Nick Valaoras is a partner in the firm’s Charlotte office where he has been practicing since 1993.  His practice is focused exclusively on workers’ compensation defense representing employers and insurance carriers.  He is also a Board Certified mediator in workers’ compensation cases.  Nick is a problem solver who enjoys helping his clients identify which cases to defend and which to resolve.  He is a strong advocate of mediation as a way to resolve and settle claims and his years of experience as a mediator have made him an effective negotiator. After growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Nick has called North Carolina home since attending both college and law school at Wake Forest University.  A devoted husband and father, Nick also enjoys coaching youth sports, hiking and camping, and following politics and military history in his free time.

Nick has represented employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers in evidentiary and appellate hearings before the North Carolina Industrial Commission, North Carolina Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court since 1993.  Nick has experience in handling traumatic injury by accident cases, occupational disease, repetitive motion disorders, asbestosis, and permanent-total disability claims.  He is active with the Workers’ Compensation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and served as Section Council Member from 2010 – 2013 and serves on the Cranfill Sumner LLP COVID-19 Response Team.


Nick is a frequent speaker at seminars and regularly presents webinars before workers compensation insurance carriers, employers and rehabilitation professionals on various topics such as Medicare legislation, return to work procedures, occupational diseases, burdens of proof, disability and case law updates. His recent speaking engagements and presentations include:

  • 2021 – “Life Isn’t Fair, but Average Weekly Wage Has to Be” – Webinar
  • 2021 – “2021 Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update” – Webinar
  • 2021 – “Ethical Considerations for Rehab Professionals in North Carolina” – Webinar
  • 2020 –  “North Carolina Claim Handling – Pre-Litigation and Litigation Issues for Lost Time Claims” – Webinar
  • 2020 –  “Navigating Ethical Issues” – Webinar
  • 2020 – “Triple Threat – The Characteristics of Injury by Accident, Specific Traumatic Incidents, and Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition Claims in North Carolina” – Webinar
  • 2020 – “The Injuries You Can’t See – Medical-Legal Issues for PTSD/Psychological Claims” – Webinar
  • 2019 – “What Should I Do Now? Mediation Issues and Dilemmas for Parties, Attorneys, and Mediators to Consider” – Webinar
  • 2019 – Presented at the Carolinas AGC HR and Safety Conference, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” and “Settlement Strategies, Clinchers, Resignations, Release Opportunities”
  • 2019 – “2019 Case Law Update: Examination of Recent Workers’ Compensation Cases, Rules, and Procedures” – Seminar