MoFo has been a pioneer of LGBTQ+ equality in the legal profession for more than 30 years. Our commitment to providing an inclusive environment where differences are celebrated is among the firm’s shared values and continues to define our culture. To that end, MoFo’s Hong Kong office helped to lead the way in celebrating Pride season this June with various events and initiatives, which are highlighted below, in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging: Unconscious Biases and Impact Training Session
On June 15, 2022, all Hong Kong employees were invited to attend a training session on diversity, inclusion, and belonging that covered topics including self-awareness, identity, unconscious biases, and ways to be an LGBTQ+ ally. The training was led by diversity and inclusion advocate Mônica Zionede Hall.
Panel Discussion: “Success in Promoting LGBTQ+ Initiatives”
Approximately 40 attendees joined the MoFo AmCham LGBTQ+ panel discussion and networking event on June 14, 2022, in Hong Kong. Moderated by MoFo partner Chen Zhu, panelists included Li Yen Fong (Citi), Amit Raheja (Johnson & Johnson), and Mike Kung (Goldman Sachs), who shared their personal experiences and success stories in implementing LGBTQ+ initiatives in their organizations. Key takeaways included creating an inclusive work environment; support from senior level management; cultivating a culture of listening, mutual respect, and empathy; engaging non-profits and external parties to implement LGBTQ+ best practices; leveraging innovative events that eliminate unconscious bias; and carrying the LGBTQ+ conversation beyond Pride Month to build allyship across the organization.
Hong Kong Office Pride Reception
On June 24, 2022, lawyers, staff, and summer students came together in the Hong Kong office to celebrate Pride with MoFo. Photos from various Hong Kong Pride events can be found below.
Panel Discussion: “Making Progress for LGBTQ+ Rights in Asia – Keys to Success from Advocates on the Front Lines”
On July 7, 2022, public interest and private practice lawyers who have handled some of the most significant LGBTQ+ rights litigation across Asia—including in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea—discussed major challenges and keys to success for and around their work. The discussion was moderated by MoFo Singapore partner Dan Levison, and speakers included:
- Chen Zhu, MoFo Hong Kong partner
- Evan Wolfson, Director, Freedom to Marry
- Victoria Hsu, Co-founder and Director, Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR)
- Minhee Ryu, Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights
- Makiko Terahara, Tokyo Omotesando Legal & Accounting LPC, Representative Director, Marriage for All Japan
In the Hong Kong Landmark LGBT Rights Case – QT v. Director of Immigration – MoFo was part of a 31-member-strong coalition of international financial institutions and law firms that took part in an effort to revise the Hong Kong Immigration Department’s policy to permit the granting of dependent visa/entry permits to non-local, same-sex spouses. MoFo partner Chen Zhu acted as pro bono counsel to organize a group of financial institutions and law firms to support this case, which resulted in a unanimous victory in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal that required the Immigration Department to grant a spousal visa to an expatriate same‑sex couple, as requested.
In addition to the various events and activities highlighted above, MoFo Asia mailed three editions of its Pride Newsletter to all employees across Asia during Pride Month, which included promotion of MoFo’s Diversity + Inclusion (D+I) policies as well as an email from Hong Kong Managing Partner Timothy Blakely reminding everyone of the importance of Pride and supporting D+I policies.
To commemorate and further support Pride season, all Hong Kong employees received various MoFo Pride swag, and all were encouraged to use a special Zoom background for virtual meetings during the month.