Jeff Ono joined Watanabe Ing in January, 2017 with 37 years of legal experience. He focuses his practice on representing regulated utilities and independent power producers before the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Jeff currently sits on the board of directors of Hawai‘i Gas. In addition, Jeff continues a civil litigation practice for which he has 30 years of experience.
From 2011 to 2016, Jeff served as the state of Hawai‘i’s Consumer Advocate. In that capacity, Jeff served on the E911 board of directors, the executive committee of the Hawai‘i Energy Policy Forum (and continues in an emeritus role), the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, and the Hawai‘i Refinery Task Force. As the Consumer Advocate, Jeff participated in a number of complex dockets that are helping to redefine Hawai‘i’s energy future, including Hawaiian Electric’s Integrated Resource Planning, decoupling investigation, Distributed Energy Resources, Community Based Renewable Energy, and Power Supply Improvement Plan dockets. In 2015, Jeff successfully led a small team of Consumer Advocate staff, consultants, analysts, and attorneys in NextEra Energy’s attempt to acquire the Hawaiian Electric Companies.
Jeff was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Jeff received his license to practice law in Hawai‘i in 1980, and has been a member in good standing with the Hawai‘i State Bar Association since then.
For the first 15 years of his law practice, Jeff focused on insurance defense litigation. In the next 15 years, Jeff changed to a plaintiffs’ personal injury practice that included representing the state of Hawai‘i as a special deputy attorney general in the state’s lawsuits against the tobacco industry and the Hawai‘i gasoline industry.