Private Wealth Law

Hawaii Private Wealth Law Attorneys, Recognized by Chambers High Net Worth Guide, Band 1

Our Hawaii private wealth law team works with clients to deliver exceptional and discrete results through advance planning and aggressive litigation when necessary. We focus on balancing clients’ personal and family concerns with business goals. Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher represents high-net-worth individuals in their personal matters and with respect to closely held companies and family businesses.

We represent clients in disputes involving trusts, wills, probates, and closely held companies and partnerships. We advise clients about structuring their business and real estate acquisitions to address privacy, legacy and asset protection concerns, and assist in those acquisitions. We work with other attorneys who specialize in estate planning and trust creation when our clients have those needs.

Trevor A. Brown is a Director of the firm, who guides clients in both litigation and transactional matters covering trust litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Mr. Brown’s ability to meld and apply these skill sets creates a 360 degree view of case issues, and yields comprehensive solutions for his clients.

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide included Hawaii in their research for the first time in 2017. The firm and Mr. Brown were recognized in the practice area of Private Wealth Law each year since 2017. Click here to read the 2023 market 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."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

"Trevor Brown handles major trusts and estate disputes as part of a wider practice that also includes real estate matters.   "He is very cerebral but can make the complex simple," observes a source, adding: "When he takes on a matter he is all in and tireless in his efforts to achieve the best possible results for his clients.  He is always thinking multiple chess moves ahead."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

"Trevor Brown handles a wide range of transactional and disputes work, including a significant caseload of trusts litigation matters. "He is a very cerebral lawyer and a tireless advocate for his clients," enthuses one source, adding: "He is extremely creative in arriving at legal solutions and thinks outside of the box. He will wake up at 2am with a brainwave and have solved the case. What a hero! His tireless effort and non-stop work is amazing. He is a tremendous talent."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

"Trevor Brown is known for his litigation work," according to a source. "He knows the trust litigation area," says another interviewee, adding: "He is a very deep thinker and good litigator.  He truly digs in, Trevor is the type of guy who does not stop thinking about a case, and is creative about thinking about solutions."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

"He is a very creative thinker," observes a source, adding: "He is dogged, tireless and always wants to win, but is still very ethical and even-handed. He is truly a gentleman's lawyer and an outstanding practitioner."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

"a very smart guy, very detail-oriented".
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

Mr. Brown has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in numerous practice areas including Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law, Trusts & Estates Litigation, Corporate Law, and Real Estate Law. Mr. Brown is the former chair of the Hawaii State Bar Litigation Section. He is a “lawyer’s lawyer,” often asked by other lawyers to represent them individually and their notable clients in difficult and sensitive situations.

"My experiences with Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher have been limited to work, and my contact has been with Trevor Brown. In all instances, Trevor was the consummate legal professional - engaged (active listening, pertinent laser-focused questions, accurate concise recapitulation of facts and issues), knowledgeable (law and facts) and cordial. With Trevor, there is no wasted motion, words or time. He gets to the core of the matter quickly, while exhibiting what can only be described as a "good bedside manner"."
-Best Law Firms Client Comment

"Cannot say enough about how much heart, ethics, talent and skill Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher and Trevor Brown have!"
-Best Law Firms Client Comment

Norman H.Y. Cheng is Managing Director of the firm, and concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate, hotels and resorts, business structure and operations and commercial transactions.

Mr. Cheng’s family business started as one restaurant and grew to be a substantial entity in real estate investment in Hawaii. His experience running the family business brings a unique point of view as a legal advisor; he can actively address and participate as one who has "been in the same shoes".

Mr. Cheng has been recognized by Chambers and Partners USA and Hawaii Super Lawyers in the practice area of Real Estate Law.

Christina N.Ohira, a Director of the firm, concentrates her practice in the areas of real estate and land use law, hotels and resorts, business structuring and operations and commercial transactions.  In addition to corporate clients, she also works with high-net-worth individuals in these same practice areas.

"Tina is extremely professional, has a strong personality and is perfect to have on your side for litigation."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

Sara. S. T. Strona, a Director of the firm, focuses her practice in the areas of commercial and high-end residential real estate transactions, leasing, commercial asset and equity sales and acquisitions, and corporate law.

Chambers Review Comments:

A market commentator highlights the firm's strength in contentious matters, saying: "They are a solid group with a great bunch of attorneys. When you're up against this firm, you know you are in for a fight."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

"They are an outstanding team.  They are deep thinkers, hard workers and very strategic," says a commentator, adding: "They are the firm that you want on your side of the matter."
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law

"Starn O'Toole's lawyers place a premium on providing consistently excellent service and they are reliably responsive. They are conscientious, meticulous and extremely capable." 
-Chambers and Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law