Hofbauer, Tom C.

Thomas C. Hofbauer

Carrie Fox


Thomas C. Hofbauer is a partner at Axley and Co-Chair of the Construction and Transportation Practice Group. He has more than 30 years of experience in complex litigation in both federal and state courts. His proven record of numerous favorable outcomes has earned him a reputation as one of Wisconsin’s preeminent litigators.

Mr. Hofbauer’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, construction claims and disputes, breach of contract, business torts, shareholder disputes; and environmental and toxic tort litigation. In the past two decades, Mr. Hofbauer has been involved in some of the most complex and catastrophic personal injury and property damage dispute matters in Wisconsin and other surrounding states. In addition, he has specific experience in construction disputes and construction defect litigation where he has represented owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, engineers and architects.

Tom was recognized as a “Leader in the Law” for 2009 by the Wisconsin Law Journal, one of only 25 attorneys in the state to be recognized with this award.   He has also been named a Super Lawyer since 2006. A frequent lecturer and author on the handling and defense of complex claims, Tom also serves as member of the Board of Directors of the Master Builders Association of Wisconsin, the oldest construction trade group in Wisconsin, and is a member of the Construction and Public Contract Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Waukesha County Bar Association.

When not at work, he enjoys recreational ice hockey, golf, cooking and spending time with his family in Delafield.

Admitted to practice in the State Courts of Wisconsin and Illinois, Federal Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin and for the Northen District of Illinois, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and has been admitted on a pro hac vice basis in state or federal district courts in over 15 states. 


J.D., Loyola University of Chicago
B.A., Eastern Illinois University

Involvement & Recognition


  • General Counsel and Board of Directors, Master Builders Association of Wisconsin
  • Former Construction Arbitration Board Member, Metropolitan Builders Association of Milwaukee
  • Former Lecturer, Propane Gas Defense Association
  • President 2018 – 2019, Board Member, Waukesha County Bar Association
  • Construction and Public Contract Law Section Member, Wisconsin State Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, Tall Pines Land Conservancy


  • 2009 Wisconsin Leader in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal
  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™
  • Named to the 2006 – 2022 Wisconsin Super Lawyers Lists
  • Named to the 2010 Wisconsin Super Lawyer Corporate Counsel Edition
  • Named to the 2010 Wisconsin Super Lawyers Blue Ribbon Panel
  • Awarded the 1987 Leadership and Service Award from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law

Client Successes

Represent solid waste company; biosolids, septage and manure haulers/applicators; and remediation and electronic demanufacturing companies in contract and land use issues.

Defended landfill owner in Wisconsin breach of contract litigation; obtained trial verdict that client responsible for $0 in damages despite court’s earlier finding that landfill did not comply with contract.

Hofbauer, Tom C.
Commercial Litigation, Litigation

Successfully defended property insurer of Illinois bowling alley complex in first party insurance claim with over $2.8 million in property damage and lost business income claims.

Hofbauer, Tom C.
Insurance Defense, Litigation

Defended scaffold erector in claim arising from dust explosion in coal dust collector at a public utility in Wisconsin that seriously injured 8 construction workers.

Hofbauer, Tom C.
Construction, Litigation

Represented Illinois cooperative in two trucking accident fatalities; one claim successfully tried to verdict in Effingham County and the other successfully mediated in Cook County.

Hofbauer, Tom C.

Successfully defended steel manufacturer in 4 week jury trial in Milwaukee County arising from the collapse of a warehouse and over $63 million in property damage claims.

Hofbauer, Tom C.


Other Presentations & Publications
Presentation: "Incident Investigations," Cooperative Risk Managers Association, February 2009
Presentation: "Cathodic Protection," Propane Gas Defense Association, April 2009
Presentation: "Claims & Litigation in Wisconsin and Beyond," May 2009
Presentation: "Responding to Plaintiffs' Liability Theories - Get Creative," Propane Gas Defense Association, October 2009
Article: "When Is the Subcontractor Notice Required in Wisconsin?" Wisconsin Builder, January 2010
Presentation: "Changes to the AIA Construction Contracts - What Lawyers, Contractors and Owners Should Know," Moderator, State Bar of Wisconsin, May 2010
Presentation: "Defending a Liability Case," June 2010
Presentation: "Defending Claims in Wisconsin," October 2010
Presentation: "Litigation Nuts & Bolts: Putting the Pieces Together," November 2010
Presentation: "Effective Use of Electronic Data in Claims and Litigation," 2011 National Farm Bureau Claims and Legal Executive Conference, June 2011
Presentation: "Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses," Waukesha County Bar Association, November 2015
Presentation: "Opening and Closing Arguments," 2016 Trial Skills Seminar, Waukesha County Bar Association, April 2016
Presentation: Panel on Managing Reputational Risk, 2017 CPAs Industry Spring Conference, Wisconsin Institute of Certifed Public Accountants, March 2017