Gerald A. Sumida - Carlsmith Ball LLP

Gerald A. Sumida

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2010
Phone: 808-523-2528

Gerald A. Sumida is a partner in Carlsmith Ball LLP's Honolulu office and Chair of the firm's Corporate & Business Practice Group.  He concentrates on business structuring and operations, including corporate, limited liability company, joint venture and partnership matters; business acquisitions; sales and mergers; securities law; start-up company and venture capital financing; administrative and public utilities law; energy law, including energy project development and project finance; antitrust and trade regulation law; intellectual property law; federal, state and county legislative and administrative matters; and international legal matters.

Mr. Sumida rejoined Carlsmith Ball LLP after serving from October 1999 to December 2002 as the General Counsel of the Asian Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established in 1966 to promote the economic and social development of the Asian and Pacific Region (ADB). ADB, based in Manila, Philippines, currently has 62 member countries, and provides development assistance to over 40 countries in this region. He led a group of 28 international lawyers, drawn from 25 countries, who handle ADB's international legal, financing, lending, borrowing, investment and development work, as well as ADB's institutional matters, and undertake their own law and policy reform projects in various countries, and he advised ADB's senior management and board of directors.

Mr. Sumida is listed in Chambers USA:  America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2016 for Corporate/Commercial law, and was named Lawyer of the Year—Energy Law—Hawai‘i by The Best Lawyers in America 2015.  He is also listed in Best Lawyers for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Corporate Governance Law, and Securities / Capital Markets Law, and has been listed for these areas since 2010.  In 2009, he was elected to the position of Secretary-General of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, an international association of more than 1,600 business and commercial lawyers focused on legal developments and regional legal cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region. 

Representative Matters

Business Structuring & Operations  Represented clients in forming ownership and operational structures to undertake specific business activities in commercial, real estate and other development.  Assisted clients with matters in  renewable energy and clean technology, agricultural, technology and other areas.  Represented clients in structuring, forming and advising nonprofit organizations; in establishing the legislative and organizational basis for a public corporation to administer the East-West Center, a national educational institution.  Represented start-up firms, including structuring and negotiating seed and venture capital financing arrangements.

Energy, Clean Technology and Project Development  Represented firms in developing energy, including renewable energy projects and facilities that sell power to electric utilities, including structuring organizational arrangements, negotiating power purchase arrangements, completing site acquisition, undertaking permitting and land use matters, negotiating financing, including project finance arrangements, engaging in public utilities commission proceedings relating to energy projects.  Clients include Kalaeloa Partners (cogeneration), Puna Geothermal Venture (geothermal), First Wind (wind), Sea Solar International (OTEC), Oceanlinx (wave energy), and other solar photovoltaic, energy service, waste-to-energy and clean technology firms. 

Acquisitions and Sales Represented clients in stock and asset sales and purchases and in mergers, including structuring the transaction, negotiating the transaction and preparing required documentation, structuring and negotiating financing arrangements, preparing and coordinating filing of all required federal and state notifications, and handling various post-closing matters. 

Securities Represented corporations and limited partnerships in undertaking primarily private offerings of securities under SEC Regulation D, including structuring the securities offering, preparing all required offering memoranda and related documents, preparing and filing state and federal applications and notifications, and conducting post-offering work. Represented a health care organization in conducting a State of Hawai‘i public registration of corporate securities and various limited partnerships in private placements of securities, including Hawai‘i's first research and development limited partnership offering.

Antitrust and Trade Regulation Counseled primarily corporations in federal and state antitrust and trade regulation matters. Included counseling regarding proposed stock and asset acquisitions, corporate mergers and joint ventures, conducting antitrust compliance programs, and assisting in federal and state antitrust litigation. Represented a Hawai‘i firm in a nationwide class action litigation involving almost all U.S. cement and ready mix companies.  The litigation was ultimately successfully settled in the defendants' favor.

State and Hawai‘i Agencies Represented the State in energy-related matters, including preparing preliminary and subsequent comprehensive analyses on the legal, financial and institutional aspects of developing a 150-mile undersea electric transmission cable to deliver power from the island of Hawai‘i to Oahu. Represented various State agencies and quasi-public corporations on venture capital financing and high technology matters.

Intellectual Property Represented clients in state,  federal and foreign intellectual property matters. His experience includes advising on U.S. and foreign copyright trademark, service mark registrations, preparing applications for and obtaining U.S. copyright and trademark and service registrations, preparing documentation for international licensing arrangements for U.S. trademarks, and assisting in trademark and copyright infringement litigation.

Prior Work Experience

  • The Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines; served as the General Counsel


  • Alternative Approaches to the Legal and Financial Aspects of Developing an Inter-Island Electrical Transmission Cable System Institutional,1986
  • Transnational Movements and Economic Structures C.E. Black & R.A. Falk Eds. The Future of the International Legal Order Vol. IV The Structure of the International Environment,1962


  • Listed in Chambers USA:  America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2016 for Corporate/Commercial Law 
  • Lawyer of the Year—Energy Law—Hawai‘i, The Best Lawyers in America 2015.  Also listed for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Corporate Governance Law, and Securities / Capital Markets Law; he has been listed in the publication since 2010
  • Highest "AV" Professional Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory


  • American Bar Association (Member: Sections on International Law; Business Law; Environment, Energy and Resources Law; Public Utility, communications and Transportation Law)
  • Hawai‘i State Bar Association (Member; Sections on Business Law and International Law)
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association (Secretary-General)
  • Foundation for the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (President; Director)
  • University of Hawai‘i Foundation (Trustee; Strategic Plan Committee, Chair; Executive Committee, Member)
  • Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative (Steering Committee, Vice Chair)
  • American Red Cross - Hawai‘i State Chapter (Director)
  • American National Red Cross, Council of Former Governors (Member)
  • Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (Former Chairman, and current Advisor)
  • Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i (Former Chairman)    

Princeton UniversityYale Law SchoolJ.D.

Office Location

1001 Bishop Street, Suite 2100
Honolulu, HI 96813
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2015 Lawyer of the Year in Energy Law of the Honolulu Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) of the Honolulu Metro Area
Gerald A. Sumida has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!Gerald A. Sumida has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
Corporate Governance Law
Energy Law
Securities / Capital Markets Law