New legal state fees released

The Department of Justice and Attorney General has released the recently endorsed State Legal rates for matters that involve the state.

As the country goes into the elections, the courts will be flooded with election petitions from disputed election returns after the return of writs.

Annually, it costs the state around K15 million to K16 million on matters involving state institutions, including the Electoral Commission.

Secretary of the Department of Justice & Attorney General Secretary, Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, said the new fee structure will ensure that the costs are manageable.

"Our job is to protect the interest of the state. It is a game changer where we will realistically control costs that the state carries," Dr Kalinoe said.

The reviewed legal fees structure was done by a vetting committee because over the years, costs awarded against the State has seen exaggerated bill of costs after taxation.

This has prompted the Government to standardise state legal rates, applicable for all legal engagement for the State.

With the release of the new legal fee structure, Dr Kalinoe said all private law firms engaged by the State in litigation matters shall be subjected to these Standard State Rates.

All matters briefed out by the state will come with an invoice letter and legal fees agreement with firms as they accept instructions from the state.

Dr Kalinoe said the higher judiciary has commenced work to have the new fee structure imbedded into the National Court Rules to further strengthen that government decision.

When questioned on the timing of the endorsed fees, given the country is in the election period, Dr Kalinoe said the decision was implemented in March and needed to be included into the National Court Rules.

These new fees will be applicable only for new matters that come to the attention of the state.

Sally Pokiton