A criminal defence lawyer represents individuals purported to have committed crimes such as robbery with violence, money laundering, drug trafficking, and other felons in a court of law.
They put up an intense fight on behalf of the accused by presenting evidence that would acquit their clients.
Criminal lawyers are among the best-paid lawyers in Kenya because of the mountainous work they have to do to prove their client’s innocence even when there is glaring evidence against them.
Kenya has criminal lawyers with a high success rate in court outcomes, making them the most sought-after.
So, who are among the best criminal lawyers in Kenya right now?
1. Joseph Katwa Kigen
Katwa Kigen made headlines during the ICC prosecutions for representing Joshua Arap Sang.
The lawyer studied law at the University of Nairobi and cofounded the Kigen and Kemboi Advocates law firm.
The lawyer represents Jacque Maribe in her ongoing murder trial case alongside the main suspect Joseph Irungu aka Jowie.
2. Cliff Ombeta
Cliff has made a name for himself in the corridors of justice for defending the high and mighty involved in heinous crimes.
Fair to say that most Kenyans don’t like him for representing criminal culprits like Fredrick Leliman in the Willy Kimani, his client and driver murder case, Okoth Obado following the murder of Sharon, the Akasha Brothers drug lords, and Babu Owino following his club shooting incident that left DJ Evolve fighting for his life.
Cliff may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but he has successfully defended many of his clients in his law career, making him one of the best to do it in Kenya.
3. Fred Ojiambo
Fred has been an advocate of the High Court of Kenya since 1975.
Among his many areas of law practice is criminal law.
The senior partner at Kaplan & Stratton Advocates law firm was instrumental in Thomas Cholmondeley’s murder case for shooting and killing an undercover ranger who had intruded on the family’s Soysambu Ranch.
4. Donald Kipkorir
Donald is an accomplished and flamboyant city lawyer who practices criminal law occasionally.
Kipkorir’s main law practice areas include insurance law, commercial litigation, debt recovery, advertising law, and defamation.
The lawyer opened up about going slow on criminal cases due to past encounters with ungrateful clientele but said that he makes exemptions when the cases are for righteous causes or involve his friends.
Earlier this year, Donald took to his social media to celebrate the closing of a criminal case he had handled since 2020 that made him cry.
Donald can deliver if you convince him to take up your criminal case.
5. Kioko Kilukumi
Kioko runs a law firm called Kioko and Co Advocates.
He had worked for prominent politicians in the country, like President William Ruto, when he was the Agriculture Minister.
Kioko was also at the centre stage in the Anglo Leasing scandal, defending some senior politicians.
Kioko has also been involved in Okoth Obado’s murder case, which is still ongoing.
6. Danstan Omari
The outspoken lawyer who has also become a media sensation has taken the legal field by storm.
Danstan has been a critical player in Matiangi’s recent legal tussle with the DCI, charges that have since been withdrawn.
Danstan also represents Aisha Jumwa, now a state witness, whose murder charges against the late Ngumbao Jola were dropped late last year.
7. Hassan Nandwa
Lawyer Hassan Nandwa is one of the Kenyan criminal lawyers whose lives have been threatened because of their work nature.
The lawyer was abducted in November 2021 when he want to receive his client, Elgiva Bwire, a confessed terrorist who had completed his 10-year jail sentence.
Hassan had helped him get a reduced jail term through an appeal.
Hassan was found alive in Mwingi ten days after his abduction without recollecting the events that led him there.
Hassan leads Jowie Irungu’s defense team in the Monica Kimani murder case.
8. Philip Murgor
Philip has over 30 years in the legal profession, arguably one of the best in criminal defence cases.
Philip’s latest criminal case involving his client Sarah Wairimu, the late Tob Cohen’s widow, was dropped by the court for lacking enough evidence.
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