Who is Ken Kiplagat?

lawyer Ken Kiplagat./COURTESY
lawyer Ken Kiplagat./COURTESY

Ken Kiplagat's name has been synonymous with big deals for a long time.

He is among a small clique of lawyers who made a breakthrough in the 1990s when President Daniel Arap Moi still ruled with an iron hand.

He joined the University of Nairobi in 1993 and taught International trade law before he quit in 1997 to venture into private practice.

And as a top commercial lawyer, he also worked for the Moi family. He represented the government in a number of suits for which he was highly paid.

In 2004 he had a physical confrontation with Gideon Moi, the former President's favourite son, at the Fairview Hotel when the latter allegedly demanded the return of some family assets.

A further sign of their strained relationship came in 2005 when the Kroll Report commissioned by the new Mwai Kibaki government stated, "Dr Kiplagat has shown a clear indication of his intentions to make revelations surrounding Gideon Moi."

KRA declared Kiplagat Kenya's biggest tax payer in 2003 but his exact wealth has remained shadowy.

However a window was opened when his estranged wife, Catherine Jelugat Kiplagat, filed for divorce and half his property in 2011.

In her court papers, Jelugat claimed that Kiplagat was using his legal expertise to hide his assets from her but that she believed he was worth an estimated Sh200 billion.

Her affidavit claimed that when he was a director at the Communications Commission of Kenya, he allocated his company Toads Media ten frequencies which he subsequently sold for US$ 4 million ( Sh400 million).

Jelugat also claimed in her court papers that Kiplagat had multiple bank accounts holding variously Sh600 Million, US$2 million, Sh1 billion, and Sh87 million from the sale of Simba Radio to KTN.

Her court papers also alleged that he had interests in Tetra Radio, Toads Media Group, Bond Conservancy, Southern Cross Engineering, and Naivasha Cottages.

She also claimed that he owned substantial property including two houses in Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha, 40 acres of land in Kabarak, 100 acres in Kabarak Menengai West, a house in Eldoret near State House, 50 acres in Eldoret, a house in Milimani Nakuru, a villa in Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi, and a house in the expensive residential neighbourhood of Kensington in London