Compliance and Ethics
The Compliance and Ethics Department is in line with the provisions of Section 6 (1) of the Law Society of Kenya Act on the Guiding Principles of the Society. It mainly oversees the general maintenance of integrity and professionalism within the Society. LSK Deputy Secretary Ms. Florence Muturi, Advocate heads the Department with Ms. Mary Kitonga, Advocate as the Programme Officer of the Department that works closely with the Disciplinary Tribunal as a receptor registry for Tribunal cases and /or complaints as brought forward by the public. It also offers further technical assistance to the Tribunal for smooth operations.
The Department is responsible for:
Monitoring of Individual Advocates’ Compliance
The Department handles applications for practicing certificates to ensure and confirm compliance of individual advocates before processing the certificates. It also deals with enquiries and identifies advocates violating rules of practice and takes necessary action against those not in compliance
The Department receives and processes complaints against advocates and encourage Alternative Dispute Resolution - Law Society of Kenya offers mediation services to willing parties. Where cases do not raise substantive case against the advocate, complainants are advised so and the matters closed. When parties cannot agree, the Department forwards the complaints to the Advocates Complaints Commission.
Liaison with Advocates Complaints Commission and other Stakeholders
The Advocates Complaints Commission is charged with the responsibility of prosecuting disciplinary matters before the Tribunal. The Department of Compliance and Ethics maintains constant collaboration with the Commission with a view to ensuring smooth operations and handling of complaints against advocates.
Issuance of Certificates of Good standing
Once an application for issuance of Certifcate of Good Standing is made, the Department receives and screens/vets the applicant to confirm compliance. The Department has automated the process of issuance of Certificates of Good Standing making it possible to issue them on spot for compliant advocates.
General Administration and Management of the Secretariat for the Disciplinary Tribunal/ Committee
The LSK Secretariat is the Secretariat for the Disciplinary Tribunal with the CEO/Secretary as the Secretary to the Tribunal. The Department prepares files for the Disciplinary Tribunal, attends Tribunal sitting and ensures smooth running of the Advocates Disciplinary Tribunal through the guidance of the Chairperson of the Tribunal.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The CPD Department works in hand with the CPD Committee which provides policy direction for the programme and aids in carrying out the following activities:
Ensuring continuous professional learning for all Advocates in Kenya after they are admitted to the Bar. All Advocates practicing in Kenya are required to attend Continuous Professional Development sessions.
Implementation of the CPD Calendar of Events
Development of the curriculum and content of the program. The CPD Committee constantly reviews and develops the program and envisions a program that provides legal knowledge to all advocates practising in different areas of law at an affordable rate and in an efficient manner.
Accreditation of independent organizations that carry out CPD trainings.
Partnering with different organizations to offer trainings on certain areas of the law.
Handling all applications for exemption and accreditation from members.
The Department also assists walk in members and responds to telephone enquiries on all matters relating to the Program.
Public Interest and Advocacy
The Public Interest and Advocacy Department works closely with the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Committee on Public Interest Legal Aid and Human Rights that advises the Council on matters of Public Interest Litigation, handles access to justice matters and pro bono matters as well. Ms. Wangari Kagai, Advocate is the Programme Officer of the unit that manages the pro bono database and case referral tracking system. The pro bono database lists all pro bono advocates and their areas of specialization. The unit is mandated with the implementation of the LSK Public Interest Strategy which guides the council on areas of strategic public interest litigation.
Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Deputy Secretary (Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation) Mr. Collins Odhiambo, Advocate and Programme Officer Ms. Itoto Echakara, Advocate are in charge of the Department.
Department of Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation focuses on Parliamentary Affairs, Legislation and reforms at Policy, Legislative and Institutional levels underpinned by the rule of law and administration of justice. Its work is based on section 4 and 28 of the Law Society Act 2014.
PA&L pursues advocacy on public policy and legislation responsive to the society. It advocates changes in law and policy processes, implementation and enforcement mechanisms through research, analysis and best drafting practices. PA&L advises and provides technical support to government, parliament and the different public forums in policy, legislation and constitutional implementation. The duty to act in the public interest guides its work.
PA&L works with committees like, the law reform, to assist and advise policymakers and parliamentarians considering changes or development of laws and policies towards a better regulatory and institutional regime for the fraternity and the society at large.
The Finance Department is headed by a Chief Accountant - Mr. Owen Kibunja. The Department is charged with the responsibility of ensuring prudent management of finances of the Society, ensuring oversight of internal controls, management of financial and accounting information systems to track sources and application funds, income and expenditure accounting, costing and budgeting. It is also in charge of coordinating and monitoring the Society’s investment of surplus funds, management of the cash flows and operational expenditures and designing measures to correct anomalies, assessment & mitigation of financial risks, coordinating the preparation of statutory returns to ensure compliance with taxation and procuring, managing and coordinating the inventory control system and also tracking of project equipment.
The Communications Department works closely with the Secretary/CEO of the Society towards production of publications (The Advocate Magazine), weekly E-Newsletters and compiling conference/seminar/forum reports. Ms. Agnetta Rodi is the Programme Officer of the Department that also liaises the Society with the mainstream media. The Department also works closely with the Editorial Committee towards publication of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Journal.
This is a strategic department with the mandate of ensuring that all the Law Society systems run smoothly and as efficiently as possible. The department works closely with all other departments to provide support, problem solving and training to the staff as well as assisting the LSK membership in accessing online services.
Internal Auditing is an independent and objective assurance and consulting activity that is guided by a philosophy of adding value to improve the operations of the Society. It assists the Society in accomplishing its objectives by bringing a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the governance, risk management and internal control.
Internal Audit Committee is also in place with oversight responsibilities for the financial reporting process, the system of internal control over financial reporting and the audit process.
The Audit Committee is also responsible for determining that all major issues reported by Internal Audit Department, the External Auditors and other outside advisors have been satisfactorily resolved.