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Alex Hagan is the firm’s managing partner and chief executive officer, and also serves as the head of the management committee. Previously, he served as head of the trial and litigation group for 10 years. Alex’s practice includes product liability defense, as well as the defense of academic institutions, religious organizations, and health care providers. He also has extensive commercial litigation experience, representing software manufacturers, retail chains, and other product manufacturers in contract, trademark, and employment disputes. He 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 legal strategy.

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. He works relentlessly to represent his client’s interests through every stage of litigation.

Alex has been selected as a North Carolina Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation in the 2016 through 2024 editions. He has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants since 2006. In 2015, 2022, and for 2023 he was named the Raleigh “Lawyer of the Year” by 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. 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 Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the Trial Law Institute and Diversity Law Institute. He is the current Secretary-Treasurer with IADC. In 2020 – 2021, he served as Vice President of the IADC Foundation Board. Thereafter, he served as President of the IADC Foundation Board in 2021 – 2022. He previously served as the Treasurer-Elect and on the Board of Directors of IADC. Alex also served on the IADC CLE Committee in 2023. He was also a faculty member of the 2015 IADC Trial Academy, held at Stanford University Law School.

From 2017 – 2020, Alex served as a DRI National Director. While a DRI National Director, he was Chair of the 2020 DRI Virtual Annual Meeting and also served as Chair of the “DRI for Life” Committee from 2018-2020. From 2020-2022, he has served as Chair of the DRI Corporate Counsel Task Force. In 2021, Alex was the first man to receive DRI’s Mary Massaron Award for Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession. 

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.




  • 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


  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2024
  • Secretary-Treasurer, International Association of Defense Counsel, 2023 – 2024
  • CLE Committee Chair, International Association of Defense Counsel, 2023-2024
  • President, International Association of Defense Counsel Foundation Board, 2021-2022
  • Chair, DRI Corporate Counsel Task Force, 2020-2022
  • Vice President, International Association of Defense Counsel Foundation Board, 2020-2021
  • National Director, DRI, 2017-2020
  • Chair, DRI Annual Meeting, 2020
  • Chair, DRI for Life Committee, 2018-2020
  • Faculty, International Association of Defense Counsel, Stanford University Law School, 2015
  • Clerkship, North Carolina Supreme Court, Hon. James G. Exum, Jr., Chief Justice, 1992-1994
  • Attorney, Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore LLP, Raleigh, NC, 1995-2000



  • Lawdragon, 500 Leading Litigators in America, 2023 – 2024
  • Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, Litigation 
  • Mary Massaron Award for Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession, 2022
  • 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, 2016-2024
  • Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina Litigation Star, 2016-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, 2006-2024
    • Raleigh “Lawyer of the Year” in Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, 2023 
    • Raleigh “Lawyer of the Year” in Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants, 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, 2006-2024
  • Peer Review Rating of AV® in Martindale-Hubbell