The Secretary General of Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Brigid Watson, has released a statement on the election of the new leadership of the association where two prominent African female lawyers will serve in the next two years.
The statement states thus:
“CLA membership colleagues, I am delighted to announce the results of the recent election of Office Bearers for the term 2023-25.
We extend our sincere gratitude to our outgoing President Brian Speers who has guided the CLA ship through the choppy waters of a global pandemic and a vastly expanded Council. He has been ably supported by Vice Presidents Linda Kasonde, Peter Maynard, Steven Thiru and John Almeida and Treasurer, Laurie Watt who steps down after 14 years of service. We look forward to Brian and all the outgoing leadership’s continuing support for the CLA’s work.
Please be introduced here to the new President and Office Bearers. We wish Peter and his team warmest congratulations for the forthcoming term.
About Linda Kasonde- Vice President
Linda Kasonde is a legal practitioner based in Lusaka, Zambia. Ms. Kasonde was admitted to the Zambian Bar in 2001. In February 2023, Linda was re-elected as Vice-President for Africa of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association. In 2016 she was elected the first ever female President of the Law Association of Zambia in April 2016, a position that she held until April 2018. Linda obtained an LLB Law Degree from the University of Leicester in England in 2000 and an LLM Law Degree from the University of Cape Town.
Ms. Kasonde is a 2017 recipient of the IE University’s Extraordinary People Inspiring the IE Community (EPIC) Award in the ‘Women Inspiring Women’ category. In December 2016, the prestigious The Africa Report named her as one of the people to watch out for in 2017 in Southern Africa. Also, in December 2016, she was awarded the Zambia Society for Public Administration’s Justice Irene Chirwa Mambilima Distinguished Award in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of public service excellence in Zambia. She is now the Executive director of a Zambian NGO called Chapter One Foundation limited and the founder of the law firm LCK Chambers.
About Maria Mbeneka- Honourary Treasurer
Maria Mbeneka is a name Partner of Mbeneka Advocates LLP and has been in private practice for 20 years.
Elected council member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) in 2019-2021; 2021 to date representing Kenya. A former council member of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) where she served as the Treasurer & General Member Representative for the period of 2018-2020. Maria is also a former Vice President of the East Africa Law Society from 2016-2018 with primary responsibility on Public interest and Strategic Litigation.
Maria has previously served as a member of the Industrial Property Tribunal (Kenya) from 2010-2013.
Holds a Bachelor of Social Legislation Degree (BSL) and a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB First Class Honours) from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra-India; She holds a Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law. A trained Mediator, she also holds a certificate from the Mediators Training Institute MTI. She is also a holder of FIDIC training certificate and currently a member of the Cooperative Tribunal.
Public service: Life member of the Kenya Red Cross Society where she serves as a member of the Election Grievances Committee. The immediate former First Lady Laikipia County and Chairperson Emeritus of the County First Ladies Association.