"A real up-and-comer who has progressed speedily to become a well-known practitioner; has acted on some of the FA’s highest-profile cases."
Legal 500, 2019
"He possesses gravitas and intellect, which are of tremendous benefit to all his clients."
Ifeanyi specialises in civil liberties and sports law. He is ranked in the Legal 500 for sports law.
Ifeanyi has extensive experience of inquests and public inquiries, particularly those arising from deaths in state custody which engage Article 2 of the ECHR, and where some form of restraint has occurred.
Ifeanyi has a strong practice in representing claimants in civil claims arising from inquests, claims against the police and public authorities, and judicial review – including successfully acting in R (Hamilton-Jackson) v Assistant Coroner for Mid Kent and Medway  EWHC 1796 (Admin), a leading authority in Article 2 inquests concerning the self-inflicted death of a vulnerable prisoner.
Ifeanyi is ranked as a ‘Leading Junior’ for sports law, and acts in sports disciplinary proceedings and private law matters for clubs, individuals, and governing bodies. He has been appointed to various panels including:
- Sport Resolutions’ Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators
- The Football Association (FA) Judicial Panel,
- The FA Appeal Board Chairman Panel
- The FA Anti-Discrimination Chairman Panel.
- Board of England Hockey National Discipline Panel, Independent member
- Sport Resolutions’ Pro Bono Panel
Employment, Regulation & Discipline
Ifeanyi appears in regulatory proceedings, including fitness to practice hearings on behalf of healthcare professionals at the GMC, NMC and HCPC. He has also successfully acted in employment claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination.
- The Football Association v CK (2013) – Successfully defended misconduct charges of a senior football coach, in case involving child safeguarding and discrimination issues.
- Cooper v Barts Health NHS Trust (2013) – Successful claim in unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and flexible working against the NHS. Significant damages recovered for the Claimant.
- Shannon v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2014) – A jury found that officers had used excessive and unnecessary force against the claimant by use of a taser.
- Hillsborough Stadium Disaster (2014-2015) –The inquest into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans is the largest ever held within the jurisdiction. The case has been reported nationally.
- Michael Lawrence Inquest (2015) – Coroner finds unlawful restraint by pub bouncer restraint caused death of member of the public.
- Shalane Blackwood Inquest (2016) – Jury found neglect caused black prisoner’s death. The case was reported by the BBC.
- Lee Rushton Inquest (2016) – Inquest jury finds neglect contributed to vulnerable prisoner’s death along with a catalogue of failings.
- R (Hamilton-Jackson) v Assistant Coroner for Mid Kent and Medway  EWHC 1796 (Admin) – Successful judicial review challenge of coroner’s jury directions, quashing inquest conclusion. A leading authority concerning self-inflicted deaths and the coroner’s duties in summing up. The High Court (The Chief Coroner and Lord Beatson), upheld the appeal that the coroner materially misdirected the jury with his misleading, unclear and incomplete summing up. This significant judgment ensures that juries are fairly and properly directed in controversial deaths. The case was reported by The Telegraph.
- The Football Association v Andre Gray (2016) – Twitter discrimination case. Independent member on Judicial Panel. Case reported nationally
- Les Douthwaite Inquest (2016) – Jury find police failures during restraint causes death.
- The FA v Chelsea & Man City (2016) – Independent member on Judicial Panel, in widely publicised mass confrontation disciplinary hearing.
- The FA v Alan McCormack (2016) – discrimination case. Chairman of Independent Judicial Panel. Case reported nationally.
- John Ahmed Inquest (2017) – Jury find unlawful force in prison restraint death, involving extensive expert evidence . Two prison officers referred to CPS following significant inconsistencies in their evidence. Reported nationally, including The Guardian, ITV News and The Independent.
- Carl Bibby Inquest (2018) – Death in police custody following restraint. Failures identified by the jury against the police and ambulance service. Reported by The BBC
- R & Others v The Ministry of Justice & MerseyCare (2018) – Significant damages of £275,000 achieved following settlement in a civil claim arising from the inquest. A complex claim involving expert evidence of loss of earnings.
- “Player Contracts: Football transfers v. European Union law: analysis” World Sports Law Report Volume: 12 Issue: 2, February 2014.
- “Know Your Rights on stop and search: A mapping of rights information for young people” StopWatch, Runnymede & Open Society, June 2012.
Associated work & Interests
Ifeanyi has a passion for working with marginalised and disadvantaged groups, particularly children, which is reflected in his voluntary work and career.
In January 2016, Ifeanyi delivered a four-day training workshop in Abuja to members of the Nigerian judiciary in child rights, as part of the Bar Human Rights Committee which partnered with Coram Children’s Legal Centre and UNICEF.
He has provided ‘Know Your Rights’ workshops to community groups and schools, he is a mentor for young people at the Amos Bursary and Kick It Out, he has also worked with Dianne Abbott MP’s London Schools and the Black Child (‘LSBC’) initiative and was a speaker at the 10 year anniversary conference. Ifeanyi has been involved with StopWatch action group, and was on Release’s stop and search steering group.
Ifeanyi previously worked as a researcher to Professor Oba Nsugbe QC SAN for a number of years, assisting with a busy international practice. He has previously volunteered at Reprieve and the Free Representation Unit, and interned at the Public Defender’s Office in North Carolina.
In his spare time, Ifeanyi plays for Sunday league football club, Belmont Athletic FC. He also enjoys traveling with his young family.