Hawaii - Private Wealth Law Lawyers & Law Firms - HNW - Chambers and Partners
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HNW Guide

Private Wealth Law — Hawaii

Band 1

From the HNW guide

Cades Schutte is a "strong firm with a good local reputation" in Hawaii, sources say. "It is a top-shelf firm here in Honolulu," says one interviewee, adding: "Cades is a full-service firm, be it litigation or transactional." Speaking to the firm's strengths, this interviewee says: "My gosh, their research writing is phenomenal; they are a true white-shoe firm, and the product they put out is exceptional. They are at the top of the list and a real go-to firm."

The firm's estate planning, trust administration and probate practice group handles trusts, probate and estates matters, including conservatorships, guardianships, trusts litigation and asset protection work.

Notable practitioners

Trusts specialist Rhonda Griswold is "a very competent practitioner," a source says; "she's steady, she's measured and she brings a long history of experience in dealing with a wide variety of matters." Another interviewee says: "She has a great personality and great client service. She is one of the top of the tops. She is always, perennially, an outstanding attorney." Griswold chairs the firm's trust and estates department. "She is very capable and does a lot of work with corporate trustees," says a fellow estate planner, adding: "She is good listener, very personable and very competent."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel

From the HNW guide

Goodsill is a full-service Honolulu firm with a well-developed trusts and estates practice. "They are a great firm, one of the go-to firms on the islands," a source says, adding: "If someone was looking for a good firm that does solid work, they are your go-to."

The firm's trusts, estates and family business group frequently advises on estate tax matters for large estates, and can also handle family business matters and fiduciary litigation. The firm often represents corporate trustees. "They have a very good firm and strong attorneys," says another interviewee, who also highlights the trust litigators for particular praise.

Notable practitioners

Judy Yuriko Lee is the firm's practice group leader. "She has a solid estate planning practice, with some trust administration, and is also a litigator," a source says, adding: "She is technically strong - she does seminars and is academic." Another interviewee also praises her, contrasting her pleasant manner with her strong courtroom performances.

Ray Okada advises business owners on succession planning. "He has a good reputation, he is practical and client-focused," an interviewee says. "He brings a quiet confidence," reports another source; "he knows the law extremely well."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the HNW guide

Carlsmith has offices in Honolulu, Hilo, Maui and Kona, as well as Los Angeles, CA. The firm's tax, estate planning and pension practice group advises on asset management, tax planning and structuring, family business matters and philanthropy.

The team's clients include closely-owned companies, family business owners and fiduciaries.

Notable practitioners

Joanne Lo Grimes acts for fiduciaries, including trust companies, in trust administration matters. She is also known for charity law work. Grimes is also a certified financial planner.

Harry Oda has a broad-based practice, which incorporates corporate/commercial work, tax and pensions law. He also acts on trusts and estate planning and litigation matters. His clients are typically closely-held businesses and their owners.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher

From the HNW guide

Starn O'Toole has a private wealth law and disputes practice that advises high net worth clients, family businesses and trustees on trusts and estates matters. It is particularly well regarded for trusts litigation work.

"They have strong team," states an interviewee, adding: "They have a great reputation. They are top-shelf, with great depth." Another source says: "I have done a variety of work with them - they are very highly regarded, competent and thorough."

Notable practitioners

Trevor Brown is best known for trusts litigation. "He is strategic-minded and thoughtful," says an interviewee; "he is very approachable and enjoys discussing matters with clients and counsel." Another source enthuses: "He is creative and dogged in his determination. His case theory is impeccable; he doesn't leave a stone unturned. His strategic thinking is one of his strengths. If he is on the other side we think, 'son of a gun, we're going to have to work hard'. He's a force to be reckoned with."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Cades Schutte LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Trusts specialist Rhonda Griswold is "a very competent practitioner," a source says; "she's steady, she's measured and she brings a long history of experience in dealing with a wide variety of matters." Another interviewee says: "She has a great personality and great client service. She is one of the top of the tops. She is always, perennially, an outstanding attorney." Griswold chairs the firm's trust and estates department. "She is very capable and does a lot of work with corporate trustees," says a fellow estate planner, adding: "She is good listener, very personable and very competent."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel

From the Chambers HNW guide

Judy Yuriko Lee is the firm's practice group leader. "She has a solid estate planning practice, with some trust administration, and is also a litigator," a source says, adding: "She is technically strong - she does seminars and is academic." Another interviewee also praises her, contrasting her pleasant manner with her strong courtroom performances.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel

From the Chambers HNW guide

Ray Okada advises business owners on succession planning. "He has a good reputation, he is practical and client-focused," an interviewee says. "He brings a quiet confidence," reports another source; "he knows the law extremely well."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert Attorneys At Law, A Law Corporation

From the Chambers HNW guide

Douglas Smith wins praise from his fellow trusts and estates attorneys in Hawaii. "Doug does tremendous work, has an outstanding reputation and does great work in the community," says one estate planner. Another peer says Smith is "strong on the estate planning" and describes him as "both practical and technical; he is very competent in his area." Smith's firm is Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert Attorneys At Law, A Law Corporation.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Taylor, Leong & Chee

From the Chambers HNW guide

Carroll Taylor of Taylor, Leong & Chee is a "long-time excellent trust and estate attorney," who is "very, very solid, very involved in the community and a solid performer," a source says, adding: "He is outstanding." Taylor is considered to be "a very experienced and thoughtful trust practitioner." He handles estate planning, probate and disputes matters. Another estates lawyer says: "He's a long-time estate planning attorney, I work with him and he enjoys a good reputation. He is very competent."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher

From the Chambers HNW guide

Trevor Brown is best known for trusts litigation. "He is strategic-minded and thoughtful," says an interviewee; "he is very approachable and enjoys discussing matters with clients and counsel." Another source enthuses: "He is creative and dogged in his determination. His case theory is impeccable; he doesn't leave a stone unturned. His strategic thinking is one of his strengths. If he is on the other side we think, 'son of a gun, we're going to have to work hard'. He's a force to be reckoned with."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Carlsmith Ball LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Joanne Lo Grimes acts for fiduciaries, including trust companies, in trust administration matters. She is also known for charity law work. Grimes is also a certified financial planner.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Est8Planning Counsel

From the Chambers HNW guide

Scott Makuakane's firm is called Est8Planning Counsel. Makuakane handles the full range of estate planning and administration matters. "He is very, very good," says a source, adding that "he is thoughtful, creative, and when I talk to him, he really knows his stuff. He will articulate a plan you can actually understand." Another interviewee says: "He is a long-established estate planning professional, well known in the estate planning area and well regarded."

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Band 2

Miyasaki LLC

From the Chambers HNW guide

Joy Miyasaki of Miyasaki LLC wins praise for her estates expertise. As well as acting for clients on estate planning matters, Miyasaki teaches at the William S. Richardson School of Law in Honolulu. "I think very highly of her," says a Hawaii lawyer, adding: "She is very competent. She does seminars and teaches at the law school. She is very approachable and extremely competent."

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Band 2

Carlsmith Ball LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Harry Oda has a broad-based practice, which incorporates corporate/commercial work, tax and pensions law. He also acts on trusts and estate planning and litigation matters. His clients are typically closely-held businesses and their owners.

^ See whole ranking table