014] eKLR; Evans Odhiambo Kidero & 4 others v Ferdinand Ndung’u Waititu & 4 others [2014] eKLR; Lemanken Aramat v Harun Meitamei Lempaka & 2 others [2014] eKLR; In the Matter of the National Land Commission [2015] eKLR; Justus Kariuki Mate & another v Martin Nyaga Wambora & another [2017] eKLR; Moi v Rosanna Pluda [2017] eKLR; Narok County Government v Livingstone Kunini Ntutu & 2 others [2018] eKLR, and Cyprian Awiti & another v Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission & 2 others [2019] eKLR, among many others.

Some of the high monetary value cases the firm has handled include acting for Numerical Machining Complex in a land proprietorship dispute for land worth KES 8 Billion, acting for Kwale Sugar in Court after a governmental multiagency team wrongfully closed down its sugar factory worth KES 4B, acting for Public Service Commission (PSC) in a case questioning its payments of MPs’ housing benefit totaling KES 1.2B annually, representing Landmark Freight Services Limited in challenging a government parastatal’s decision to destroy its imported goods worth KES 600M, representing King Woollen Mills Limited and Galot Industries Limited in a Supreme Court matter involving approximately KES 251M and successfully representing one Mr. Baumgartner in a suit challenging his title to properties worth KES 100M.

Prof. Tom Ojienda & Associates Corporate and Commercial Department has significant experience in handling business transactions, partnerships and projects, bank securities and finance, capital markets, intellectual property law (including copyrights, trademarks, patents and industrial designs), private equity, projects and infrastructure, corporate restructuring and trusts and estates. The firm also consults and advises on a wide array of corporate legal processes, including mergers and acquisitions, regulatory and compliance issues, legal and corporate governance audits and commercial transactions, business startups and entrepreneurial strategy.

Prof. Ojienda SC having, to his credit, literally written the leading textbooks on Land Law and Conveyancing in Kenya including Land Law and Conveyancing: Principles and Practice (LawAfrica, 2015), his firm’s Real Estate Transactions Department attains to the high expectations of clients that come with his status. The Department is composed of advocates adept in research, negotiation and analytical skills who have assisted many clients with negotiating the terms and conditions of real estate transactions, prepared and reviewed all kind of real estate documents and facilitated transfers, conveyances, leases, mortgages, change of user and sub-divisions of numerous personal and commercial properties.

The Legal Advisory and Consultancy Department of Prof. Tom Ojienda & Associates Advocates is one of the beneficiaries of Prof. Ojienda’s prowess as a law academic and scholar. The Department specializes in consulting, legal and legislative drafting, compiling reports, making presentations and providing professional legal advice and legal opinions to a diverse set of clients that includes Government institutions, civil society, corporate bodies and individual clients. The Department has a dedicated Legal Research and Policy Team comprised of legal researchers and the Head of Legal Research and Policy.

Prof. Ojienda, SC remains the overall Managing Partner of Prof. Tom Ojienda & Associates and is assisted by four (4) Partners overseeing each one of the four core departments of the firm and a sizeable team of qualified associates. Prof. Ojienda SC is one of a handful of Kenyan lawyers who have attained the status of Senior Counsel as well as Professorship of Law by merit. He has authored 15 law books and over 40 peer-reviewed law articles and books chapters. Prof. Ojienda SC has served as President of Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and East Africa Law Society (ELS), Vice President and Financial Secretary of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), Council Member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and as a Commissioner in both the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).  Prof. Ojienda, SC is one of the most influential lawyers in Kenya and his firm is sought after by many clients for help in staying ahead of their game.

Lawyers

Eric Kivuva: Reset and Calibrate for a Nairobi LSK Branch that Delights Members

“My vision is for a Nairobi Branch that delights members because things work as they should to improve practice, welfare, and mentorship,” Eric Kivuva.

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Eric Kivuva, Senior Partner at McKay Advocates and Nairobi LSK Branch Chair Candidate

By Eric Kivuva, Nairobi LSK Branch Chair Candidate 2024-2026

Nairobi Branch has had stability over the last few years but we seem to have stagnated on protecting and advocating for improvements in the practice environment and have become superficial about the real welfare issues of members. The time is nigh for us to reset our leadership and the branch. It is time to replace stagnation in practice with progress; Public relations in member care with results-oriented action; silence with empathy, disconnection with engagement. It is time for a reset and calibration of the branch for positive, progressive impact on our practice and welfare.

My Promise: To make Nairobi branch a truly world class branch when it comes to championing a better practice environment and more opportunities for members.

My Agenda: Our practice environment is not conducive for many advocates because of the bottlenecks that exist. We must prioritize practice matters if each one of us is to have a thriving practice so that you can not only meet your needs but also have a little more to create positive impact in the society.

My Reset and Calibrate Agenda

Agenda 1: Protect and Progress Practice Areas

  • Diligently follow through with implementation of CUCs and Bar-Bench Committee recommended actions.
  • Be proactive in monitoring changes in the legal sector and take measures to ensure advocates are not negatively affected by those changes.
  • Eliminate bottlenecks in practice areas specifically by championing efficiency at all registries i.e. Land Registries, Court Registries, Company Registries and KIPI.
  • Support the fight against corruption in the judiciary and the elimination of facilitation fees.

Agenda 2: Adoption of Emerging Practice Areas

  • Establish the emerging practice areas committee
  • Encourage greater collaboration with inhouse counsel to widen the practice space
  • Develop a simple guide to practice management

Agenda 3: Mentorship and Unity of the bar

  • Institute a practice mentorship program within the branch to equip members with skills and tools to help them build thriving practices.
  • Expand branch social activities and increase the frequency of the events to involve as many members as possible.

My Track Record

I have made significant contributions to the Nairobi branch without holding an elected position.

  1. I have been a staunch supporter of the Nairobi Branch, contributing through member donations and sponsoring numerous branch events.
  2. ⁠I played a pivotal role in establishing one of our most beloved traditions, the Nairobi Branch Quiz Night, alongside our esteemed first chair, Charles Kanjama, to foster camaraderie among members.
  3. ⁠I offered leadership during the organization of the first-ever LSK elections debate, where I not only facilitated as the MC but also ensured the event’s seamless execution.
  4. ⁠I contributed to the conceptualization of the Nairobi Legal Awards in 2021 organized by the Nairobi Branch and the inaugural Nrb Branch Christmas carols event.
  5. ⁠I consistently support the Nairobi branch financially and has served as a speaker at multiple branch events, most recently at a cocktail organized by the branch in August 2023.
  6. ⁠In recognition of my unwavering dedication, I was honored with the Committed Service Award in 2022, bestowed upon individuals who demonstrate exceptional commitment to branch activities.

There is no question that Nairobi LSK Branch holds a special place in my heart and that makes me the ideal candidate to lead the LSK Nairobi branch to new heights in the next two years.

My Vision for Nairobi Branch

My vision is for a Nairobi Branch that delights members because things work as they should to improve practice, welfare, and mentorship.

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Irene Kiwool: My Track Record and Call to PACT for Better Nairobi LSK

Irene Kiwool is calling for a PACT towards a Progressive and an All-Inclusive LSK Nairobi Branch Bar.

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Irene Kiwool is running for LSK Nairobi Council Member 2024-2026 on PACK Agenda.

DownloadIrene Kiwool’s Manifesto for Nairobi LSK Council Member 2024-2026(PDF)

WHO IS IRENE KIWOOL?

I am an advocate with 14 years post admission experience and a partner at Muchemi & Co. Advocates. For the past 6 years, my unwavering dedication and commitment to the bar has been evident through active participation on several Nairobi Branch Committees. This engagement has not only sharpened my legal acumen but has also allowed me to make meaningful contributions and impact to our legal community. I believe it is this commitment and dedication to our legal practice that led to my nomination as the Commercial and Conveyancing Practitioner of the Year in 2022 and listed among the Top 100 Real Estate and Finance Lawyers in Kenya in 2023.

WHAT IS MY TRACK RECORD?

Dedicated Leadership and Service

I have served diligently on the following committees:

  • Lands Liaison Committee
  • Commercial Practice Committee
  • ICT and IP (KIPI) Liaison Committee
  • Judicial Review Bar -Bench Committee
  • Devolution and Law Reform Committee
  • Ardhisasa Technical committee

Legal Practice Protection and Reform

I have played a pivotal role in safeguarding the legal practice and spearheading key reforms that support our profession and protecting our bread and butter.  Notable contributions include:

  • The gazettement of the Regulations on Electronic Conveyancing (The Land Registration (Electronic Transactions) Regulations, 2020),
  • The gazettement of The Regulations on Extension and Renewal of Leases (Land Extension and Renewal of Leases) Rules, 20l7.)
  • Development of a comprehensive Conversion Manual, which guides practitioners on the process to convert Land Titles and Deeds issued under the repealed land laws.
  • The manual is available on the Ministry of Lands Website.

Proactive Advocacy for Efficient Systems

I have been at the forefront lobbying and driving for improvements on the Ardhisasa System, to enhance its user-friendliness, responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness. Through my proactive engagements, we have achieved significant upgrades, unlocked key registrations at the Nairobi Registration Unit and facilitated the development and dissemination of training materials on the use of the Ardhisasa system.

NOTABLE UPGRADES:

  • Filing of Consolidated applications
  • Introduction of a Progress Status bar to track registration status
  • Reduced timelines for the registration of Foreign Accounts
  • Enhanced system functionalities including editing applications
  • Comprehensive upload capabilities for chargee’s covenants, previously limited to 500 words activation of several registration forms conducting
  • Searches without proprietor’s consent through an Advocate account for unconverted or unenumerated properties cleared by Ministry of Lands

UNLOCKED REGISTRATIONS 

  • Long -term leases through the Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Lands and LSK
  • Where modules are inactive registration is manual by seeking exemption from the Registrar
  • Manual registration for inactive modules by requesting for an exemption to register through the Chief Land Registrar
  • Transfers by Chargee
  • Deed of Variations of Charges
  • Replacement of lost Titles and reconstruction of the register.

WHY THE PACT AGENDA?

I am committed to honoring the PACT (Protect, Account, Champion and Track), by continuing to serve members, this time as a council member. With your vote, together, we can bring inclusivity, integrity, innovation and impactful change to our resident bar.

PROTECT  

  • Protect members bread and butter by prioritizing practice issues and defend against challenges from whatever source. Develop a proactive stance to anticipate and mitigate risks before they impact our members.
  • Lobby for the establishment of a Practice Forward Committee aimed at monitoring emerging challenges in the legal practice, focusing on the welfare of Advocates, the emerging areas of legal practice and recommending implementable solutions. This initiative would ensure that Advocates are well supported and equipped to navigate the evolving complexities of the legal field.
  • Lobby for creation of an online Nairobi Branch Members Directory that is publicly accessible, allowing Members of the public to easily locate and engage legal counsel thereby increasing visibility and accessibility for our members.
  • Lobby and develop a tracking mechanism to weed out masqueraders and unqualified persons through a justice multi- stakeholder approach

ACCOUNT

  • Advocate for Accountability and Transparency of Branch operations and financial affairs.
  • Lobby for the adoption and implementation of a stakeholder and institutional accountability tool to monitor and enhance service delivery across key partner institutions (the courts; the Land Registration Units, BRS, Ecitizen, KRA, Registrar of persons, Tribunals among other’s). This tool will aim to ensure transparency, responsiveness and efficiency, proactively addressing challenges and optimizing resource utilization Advocate for prudent utilization of Branch funds to maximize the benefits to our members.

CHAMPION

  • Champion and spearhead legal reforms that reflect current needs and future challenges with the aim to strengthen and grow members’ practice.
  • Champion for strategic networking engagements, collaboration and knowledge exchange.
  • Establish dynamic forums and platforms for members to leverage expertise and access valuable resources thus contributing to members individual growth, overall development and innovation within the legal practice.
  • Champion and spearhead the drafting and publication of a comprehensive manual that provides guidance on electronic conveyancing aiming to streamline and enhance conveyancing practice.

TRACK

  • Establish a tracking system to regularly assess the welfare support mechanisms in place, ensuring they effectively contribute to the progression and growth of members.
  • Track the effectiveness of the mentorship program and develop strategic policies to expand the pool of mentors and enhance the quality of mentorship.
  • Lobby for the establishment and implementation of a performance metric’s system to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of branch committees. This metrics will be reviewed periodically to foster continuous improvement.

CURRENT ROLES THAT ALIGN WITH THE PACT AGENDA

  1. Member of the Co -ordinating Committee that is tasked with the mandate to co-ordinate the review of the National Land Policy.
  2. Member of the Nairobi Lands Justice Working Group whose mandate is to identify the root causes and address systemic and endemic challenges in the administration of land justice in Nairobi County.
  3. Member at the Lands and Housing Sector Board Committee at KEPSA and public Policy and Advocacy Committee at KPDA.
  4. Member of the Kenya School of Law Mentorship programme.

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Njoki Mboce: I am Members Project for LSK President

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By Njoki Mboce for LSK President 2024-2026 Team

Today, LSK faces an existential threat from those who seek to compromise its mandate by aligning with the regime in ongoing attempts to undermine the place of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and erode the Rule of Law. This has the potential to regress the country to a state of impunity and dictatorship reminiscent of the past.

In such turbulent times, the LSK requires a leader who is resolute, decisive, and impartial. Harriet Njoki Mboce is this suitable leader, with a firm reputation, who will speak Truth to power in the face of encroaching dictatorship.

The actions of a candidate are a mirror of who they are, and what they will be in office. If a candidate wants the office at all costs, and abuses members’ trust to get there, they will have no integrity while in office. Harriet Njoki Mboce is unequivocally the LSK Members’ project. Boldly and firmly acting to defend Independence of the BAR, institutions, and the Rule of Law, she has maintained this commitment throughout her campaigns for President of LSK. This offers a strong basis to fearlessly champion members’ interests and protect the BAR from capture by the State and unscrupulous cartels.

Growing up, I dreamt of being a Navy Officer. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would one day be seeking the Presidency of an organisation previously led by impeccable names such as SC Gibson Kamau Kuria, SC Pheroze Nowrojee, SC Paul Muite, SC Hon Dr. Willy Mutunga (CJ Emeritus) and SC Raychelle Omamo, among others. It has taken resilience and a high dose of firm, and bold commitment to get here.

LSK requires a leader to withstand the pressure within and without, and to take the heat on behalf of the membership, whenever the Country and the Society’s living tenets come under threat. This resilience as a quality in the President of LSK enables me in a big way to see the wider horizon of the environment we operate in, to prepare for the storms and to boldly and firmly focus and act on our bigger mandate.

Come elections day, 29th February, 2024, I invite members to ask themselves: Which candidate shows real signs that they will not be corrupted, will run an accountable organisation and will sustain the moral and probity to place the LSK on a path of Independence? I humbly seek your vote to bring this desire home. Please vote for the Member’s project, Harriet Njoki Mboce, HSC for President of The Law Society of Kenya (2024-2026)

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