Analysis and Determination
6.Having considered the pleadings filed by the parties as well as thesubmission and the authorities relied on, I am of the view that the issues which do crystalize for determination are as follows: -
7.On the first issue, whereas the Plaintiffs/Respondents submitted that the reference is fatally defective for having been filed outside the prescribed timelines and for not giving prior notice to the Taxing Officer. The 7th Defendant/Applicant submitted that it received a copy of the ruling on 24th January, 2022, and it was well within the 14 days timelines to file the reference on 4th February, 2022. The Applicant further submitted that its letter dated the 19th January, 2022 was sufficient notice to the Taxing Master.
8.It is noteworthy that the impugned decision by the Taxing Master was delivered on 14th January, 2022 and the court record shows that the 7th Defendant wrote to the Deputy Registrar vide a letter dated 19th January, 2022 seeking to be furnished with a copy of the decision/Taxing Master’s reasons for taxation. No evidence was introduced to rebut the representation that the reasons for taxation were availed to the 7th Defendant on 24th February, 2022. Without prove to the contrary, while counting the fourteen (14) days from 24th February, 2022 for which the reference ought to have been filed, it is indisputable that the reference dated 4th February, 2022 was filed within the 14-days window stipulated in Paragraph 11 of the Advocates Remuneration Order.
9.As for whether the Reference is defective for failing to give notice as required under Rule 11(1) of the Advocates Remuneration Order, the Plaintiff/Respondents submitted that the substratum of the application is pegged on such notice and without it, the court ought to strike out the taxation. The 7th Defendant on the other submitted that its letter dated 19th January, 2022 suffices the notice contemplated under Rule 11(1). They buttressed the position in reliance on the case of Lubulellah &Associates Advocates v Kenyatta National Hospital  eKLR.
10.I have read through the letter dated 19th January, 2022 and its verbatim account is reproduced as follows: -Yours Faithfully”
11.Paragraph 11 (1) of the Advocates Remuneration Order states as follows:-
12.In as much as I agree with the Applicants that the above provision does not prescribe the form of the notice to be given, the purport of the provision makes it mandatory for the aggrieved party to give a notification in writing specifying the items of taxation to which such party objects to and it is expected that only those items objected to as specified in the notification would find their way into the reference.
13.I have also read through the Lubulellah &Associates Advocates v Kenyatta National Hospital case that has been relied on by the Applicant and find that the court held as follows: -
14.What I have gathered from the above decision is that, in as much as a letter addressed to the Taxing Master may suffice as a notice under Rule 11(1) of the Advocates (Remuneration) Order, such a letter must clearly indicate the intention to file a reference, ask for reasons of taxation (if not provided in the ruling) and should specify the items which the Applicant wishes to object to. In the instant case, the letter dated 19th January, 2022 did not comply with Rule 11(1) (supra) since it did not specify the items objected to so that the taxing officer could give his reasons on them.
15.In the case of Machira & Co Advocates v Arthur K. Magugu & Margaret Wairimu Magugu CA 199/2002 eKLR, while emphasizing on the need to give proper notices for reference, the Court of Appeal held that:-
16.In a more recent decision, this court while appreciating the need for compliance with Rule 11(1) in the case of Mohamed & Another v SBM Bank Kenya Limited eKLR thus stated: -
17.The above having been said and having established that the 7th Defendant’s letter dated 19th January, 2022 is vague to be said to comply with Rule 11(1) of the Advocates Remuneration Order, it then follows that the Chamber Summons dated 4th February, 2022 is incompetent and the 7th Defendant/applicant cannot be availed the orders sought. On the same wavelength, I find ground No.(3) of the Notice of Preliminary Objection merited.
18.For the above-stated reasons, this court declines to grant the orders sought in the Chamber Summons dated 4th February, 2022 and I proceed to strike it out with costs to the Plaintiffs/Respondents.It is so ordered.