Common Mistakes Kenyans Make When Hiring a Lawyer

Lawyers Michael Oloo, Samson Okongo, Mohammed Balala and Ali Taib during the hearing of Swaleh Nguru’s property case at the High Court in Mombasa on July 19, 2012
  • With injustices happening around us every day, the need for hiring lawyers to save the situations is ever present.

    However, hiring a lawyer is one of the decisions that require much attention and research to ensure you don’t make mistakes that will make your case remain unsolved for years or even forever.

    Joseph Macdonald, a commercial lawyer and lecturer at the University of Nairobi, spoke to and revealed some of the costly mistakes that most Kenyans make when getting legal representation. 

    Lawyers Michael Oloo, Samson Okongo, Mohammed Balala and Ali Taib during the hearing of Swaleh Nguru’s property case at the High Court in Mombasa on July 19, 2012

    Failure to Check With The Lawyer is Qualified

    Macdonald stated that before hiring a lawyer, you should check with the Law Society of Kenya whether the lawyer you want to hire is registered.

     He confirmed that if the lawyer might have been conducting cases illegally, all the transactions made can be nullified.

    You can find the information by checking their website or visiting their offices located along Gitanga Road in Lavington.

    Failure to Check Whether The Lawyer Has Disciplinary Issues

    According to Macdonald, most Kenyans rush into hiring lawyers without checking their legal background.

    “Check whether the lawyer has a tendency of taking money from clients but never finishes cases or only seeks bail but never win cases,†Macdonald stated.

    This is also the same case with clients hiring lawyers based on fame and not experience.

    Failure to Visit The Lawyer’s Office

    Macdonald asserted visiting the lawyer’s office enables the client to know where they can find the lawyer in case of anything.

    He argues failure to find the lawyer makes it easy for them to escape from the client after being paid or slow the case.

    Failure to Check the Lawyer’s Specialization

    Macdonald states that Law is a wide field of study with many specializations but most lawyers will never disclose cases they can’t handle. They will take money from clients and end up delaying or not finishing the case.

    “You need to know the nature of your case. Some lawyers deal with criminal cases, employment cases or land cases. Others specifically handle children cases but most lawyers will tell you they can handle everything,†Macdonald specified.

    The Cost of Hiring a Lawyer

    Macdonald explains that some Kenyans are never keen on the amount of money some lawyers charge and sometimes end up losing everything.

    “You find that the value of the asset the client wants recovered is worth Ksh 500, 000 but the lawyer he/she wants to engage charges at least Ksh1 million. The scenario is impossible but some clients never realize it,†he advised. 

    You should have a proper legal fees agreement with your lawyer to avoid any future problems.

    However, if you once hired a lawyer who took your money but never finished the job, all is not lost. You can report them to the LSK for appropriate legal action to be taken against them.

    LSK President Nelson Havi
    President of the Law Society of Kenya Nelson Havi in Nairobi in February 2020.
    Nairobi Exposed