Christine "Christie" Companion Varnado joined The Seibels Law Firm, P.A as a partner in 2009. Since 1993, her civil litigation practice has involved a wide variety of matters, and is currently focused on construction defect claims, products liability, personal injury, employment discrimination and compensation, premises liability, and election challenges. She also provides counsel to private employers, local governmental entities, and individuals with employment or contractual concerns, as well as advises county election boards. Christie has served as the Business License Hearing Officer for the City of Folly Beach since 2019. She is admitted to practice as member of the South Carolina bar, as well as in the District Court of South Carolina, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Christie served as law clerk to the Honorable Wallace W. Dixon, U.S. Magistrate Judge, and as Deputy County Attorney for the County of Charleston. She is listed in the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 editions of South Carolina Super Lawyers in the field of construction litigation. She has been awarded an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, an independent peer-review, legal rating agency.
Christie received a B.A. (magna cum laude) in English from the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina in 1990, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1993, where she was a member of the Order of the Wig & Robe and on the editorial staff of the South Carolina Law Review.
Christie enjoys active leadership roles in several professional organizations. She served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association in 2013. She was President of the South Carolina Chapter of the Federal Bar Association in 2008-2009 and a member of its Board of Directors from 2003-2010. She has also served on several committees for the South Carolina Bar and is a member of the South Carolina Association of Registration and Election Officials.
Christie is active in the Charleston community. She has been appointed by South Carolina’s governor to the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration since 2003 and is currently serving her fourth term as Chair. The Board is responsible for conducting all county, state, and federal elections that are held in Charleston County. The Board also serves as a resource for election support for municipal election commissions. She enjoys membership in the Rebecca Motte Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She served on the Board of Directors of the Mount Pleasant Cotillion. She held leadership positions with the Junior League of Charleston, Inc. for several years before taking sustainer status in 2009. Christie also participated on the City of Charleston Mayor's Office for Children, Youth & Families Reading/Literacy Committee and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association.
She has presented several continuing legal education seminar lectures on various topics including legal ethics, local government, expert witnesses, employment law, and the Freedom of Information Act, and her writing has been featured in the South Carolina Lawyer magazine. In addition, she has spoken to the Charleston Association of Legal Assistants, providing updates on federal civil procedure and addressing Ferguson v. City of Charleston: "The Crack Baby Case".
Christie was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. She has been married to fellow attorney Robert Varnado since 2000. They have two children. Christie has earned a third degree black belt in tae kwon do. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading classic literature, experimenting with new recipes, and engaging with her children in their varying activities, interests, and adventures.
Admitted to Practice
State of South Carolina
United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Federal Bar Association Foundation of the Federal Bar Association (Fellow inducted in 2013)
South Carolina Bar Association
Charleston County Bar Association
American Bar Association (2001)
Professional Awards and Distinctions
Special Recognition Award for her outstanding leadership, initiative, and
effective contributions as Chair of the Vice Presidents for the Circuits by the Federal Bar Association
South Carolina Super Lawyers (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
AV rating, Martindale Hubbell
2014 Women Leaders in Law, ALM
Selected Academic Honors and Activities
South Carolina Law Review (Associate Student Works Editor)
Order of Wig and Robe
Carolina Legal Scholar: academic merit-based full scholarship (1990-1993)
American Jurisprudence Award: Legal Writing and Research I
Phi Beta Kappa
Presidential Scholarship recipient: academic merit-based undergraduate award
Kappa Kappa Gamma: Vice President, Registrar
University of South Carolina: B.A. in English, 1990; Magna Cum Laude, with honors from the South Carolina Honors College
University of South Carolina School of Law: Juris Doctor, 1993