About Us

Our History


Hawaii’s oldest law firm has its roots on the Big Island of Hawaii, in the small town of Hilo, where founder David H. Hitchcock opened his office as a solo practice in 1857.


Hitchcock’s daughter, Almeda Eliza Hitchcock, made history in 1888 when she joined the firm as the first female lawyer in Hawaii.


Carl S. Carlsmith, partner of David Hitchcock, inherited the firm upon Hitchcock’s death in 1890. The firm was renamed to Carlsmith in 1911.


Carlsmith set its sights on the bustling business hub of Honolulu, where it opened its second office in 1957. As Carlsmith grew, so did its name — the firm became Carlsmith Carlsmith Wichman & Case just two years later, in 1959.


In the 1970s and ‘80s, business boomed in Asia and spread through the Pacific region. Carlsmith followed suit, expanding to Kailua-Kona, Maui and beyond as new economic connections bred new opportunities on neighbor islands.


Carlsmith reached a milestone in 1985 with the opening of its first mainland office in Los Angeles, bridging the gap between the Pacific and West Coast.


The firm merged with Ball Hunt Hart Brown & Baerwitz of Los Angeles and Long Beach in 1990 to later become Carlsmith Ball, as it is known today.

Present Day

Today, Carlsmith Ball attorneys represent iconic projects, top corporations and legislation that shape the history and future of our state. Our collaborative and forward-thinking approach draws from more than 160 years of history, and a rich tradition of serving the people of Hawaii.