Avery and Phyllis Summers, grew up together in Darien, Connecticut. Avery was resentful when Phyllis, the big sister she idolized, left home in her late teens, and never looked back.
After their father, George, had been accused of bilking people out of their life savings through a living facility, Avery went to law school to dedicate her life to becoming a lawyer who specialized in helping others who were unjustly accused of crimes. While in law school Avery married and was divorced from Joe Clark, giving her the authoritative name of Avery Bailey Clark to go with her new career which she began in New York City.
Several years later, in Genoa City, Wisconsin, Sharon Newman was arrested for the murder of Skye Lockhart, and her trial began with the famous Vance Abrams as her attorney. Sharon was found guilty, but her former husband, Adam, arranged an elaborate escape for her from the courthouse. Adam, still trying to clear Sharon's name even after everyone thought that she was dead, found the correct erased memory card that once contained the video of Sharon attempting to save Skye. That same day in New Mexico, Sharon was recognized, arrested, and extradited back to Genoa City, where everyone was shocked to see that she was still alive. Adam visited her in jail, and he caught her and Sam, whom she had met in New Mexico, in an embrace and realized that Sharon had not been faithful to him. Feeling betrayed, Adam threw the memory card that would have vindicated her into the creek. Sharon was convicted to serve thirty years in prison without parole. Sharon's attorney and Phyllis Newman figured out that Adam was withholding the evidence that would clear Sharon, and Phyllis wrote an article exposing him.
Victor hired famous New York lawyer, Avery Bailey Clark, to handle Sharon's appeal for the murder of Skye. Phyllis met Avery, and intrigued by the name and familiar face, looked her up on the Internet, discovering that Avery was her younger sister. Phyllis told Avery and that she wanted her past to remain in the past. Later Phyllis admitted to her friend Michael that Avery was her sister. Michael tried to convince Phyllis that he had gone through the same with his brother, Kevin, and of how close they were now, then helped her get through preliminary questioning by Avery for Sharon's retrial. As her attorney, Avery had to disclose to Sharon her relationship to Phyllis, but Sharon still kept Avery as her attorney.
Eventually Phyllis tired to make amends with Avery, but she rebuffed Phyllis. Then Phyllis's ex-husband and still-lover, Nick, walked in on Phyllis telling Avery that Nick was never to find out that they are sisters. Phyllis explained to Nick that she had lied to everyone about her family so that she could forget them. Nick attempted to convince Phyllis to get to know Avery again, but Phyllis refused. As Nick got to know Avery himself, she admitted that while growing up Avery and Phyllis tuned out the drama of their parents by playing video games together Ė- just as Nick and Phyllis had done when they had been together.
Daisy Carter turned up in the same prison wing as Sharon Newman, and met Avery Bailey Clark. Avery took Daisy's case once she realized that Daisy was the mother of a baby with Phyllis' son Daniel. When Phyllis was served with papers that Daisy wanted visitation with her baby daughter, Lucy, whom Phyllis had legal custody of, Phyllis was livid that her own sister would turn on her. Daisy demanded that she get to see Lucy once a week, that Phyllis give her money, and that Avery get her out of prison, or Daisy would sue and Lucy would be given to someone else.
Avery and Sharon finally got through to Adam that he was being unreasonable by not helping Sharon when he knew that she was innocent. Since Adam no longer had the memory card, he thought it would help to set up his former lover, Assistant D.A., Heather Stevens. Adam got Heather drunk and had Ricky Williams take compromising photos of them kissing in Adam's room for Avery to use to get a mistrial. Ricky showed the photos to Phyllis in hopes of landing a story and a job where she worked at Restless Style. But once Ricky got to know his half-sister Heather better, Ricky declined to sell them, and only gave the photos to Avery as a last resort to save Sharon.
Meanwhile, Phyllis spotted a memory card in the evidence dredged from the creek for the Diane Jenkins case on Detective Ronan Malloy's desk, and they played it. Just as Avery was about to expose Heather to get the mistrial, Ronan and Phyllis burst into the courtroom, and they were allowed to present their evidence. After hearing the audio of Sharon trying to save Skye, the judge left the case to the D.A.'s office for dissolution. Heather dropped the charges against Sharon, Sharon was given time served for the escape, and she was set free. Sharon thanked Ronan, but Phyllis made sure that Sharon knew it was Phyllis who had found the card, and had saved her. Phyllis stole the photos of Heather and Adam from the courtroom and put them online with a sensational story about the A.D.A. fraternizing with a witness. Heather was fired as a result. With Avery representing him, Ricky filed a lawsuit against Phyllis and Restless Style for using his work without payment, and Avery filed a criminal complaint for theft of evidence from an attorney in court. Nick was livid with Phyllis for once again doing a sensational story without thinking of the collateral damage to other people's lives. Phyllis reacted by having sex with Ronan at the police station. Phyllis went to warn Nick about some evidence that Ronan had against him, and walked in on Nick and Avery, realizing they had just had sex together. Phyllis had it out with Nick, whom she told to go to hell, and that she would never try to help him again.
Afterward, Phyllis sought out Avery who informed her that she was staying in town permanently. They argued, and Avery brought up their father's run-in with the law, and that Phyllis had taken sides against him. Later Phyllis was arrested by Ronan for stealing the photos. Daisy called Daniel from prison to let him know that Avery was his aunt and that she was helping Daisy get out of prison and to get their daughter, Lucy, back. Daniel confronted his mother about never knowing that she had a sister, but Phyllis refused to discuss it, so he went to Avery for more information but got none.
Nick confronted Avery about using him to get back at Phyllis. She later apologized to Nick for taking the opportunity to get back at Phyllis without considering the consequences to Nick. Nick forgave Avery, and they went to her room to make love.
On Thanksgiving, Phyllis gave Daisy her allotted time with Lucy. Avery arrived as she was leaving, but the prison went into lockdown, and they were trapped there together. Reminded that it had been Thanksgiving Day when Phyllis had left their home all those years ago, Avery tried to lay a guilt trip on Phyllis about it. Phyllis protested that their dad was a liar, thief, criminal, and master manipulator; and that their mother had brain washed Avery into believing that he was innocent. Phyllis declared that she had been pushed out by their mother because Phyllis knew the truth and was made to feel like she was the liar and her dad the victim. Phyllis called Avery sanctimonious, and asked why Avery the hot-shot lawyer, had never tried to get her own father out of prison. Avery, in tears, was forced for the first time to admit that she knew their father had been guilty. Phyllis tearfully offered an "olive branch", but Avery just walked out.
It wasn't long before Nick discovered Phyllis writing a story that practically accused Nikki of murdering Diane Jenkins, but this time he fired her. Before Phyllis left town with Lucy to clear her head, she told Avery that Nick may be Avery's now, but not to try to take over the rest of Phyllis' life. Nick and Avery resumed their relationship, which was mostly spent in bed.
On New Year's Eve 2011, Nick danced with his date Avery, but couldn't take his eyes off Phyllis who was dancing and necking with Ronan while watching Nick. Avery accused Nick of not being over Phyllis, saying that she had promised herself she would never be second best to Phyllis again, and she called off their relationship. Meanwhile Ronan was accusing Phyllis of using him to taunt Nick, and left her alone at her penthouse. Nick arrived awhile later, their eyes locked, and he and Phyllis made love.
Avery was called in by Victor to assist Michael Baldwin in defending Nikki Newman for killing Diane Jenkins in self-defense, but Nikki ended up not being charged.
Avery was with Phyllis when Avery received a call from their mother that their father had a heart attack and was in critical condition. Avery left for Ohio, but Phyllis refused to go with her. After Avery returned, telling Phyllis that their father was dying, Avery retaliated by trying to get Daisy out of prison and to get Daisy custody of Lucy. Phyllis confided in Nick that she was torn, as she had been the one to turn her father in and send him to prison. Nick recalled how he and Victor had painfully gone to see Victor's estranged father before Albert died, and convinced Phyllis to go to Darien and see her father one last time. And just as Albert had greeted Victor, George greeted Phyllis with, "What the hell are you doing here?"
George told Phyllis to go home, that she had ruined him, and if she hadn't blown the whistle on him, he could have repaid his investors. Phyllis countered that she came to him first but he had lied to her, and even knowing that her family would turn against her, she turned him in because she didnít want a conman for a father. Phyllis begged George to tell the truth before he died to give her peace of mind. With Avery listening outside the door, George admitted that he had bilked his clients out of their life savings. George tried to cover but Avery finally realized that Phyllis had been right about him all along, and Avery told him how disappointed in him she was. Avery and Phyllis left his room to talk, and Avery realized that even their mother knew the truth, as George was left to die alone. Avery begged Phyllis to forgive her, saying the past was over, and they didnít have to hurt each other anymore. Phyllis softened toward her, but said it was too late now that Avery had gotten Daisy released from prison, and declared war if Daisy got custody of Lucy. Daniel arrived after George had died and his mother and aunt had left, but he went through a box of George's things, finding photos of Phyllis and Avery as children. No one attended George's funeral. As executor, Avery paid claims from her father's estate to the people whom he had bilked, which left nothing left but an envelope bearing the name 'Phyllis'. Phyllis reluctantly opened it to find Black Beauty, the book that George used to read to her when she was a child, but Phyllis refused to be swayed by the gesture.
Avery refused to represent Daisy anymore, but Daisy went to a judge to return her parental rights, brought a police officer along to seize Lucy from Phyllis, and later got a restraining order against Phyllis. Daniel was finally convinced to claim his parental rights to Lucy to keep her from growing up with Daisy, and both Avery and Michael represented him in court. Daisy was encouraged, and assumed that she and Daniel would end up together and become a family, so she gave her consent. After the hearing Daniel told Daisy that she was delusional, that she had just helped him to be able to sue for custody.
The SEC began an investigation of the Beauty of Nature sale, and Victor gave Michael instructions to handle it. But when Lauren was arrested, Michael went to Lauren's rescue, forgetting the note with the SEC contact that he was supposed to see to help Victor. By the time Michael remembered Victor, it was too late and Victor fired him for causing the loss of millions of dollars. Avery went to work for Victor instead. After Michael took the job of interim D.A., Avery agreed to also take over Michael's law practice for him.
Phyllis and Avery began getting to be more like sisters. When Phyllis and Nick decided to remarry, she asked Avery to be her maid of honor, and was delighted to share with Avery the fact that she was pregnant. But when Phyllis had a miscarriage on her wedding day, Katherine performed the ceremony the next day at Phyllis' penthouse, with only Phyllis and Nick's children in attendance.
When Paul Williams shot and killed his son, Ricky to save Eden from being murdered with a knife by him, the police were skeptical of Paul's story since no knife was found. Eden had suffered a head injury so had been unconscious at the time, and later could not even remember why she had been in Ricky's apartment. Paul turned himself in, Avery became his attorney, and Paul told his story. Ronan let them know that due to the lack of corroborating evidence, it appeared to be premeditated murder. Christine Blair arrived and offered to take a sabbatical from the FBI to defend Paul, and he accepted her offer. Paul was released to attend Ricky's funeral. Afterward, Paul was arrested by Ronan for first degree murder and jailed without bail.
Among Ricky's belongings Christine found Phyllis' psychiatric file from Dr. Tim including the rental car receipt, and realized that Phyllis had been the driver of the car who run them down in 1994. She showed it to Paul, and Paul told Nina and Heather who were shocked. Roman and Michael found a copy of the receipt in Daisy's wallet, and verified that the VIN number matched the rental car used in the hit and run. Both Chris and Michael confronted Phyllis, who denied trying to kill them. Although the statute of limitations had run out, Christine remembered that she had been working on a federal case at the time, therefore Phyllis was arrested for attempted murder of a federal agent.
Avery offered to help Phyllis, who lied and told her that she was innocent. But Avery saw that Phyllis was using same evasions that their father had. Phyllis finally confessed to Nick, saying that it had been a mistake which she regretted. Although Nick moved out at first, he moved back when their daughter Summer told him how they needed to stand by Phyllis.
Phyllis was arrested at Crimson Lights in front of her family. Avery offered a deal for aggravated battery with two years probation, but Christine refused to consider anything without prison time, and offered five years. Avery got Phyllis released on bail. Nick, Daniel, Summer, and Noah welcomed Phyllis home, ready to stand behind her, with Nick convinced that she had changed since then. When Avery found out that Phyllis had been paying off her former shrink Tim Reid, who had a tape of her confession, Avery refused to represent her. So Phyllis hired Leslie Michaelson, now a partner in Vance Abrams law firm, to take her case. Avery was then free to represent Paul Williams again, and got him released on bail.
Meanwhile, Victor Newman disappeared, and his new wife of 24 hours, Sharon, took over the business. As the Newman council, Avery gave Sharon legal advice, but knowing what was best for Newman, Avery secretly helped Nick and Victoria to oust Sharon. Unfortunately Sharon had sold enough of Victor's shares in the company, that when Victor did return, the company was lost to a hostile takeover by Jack Abbott and Tucker McCall.
Nick left Phyllis when he found out that she was again having an affair with Ronan, and later shared a kiss with Avery. Summer discovered Phyllis and Ronan, and refused to have anything to do with her again. After Phyllis' case was dismissed on a technicality and she was freed, Nick filed for divorce and began spending more time with Avery. Known to be quite a klutz, Avery proved to be as proficient in the kitchen as she was in the courtroom, as she cooked for Nick and they enjoyed each other at her apartment rather than appear in public together before Nick's divorce was final.
Phyllis tried to get close to Summer again, but failed, so she enlisted her sister Avery's help. Avery made cupcakes with Summer, and she seemed to bond with her, helping Summer to realize that emancipation was not a good idea. Summer encouraged Avery to get serious with her father, Nick. Nick and Avery began spending more and more time together and became lovers again. Knowing that Nick was at loose ends about his future, Avery found a basement bar that was for sale, and encouraged Nick to think about turning into an upscale place and running it. Getting closer with Nick, Avery admitted that she had caused her divorce by cheating on her husband, and that just before she had moved to Genoa City, she had received word that her lover, Dylan, had been killed in Afghanistan, where he had been deployed.
Nick surprised her by buying the bar, starting renovations, and naming it The Underground, intending to run it with his son, Noah. For Christmas, Nick fulfilled a childhood wish that Avery had been denied, by giving her an Easy-Bake Oven. Nick took Avery out for New Year's Eve to his finished club where they celebrated in Avery's personal booth. Opening night for Nick's club bombed when they lost power and had to send the underwhelming number of customers home. Avery hired Tyler Michaelson to do some better marketing for the club and another opening was planned.
Avery was called to Milwaukee to work for the Innocence Foundation, to attempt to prove the innocence of a man convicted of murder who had served 12 years in prison. Arriving home for opening night, Avery went to the back room of the bar, recognized the new bartender, Mac, as Dylan and cried, "You died, is this real?" Interrupted by Nick, she told Dylan that she needed to be there for Nick, and they would talk later. The next morning Avery showed up at Dylan's motel and slapped him, asking how dare he come back like that, with no warning. Dylan said he had been injured, returned to Chicago to find her, then found her through the Innocence Foundation, and saw a photo of her and Nick. Dylan claimed he didn't want to mess things up, but just wanted to see her, asked if he should go, and if she loved Nick. Avery left, and told Nick the truth about Dylan.
During their conversations, viewers learned the story of Avery and Dylan: Dylan lived in Chicago and ran his father's construction company for years. He met lawyer, Avery Bailey Clark when he was doing construction work at her house. Avery's husband, Joe, had been a workaholic and neglected her. Dylan found Avery crying, and told her not to let her happiness depend on someone else, and they began an ongoing affair. When Dylan's reserve unit got called up, he bought her a ring and asked her to leave her husband for him. Instead, Avery broke it off, determined to work on her marriage. But then Avery's husband, Joe, found out about the affair, and he divorced her.
2013 Valentine's Day evening, Avery was stuck at home during a major winter snowstorm, and Nick at the bar. Dylan showed up at her apartment, they reminisced, the power went out, and they kissed in the dark. Nick showed up. Avery tearfully told Dylan goodbye, that she had moved on, and was in love with Nick. Dylan packed and left in his truck on the icy roads, intending to return to Chicago. But Nick's former wife Sharon's car slid on the ice, running Dylan's truck off the road, and he hit a tree, leaving him unconscious. Sharon called for help, and Dylan was diagnosed with a concussion and bruised ribs. Dylan went to thank Sharon the next day and found her place with storm damage, and her unable to find anyone available to make repairs. Dylan offered his services, and Sharon accepted. Both Avery and Nick were disappointed to hear that Dylan would be staying in town.
About to drive to Milwaukee, Avery's brakes went out, and Dylan and Nick rescued her. Dylan discovered the brake line had been cut. Avery discovered from Gus that Leslie and Tyler were his missing children. She confronted Leslie about it, and tried to get her to understand that her father was innocent. Avery returned home to find her apartment had been trashed, Gus's trial transcripts were missing, and she found an American flag pin on the floor. Nick accused Congressman Wheeler, who denied it, so Nick went to Victor for information about Wheeler.
Avery attended the remarriage of Victor and Nikki at the ranch and managed to catch the bridal bouquet.
Dylan finally told Avery that he could not settle for just friends or be the other man in her life again. On his way out of town, he ran into Chelsea at Crimson Lights and said goodbye. Dylan stopped at a bar, got into a fight with a sheriff's son who had been harassing a woman. Dylan went to jail, and Avery bailed him out. Required to stay in town for his trial, Nick offered Dylan his bartender job again to make money to repay Avery for his bail.
Gus Rogan's hearing was held, Leslie testified for Gus, and Tyler testified against him. Rogan was denied release, but Leslie was sure that Wheeler had pulled some strings. But after Victor was convinced that Wheeler was behind his attempted murder by a hitman, he and Jack teamed up to trick Wheeler into leaving a DNA sample on his coffee cup which new chief of police, Paul Williams, witnessed. After Wheeler's DNA matched the sample which had been found on Belinda Rogan's body, Wheeler was arrested for her murder, and Gus was released from prison, his conviction overturned. Marcus made bail but was later arrested for hiring the hitman.
Nick closed down the club and set it up for a candlelit proposal to Avery. She declined, being afraid of screwing up a marriage again. But after talking with Dylan, Avery said yes to Nick. Avery broke the news to Dylan that she had accepted Nick's proposal. Dylan tried to talk her into marrying him instead, saying that they deserved another chance after all they had gone through. Then Avery asked Dylan if he ever thought about "their baby". Avery said she felt that her miscarriage had been punishment for cheating on her husband. She said that she had lost their baby, then Dylan had disappeared, then she spent two years of misery thinking he was dead, and how she had lost everything. She admitted she had not told Nick about the miscarriage, saying that she could not survive another one, or another failure at love. That Nick was love without pain, and it was too late for her and Dylan. Dylan finally gave up on Avery and sold the engagement ring to repay her for the bail money.
After Avery failed at babysitting with Faith, and Nick tried to convince her that she would be an amazing mother to Faith and to their own kids, she left upset. Avery met Dylan at Crimson Lights, he repaid her the bail money, and said goodbye. Avery begged Dylan not to leave town, but he said that he could not stay and watch her marry Nick. Nick walked in and caught them in an embrace.
Finding Dylan days later filling out an employment application, Avery asked Dylan when he had not left. Dylan joyfully told her that he and Chelsea were having a baby together, so he was staying in Genoa City. Avery, unable to convince Nick that she was over Dylan, returned her engagement ring. But after Dylan convinced Nick that he was crazy to let Avery get away, Nick made up with Avery.