Karen Y. Arikawa-Hu


 Areas of Practice:


  • J.D., University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, 2001
  • B.S. (Biochemistry), University of Washington, 1998
  • B.A. (Economics), University of Washington, 1998

Karen Y. Arikawa-Hu

Karen Y. Arikawa-Hu joined the firm as Counsel in July, 2019.

Before joining Ashford & Wriston, Ms. Arikawa-Hu worked at Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., the largest public electric utility in the State of Hawaii, initially as Associate General Counsel in the Legal Division, and later as a manager in the System Operation process area.

While in the Legal Division at Hawaiian Electric Company, Ms. Arikawa-Hu acquired extensive experience negotiating utility-scale power purchase agreements for wind and solar projects; biofuel, low sulfur fuel oil, diesel, and liquefied natural gas procurement contracts; fuel infrastructure and transportation agreements; engineering, procurement and construction contracts; vendor agreements; and asset purchase agreements.  She also provided legal support for regulatory proceedings before the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.  In the Operations area, Ms. Arikawa-Hu managed a team tasked with developing the data analytics function within system operations with the goal of identifying continuous improvement opportunities and efficiencies related to generation and grid management, and outage response. 

Before Hawaiian Electric, Ms. Arikawa-Hu worked at a mid-sized law firm in Honolulu focusing in the area of Commercial Litigation where she defended clients before State and Federal courts in disputes ranging from whistleblower, discrimination, and employment actions; breach of real estate development and business contracts; corporate raiding and shareholder derivative suits; toxic exposure litigation; an antitrust matter involving hospital compliance with corporate integrity agreement; personal injury actions; and Constitutional claims.

Ms. Arikawa-Hu was a law clerk to The Honorable Colleen K. Hirai, Chief Judge, Circuit Court of the First Circuit.

Professional Activities and Associations:

Ms. Arikawa-Hu is licensed to practice in Hawaii and California.  She is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the State Bar of California.  She is admitted to practice before the United States District Court, District of Hawaii, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Community Activities:

Ms. Arikawa-Hu served on the Community Leadership Board for the American Diabetes Association – Hawaii Chapter from 2007-2015.  She is a past member and President of the Kiwanis Executive Club of Honolulu, and a past member of the Kiwanis International Club of Pearl Harbor.