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Revealed: Law firms that pocketed City Hall billions

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Members of the public walk past the entreance to City Hall in Nairobi on April 19, 2024.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

A total of 44 law firms pocketed Sh1.3 billion as legal fees from the Nairobi City County government in the past one year amidst concerns over the rising legal pending bills fees in the county government.

The county government made requisitions to the Office of the Controller of Budget to pay the law firms on separate dates between October 2022 and January 2024 this year.

Documents seen by Nation. Africa from the Office of the Controller of Budget indicate that most of the approved payments were made to law firms involved in litigation at the county executive with only Sh29.1 million being spent on law firms at the county assembly.

The last requisition of Sh60 million and Sh76 million was made on January 30 this year for payment to 11 different law firms. They include Okatch & Partners (Sh27 million), Sirma & Company (Sh21 million), Murimi Murango & Associates (Sh17 million), Adrian Kamotho (Sh10 million), T.M Kuria & Company (Sh91 million), I.N Nyaribo & Company (Sh40 million), Jamal Bake & Associates Advocates (Sh25 million).

Others include Makallah Theuri (Sh73 million), R.M Aula and Company Advocates (Sh20 million), MMA Advocates (Sh57 million) and Wambugu and Muriuki Advocates (Sh25 million).

In 2023 alone, the county government made requisitions totalling Sh865 million to pay different law firms. They include Nyareru and Associates Advocates (Sh1.2 million), Diro Advocates Llp (Sh1.8 million), Nyareru and Associates Advocates (Sh2 million), Ashioya Mogire and Nkatha Advocates (Sh2.2 million), Nchoe, Jaoko and Company (Sh2.2 million), Makallah Theuri and Company Advocates (Sh2.7 million), Diro Advocates LLP (Sh3.5 million), Ashioya Mogire Nkatha Advocates (Sh4.1 million).

Others law firms include Roba and Associates (Sh14.7 million), Jamal Bake and Associates Advocates (Sh47 million), Swanya and Company Advocates (Sh85 million), Gikunda Miriti and Company (Sh67 million), Okubasu Munene and Kazungu Advocates Llp (Sh30 million), Mugoye and Associates (Sh50 million), J.W Watcher Advocates (57 million), Muchoki and Kangata Njenga and Company (Sh2.8 million), Momanyi and Associates Advocates (Sh34 million), Fountain of life Deliverance Fellowship Centre (Sh21 million), Ongicho and Ongicho Company (Sh2 million), Ojienda and Company Advocates (Sh5 million), Eric Ntabo and Co. (Sh20 million),Njenga Maina and Company Advocates (Sh4.2 million) and Evans Thiga Gaturu Advocates (Sh0.7 million), Musa Boaz & Thomas Advocates (Sh3.5 million) and Tariq Khan and Associates (Sh7 million).

 The requisition for legal services to the county assembly includes Makallah Theuri and Company Advocate (Sh1.8 million), Musyoka Mogaka and Company Advocate (Sh2 million), Makallah Theuri and Company Advocates (Sh2.4 million), Osundwa and Company (Sh5.7 million), Brayan Khaemba, Kamau and Company Advocates (Sh2 million), Ashioya Mogire & Nkatha Advocates (Sh2.4 million), Osundwa and Okatch and Partners (Sh3 million), Maina and Macharia Advocates (Sh3.5 million).

Other law firms included in the requisition include Mugoye and Associates (Sh50 million), Roba & Associates (Sh14.7 million), Jamal Bake & Associates Advocates (Sh25 million), Roba and Associates (Sh51 million). Kwanga Mboya and Company Advocates (Sh125 million), Abdullah Mohammed Rasoul Ali Alharmood Advocates and Legal Consultants (Sh12.7 million), Andrew Onguka and Ombwayo and Co Advocates (Sh7 million), Waweru Gatonye and Co. Advocates (Sh15 million), Prof Ojienda and Advocates, Mugoye Associates and Proland Ltd (Sh34 million) and Prof Tom Ojienda (Sh15.3 million), Chesikwa and Kiprop Advocates (Sh52 million).

The requisition requests come against the backdrop of concerns by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu over the huge pending legal bills crisis at City Hall with a few of the advocates owed billions by the county government following litigations.

“Analysis of the revenue against the legal fees revealed that 11 advocates out of a legal list of 832 cases, equivalent to 10 percent are owed a total of  Sh10 million which is more than the total County own source revenue collected amount of Sh10.5 million,” Ms Gathungu said.

City Hall has however maintained that all the legal pending bills will be audited to confirm their authenticity before any payment is made.

In December last year, Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja appointed an internal audit committee headed by the acting county attorney Christine Ireri to verify the legal pending bills.

Mr Sakaja has also henceforth issued a directive to ensure that all the legal issues are handled by the county team to reduce legal fees.

“The administration is keen on verifying all the legal pending bills owed to various lawyers and advocates before we make a recommendation on the ones who should be paid,” Ms Ireri told the Nairobi City County Assembly’s legal committee chaired by Mugumoini MCA Jared Akama last week.