A discretionary award made by Community Business to an individual who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to champion, progress and support the promotion of LGBT+ inclusion in Hong Kong.
Vidler & Co. Solicitors
Michael is the proprietor of his law firm specialising in public law, human rights, discrimination and other areas. He has used his role as a leading human rights solicitor and advocate to significantly advance LGBT+ rights in Hong Kong over several decades. Michael’s work has been groundbreaking, and often in the face of a Government that is hostile to LGBTI rights, including strategic litigation on freedom of expression relating to LGBT+ broadcasts; freedom of assembly in the context of LGBT+ public events; the rights of transgender people to marry; the requirements of surgery for transgender people to change gender; and the refusal of dependent visas for same-sex couples from overseas. Some key highlights of his recent strategic litigation during 2016-17 include winning the Court of Appeal QT v Director of Immigration case on the right of same-sex couples to dependent visas, an on-going judicial review challenge to the Government's policy of requiring sex reassignment surgery for persons wishing to transition, and launching a constitutional challenge to gay-specific criminal offences which still remain on the statute books after the watershed victory of the Billy Leung case in 2006. Apart from advancing LGBT+ rights through courts, Michael is also a vocal supporter of LGBT+ issues. He has spoken at numerous conferences and university seminars, lobbied Chief Executive candidates in his role as a member of the Chief Executive Election Committee and worked with the business sector, non-government organisations, Legislative Council Members and public service providers to promote LGBT+ rights and issues. Given Michael’s expertise and public image, he is widely quoted and frequently appears in the media on a wide range of major LGBT+ issues. He also proactively provides general legal advice to LGBT+ clients relating to issues of possible discrimination or breaches of their human rights.