NAIROBI Kenya, Nov 29- The 2021 edition of the Nairobi Legal Awards was a pompous affair which took place on Friday November 26, 2021 at The Movenpick Hotel.
This year’s edition of the awards dubbed “The Phoenix Edition” was aimed at signifying the rebirth of Kenya’s legal space following the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic affected all sectors worldwide including the legal sector. The Nairobi Legal Awards were created to promote best legal practices in the country as well as to encourage ethical and competitive practices,” Law Society of Kenya- Nairobi branch Chairman Eric Theuri said during the event.
Here is a rundown of this year’s winners.
LARGE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR
Anjarwalla & Khanna (A&K) was the biggest star of the night, emerging as Nairobi’s best performing large law firm. The firm scooped the title for the third year in a row cementing their position as a legal sector beacon.
The firm has been in the limelight for winning multiple awards, both locally and globally over the past few years.
A&K has been battling it out for the top spot with Oraro & Co. Advocates as well as TripleOKLaw for the past three years.
LAWYER OF THE YEAR
Pravin Bowry SC, of Bowry & Co. Advocates, who has been practicing law in Kenya for over 50 years was named Nairobi’s Lawyer of the year. During his practice, Bowry was recognised for his bravery and fearlessness, handling high profile cases involving intricate legal issues.
He is most famous for handling cases such as the Goldenberg Inquiry and the Makhalla trial involving the disappearance and murder of an English lady, Julie Ward, in the world famous Maasai Mara.
He beat Allen Waiyaki of Wamae & Allen Advocates and Daniel Ngumy Anjarwalla & Khanna for the top spot.
YOUNG LAWYER OF THE YEAR
Another distinct category during the ceremony was the title of ‘Young Lawyer of the Year’ which went to 27 year old Robert Muigai Mwaura. The young lawyer was recognised for his use of social media channels to impart legal information in a way the common mwananchi can understand, earning him the name ‘The Tik Tok lawyer’.
The Tiko Tok lawyer outshined last year’s winner Leyla Ahmed of TripleOKLaw, an Associate in the Dispute Resolution Department. Leyla, who represents both corporate and individual clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings, was the second runners up during this year’s selection of top young lawyers.
Meshack Asino Kwaka and Wycliffe Oyoo tied in third place.
Afew names stood out as the night went on as they emerged victorious in more than one category.
One such name was Standard Chartered which received the award for In-House Corporate Department of he Year led by Davidson Mwaisaka as well as The In-House Lawyer of The Year which was snagged by Standard Chartered’s Chris Engola.
Senior Counsel John Morris Ohaga also had an eventful night where he was not only named the Pupil Master of The Year but, TripleOkLaw where Ohaga sits as Managing Partner also emerged as second runners up in the Large Law Firm of the Year category.
Ohaga was also named first runners up in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner of the year category.
Interestingly, during this year’s awards, CITAM- a religious institution snagged one of the top positions as the church’s lawyer, Andrew Musyoka, was named second runners up in the In-house Lawyer of the year’ category. This is the first time a church has had a winning contender in the legal awards.
The legal awards saw the addition of two new categories- The Law Teacher of the Year and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner of the year. During the evening, ADR came out as a key emerging issue where lawyers were encouraged to lean more towards it’s practice to ensure the seamless handling of disputes.
Other winners of the night were:
- IN-HOUSE CORPORATE DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR
- Standard Chartered Bank led by Davidson Mwaisaka
- Refugee Consortium of Kenya
- Katiba Institute
- IN-HOUSE LAWYER OF THE YEAR
- Chris Engola of Standard Chartered Bank
- Damaris Etemesi Equity Bank
- Andrew Musyoka CITAM
- PUBLIC SECTOR LEGAL DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR
- National Council for Law Reporting who tied with the National Environment Management Authority
- Office of the Registrar of Treaties,
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- PUBLIC SECTOR LAWYER OF THE YEAR
- Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti.
- Lilian Akinyi Okumu Chief of Staff ODPP
- Paul Matuku KRA
- BRANCH CHAIR’S AWARD
- Hon. Clara Otieno Omondi
- JUDGE/JUDICIAL OFFICER OF THE YEAR
- Hon. Caroline Kendagor
- Hon. Justice Alfred Mabeya
- Hon. Elizabeth Tanui
- COMMITTED SERVICE AWARD
- Stella Muraguri
- ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PRACTITIONER OF THE YEAR
- Dr. Kariuki Muigua
- John Morris Ohaga SC
- Mercy Okiro
- PUPIL MASTER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- John Morris Ohaga SC
- Bernard Murunga
- LAW TEACHER OF THE YEAR
- Dr. Jackson Bett
- Dr. Kenneth Wyne Mutuma
- Justus Munyithya
- SME LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR
- Okeyo, Mbeya and Mukuhi Advocates
- Andrew & Steve Advocates
- CIVIL SOCIETY LAWYER OF THE YEAR
- Joy Katunge
- Judith Oloo