Photo of Tom E. Roesser
Partner / Honolulu

Tom E. Roesser


Tom Roesser is a Partner in the Firm's Honolulu office and is a member of the Transactional practice group.  Mr. Roesser concentrates on advising financial institutions on problem loans, including loan workouts and foreclosures, bankruptcy, and lender liability issues.  He served as President of the Bankruptcy Law Section of the Hawai`i State Bar Association in 2005 and is also a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.  He also concentrates in commercial lending, including security interests in both real and personal property, the Uniform Commercial Code, and in usury and financial services loan regulations as they apply to small and large financial institutions.  Mr. Roesser's experience also includes consumer credit issues, including the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.  He is a frequent speaker, giving presentations at numerous seminars regarding developments in the consumer credit area.

Mr. Roesser was recently named Honolulu Lawyer of the Year—Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law by The Best Lawyers in America 2018.  He previously received that same honor in 2016.  He is also listed by the publication for Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency.  He is listed in Chambers USA:  America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2020 for Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Band 1) and for Corporate/Commercial:  Finance. Chambers said, "Tom Roesser is considered by peers to be 'one of the top and most innovative lawyers for bankruptcy work.'"

Representative Matters



Provided advice, negotiation, and documentation work for financial institutions and other parties in numerous bankruptcy proceedings. Served as local counsel to Joshua Gotbaum, Chapter 11 Trustee for Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., in which the confirmed plan of reorganization provided for a 100% recovery to general unsecured creditors. Also served as local counsel to the Secured Creditors in the Liberty House case, in which the confirmed plan of reorganization converted the secured claim of $150 million into ownership of Liberty House. Secured Creditors subsequently sold Liberty House to Federated Department Stores. Represented the equity owner of the Modern Hotel in a successful Chapter 11 reorganization.

Commercial Foreclosures


Represented lenders in numerous commercial foreclosure actions, including a $30 million foreclosure on a Maui apartment building, a $15 million foreclosure on an Oahu apartment building, and a $50 million foreclosure on a mixed use project in Honolulu, Hawai`i. Recently assisted a Lender resolve a foreclosure action handled by another law firm in which a lien holder had not been named as a party and the property had been conveyed to the Lender.

Commercial Lending


Provided negotiations and documentation for $25 million dollar loan for commercial building mortgage on Oahu. Transaction involved complex issues related to use of additional collateral located out of the United States. Prepared loan documents for refinancing of $35 million shopping center loan and also prepared loan documents to finance purchase of $22 million condominium building. Prepared loan documents for $75 million loan to finance the purchase of retail gas stations and other assets by Borrower.

Loan Workouts


Provided advice, negotiation, and documentation work for numerous loan workouts for financial institutions. Loan workouts have been for a variety of projects, including auto dealers, real estate developers, golf courses, and residential properties.

Truth in Lending


Represented financial institutions in connection with litigation arising from truth in lending charges by borrowers. Advised financial institutions on Truth in Lending compliance to prevent litigation.



  • Hawaii State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute