Energy and Public Utilities Law

Our Energy and Public Utilities practice group is one of the most experienced in Hawai`i and the Pacific.  We are known for formulating innovative solutions to complex problems with a record of consensus building amid the intricacies of regulatory, political, and business environments in the energy and public utilities arena.  We provide strategic advice to local, national, and multi-national entities on a wide variety of topics related to energy and/or public utilities including financing, governance, operations, organization, external environments, corporate culture, customer service, compliance, and opportunity evaluation.

Together, with other firm practice groups, the Energy and Public Utilities practice group offers full service representation, covering your needs in areas such as environmental, real estate, land use, zoning and entitlements, corporate, finance, labor and employment, and tax, just to name a few.  If you need legal advice with respect to energy and/or public utility matters, we have the experience and expertise to help.

  • Alternative Energy & Sustainability
  • Electric Industry
  • Petroleum Industry
  • Procuring Entitlements
  • Regulated Services
  • Unregulated Services


Our practice area attorneys have extensive experience representing and advising clients in the alternative/renewable energy, electric, and petroleum areas.

Alternative Energy and Sustainability

We have been instrumental in the remarkable growth of the renewable energy industry in Hawai`i by helping clients develop, structure, finance, buy and sell renewable energy projects.  We pride ourselves in our broad experience with all facets of the renewable energy industry, including:

  • the development, construction and financing of renewable energy projects
  • advising on renewable energy demonstration sites
  •  navigating land use issues in leases and purchase agreements
  • purchase and sale of project components and of renewable energy credits
  • storage of renewable energy
  • power purchase agreement negotiations

We are particularly experienced in wind, solar, biomass, biofuels and landfill gas projects.

Electric Industry

Our practice area attorneys have extensive experience in the electric industry representing utility and non-utility clients on a vast array of matters, including capital projects, fuel contracts, power purchase agreements, financing matters, infrastructure, legislation, and administrative proceedings and investigations.

Petroleum Industry

We have a unique understanding of Hawai`i’s petroleum industry through assisting clients in matters involving refinery operations, tank farm operations, service station/convenience store operations, product sales and exchanges, pipeline matters, jobbers, offshore mooring, legislation, and government regulation.

Communications and Information Technology

We provide a full range of legal services to telecommunications and information technology owners, providers, operators, consultants, retailers and other businesses related to the telecommunications and information technology. Our clients range from the largest national telecommunications providers in the United States to small start-up Internet ventures. In the past few years, we served as primary outside counsel in the development of two digital wireless telecommunications systems, including the first wireless consumer digital telecommunications system in the United States. We have experience in taking our clients through the entire telecommunications development process, including market entry due diligence, the Federal Communications Commission licensing process, the development of a new communications network, and obtaining local regulatory approvals, and launching and maturing telecommunications and information technology services.

We also have assisted in matters specifically applicable to technology firms, including taxation, sales and consumer credit, and litigation issues. Our group is at the forefront of the rapidly changing information technology industry and understands the convergence of Internet, communications and computing. We are uniquely qualified to assist communications and information technology firms in Hawai`i and the Pacific with their legal needs.

Public Utilities

Regulated Services

The Energy, Communications/Information Technology and Public Utilities practice group represents and advises public utility companies and common carriers providing electric, water, wastewater, petroleum, communication, and transportation services in rate, regulatory and other administrative proceedings, appeals from administrative decisions, on state and federal laws regulating utilities, in contract negotiations, and on general corporate issues.  We provide guidance and advice in the formulation of strategic planning frameworks, regulatory frameworks, case management, regulatory interaction, and government affairs.

Unregulated Services

We also provide advice on organizational and operational matters to enable clients to operate as unregulated entities providing utilities, such as a homeowners’ association water company.  We also assist associations, non-profits, non-utility providers and other organizations in purchase power contracts.  Our clients include companies that closely interact with regulated public utilities, such as Qualifying Facilities selling energy to electric companies.

  • Developing governmental and regulatory strategies for over $1 billion in projects
  • Managing over $10 billion in complex commercial negotiations and transactions
  • Providing strategic advice to local, national, and multi-national entities on complex matters in petroleum, utility (electric, water, wastewater, telecommunications, and transportation), and alternative energy industries

Practice Chair