Advocates’ Complaints Commission Frequently Asked Questions
- Any person aggrieved by the conduct of any advocate, firm of advocates, or any member or employee thereof.
- Any person authorized by law, for instance, an MP or an advocate, on behalf of the person aggrieved by the conduct of any advocate, firm of advocates, or any member or employee thereof.
- A close relative or friend authorized by the person aggrieved by the conduct of any advocate, firm of advocates, or any member or employee thereof in the event they are incapable to act on their own.
- Any advocate
- Firm of advocates
- Any member or employee of a firm of advocates
(ii) Withholding money belonging to client
(iii) Issuing cheques which are subsequently dishonoured
(iv) Failure to honour professional undertaking
(v) Delay to prosecute or finalize client’s matter
(vi) Failure to reply to correspondence or communication from professional colleagues or the Commission
(vii) Failure to comply with client’s instructions or acting contrary to clients instructions
(viii) Failure to release to the clients his/her documents where instructions have been withdrawn from the advocate
(ix) Overcharging client
(x) Failure to attend court
(xi) Acting in conflict of interest
(xii) Demanding legal fees from a person who is not a client
(xiii) Any disgraceful/dishonourable conduct incompatible with the status of an advocate
- Cases relating purely to negligence of advocates in the discharge of their duties
- Complaints against Judicial Officers and State Counsel
Further the Commission has a mandate under section 53 (5) of the Advocates Act to endeavor to promote reconciliation, encourage and facilitate amicable settlement between the parties to the complaint where appropriate through the In-House Dispute Resolution mechanism.
Other Arising Questions
- File reference number.
- His/her full names as indicated in the complaint.
- His/her national identity card/passport number as indicated in the complaint.
- The name of the advocate or firm of advocates complained against.
- Date when he/she lodged the complaint at the Commission.
- The name of the State Counsel handling the complaint. (Available in any correspondence written to the client by the Commission).
- Act ethically and abide by the law.
- Not reveal anything you tell him or her in confidence exempt in a life threatening situation.
- Allow you to make a final decision on how your case will be handled.
- Exercise independent judgment on your behalf.
- Keep you updated on your matter.
- Make sure the advocate you are dealing with is licensed. Avoid falling victim to someone imposing as an advocate.
- Understand exactly what your advocate will be doing for you and what it will cost. An agreement of fees with the advocate should be put in writing. This will help you track your costs and avoid surprises.
- Be completely honest and provide all information related to your case. Make sure the advocate always has your current address and contact information.
- Supply your advocate with all documents related to your case and keep copies for your records.
- Ask the advocate to estimate how long your case will take however; be aware that some unexpected twists and turns in a case can delay the process.
- Ask your advocate to keep you updated on your case either in writing or through a telephone call or by email.
- Ask for his or her admission number then contact the Law Society of Kenya using the phone number 0720904983/020-3874664 or by visiting their offices located on Gitanga road for information on the membership of the advocate and any public record of discipline.
- Or visit the Law Society of Kenya website at lsk.co.ke and click on the Advocates Search Engine to check the status of the advocate’s license and discipline information.
- If the advocate cannot be found in the Law Society of Kenya records and it turns out he or she is not licensed to practice law in Kenya then you should refer the matter to a law enforcement agency e.g. the Police or the Criminal Investigation Department. The Law Society of Kenya and the Advocates’ Complaints Commission’s authority over non-lawyers is limited by law.
- If your advocate is not licensed to practice law in Kenya, ask him or her to return your file and other documents to enable you hire a licensed advocate.
- Express your concern to the advocate by calling. Keep a record of the date and time of your call.
- If your advocate does not return your call, send him or her a letter and keep a copy.
- Your next step would depend on the nature of the problem.
If talking to your advocate does not solve the problem you can request for taxation of the advocate/client bill of costs in a court of law.
The fee dispute can also be resolved at the Commission’s In-House Dispute Resolution (IHDR) mechanism which is usually faster and less expensive than going to court pursuant to its mandate under section 53 (6D) of the Advocates Act.
- To protect the client
- To protect the public
- To protect the reputation of the legal profession
- To protect the law
- To protect the judiciary
Registrar General Department
Chattel Mortgages Registration Section
- The Act governs the relationship between property owners and third parties who have contractual relationships with the former in respect of the chattels.
- It recognizes the role of the state in overall police power over the all property by demanding registration of securities created over chattels to avoid fraudulent transactions
- Collect revenue through stamp duty and registration fees
- Protect third party interests.
Civil Litigation Department
- Providing legal advice to Government ministries, Department and State Corporation in all legal matters.
- Conducting arbitration and other forms of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation and adjudication involving the government.
- Representation of the Government Ministries ,Department and some state corporation in courts in all civil and constitutional matters instituted in the surbordinate courts, the High court and appeals in the court of appeal, in the supreme court, East Africa court of justice-Arusha and the African Human and people’s Rights commission-Banjul.
The department is housed on the 7th floor of Sheria House.
- The full names, description and place of residence of the proposed plaintiff;
- The date upon which the cause of action is alleged to have accrued;
- The name of the Government department alleged to be responsible and the full names of any servant or agent whom it is intended to join as a Defendant;
- A concise statement of the facts on which it is alleged that the liability of the Government and of any such servant or agent has arisen;
- The relief that will be claimed and, so far as may be practicable, the value of the subject matter of the intended proceeding or the amount which it is intended to claim
- For any suit filed against the Government there must be a 30 days of notice before a suit is filed. (Notice to sue)
- Upon the receipt of the notice, the civil litigation department requires the respective departments/ministries to respond to the notice within 7 days
- This means that in total the civil litigation department expects that proper instruction are received from the department/ministry within 21 days before a suit is filed
- In short, the civil process against the government commences with the issuance of notice of intention to institute proceeding in accordance with section 13 A of the Government proceedings Act. No proceeding can be instituted in court against the Government until after the expiry of thirty (30) days after a notice in writing has been served on the Government in relation to those proceedings.
- Once summons to enter appearance and defence have been received from the plaintiff, the defendant has only 15 days to enter appearance and another 15 days from the day of appearance to file a defense.
- By leaving the document within the prescribed hours at the relevant registry within the office of the Attorney General
- By leaving the document within the office of his agent whom he has nominated for that purpose (in either of the above cases make sure the document is with a person belonging to the office where the document is left.)
- By posting it in a prepaid registered envelope addressed to the Attorney General or any such agent as a foresaid. (This only relates to documents where personal service is not required).