Barry A. Sullivan
Partner

Direct:  808.628.7518
Fax:  808.533.2467

sullivan@SMLhawaii.com

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Practice Areas
- Commercial Real Estate 

- Corporate and Tax

- Hotel and Resort

- Land Use and Zoning

- Leasing

- Real Estate Finance

- Real Estate Litigation 

- Workouts, Restructuring and Deleveraging

Barry Sullivan focuses his legal practice on real estate/real estate finance, corporate structuring, development, and the resolution of complex commercial disputes. In over twenty-five years of practice, Barry has become trusted counsel to some of the most successful and active private equity funds, institutional investors, and developers doing business in Hawaii. His breadth of experience in complex commercial litigation, real estate, hospitality, and Hawaii development and business enables Barry to provide informed, cost-effective and, most of all, useful advice to his clients.

 

Since 2005, Barry has acted as lead or local counsel in over $9 Billion in real estate and corporate financings and over $5 Billion in real estate sales and development projects. Notable transactions and matters include:

 

  • Lead counsel on the $475,000,000 construction financing of a luxury Hawaii development, representing the largest transaction of its kind West of the Mississippi (as of 2015)

 

  • Lead counsel on the corporate reorganization and sale of a significant local company to a Fortune 300 company (2018)

 

  • Lead counsel (for rake certificate holder/lender) on the complex, “first-of-its-kind” CMBS debt restructure of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort on Maui following the 2008 financial crisis that preserved asset value, maintained employment, and enabled the property to be developed as a Discovery Land Company resort.

 

  • Lead counsel and managing director on the financing and partner buyout of The Kahala Mandarin Oriental (for borrower), a transaction complicated due to the ultimate beneficial shareholder’s Japanese bankruptcy. This work led to the publication of one of the first appellate decisions applying Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code and a featured article in the American Bankruptcy Institute.

 

  • Lead counsel (for ground lessee) in the negotiation and documentation of new ground leases, amended ground leases, and ground lease extension on numerous major resort and commercial properties in Waikiki and throughout Hawaii.

 

  • Counsel for the lessor, lessee, borrower, lender, buyer or seller on more than 40% of the hotels in Waikiki

 

  • Lead counsel (for borrower) in the workout and debt restructure of the Maui Westin Resort.

 

  • Lead counsel in the acquisition or sale of numerous hotels and resort properties, including the Four Seasons Resort at Historic Kaupulehu, the Kona Village Resort, The Kahala Resort, the Makena Beach and Golf Resort, Maui Westin Resort, Maui Ritz Carlton, Queen Kapiolani, Hilton Garden Inn, Lotus Hotel, and multiple hotels in Waikiki and elsewhere.

 

  • Local counsel on multiple hotel, office, rental housing, condominium, and shopping center acquisitions and financings.

 

  • Debt, restructure and/or litigation counsel on numerous hotel and commercial properties during and following the 2008 financial crisis, including substantial portfolio work for Lehman Brothers and various other private equity borrower and lenders, in excess of $1.5 Billion

 

In addition to his work for business clients, Barry has substantial experience as a principal in entitlement, construction and development on Oahu, and as CFO and CEO of a venture-funded technology company, and seeks to apply the lessons he has learned as the “owner/client” for the benefit of his clients. 

 

Barry’s litigation practice started in the early 1990's and included a broad based caseload of state and federal court disputes. His litigation practice currently is limited to co-counsel with his litigation partners on very large, complex disputes. Notable experiences include maintaining a perfect record in defending state court CAAP arbitrations as a young attorney, lead plaintiff counsel on successful ERISA and insurance class actions in Hawaii Federal Court, environmental liability defense, administrative/zoning appeals, lead counsel on over $1 Billion in commercial foreclosures, and lead counsel in substantial commercial and real estate disputes in mediation, arbitration, and litigation.  Outside of commercial foreclosures, Barry has been lead plaintiff’s counsel in the recovery of well over $60,000,000 for his clients.

 

Barry has been recognized as a Hawaii Super Lawyer ™ every year since its inception in real estate, selected as one of Hawaii’s Best Lawyers in each of securitization and structured finance law, real estate law, corporate law, and commercial litigation.

 

Barry earned a B.A. in Economics, with College Honors from the University of Cincinnati in 1988. In addition to his academic work, he served as an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, was elected as the Student Body President, appointed as a Student Trustee on the University Board of Trustees, and received both the Citicorp Scholarship and the Edwin Frank Prize in Finance. Barry was a semi-professional bicycle racer and raced throughout the U.S. and Europe before attending graduate school and then law school where he graduated, cum laude, in 1992 from Cornell Law School.

 

Education

J.D., Cornell Law School, 1992 
cum laude
Cornell International Law Journal

 

Graduate study, Economics and Finance, University of Cincinnati, 1988-1989

 

B.A., Economics with College Honors, University of Cincinnati, 1988 
Citicorp Scholar in Finance; Edwin Frank Scholarship Winner
Student Body President; Student Trustee; Student Body Vice President

 

Admissions & Courts
Hawaii (all state and federal courts)

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Memberships

Hawaii State Bar Association

American Bankruptcy Institute

Urban Land Institute

NAIOP

 

Legal Publications

Stranger in Paradise? The Role of a Foreign Bankruptcy Trustee in Chapter 15, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2008 (co-author) 27-APR AMBKRIJ 26

 

© 2020 Sullivan Meheula Lee, LLLP