Mwangi Keng’ara & Company Advocates v Mungai (Miscellaneous Application E314 of 2021)  KEHC 14421 (KLR) (Commercial and Tax) (13 October 2022) (Ruling)
Neutral citation:  KEHC 14421 (KLR)
Republic of Kenya
Miscellaneous Application E314 of 2021
WA Okwany, J
October 13, 2022
Mwangi Keng’ara & Company Advocates
1.This ruling is in respect to two applications; the client’s reference dated 10th November 2021 and the Advocates application dated 17th November 2021.
Application dated 10th November 2021.
2.The client filed the reference dated 10th November 2021 seeking the following orders:-a.The Ruling and Taxation of the Taxing Master delivered on 26th October 2021 be set aside.b.The Bill of Costs dated 29th April 2021 be struck out.c.In the alternative that this Honourable Court be pleased to remit the Bill of Costs dated 29th April 2021 for fresh taxation, with directions on the conduct of the taxation.d.The costs of this Application be provided for.
3.The application is brought under Rule 11 of the Advocates Remuneration Order (ARO) and is supported client’s affidavit and based on the following grounds:-
4.The advocate opposed the application through her replying affidavit wherein she states that she acted for the client in MILIMANI CMCC NO 4671 of 2019 and on an appeal where the subject matter was a liquidated sum.
5.The reference was canvassed by way of written submissions.
6.I have considered the reference and the rival arguments made by the parties. The main issue for determination is whether the taxing officer erred in principle when taxing the Bill of Costs.
7.It is trite that the court will only interfere with the decision of the taxing Master where there is an error of principle. In Machira & Co. Advocates vs Magugu  2 EA where 428 Ringera J (as he then was)held that:-
8.Similarly, in Kipkorir, Tito & Kiara Advocates vs Deposit Protection Fund Board  eKLR the Court of Appeal held as follows:-
9.From the above cited cases, it is clear that the court will not interfere with the findings of the taxing officer unless there is an error in principle. The client contended that the taxing officer erred in principle in failing note that the pleadings filed by the advocate were incompetent and that the advocate was therefore not entitled to claim of fees.
10.The advocate, on the other hand, maintained that she acted for the client and was therefore entitled to the taxed costs.
11.I note that the taxing officer referred to the decision in the case of Wilfred N. Konosi t/a Konosi & Co. Advocates vs Flamco Limited  eKLR in establishing her and held as follows: -
12.On the issue of whether the advocate filed an incompetent suit, the taxing office found that the said issue could only be addressed by a Judge after costs are ascertained.
13.In assessing the instruction fees the taxing master observed that;
14.The taxing master then proceeded to tax the Bill of Costs on the instructions fees and cost of other services.
15.My finding is that the taxing officer competently addressed all the issues that were presented before her for determination and applied the correct schedule in taxing the costs. I do not find any error in principle in the taxation as the taxed amount is not too high to amount to unjust enrichment.
16.In the upshot I find that the application dated 10th November 2021 lacks merit and I therefore dismiss it with costs to the respondent.
Application dated 17th November 2021
17.Through the application dated 17th November 2021 the Advocate seeks the following orders for:-1.Entry of judgment against the client/respondent in favor of the applicant for a sum of Kshs. 980,621/= as awarded in the Certificate of Taxation dated 15/11/2021.2.Interest on the taxed costs of Kshs. 980,621/= at the rate of 14% per annum with effect from 23/6/2021 until payment in full.3.That the costs of this Application be awarded to the Advocate/ Applicant.
18.The application is supported by the affidavit of the advocate Mercy Nduta Mwangi and is based on the following grounds:-1.THAT the Applicant's Advocate/Client costs were taxed on 5th/ 11/2021 at a net sum of Kshs.980,621.00/=.2.THAT the Applicant complied with Rule 7 of the Advocates Remuneration (Amendment) Order, when she issued to the Client a notice to levy interest on unpaid Legal fees at the rate of 14% per annum until payment in full.3.THAT the Applicant has been denied the use of her lawfully earned fees and it is only fair and just that interest be awarded on the taxed costs at the prescribed rate of 14% per annum until payment in full.4.THAT, a demand to pay the taxed costs and interest was issued to the Respondent on 26/10/2021 to no avail.
19.The Client opposed the application on the basis that she had filed a reference to set aside the certificate of taxation.
20.The main issue is whether judgment should be entered against the respondent/client in terms of the Certificate of Taxation.
21.Section 51(2) of the Advocates Act stipulates as follows:-
22.In Lubulellah & Associates Advocates vs N K Brothers Limited  eKLR the court observed that;-
23.In the present case, this court has already found that there was no error of principle in taxing the bill of costs. I therefore find that the advocate’s application is merited. I allow the application as prayed.
DATED, SIGNED AND DELIVERED VIRTUALLY AT NAIROBI THIS 13TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2022.W. A. OKWANYJUDGEIn the presence of: -Ms Mwangi for the Advocate/ApplicantMr. Masese for the Client.Court Assistant- Sylvia