HFM Partner Nick Brauns is a tenacious trial attorney, with a successful practice focused on litigating complex commercial disputes, and assisting with the investigation and defense of industrial accidents, personal injuries, and other catastrophic losses for various companies in the transportation industry. In addition, Mr. Brauns defends the interests of app-based companies that facilitate connections between users and service providers in the gig economy, and is the chair of HFM’s Gig Economy Practice Group.

Mr. Brauns has successfully represented clients through trial and arbitration in commercial and catastrophic loss matters in Southern California. He was selected to the 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 Best Lawyers in America© “Ones to Watch” list for his commercial litigation expertise. This award highlights the most promising younger lawyers in the country. Mr. Brauns was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Leaders in Law” by the San Diego Business Journal in 2024, and was recognized in the top 3% of his peers as a Super Lawyers® “Rising Star” from 2015 to 2018 and 2021 to 2022. He has litigated numerous disputes to verdict, including the following representative matters:

  • Commercial Litigation (contract-related claims, real estate disputes, landlord/tenant issues, breach of fiduciary duty claims, fraud and misrepresentation claims, unjust enrichment claims, partnership disputes);
  • Transportation Litigation (catastrophic loss incidents involving commercial motor carriers/trucking companies,  charter bus companies, and passenger vehicles); and
  • Gig Economy Litigation (defending app-based service providers against claims involving vicarious liability issues, negligence claims, and other statutory liability issues).

His work on behalf of commercial clients includes counseling and representation for regulatory issues that impact the trucking, transportation, and gig industries.  Mr. Brauns is on standby as part of HFM’s 24/7 Rapid Response Hotline, staffed by a live operator around the clock at (866) 549-9530. Through his considerable experience in this area, Mr. Brauns is able to determine an immediate response plan, which can be vital to establishing an effective litigation strategy when it is time for trial. Whether your matter involves a catastrophic accident, a freight dispute, or a hazmat spill, Mr. Brauns is available for immediate, on-scene accident and catastrophic loss investigation and representation 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The 24/7 Rapid Response team covers San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Click here to view the complete Rapid Response Map.

Mr. Brauns is a frequent speaker to the defense bar on trial tactics, and presented at the 2019 Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Annual Seminar on the topic of “Everything You Wanted to Know About Biomechanics, but Were Afraid to Ask.” He has also presented at several ALFA International seminars on topics including “reptile/edge” trial tactics, “trojan horse” trial methodology, and issues of proof on economic damages.

Awards & Honors

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America© "Ones to Watch" (2021-2024)
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Star (2015-2018, 2021-2022)
  • Top Young Attorney Award Nominee, San Diego Daily Transcript


  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Risk Management Association of San Diego
  • Washington & Lee Alumni Association, San Diego Chapter President