Ifeanyi Odogwu

Year of Call: 2011

"He's a deadly cross-examiner: a smiling assassin. He does it by being charming and making what he's saying seem like effortless common sense. He's great at cross-examining difficult witnesses and carries a lot of authority in court. He always has an excellent client manner: he involves clients in strategy and makes sure they understand what's going on."

Chambers UK, 2020

"He is very prominent and respected, sitting regularly on the most high-profile misconduct cases for the FA."

Legal 500, 2020

"He is sensible, asks intelligent questions and always gives a fair hearing."

Chambers UK, 2019

"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"

Legal 500, 2017

Contact

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Ifeanyi specialises in civil liberties and sports law. He acts in sports disciplinary proceedings and private law matters for clubs, individuals, and governing bodies.

He represents claimants in civil claims arising from inquests, claims against the police and public authorities, and judicial review.

Ifeanyi was shortlisted in the Newcomer category of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2018. He has been shortlisted in the ‘Future Leaders’ award category for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion by the Chambers Bar Awards 2019. 

Sports Law

Overview

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

Notable Cases

The Football Association v CK (2013) - Successfully defended misconduct charges of a senior football coach, in case involving child safeguarding and discrimination issues.

The Football Association v Andre Gray (2016) - Twitter discrimination case. Independent member on Judicial Panel. Case reported nationally

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.

Contact Ifeanyi

Inquests and Inquiries

Overview

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 [2016] EWHC 1796 (Admin), a leading authority in Article 2 inquests concerning the self-inflicted death of a vulnerable prisoner.

Notable Cases

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 [2016] 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.

Les Douthwaite Inquest (2016) - Jury find police failures during restraint causes death.

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

Contact Ifeanyi

Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities

Overview

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 [2016] EWHC 1796 (Admin), a leading authority in Article 2 inquests concerning the self-inflicted death of a vulnerable prisoner.

Notable Cases

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.

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Employment and Discrimination Law

Overview

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.

Notable Cases

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.

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.

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DISCRIMINATION

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.

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Professional Regulation

Overview

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.

Notable Cases

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.

The Football Association v Andre Gray (2016) - Twitter discrimination case. Independent member on Judicial Panel. Case reported nationally.

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.

Contact Ifeanyi

Background

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.

Publications

"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.

Training and Seminars

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.

Latest News

Ifeanyi Odogwu wins Lawyer of the Year at British Nigeria Law Forum Awards

We are delighted to announce that Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers has won the award for Lawyer of the Year at the British Nigeria Forum Awards which took place in London on 22 November 2019.

26 November 2019

Sonali Naik QC and Ifeanyi Odogwu shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion at Chambers Bar Awards 2019

We are delighted to announce that Sonali Naik QC and Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers have been shortlisted for their Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion at the Chambers Bar Awards 2019.

10 September 2019

Jury concludes neglect contributed to Duncan Tomlin's death following police restraint

Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court represented Duncan Tomlin's partner Ann-Marie Botting in the inquest. He was instructed by Anna Thwaites of Bindmans LLP.

10 April 2019

High Court quashes conclusion in Carl Bibby inquest following successful challenge by family

Ifeanyi Odogwu was instructed by Leanne Devine of Broudie Jackson Canter for the family.

13 March 2019

Inquest finds that hospital death was in part contributed to by systemic neglect

The family was represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests and Inquiries Team.

17 September 2018

Catherine Oborne and Ifeanyi Odogwu shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2018

We're delighted to announce that Catherine Oborne and Ifeanyi Odogwu have both been shortlisted in the Newcomer category of the LALYs. 

2 May 2018

Ifeanyi Odogwu appointed to Sport Resolutions' Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators

Ifeanyi’s appointment will run from 1 April 2018 until 31 March 2021, alongside his usual busy practice. 

29 March 2018

Inquest finds neglect and failure to provide basic care to Michael Forster contributed to his death at HMP Leicester

The family is represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests & Inquiries Team.

12 March 2018

Latest inquest into prison death at HMP Chelmsford finds more failings, as jury conclude risks were not properly assessed

Ifeanyi Odogwu of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests team represented the family.

20 December 2017

Jury concludes that bullying, debt and drug abuse within HMP Liverpool exacerbated the conditions that caused the suicide of John Neil Duffey

Ifeanyi Odogwu of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests team represented the family.

19 December 2017

Jury finds prison failings at HMP Doncaster were causative of the death of vulnerable prisoner Gerard Scahill

Family represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu and instructed by Jenny Fraser and Leanne Devine from Broudie Jackson Canter Solicitors.

19 October 2017

Jury finds neglect at HMP Liverpool contributed to the death of Ned O’Donnell

The family is represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu of the Garden Court Chambers civil liberties and inquests teams.

18 July 2017

Jury finds series of failings at Bristol prison caused death of father-to-be

Ifeanyi Odogwu of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team represented the family at the inquest.

25 May 2017

Jury find prison officers' unlawful use of restraint causative of death at HMP Manchester

Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers represented the family of John Ahmed at the inquest.

31 March 2017

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

Jury found that neglect contributed to the death of Ashley Gill at HMP Liverpool

The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Chris Topping, Leanne Dunne and Alice Stevens from Broudie Jackson Canter Solicitors and Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers.

20 September 2016

High Court quashes inquest verdict following Coroner's unlawful jury directions

Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers represented the claimant.

25 July 2016

Jury finds that neglect significantly contributed to a black prisoner’s death

The family was represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers.

5 May 2016

Jury finds several failings caused death of young prisoner at HMP Leicester

The family was represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers.

15 March 2016

Inquest jury finds multiple prison failures to address bullying contributed to young prisoner’s death

Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers’ Inquests Team represented the family of the deceased during the inquest.

1 February 2016

Ifeanyi Odogwu appointed to Football Association Judicial Panel

The panel hears the full range of cases in connection with disciplinary and regulatory matters.

4 December 2015

Court awards £19,000 in damages in claim against Metropolitan Police

The claimant was represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers.

23 November 2015

Inquest finds multiple failings caused death of vulnerable patient

Jury criticises the acts and omissions of a private hospital in a damning narrative verdict. Ifeanyi Odogwu represented the family.

5 November 2014

Inquest finds prison failings contributed to death in custody

Jury criticises G4S prison in damning narrative verdict. The family was represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu.

10 October 2014

Highly critical narrative conclusion in inquest into death of ‘one punch’ victim

Ifeanyi Odogwu secures highly critical narrative verdict and a Preventing Future Death Report.

8 August 2014

Police officers found to have used excessive and unnecessary force

Jury finds that police officers used excessive and unnecessary force against the claimant, represented by Ifeanyi Odogwu

10 June 2014

18 Garden Court barristers instructed on Hillsborough Inquest

Garden Court Chambers are pleased to announce that 18 Garden Court barristers have been instructed on the Hillsborough inquest.

18 October 2013

Azelle Rodney: Unlawfully killed

Azelle Rodney was shot dead by a Metropolitan Police officer on 30 April 2005. Today, in a historic report, Sir Christopher Holland, the Chairman of the Azelle Rodney Inquiry, found that the death of Azelle Rodney was unlawful.

5 July 2013

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Education

  • LLB, First Class (Kingston)
  • Law with American Law (University of North Carolina Charlotte)
  • Lord Diplock Scholar, Middle Temple

Professional Membership

  • British Association for Sport and the Law (BASL)
  • The British Nigeria Law Forum (BNLF)
  • The Football Association (FA)
  • INQUEST Lawyers Group
  • Police Action Lawyers Group (PALG)
  • Black Solicitors Network (BSN)

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