The taxation master sitting in the judicial review division has slashed Sh 44 million demanded by lawyer against Nairobi City County to Sh 900,000 payable to the advocate for service offered to the County in a matter filed by its employees.
The court did find that Bill of costs demanded by Professor Tom Ojienda dated 17 November 2017 being so exorbitant, exaggerated and setting up a bad precedent in the interests of access to justice.
The taxing master Mrs Mburu, said that from the submissions by lawyer Thomas Letangule appearing for the County, that Professor Ojienda handled a matter by filing judicial review seeking to lift warrants that been issued against County staff who been threatened with arrest for demand unpaid salaries amounting to Sh 140 million.
This matter was not complex, since Professor Ojienda took over Edward Omotii who previously appeared for the County.
Lawyer Letangule told the taxing master that Ojienda represented the county in negotiations recorded before court in which the County agreed to pay Sh 7 million every month to disgruntled staff until the same was made in full.
“Most of the court attendance were merely for purposes of confirming payments of the installments showing that there was no complexity involved and such time was spent in court arguing the suit” the lawyer said.
The County lawyer said that, Professor Ojienda did not produce evidence to show that the matter was complex in nature to warrant Sh 44, 605, 922.50.
He raised instruction fees amounting to Sh 25 million, saying that amount is not justified by the nature of the matter he handled.
Mr Letangule said that legal principle applicable in taxation of costs are well settled, saying instruction fees for contentious matters are provided under schedule 6 of the advocates remuneration order of 2014.
He contended that the value of Sh 140 million the basic instruction fee is Sh 2.225 million which should be considered against Sh 25 million he sought from the County has instruction fees.
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