, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – An international law firm fighting for the rights of Mau Mau freedom fighters in the UK courts is asking the Court of Appeal in Kenya to set aside a consent order that enjoined them as beneficiaries of compensation that may be paid to the former freedom fighters.
AVH Legal LLP is aggrieved with the consent order recorded in the Court of Appeal in October 2017 which was entered into without the knowledge and presence of its local partners.
The 21,000 claimants in the UK court through their lawyer Cecil Miller argue that lawyer Godfrey Otieno Onyango and others recorded consent to bind them as beneficiaries of the proceedings in Britain.
The said consent, according to Miller is irregular and unlawful as the lead law firm AVH Legal LLP was not made a part to the proceedings in the Court of Appeal, saying that the group’s attempt had been rejected by the High Court through judgment dated October 2014 delivered by Justice Eric Ogolla.
Miller says in court documents filed at the Appellate Court, that Donald Rabala, Onyango and Harvey Agumbah had sought an order in October 2013 seeking to enjoin the international law firm, but the same application was rejected.
According to court documents, the group of lawyers subsequently filed an appeal but AVH Legal LLP was never made a party nor was the appeal application served upon it, saying the group nevertheless proceeded to execute the consent in August 2017 purporting to bind them with the Mau Mau freedom fighter’s case in the UK.
The disputed consent was recorded before Justices Philip Waki, William Ouko now the President of the Court of Appeal and Kathurima M’ Inoti.
Miller says that the international law firm in which he partners to pursue the claimant’s case in the UK, has been prejudiced by the consent order as it requires them to comply with an agency agreement to release some money to be received upon the conclusion of the case in the UK.
The lawyer contends that his clients are being forced to agree and comply with what is not known to them in law.
“The terms of the consent order are adverse to the applicant (AVH Legal LLP) as well as over 21,000 clients for the matter that is currently being heard in the UK,” Miller says.
When the matter came up for hearing Tuesday, it could not proceed as one of the judges, Justice Waki was unavailable, the case was pushed to July 23 and 24, 2018 for hearing of the applicant’s application seeking to set aside the consent order.