Extract of Advocates Act (Chapter 16 of the Laws of Kenya)


It is an offence under Section 34 of the Advocates Act (Cap 16) for a person who is not licensed as an advocate in Kenya to prepare certain documents or undertake certain transactions, which include the following:

  1. Incorporation or registration of a public or private limited liability company.
  2. Formation or dissolution of a partnership.
  3. Transactions relating to trademarks, patents, designs and utility models.
  4. Sale and purchase of immovable property or any interest in immovable property (e.g. land and buildings).
  5. Transactions relating to security interests (e.g. debentures, mortgages and charges).
  6. Vesting property by way of a gift, settlement, trust or similar transaction.
  7. Succession proceedings (probate and administration of estates), litigation, proceedings before a tribunal, and any other legal proceedings.


  • Government officials preparing such documents in the course of their duties.
  • Persons employed by an Advocate.
  • Persons preparing a final copy for printing / publication.

Remuneration earned in such instance may be seized. In addition, the offence is punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of up to KES 100,000/= or imprisonment for a period of up to 2 years or both pursuant to Section 85(1) of the said Act.


34. Unqualified person not to prepare certain documents or instruments

(1) No unqualified person shall, either directly or indirectly, take instructions or draw or prepare any document or instrument—

(a) relating to the conveyancing of property; or

(b) for, or in relation to, the formation of any limited liability company, whether private or public; or

(c) for, or in relation to, an agreement of partnership or the dissolution thereof; or

(d) for the purpose of filing or opposing a grant of probate or letters of administration; or

(e) for which a fee is prescribed by any order made by the Chief Justice under section 44; or

(f) relating to any other legal proceedings; nor shall any such person accept or receive, directly or indirectly, any fee, gain or reward for the taking of any such instruction or for thedrawing or preparation of any such document or instrument:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to—

(i) any public officer drawing or preparing documents or instruments in the course of his duty; or

(ii) any person employed by an advocate and acting within the scope of that employment; or

(iii) any person employed merely to engross any document or instrument. 

(2) Any money received by an unqualified person in contravention of this section may be recovered by the person by whom the same was paid as a civil debt recoverable summarily.

(3) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) This section shall not apply to—

(a) a will or other testamentary instrument; or

(b) a transfer of stock or shares containing no trust or limitation thereof.”

85. General penalty

(1) Any person who is guilty of an offence under this Act for which no penalty is otherwise provided shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.”