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Leighton J. Yuen
  • Partner

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Biography

Leighton knows real estate. His practice emphasizes resort, commercial, residential and mixed-use developments, and real estate and business-based financing.

As a member of the firm since 1983, Leighton has extensive experience that includes lead Hawai‘i counsel for the sale of the Island of Lana’i by Castle & Cooke, lead Hawai‘i counsel for the purchase of Tesoro Hawai‘i by Par Petroleum and lead real estate counsel for the sale by Kaneohe Ranch of its Kailua landholdings. Most recently, Leighton represented Hawai’i Finance and Development in the sale of its portfolio of affordable housing projects, and Servco Pacific in its sale of prime industrial property within the Honolulu urban area to Amazon.

During the span of his career, Leighton has advised resort and planned community developers on the planning, completion and management of their projects, including the Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Island of Hawai‘i, the Manele and Koele resorts on the Island of Lana’i, and others. He currently represents Castle & Cooke Homes Hawai’i with respect to its master declaration and development of its Koa Ridge Project on the Island of Oahu.

Leighton has also served as lead counsel for First Hawai’ian Bank with respect to its financing of various projects, including Keauhou Place, Sky Ala Moana, and Keauhou Lane, all in the Kapiolani-Kakaako neighborhood in Honolulu. Leighton currently serves as the real estate practice group leader for Goodsill and has been recognized by Best Lawyers and Chambers since 2005 as a leading real estate lawyer in the State of Hawai‘i.

OUTSIDE THE OFFICE

Leighton devotes his time to the Hawai‘i Opera Theatre as board member and Chair of its Governance Committee. He is the former Chair of HOT’s Finance and Strategic Planning Committees. He also is a former officer and director of board member of the Hawai‘i LGBT Legal Association, NAIOP Hawai‘i and Gregory House Programs.

Education

  • Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • J.D. - 1983
    • Honors: Member, Harvard Law Student Board of Advisors
  • University of California, Berkeley, California
    • B.S. - 1980
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Major: Business Administration (Emphasis in Accounting and Applied Economics)

Bar Admissions

  • Hawai’i, 1983
  • U.S. District Court District of Hawai’i, 1983

Professional Associations

  • Hawai’i State Bar, Member, Sections on Real Property and Financial Services
  • American Bar Association, Member, Sections on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law
  • Hawai’i State Bar, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Member

Practice Areas:

  • Real Estate Development
  • Real Estate Financing

Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America since 2005
  • Chambers USA, ranked since 2005
  • Top Ranked Lawyer in SuperLawyers

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Hawai‘i Opera Theatre Board, Governance Committee Chair, a Former Chair of Finance and Strategic Planning Committees
  • NAIOP Hawai’i‘, Hawai’i LGBT Legal Association and Gregory House Programs, Former Director and Officer