The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
April 1, 2011

An Asylum Victory for Hunton & Williams

Here at The PBEye, we love to hear stories of lawyers doing good, so we were happy to see this story  from the Dallas Business Journal come across our desks earlier this week.  It seems that Steve Leshin of Hunton & Williams LLP* recently represented a client from the Democratic Republic of Congo in an asylum case — and won. 

Leshin’s client was accused by Congolese government agents of being politically aligned with people from a province in the Congo who are hostile to the government of Kabila. The client was targeted because he hired people from this opposition province as employees of his company, said Leshin, whose everyday practice focuses on corporate mergers and acquisitions. His client received death threats against him and his family, he was attacked at gunpoint and his home was ransacked, Leshin said.

“He was a very successful businessman in the Congo, but he was branded as an enemy by the existing government,” Leshin said.

Leshin worked with the businessman on his case last fall. He was granted political asylum Feb. 22 after a hearing two weeks before.

“I’d never done an asylum case before, but I thought it was something that I could learn how to do,” Leshin told me. “It was really rewarding. It was profoundly moving to me, personally.”

The firm has a long history of pro bono service, having completed its 16th year of commitment to giving at least three percent of its billable hours to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®

Has your firm or legal department had a particularly satisfying pro bono victory?  Tell us about a gratifying case you’ve worked on in the comments below.

*denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®

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