The rank of senior counsel is the highest level of professional recognition for lawyers in Kenya. The rank is awarded to persons in the legal practice who have contributed to law and development, having practiced for over 15 years, trained junior lawyers over the years, and have argued precedent-setting cases before superior courts.
Managing Partner John Ohaga deservedly made it to the nominations list in 2019, a testament to his 30 years of service in the legal practice. He is an acknowledged expert practitioner in several areas of law including commercial law, arbitration and mediation, administrative law, banking and finance, competition, employment and labour, public procurement law, tax law, defamation, and sports law. He has been ranked as a Leading Individual and Recommended Lawyer for both Dispute Resolution and Arbitration on both local and international reputable platforms consistently over the past 20 years. He also has been recognized for his high-quality work and expertise in Litigation, his leadership as a pupil master and an innovative solution provider in the Kenyan legal practice.
John is trusted by clients for seeking the best results in his matters. He has handled many high-value cases before the superior courts recently, including a tax litigation suit that will set a precedent on the interpretation of tax laws on value added tax. He also handled before the Court of Appeal a claim for unfair termination of employment against one of the Firm’s biggest corporate clients. His success in the suit managed to significantly reduce the liability slapped on the client by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, forestalling significant potential financial losses for the client.
John is a Chartered Arbitrator and uses his advanced knowledge of the field to advocate for access to justice in advocating for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. He has a long track record for mentorship both within and beyond the legal space, always ready to speak in forums that inspire the youth. Fellow legal practitioners agree to his record as a celebrated mentor having selected him as the Pupil Master of the Year and he made it to 1st Runner Up for Lawyer of the Year at the Nairobi Legal Awards held in May 2019.
He is a regular contributor to legal publications including the Sports Law Review, International Comparative Legal Guides, Chambers and Partners Country Reports, and Legal500 Country Reports to name a few.
John serves in several bodies such as being a Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch), a board member of the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration, a member of the Mediation Accreditation Committee and Convener of the Law Society of Kenya’s Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is also the Chairman of the Kenya Sports Disputes Tribunal. He was recently appointed as the Chairperson of the National Steering Committee for formulation of the ADR Policy. He sits on the boards of several companies and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Mpesa Foundation.
Workmates and peers can attest to John’s drive and conviction towards integrity and excellence on both a personal and professional level. The President’s conferment of this honour on John and other eminent legal practitioners is a welcome move in reiterating John’s principles and service to his community, his profession and fellow human beings.