Garden Court is delighted to announce that Catherine Oborne and Ifeanyi Odogwu have both been shortlisted in the Newcomer category of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (LALYs). The LALYs are organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group and the award ceremony takes place on Tuesday 17 July 2018 in London. The winners will be announced by Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE.
Catherine Oborne (2011)
Catherine is consistently instructed in high-profile, complex and serious criminal trials and appeals, inquests and associated public law challenges. She defends in a wide range of criminal cases from serious violence, serious drug supply, public disorder, protest, fraud and offences against public justice, to serious terrorism trials. Recent significant cases have included complex legal issues involving anonymous witnesses, closed proceedings due to national security considerations, and witnesses from MI5 giving evidence. Catherine also appears in the Court of Appeal on appeals against conviction and sentence as well as advising on references to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
She has an established inquest law practice, representing bereaved families, often concerning deaths in custody. She has represented the family of Eleanor de Freitas for a number of years at the inquest into her death and in their pursuit of a public inquiry. Freitas took her own life before facing a trial for perverting the course of justice in relation to a rape complaint she made.
Catherine has regularly volunteered pro bono on human rights issues in Zimbabwe. She assisted with the writing and editing of The Struggle Continues, a book about the history of human rights and political freedom in Zimbabwe over the last 60 years by David Coltart, a prominent human rights lawyer there.
Ifeanyi Odogwu (2011)
Ifeanyi has established a niche practice in contentious inquests involving death following state contact, with a particular specialism in acting for bereaved families in police restraint deaths. He has gained a reputation for achieving some of the most critical and devastating conclusions against State Agencies in inquests.
Ifeanyi also has a strong practice in civil claims arising from inquests. He recently achieved a £275,000 settlement against the MOJ and an NHS Trust for a bereaved family. He has also been at the cutting edge of inquest law, appearing 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’s practice also includes claims against the police and public authorities, regulatory proceedings, and employment. In addition, Ifeanyi has established himself as a leading junior in sports law, particularly in relation to regulatory proceedings. He acts in sports disciplinary proceedings and private law matters for clubs, individuals, and governing bodies and has been appointed to various sports law panels.
Ifeanyi has a passion for working with marginalised and disadvantaged groups, particularly children, which is reflected in his voluntary work and interests. He has worked with StopWatch action group, Reprieve, the Public Defender’s Office in North Carolina, the Bar Human Rights Committee, has been a mentor for young people at the Amos Bursary and Kick It Out, and London Schools and the Black Child (‘LSBC’) initiative, and provided ‘Know Your Rights’ workshops to community groups and schools.
The full list of finalists can be viewed in the Legal Aid Practitioners Group's press release.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting the LALYs 2018 Eventbrite page.