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Lawyer Murgor seeks to quiz KPC official in Sh360m legal fees row

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Senior Counsel Philip Murgor. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Senior Counsel Philip Murgor is battling for Sh360 million fee for representing the company in a multi-billion tendering case six years ago.
  • The parties had started negotiations and KPC even sought the opinion of then Attorney General Githu Muigai, who said the fee should not exceed Sh5 million.

Senior Counsel Philip Murgor wants to cross-examine a Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) official as he battles for Sh360 million fee for representing the company in a multibillion-shilling tendering case six years ago.

Mr Murgor represented KPC in 2014 in a case before the Public Procurement and Administrative Review Board over the construction of the 450 kilometre pipeline worth Sh43 billion. He further represented the company in an appeal filed by Rich productions ltd, before the High Court.

Rich Productions wanted the tendering process stopped arguing that KPC discriminated some firms by locking them out by placing onerous financial requirements and deviating from the Expression of Interest (EOI) documents.

The case was subsequently dismissed and the contract awarded to a Lebanese company Zakhem International Construction. KPC has never paid Mr Murgor any money including instruction fees, photocopying costs and appearance in court fees.

The parties had started negotiations and KPC even sought the opinion of then Attorney General Githu Muigai, who said the fee should not exceed Sh5 million.

In the petition, Mr Murgor wants to be allowed to cross-examine Mr Stanley Manduku, the company’s chief legal officer, to establish his credibility as a witness.

He further wants to establish whether Mr Manduku is attempting to defraud him as an advocate of his legal fees, by allegedly misrepresenting an offer for settlement that had earlier been agreed upon, and communicated by his superiors.

“To establish his motive to adduce evidence on matters that are not within his personal knowledge, when the concerned officers and former officials are all available to swear affidavits,” he said.

He successfully defended the company and that KPC has refused to pay him reasonable amount forcing him to tax the bill before the court.

In reply, Mr Manduku has stated that there is no justifiable basis for the court to allow his cross-examination.

Mr Murgor said he was given the legal brief by the then managing director Charles Tanui in the presence of the legal officer Gloria Khafafa in April 16, 2014.