BY SAM ALFAN .
Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has been slapped with a fee note of more than Sh73 million by a city law firm.
S.M. Kilonzo & Associates Advocates filed the bill of Sh73.1 million against the petroleum regulator for defending the authority in a case between Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd and oil marketer Total Kenya.
EPRA was an interested party in the case as KPRL sought to block the Sh2.3 billion suit from being handled by arbitration.
The law firm moved to court after failing to get a response from the regulator despite several reminders through veteran lawyer Wambua Kilonzo.
Justice Joseph Sergon dismissed the application by the state corporation saying the company failed to submit substantial evidence to show why the matter shouldn’t be handled through arbitration.
Through a letter dated 12th January 2017, EPRA company secretary Peter Muhenia instructed Kilonzo law firm to act for the commission in matters being adjudicated in different courts where the lawyer acted as instructed.
“In view of the subject matter being adjudicated in different forum it would to the interest of ERC that we are made party to the proceedings at the High Court. Kindly proceed to make the necessary application to enable HRC be party to the proceedings,” States one of the letters between the commission and the law firm.
Despite the law firm sending note fee to EPRA, the regulatory body under Director General Daniel Kiptoo haven’t responded to the law firm.
Failure to get response from their client EPRA, the Law firm on a letter dated 3rd of August sent another letter to the Commission seeking for the settlement of the legal fee.
“Given that there has been no response to the same to date, three months down the line, kindly note that we shall proceed to file our Bill of Cost within the next seven days if settlement of our Fee Note shall not have been done by then,” letter to EPRA state.
DG Kiptoo is facing contempt proceedings in a different case, for disobeying a court order by adjusting fuel prices despite being stopped by the High Court in a case filed by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah challenging the Finance Act,2023.