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.
Sonali has been shortlisted in the ‘Individuals’ award category and Ifeanyi has been shortlisted in the ‘Future Leaders’ category’. The winners will be announced at the Chambers Bar Awards ceremony on 31 October 2019 at the Hilton, Park Lane, London.
Sonali Naik QC
Sonali was called to the Bar in 1991 and took silk in 2018. She is a leader in her specialist fields of public law, immigration, asylum and nationality. Within these areas she has built a diverse practice covering human rights, lawfulness of detention, family reunion and deprivation of citizenship.
Sonali’s work has helped to shape and develop the law, often through strategic litigation challenging Home Office immigration policy. Most of her clients are from BAME communities. Many of Sonali’s cases concern very vulnerable clients including asylum-seeking children (such as children in the Calais ‘Jungle’) and victims of rape and torture.
Sonali is Chair of Liberty and the first BAME woman to occupy this post. She is an adviser to Women Against Rape, trustee of Freedom from Torture, an Advisory Council member of JUSTICE, a trustee of the Immigrants’ Aid Trust (linked to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (“JCWI”) which she formerly chaired ) and a Patron of Clean Break a women’s theatre company working with ex-offenders.
Ifeanyi was called to the Bar in 2011. He has developed a specialist practice representing marginalised and disadvantaged groups in the areas of civil liberties and public law. He has been at the cutting edge of the law in this area, bringing a number of successful challenges against the state, most recently in R (Chidlow) v Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Flyde  EWHC 581 (Admin) 12 where he acted for a bereaved family in a police restraint related death which is now a leading authority on causation and expert evidence in the article 2 ECHR context.
He has also quickly become a leading practitioner in sports law, with particular expertise in matters of discrimination. He has acted in some of the most high profile cases in recent years in this area. He was appointed to the Football Association’s Anti-Discrimination Chairman’s Panel at its inception in 2013, and now also acts as an Independent Legal Member on the full range of professional discipline cases. Ifeanyi was recently a speaker on the topic of ‘Football, politics and discrimination’ at a seminar on legal issues in football. The seminar was held in partnership with the British Association for Sport and Law.
Ifeanyi is committed to training and mentoring activities. He is a member on the British and Nigerian Law Forum. He recently 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 training to solicitors, and provided 'Know Your Rights' workshops to community groups and schools. He was previously 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 he was a speaker at their 10 year anniversary conference.
Ifeanyi has been involved with StopWatch action group, which campaigns against the disproportionate use of stop and search, where he carried out a nationwide mapping of Know Your Rights tools. He was also a member of Release's stop and search steering group.