1.The application is dated May 23, 2023 and is brought under section 51 (2) of the Advocates Act cap 16 Laws of Kenya, rule 7 of the Advocates Remuneration Order, order 36 rule (1) (a) of the Civil Procedure Rules and section 3(a) of the Civil Procedure Act seeking the following orders;1.That judgment be entered for the plaintiff as against the defendant/respondent in the sum of Kshs 126,926.90/= in accordance with the certificate of taxation of costs filed with the plaint.2.That the defendant/respondent to pay the plaintiff/applicant the said sum together with interests therein at 14% per annum with effect from February 14, 2022 until payment in full.
2.It is made on the grounds that the cost of this application be paid for by the defendant/respondent. The sum of Kshs 126,926.90/= is the amount taxed costs for professional work done by the plaintiff for the defendant. The said taxed costs has neither been set aside nor altered by this court. Under section 51(2) of the Advocates Act, the plaintiff as an advocate has the right to have the judgement entered in his favor for the costs even without filing the suit for recovery. This suit for recovery of the taxed costs. The defendant has no defence to the claim by the plaintiff for his taxed costs.
3.The respondent has raised a preliminary objection opposing the application on the ground that it is statute barred. An objection on the ground that a matter is caught up by the law of limitation of actions is a pure point of law as was held by Law JA in the case of Mukisa Biscuits Manufacturing Co Ltd v West End Distributors Ltd (1969) EA 696:
4.The preliminary issue to be determined in is whether the advocate-client bill of costs is incompetent for being time barred. A relationship between an advocate and his or her client is a contractual relationship for professional services. The Court of Appeal in the case of Omulele & Tollo Advocates v Mount Holdings Limited (2016) eKLR while discussing the difference between a retainer and retainer agreement defined retainer in the following terms;
5.Such a relationship is therefore subject to the Limitation of Actions Act, specifically section 4 (1) of the Limitation of Actions Act which provides that an action founded on contract may not be brought after the end of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.
7.In the present case, the respondent disputes having instructed the applicant to defend its interests. Its case is that the applicant’s bill of costs is time barred having being brought after 6 years. On perusal of the record I find various letters way past 2009 between the parties on the issue of payment of fees to the applicant. There is no evidence before this court that the retainer had been terminated in 2009 and in the absence of such information this court cannot proceed on the assumption that the bill was filed outside the limitation period. For the foregoing reasons, I find that the respondent’s preliminary objection is not merited and I find this application is merited and is granted as prayed.
8.It is so ordered.