October 02, 2017
Weil London was honored at the Thomson Reuters TrustLaw Awards with the Innovation Award for its extensive pro bono representation of client Micro Rainbow International (MRI). The Firm provided counsel to MRI that allowed the organization to acquire a building in London that will become a ‘Refugee Hostel’ for LGBTI refugees who have been granted asylum in the UK on the grounds of their sexual orientation. The hostel will also provide employment and enterprise training facilities as well as language lessons and counseling. There are approximately 1,300 refugees who are granted asylum in the UK each year who have faced hostile and homophobic prejudice and discrimination in their home countries. However within the first 12 months of arrival in the UK, many of them fall quickly below the poverty line and are further excluded from mainstream society.
The MRI team included: Counsel Rupert Jones; Antitrust associate Ariane Giannaros; Tax associate Stuart Pibworth, Banking & Finance associates Patrick Brendon, Caroline Gershon, and Ben Thompson; Real Estate associate Laura Murray; and Private Funds associate Peter Olds.
The Innovation Award recognizes projects that feature not only a new and exciting idea or enterprise, but a legal team that used creativity in addressing the issues faced. The TrustLaw Awards are hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation to celebrate the ground-breaking pro bono projects undertaken by legal teams working with NGOs and social enterprises around the world.
Micro Rainbow International is an organization focused on securing equal opportunity for LGBTI people in employment, training, education, financial services and public services, and creating tools, programs and policy recommendations to enable LGBTI people to step out of poverty worldwide.