L.W. Wang’ombe & Co. Advocates v Kenya Orient Insurance Limited (Miscellaneous Case 402 of 2019)  KEHC 16565 (KLR) (15 December 2022) (Ruling)
Neutral citation:  KEHC 16565 (KLR)
Republic of Kenya
Miscellaneous Case 402 of 2019
MW Muigai, J
December 15, 2022
L.W. Wang’ombe & Co. Advocates
Kenya Orient Insurance Limited
1.This matter before court is pursuant to the ruling by the Deputy Registrar of June 2, 2022 while dealing with preliminary objection raised against the bill of costs dated September 24, 2019.
2.It would be noteworthy to give a brief factual background of this matter. The applicant filed an advocate-client bill of costs dated September 24, 2019. The respondent filed a notice of preliminary objection dated February 5, 2022 contesting the jurisdiction of the court mainly on the account that there was no advocate-client relationship. The parties filed their respective submissions and the hon Deputy Registrar delivered ruling to the effect that the taxing officers lacks jurisdiction to determine the matter and thus upholding the preliminary objection. The taxing master further directed that the matter be placed before this court for directions.
3.In the locus classicus case on jurisdiction; Owners of the Motor Vessel “Lillian S” v Caltex Oil (Kenya) Ltd  the court pronounced;
4.I have keenly perused through the file and I find that none of the parties has invoked the jurisdiction of this court. Essentially, nothing has been placed before the court seeking the intervention of this court. It would be in vain to issue direction in a matter that is not properly before the court.
5.In the case of Daniel Kimani v Francis Mwangi Kimani & Another, Civil Application 3 of 2014  eKLR where the Supreme Court held that a litigant must invoke the correct constitutional or statutory provision on the basis of which he seeks to invoke the court’s jurisdiction. It stated as follows;
6.This court has jurisdiction to hear and determine a matter filed as a reference from the Taxing Officer’s taxing of bill of costs. The reference ought to be filed within 30 days of delivery of the ruling of the Taxing Officer or leave is sought to have the matter filed out of statutory period.
7.In this court it is not clear whether the preliminary objection on this court’s jurisdiction is also invoked and ought to be determined first, and if so is it a reference or a substantive application?
8.Consequently, parties/counsel shall move this court appropriately to canvas/ventilate the substantive matter before it.It is so ordered.
DELIVERED, DATED AND SIGNED IN OPEN COURT AT MACHAKOS THIS 15THDAY OF DECEMBER 2022 (VIRTUAL/PHYSICAL CONFERENCE)M. W. MUIGAIJUDGEIN THE PRESENCE OF:Mordecai - for the ApplicantNo appearance - for the RespondentGeoffrey/Patrick - Court Assistant(s)