Christopher J. Welch
Mr. Welch has achieved the rare distinction of being certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a specialist in criminal law, and he has been an advocate in the criminal justice legal system for his entire career. As an Assistant District Attorney in Onslow and Duplin counties, he represented the State of North Carolina at both the District and Superior Court levels. After going into private practice in 2002, Mr. Welch specialized in the field of criminal defense and has represented clients charged with serious felonies and misdemeanors before state and federal courts throughout the Cape Fear Region. A member of the Onslow County Bar, the Criminal Defense Section of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and various other professional organizations, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Onslow County Teen Court and as Treasurer for the 4th Judicial District Bar. Mr. Welch was recognized as one of the “Top 40 under 40” criminal defense attorneys by the American Society of Legal Advocates as well as one one of their Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys. Christopher earned his B.A. with Honors from Trinity College in 1997 and his J.D. from the Wake Forest School of Law in 2000.
Trevor J. Avery
Trevor Avery is an Associate Attorney who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Masters of Business Administration degrees from East Carolina University and his law degree from Campbell University’s Norman A. Wiggins School of Law. Mr. Avery is a native of Onslow County, North Carolina with networks throughout the local health, academic and construction industries. Trevor’s practice includes criminal defense in both Onslow and Duplin counties, and he serves as a parent and Guardian Ad Litem attorney in DSS court. He also continues the firm’s family law practice representing clients in divorce, separation and child custody cases as well as in landlord/tenant and consumer affairs matters.
Ellen earned her J.D., cum laude, in 2005 from the University of Alabama School of Law, where she served as managing editor of the Alabama Law Review. While in law school, Ellen received several honors including the Book Award in Civil Procedure. Ellen received a B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science from Auburn University in 2002. Prior to becoming an associate, Ellen worked in private practice in California and Alabama. Ellen is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the Alabama State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar.
Maegan M. Berch
Ms. Berch joined Welch and Avery as an associate attorney in 2015. A native of Texas, Maegan graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Business. After receiving her J.D. magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law, she served as briefing attorney to Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez of the Texas Thirteenth Court of Appeals. Upon relocating to Jacksonville, she served as the Trial Court Administrator for Onslow, Duplin, Sampson and Jones counties and as such is well-known to the Judges and attorneys of Eastern North Carolina. Maegan is licensed in North Carolina and Texas, and her practice focuses on insurance defense litigation and estate administration. Her husband is an active duty member of the United States Marine Corps.
Lorna I. Welch
Ms. Welch joined the firm in 2015 as an associate attorney after several years of law practice in the public sector. Lorna is another true native of Eastern North Carolina, having grown up in Jacksonville and attended high school in Hampstead. Lorna received her B.A. with Honors in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005, then earned her J.D. from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2008. Upon her return to North Carolina she opened her own general law practice before joining the Office of the District Attorney in Onslow County as a prosecutor. Following her time in the DA’s Office, Lorna took a position as a staff attorney with Onslow County Department of Social Services until 2015. Since joining Welch and Avery Lorna has continued to pursue her interest in child welfare by contracting with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to supervise the creation of a tribal social services court system. She also handles insurance defense and other civil litigation matters for the firm.
Jessica Ans joined Welch and Avery as an Associate Attorney in 2017. A native of Arizona, Jessica graduated magna cum laude from University of Arizona with an Honors B.A. in Political Science in 2012. Jessica earned her J.D. from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in 2016. While in law school, Jessica received several honors including the Class of 2016 Pro Bono Award for her work in criminal prosecution. Jessica is licensed in North Carolina and her practice includes criminal defense in both Onslow and Duplin counties.
Jessica’s husband is an active duty Officer in the United States Marine Corps and she is a member of the Military Spouse J.D. Network.