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Alex Hagan serves as the head of the litigation group and a member of the firm’s management committee at Ellis & Winters. His practice includes product liability defense, as well as the defense of laboratories, hospitals, nursing homes, and individual health care providers. Alex also has extensive commercial litigation experience, representing software manufacturers, retail chains, and other product manufacturers in contract, trademark, and employment disputes. Alex has considerable jury trial experience in tort and commercial matters in both state and federal courts.

As one of its founding members, Alex has played a crucial role in helping to build Ellis & Winters into a firm that provides exceptional client service while minimizing the bureaucracy and costs that can be associated with a larger firm.

Alex is a forward-thinking and compassionate trial lawyer who puts himself in the client’s position when evaluating issues. He considers the impact of legal representation on the client from both a business and personal perspective and strives to understand fully the client’s market, limitations, and goals so that he can formulate the best strategy to move forward.

Effective legal advocacy must be responsive to the enormous diversity of circumstances influencing clients. Alex delves deeply into the client’s needs and objectives by forming a transparent and communicative attorney-client relationship. He carefully outlines options and expectations but does not force a decision on the client. Alex works relentlessly to represent his client’s interests through every stage of litigation.

Alex has presented to various organizations, including the North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges, International Association of Defense Counsel, DRI, Eagle International Associates, Inc., and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. He has also given presentations to Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology, the Southern Association of Cytotechnologists, and the North Carolina Society of Cytology on federal regulations, trends in laboratory liability issues, and the defense of laboratory malpractice actions.

Alex has been selected as a North Carolina Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation in the 2016 through 2020 editions. In 2015, he was named the Raleigh “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and in 2021 as Raleigh “Lawyer of the Year” for Medical Malpractice Litigation – Defendants. He has also been listed in Best Lawyers for Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants since 2006. Alex has appeared in North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine since 2006 and maintains a peer review rating of AV® in Martindale-Hubbell.  

Alex is a member of the Trial Law Institute and Diversity Law Institute. In February 2020, Alex was elected Vice President of the IADC Foundation Board and  appointed to the CLE Committee where he will serve as CLE Committee Chair for 2023 – 2024.  He recently served as Chair of the 2020 DRI Summit and Virtual Annual Meeting. In October 2018, he was named Chair of the DRI for Life Committee and Vice-Chair of the 2019 DRI Annual Meeting Steering Committee. In October 2017, he was elected as DRI National Director. Previously, in August 2015, Alex served as a faculty member of the IADC Trial Academy, held at Stanford University Law School.

Alex received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina. He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice James G. Exum, Jr. of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1992 to 1994.

Of Alex’s many experiences over the years, he fondly remembers his work as an English, history, and business administration teacher in a small village school in central Kenya. This experience opened his eyes to a part of the world that is chronically underserved and taught him much about the power of service and education for those in need.

Alex has historically been a competitive marathon runner and triathlete. He has completed an Ironman and several half-Ironman courses and has tried to stay active throughout the years. As his children have grown older, Alex enjoys running and competing with them in various events. He also enjoys fly fishing — a sport that he is very enthusiastic about but still learning.




  • J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law, 1992
    • With Honors; Order of the Barristers
  • B.A., University of North Carolina, 1987

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina

Court Admissions

  • Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Middle District of North Carolina
  • Western District of North Carolina
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals 
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Clerkship, North Carolina Supreme Court, Hon. James G. Exum, Jr., Chief Justice, 1992-1994
  • Attorney, Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore LLP, Raleigh, NC, 1995-2000



  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, 2020
    • Barrister, Order of Veritas
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, “Leader in the Field” for Litigation: Healthcare & Medical Malpractice, 2016-2021
  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina Litigation Star, 2016-2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, 2006-2022
    • Raleigh “Lawyer of the Year” in Medical Malpractice Litigation – Defendants, 2021
    • Raleigh “Lawyer of the Year” in Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants, 2015
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, Civil Litigation, Personal Injury – Medical Malpractice, Business Litigation, 2006-2021
  • Peer Review Rating of AV® in Martindale-Hubbell