Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied!

More BS from Kenya's (un)judicial system!

These guys (in the Ngugi case) have to stay in jail for an extra 2 weeks because the magistrate is "not ready" with the judgement? WTF? What if they are innocent? Will they ever get 2 weeks of their life back?

Kenyan jails are no Club Med... can't the accused sue?
Is the magistrate going on vacation for 2 weeks that she can't write the judgement?

Oh, talking of more WTF... why are "minimum" fees set for lawyers?
There should be "suggested" guidelines but NOT minimum fees which ends up screwing the poor folk!

What happened to COMPETITION...???

Instead of reducing mortgage costs, the use of lawyers in Kenya instead of STANDARD MORTGAGE DOCUMENTS make house ownership much more expensive!

For preparation of mortgages, advocates will charge a fee of Sh62,500 for a property valued at Sh2.5 million. However, for a property worth Sh500 million, the advocate will get Sh2.7 million. (Source: Daily Nation 29 Nov 2006)

For most house buyers this is 2.5%... The buyer who borrows 75% Loan-to-Value pays approx 5% ABOVE the price of the house for the closing costs!

Who pays the commission to the sales agent?

I try to be positive about Kenya but it is every man for himself... the rich get richer.... the lawyers lobby the CJ to raise their MINIMUM FEES... Of course, the CJ who probably has a tax-free salary, tax-free allowances & huge retirement benefits doesn't care!

At this rate... who will want to invest in Kenya for the long-term?

In the USA, borrowing costs are lower since:
  • Documents are standardised
  • Loans are packaged & traded thus lowering rates
  • Attorney fees range between $250-600 on most home purchases
A Kenyan who buys a KES 2.5 Million ($35,000) house pays KES 62,500 ($900) to the lawyer while a US homebuyer pays $250 for $100,000 house! You can buy a $1,000,000 house & pay the attorney $600! Even ALL your closing costs amount to a pittance compared to Kenya!

WTF... I don't know what else to say...


Ssembonge said...

This Advocates Remuneration Order is a load of crap. To my knowledge attorney fees are capped and not minimised. This prevents lawyers from overcharging.

I once sought the services of a lawyer in Kenya and he mentioned something to do with guidelines on how much they can charge.
In the US, there are companies that evaluate attorney billings for fairness.

As for conveyancing fees the sums mentioned are exorbitant not to mention you could be defrauded by a seller and the lawyer will not be responsible. There is nothing like title insurance.

I agree with you, every day it seems the situation back home is getting out of hand. That is why it does not interest me to trade on the NSE.

Kudrinketh said...

I guess its still rule of the jungle out there in the wilderness.Get used to it coz it gets worse,and its TOP DOWN.

alexcia said...

i am shocked.
I did not even understand whether some of the costs in the article are lawyer fees or court fees.

If they were court fees then plus lawyer fees, for many kenyans the legal system might as well not exist

Shiroh said...

I believe lawyers charge a pittance in Kenya.
Business has really gone down for lawyer as banks resort to in house lawyers. And most of all compared to doctors fees, consultation and all lawyers are chargin too little.

lawyers in Kenya do not charge per hour as their US counterparts. Never seen them complain about the accountants et al.
Obviously, lawyers take the lashing all the time

Gathara said...

If business was bad before for lawyers, guess what this will do to it. The court system, already out of reach for most, has just alienated several thousands more.

cold tuske,
I so agree with you on the standardised forms. They should be the norm. That's another area where we're being fleeced. These lawyer fees are just another cost to business in Kenya. And we all suffer for that.

bankelele said...

Our problem (as banks) is not the cost of lawyers but the inability to settle cases. Even clear cut cases take month/years to settle - and are often interrupted by frivolous appeals which are entertained and rewarded with delaying injunctions. all this makes sttlemt of cases verey expensive in terms of money and especially time.

Gathara said...

A word on the delay in announcing the verdict for the guys in the Ngugi case. The sad thing is this is very common. Cases drag on fr years with prosecutors and judges seeking adjournments while the accused persons rot in jail. Perhaps we need a constitutional time limit on cases beyond which mistrials can be declared.

And the Chief Justice needs to discipline his judges to ensure that unnecessary delays do not happen.

Odegle said...

i dont think judges cause all the delays, most delays are actually caused by lawyers who keep seeking more time. they dont even attend the court hearings they just send their clerks with instructions, to ask any lawyer to put the plea forward. i have a number of friends who do this all the time. at the end its the judge that looks bad. of course there are also cases of judges who do this. another thing is that this thing is soo convoluted, even those clerks have learnt how blackmail the clients by delaying court cases indefinitely. they go to great and unfair lenghts to do just that for a bribe here or there.

kenyanentrepreneur said...

In the U.S. lawyers can charge whatever it is they desire. What companies are you referring to? if you don't like what a particular lawyer is charging you can look for a cheaper one. The choice is yours.

Court Fee's:
I'm not sure about Kenya, but in the U.S. they are court fee's for all filings. These fee's are used to cover the administrative costs of running a courtroom.

What kenya needs is the equivalent of a public defenders office. Do they have that? a place where poor people can get legal representation for free (but the government would have to cover these costs)

why is the govt regulating what lawyers can charge???

Nimechoka said...

Kenyanentrepreneur - you should come back to Kenya and help improve this system. You seem to have many good ideas, get on the next flight and come implement them. There are many people in Kenya waiting for your assistance. This reference to the US, doesn't make a lot of sense - unless you will act upon the current situation. So Please come down and help solve the problem and not sit comfortably wherever it is you sit and blog and tell us what to do. I challenge you.

Are you currently working on any projects on the ground? in kenya that is?

We will help you implement these changes - so lead us there.


Ssembonge said...

There are firms in the US that deal with attorney billings to ensure that it has been done fairly.

I tried doing a web search but I couldn't find one.

These firms ensure that there is consistency across the legal fraternity and clients are being charged fairly.

Ask any attorney in the US.

Kudrinketh said...


I dont see a lot of kenyans in diaspora relocating back to kenya(at least the most productive ones).Most cannot stand the blatant disregard for the law,insecurity,etc.

Most diasporans(if that's even a word)cannot stand the indentured servitude of seems like most kenyans are just content with being shieted on over and over by crooks whom instead of condemning they hero-worship.

And whoe onto you if you dare deviate from their servitude will be villified,disparaged or even seems like kenyans reward mediocrity and penalize excellence.

That's why Mau Mau fought for independence only for homeguards like Jomo Kenyatta and Michuki to be rewarded for their affiliation with wakoloni.Same reason why the austere Billdad kaggia is villified and the indulgent Kenyatta worshipped.Same reason why Kibaki,who boot-licked Moi's behind for years durring the dark-ages gets elected yet people who risked their lifes are vilified a being too radical.

Kenyans are some of the most hypocritical people i've met.condemning corruption everyday yet hero-worshipping the most corrupt.All these institutions are corrupt because the same kenyans pay bribes left,right and center!i could go on and on but imma spare y'all the rhetoric,it not like i'm the only one who feels this frustration with the motherland.

kenyanentrepreneur said...


you are just wrong. the only attorney's that work for under a regulated fee structure are government lawyers (you work under a civil service pay scale)

Private lawyers charge whatever they want. There is a wide range and you pay for what you can afford.

a new lawyer will not charge $500 an hour if they were just starting out. However, if you want someone like a johnny cochran you will pay WHATEVER his asking price is. if you don't want to -shauri yako.