Steven S. C. Lim

Steven S. C. Lim: Attorney with Carlsmith Ball LLP
Attorney Awards


Steve Lim is a Partner in the firm’s Hilo office and is headquartered in the firm’s Honolulu office. He has over twenty years experience on the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu in all phases of the real property development process. Mr. Lim concentrates in advising clients on real property due diligence reviews, land use entitlements and administrative issues, including litigation of land use and real property disputes. In 2014, The Best Lawyers in America selected Mr. Lim as Lawyer of the Year (Hawai‘i)-Real Estate Law (Land Use & Zoning Law).


•Listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018 for Real Estate: Land Use & Zoning Law (Band 1)
•Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 for Land Use & Zoning Law and for Real Estate Law; Mr. Lim has been listed in The Best Lawyers since 2009
•Selected by The Best Lawyers in America as Lawyer of the Year (Hawai’i)--Real Estate Law (Land Use & Zoning)

Areas of Practice (13)

  • Acquisitions & Sales
  • Administrative & Regulatory
  • Condominiums & Timeshares
  • Greater China Practice
  • Historic Preservation & Native Hawaiian Considerations
  • Land Use & Entitlements
  • Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Permitting
  • Real Estate & Project Development
  • Resort Development
  • Subdivisions, Resorts, Infrastructure & Brokerage
  • Water Rights

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
808-935-6644  Phone
808-935-7975  Fax
University Attended:
University of Hawaii, B.A., with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa
Law School Attended:
University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, Honolulu, Hawaii, J.D., 1979 Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Delta Phi
Year of First Admission:
1979, Hawaii; 1979, U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii; 1980, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


•Urban Land Institute
•Planning Commission Member, City and County of Honolulu
•Hawaii State Bar Association
•Hawaii County Bar Association

Reported Cases:
Representative Matters; Real Property Acquisition, Development, and Sale; Represents developers and major land owners in all phases of project development. Performs due diligence on complex real estate purchases, including pre-closing review of title issues and zoning and permit compliance, as well as proposed use reviews. Work involves land use entitlements and registration of subdivisions and condominiums, and advising clients on licensing and permitting requirements at the federal, state and local levels. Represents individuals and development entities in the purchase and sale of real property, and in actions to quiet title. Resort, Master Planned Community and Golf Course Development; Assists owners and developers with multi-phased resort and golf course development projects. Obtains state and county zoning entitlements, and advises clients on real property, construction and related areas of the law. Licenses, Permits & Administrative Appeals; Assists clients in obtaining a wide variety of licenses and permits from governmental agencies, including liquor licenses, conditional use permits, industrial wastewater discharge permits, shoreline setback variances, site plan review permits, and special management area use permits, among others. Obtains approvals for variances from affordable housing rules, and zoning and subdivision requirements. Represents clients in litigation of administrative appeals before agencies, boards, and the courts.

Peer Reviews

Hilo, Hawaii

Contact Steven S. C. Lim

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