By Chinedu Onyejelem
A prominent Nigerian lawyer who co-founded the first ethnic minority-led practice in Ireland nearly 14 years ago has launched a new law firm.
Odera & Company Solicitors, headed by Matthew Emeka Ezeani, offers services in immigration and asylum law, criminal law, family law and employment law.
The firm, which is located at 9 Parnell Square East in Dublin city centre, opposite the Ambassador Theatre, also covers property, landlord and tenant’s law, medical negligence, civil litigation and human rights.
Speaking about his return to full practice, the Thames Valley University law graduate and original co-founder of Ceemex and Company said: “I’m back doing what I know best and what I love to do which is legal practice.”
Ezeani, a qualified solicitor of the Irish Courts as well as of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, added that the ethos of fighting out his clients’ corner to protect their rights and interests, and giving voice to the marginalised, will remain his philosophy in his new practice.
Ezeani adds that the new firm “is not a succeeding practice to Ceemex & Co Solicitors, which was voluntarily and properly dissolved” at the end of 2012.
Ceemex, the first ethnic minority law firm in Ireland involved in a number of major immigration cases, closed down after more than 10 years due to trading difficulties resulting from the persistent economic situation at the time.
In March 2013, Ezeani told Metro Éireann that his previous firm had played a leading role – along with the likes of the Immigrant Council of Ireland – in the legal battle that led to the Irish Born Child (IBC) 2005 Scheme, which saw full residency rights granted to some 17,000 foreign-born parents of Irish citizen children.
“We were representing immigrants, the majority of whom lived in hostels, living on €19 per week,” he said. “They had no money, they couldn’t have taken out any legal case in court. We stepped in.
“Most of these cases we did without the applicants paying for it… we were able to make their voices heard in the Irish judicial system.”
Ezeani can be contacted at his new practice at 086 872 0165 or firstname.lastname@example.org