Robert Tibbo is a Canadian lawyer based in Hong Kong, where he has an active human rights and refugee law practice. He has served as counsel in many notable cases, including Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the United States government who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013.
Peter and Robert discuss what it is like to practice refugee law in Hong Kong and about Robert’s representation of Edward Snowden, which at one point included arranging for Mr. Snowden to stay with other asylum claimants in Hong Kong to avoid being detected by the authorities.
2:00 – What was Robert’s career path that led him to become a human rights lawyer in Hong Kong?
7:12 – What are the primary source countries of people who are coming into Hong Kong to make refugee claims?
9:00 – What is the asylum claim process like in Hong Kong?
17:20 – What does everyday life look like for an asylum claimant in Hong Kong?
26:30 – How did Mr. Tibbo come to represent Edward Snowden?
34:00 – What was Mr. Tibbo’s legal strategy for Edward Snowden?
38:00 – What was the legal context in which Mr. Tibbo helped Edward Snowden evade detection?
42:00 – Did Mr. Tibbo have any ethical concerns when Edward Snowden was “housed” with a few of his other asylum claimant clients?
50:30 –What is the current status of the seven asylum claimants who housed Edward Snowden?
55:20 – What was the final legal status for Edward Snowden in terms of his status in Hong Kong?
Darryl Larson practiced immigration law in Vancouver, British Columbia for almost thirty years. He was a former Chair of the Canadian Bar Association of British Columbia’s Immigration Section, counsel to both individuals and corporations, at one point represented China’s most wanted fugitive, and successfully implemented a succession plan when he retired in 2018.
In this episode Peter, Steven, Deanna and Darryl discuss Darryl’s career as an immigration lawyer in a candid discussion about what practicing immigration law is like.
00:51 – Why did Darryl get into immigration law? (Darryl’s answer really becomes a tale of his move from Edmonton to Vancouver).
8:20 – Who were Darryl’s initial clients? How did Darryl get his initial clients?
11:15 – What was practicing immigration law like in the 1990s compared to what it’s like now? Was the introduction of the IRPA really that big a game changer?
18:15 – What steps did Darryl take to become an expert in the area of immigration?
20:00 – How did Darryl go from practicing mainly immigration enforcement to developing a corporate immigration practice?
22:30 – What were some of Darryl’s most memorable cases?
37:45 – How did some of those cases change Darryl’s perspective on being an immigration lawyer.
41:00 – What did the last ten years of Darryl’s practice look like? How did succession planning work?
43:00 – What would Darryl say to people looking to enter the immigration field?
44:00 – Did Darryl encourage his kids to go to law school?
44:55 – Where does Darryl see the profession going in the next 4-5 years?
48:50 – What things does Darryl think he did right? What things would Darryl have done differently?
52:00 – Does Darryl think that there has been a decline in the number of sole practcioners practicing immigration law?