Ivan M. Lui-Kwan, Honolulu Business Attorney

Ivan M. Lui-Kwan


What People Say About Ivan M. Lui-Kwan

"Ivan M. Lui-Kwan regularly represents clients in both contentious and transactional matters in the real estate space. He has further experience on matters relating to entitlements and acquisitions."
Chambers and Partners USA Leading Lawyers for Business Comment

"Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher's government affairs practice is led by Ivan Lui-Kwan, who is exceptional. He and Duane Fisher have handled many sensitive and urgent matters for us over the last five years with exceptional results. Their contact base across city and state is amazing. They can routinely get meetings with the highest levels of government officials on short notice, and they are both highly trusted and highly respected by those government officials." "
Best Law Firms, Best Lawyers in America, Client Comment

"We use Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher for a broad variety of work in Hawaii, and they are a great business partner. They are very practical in their orientation and look to find efficient and effective solutions to thorny problems. They are incredibly well-versed in the law and also well-connected to key government agencies and officials.""
Best Law Firms, Best Lawyers in America, Client Comment

Ivan M. Lui-Kwan was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii.  He has practiced law for over 50 years, focusing on Hawaii’s land use, administrative and real estate law.

Mr. Lui-Kwan is a Director of the law firm, has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Administrative/Regulatory Law, Government Relations Practice, Land Use and Zoning Law, Leisure & Hospitality Law, Real Estate Law, and named “Lawyer of the Year” in Honolulu by The Best Lawyers in America®, in the practice area of Government Relations Practice (2015, 2018, 2023) and "Lawyer of the Year" in Honolulu, in the practice area of Administrative/Regulatory Law (2022, 2024). He has also been selected to the 2017 & 2018 Hawaii Super Lawyers® list(s) in the practice area of Real Estate Law. Mr. Lui-Kwan has a long-standing AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.  

Mr. Lui-Kwan is also recognized by Chambers USA Leading Lawyers For Business for Real Estate Law/Land Use & Zoning.

Mr. Lui-Kwan has also been recognized as the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award winner by Pacific Edge Magazine, and the 2015 Queen Emma Ball Honoree for his many contributions to the St. Andrew's Schools and the people of Hawaii. He is Ambassador to the United States for the Maori King Tuheitia and was knighted by King Tuheitia in November 2015. He is also recognized as a 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award honoree from Saint Martin's University, where he studied Political Science and graduated with honors. In July 2019 the St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii recognized him with the St. Francis Assisi Spirit Award.

He was presented with the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce 'O'O Award.

From the beginning of his career, Mr. Lui-Kwan committed to improving the quality of life for all of Hawaii’s residents, particularly those who occupy the economic and societal underclass in Hawaii.   His vision is a healthy community in which all Hawaii residents have access to good health, fulfilled employment, comfortable housing and a pleasing physical environment.  

In the course of pursuing his vision, Mr. Lui-Kwan has built a vast network of key allies in the three levels of government,  in the native Hawaiian community, in the Pacific Islands countries particularly in Polynesia and in Micronesia, in the senior management circle of major businesses, in the justice system, and in the world of nonprofit organizations.  Real estate, renewable energy, hospitality, health care, and transportation companies seeking to enter Hawaii’s business environment, find his knowledge of Hawaii’s unique environment and inner workings invaluable.

The following is a partial list of activities, which Mr. Lui-Kwan has engaged in pursuit of his vision for Hawaii.

Government & Finance

Past Chairman of the Board of Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (“HART”). HART is the largest public works project in Hawaii’s history. 

Former Director of Department of Budget & Fiscal Services, City and County of Honolulu. As Chief Budget Officer, he oversaw Honolulu's  $1.2 billion operating budget. As Chief Finance Officer, he was responsible for the sale of general obligation bonds. As Chief Procurement Officer, he was responsible for  procurement of all of Honolulu’s  goods and services.

In 1990, he served as Statewide Manager of Senator Akaka’s first U.S. Senate Campaign, and Political Director for Senator Akaka’s 2006 Re-Election Campaign.  From 1976-82, Mr. Lui-Kwan was a Campaign Manager of Daniel K. Akaka’s first and subsequent House of Representative race for Hawaii County.

Culture…Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Organizations

A Native Hawaiian, Mr. Lui-Kwan is managing member of Hokukahu, LLC.  Hokukahu is the for profit subsidiary of Hokupili Foundation, the native Hawaiian nonprofit organization which serves approximately 60,000 residents of the Hawaiian Homelands communities in Hawaii. Hokupili’s mission is to create economic opportunity and capacity building for native Hawaiians. 

State Chairman for the Committee on Energy and Environment for the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly. 

Ambassador to the United States and Hawaii for the Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia, and the Tribes of Aotearoa.

Former President of the board of the Historic Hawaii Foundation.

Former Senior Management in Major Businesses

Trustee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Queen’s Health Systems, one of Hawaii’s largest companies, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Queen’s Development Corporation.  His responsibilities included oversight of Queen’s 21 operating companies including its medical clinics, health plans, laboratory business and its physician office buildings. 

Chairman of the Board, Diagnostic Laboratory Services; Chairman of the Board, Queen's Health Technologies; Director, Wilcox Health System; Vice Chairman, The Queen Emma Foundation Board of Trustees; Vice Chairman, Queen Emma Community Health Board of Directors.

Justice System

Director and Vice Chair for American Judicature Society (National) and Vice-Chairman for the Hawaii Chapter.   The mission of AJS, a 100-year-old organization,  is the improvement of the justice system in the United States.  

Former member of the Disciplinary Board of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Nonprofit Organizations

Chair Emeritus for St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls, a 145 year-old school founded in 1867 by  Queen Emma.

Director for St. Francis Development Corporation and for St. Francis Residential Care Community.

Former Chairman of the Board, March of Dimes, Hawaii Chapter.

Former Director, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.