The Advocates Disciplinary Tribunal (ADT) Chair Mr Ezekiel Wanjama,Attorney General Githu Muigai and Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutung.
The Advocates Disciplinary Tribunal (ADT) has urged lawyers to uphold professional ethics to contain complaints from clients.

Chair Mr Ezekiel Wanjama (pictured above) said that withholding clients’ funds and failing to account are among the leading complaints against lawyers before the tribunal.

“The most common complaint is withholding clients’ fund or failing to account,” he said at the Continuing Professional Development seminar on Professional Ethics at Noble Hotel in Eldoret.

Mr Wanjama who presented a paper titled The Disciplinary Tribunal said that failure to keep clients informed was among the leading complaints before the Tribunal.

“It would be better for lawyers to send emails (even one-liners) to clients informing them on what transpired in court or development of their matters,” Mr. Wanjama said.

He also cautioned lawyers on professional undertakings saying it is not wise to promise to pay a third party any money that is not in your account.

Other complaints, Wanjama said, is the failure to respond to correspondence and overcharging.

“Always agree with the client on your fees beforehand to avoid directions by the Tribunal to file your bill of costs before taxing,” Mr. Wanjama said.

He also urged lawyers not to allow their colleagues to practice without holding Practising Certificates for the current year.

The tribunal chair additionally cautioned against behaving in a disgraceful manner not required as an advocate – including in social places.

“Lawyers should not insult each other in court or stand to address the Bench when a colleague is on his/her feet,” Mr Wanjama said.

He said that good ethical practice entails a lawyer to conduct him/herself in a decent manner (even in a dancing hall), decent dress code, demeanor in court and allegiance to justice and truth.

“Lawyers must obey court orders and never circumvent or be in contempt and uphold independence of the court,” Mr Wanjama said.

He said that lawyers must never compromise with a client in conveyancing or court work and take advantage of a client.

“We should strive to keep proper books of account, respect and honour professional colleagues and uphold confidentiality in all professional dealings,” Mr. Wanjama said.

He said that matters before the Tribunal can be reviewed set aside or appealed adding that there is also an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) facility which lawyers can take advantage of.