An audit of law firms has ranked President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer during the 2017 presidential election petition Fred Ngatia among the top lawyers in Kenya in dispute resolution.
The ranking by Chambers and Partners cited Mr Ngatia for handling public interest cases, especially the landmark case at the Supreme Court in 2018, which led to the abolishment of mandatory death sentence.
“Top litigator Fred Ngatia of Ngatia & Associates is considered a heavy-hitter and the go-to guy when you want to get things done. He produces brilliant legal arguments in court. In addition to significant commercial cases, he is frequently instructed on public interest cases,” the global firm said.
According to the firm, which audits lawyers and law firms across globally, the ranking is categorised into band one to six, with those in band one ranked the highest and band six the lowest.
Mr Ngatia was ranked in band one as the highest among top lawyers in the country besides Senior Counsels Fred Ojiambo, George Oraro and Kenneth Fraser.
Others in this category are Mr Chacha Odera, Mr James Ochieng Oduol, Mr John Ohaga, Kiragu Kimani and Mr Njoroge Regeru.
Mr Ojiambo was lauded for successfully representing a multilateral organisation in the Court of Appeal in a precedent setting case that clarified the issue of immunity for international bodies and helping in arbitrating a Sh3 billion dispute involving construction companies.
For Mr Oraro, the audit firm said he is held in high esteem by his peers and clients as one of the top legal minds in Kenya with a career spanning 42 years.
“Oraro specialises in highly complex banking, commercial, employment and labour and tax disputes that have led to numerous landmark decisions contributing to the development of Kenya’s jurisprudence,” concluded the firm.
Chambers and Partners ranks individual lawyers based on their areas of practice, the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, their client service and landmark cases litigated.
The international firm identifies, conducts research and ranks the most outstanding lawyers and law firms in over 180 countries.
Former Attorney-General Prof Githu Muigai and lawyer Kamau Karori of Iseme, Kamau and Maema (IKM) law firm were ranked in band two of lawyers in dispute resolution.
Others in band two include the current Law Society of Kenya President Allen Gichuhi, Mr Waweru Gatonye, Mr Michi Kirimi, Mr Mohammed Nyaoga, Mr Nazima Malik, Mr Peter Gachuhi and Mr Walter Amoko.
“Karori Kamau is without doubt a top arbitrator. He is highly respected for his handling of election petitions and arbitrations, notably acting as co-counsel to Kenya’s Ministry of Mining on a USD2.8 billion claim by Cortec and Stirling Capital,” said Chambers.
In terms of the most performing law firms in dispute resolution in the country, Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Matthews was ranked in band one as the top performer alongside Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, and Oraro and Company Advocates.
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