Christopher Varner


Mr. Varner, shareholder in our Pensacola office, is a member of the general liability and workers’ compensation practices. As an accomplished trial attorney, he has represented clients in more than 2,000 cases in a wide range of litigation matters including workers' compensation, longshore and harbor workers’ compensation, first party property and pre-suit fraud investigation coverage, general civil liability, tort liability, construction law, criminal defense, labor/employment law, landlord/tenant, civil rights, and contracts.

Chris has appeared before courts in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Bay, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. In addition to trying federal cases in the Northern District as well as state court cases in Florida, he has appeared before administrative agencies throughout the state including Judge of Compensation Claims, Federal Administrative Law Judges, Public Employee Relations Commission, DMV Bureau of Driver Improvement, and Florida Commission on Human Relations.

Practice Areas

  • General Liability and Casualty
  • Construction Litigation
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Insurance Fraud & Misrepresentation
  • Automobile Litigation
  • Premises Liability
  • Negligent Security
  • Wrongful Death
  • First Party Property & Coverage
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Practices
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation

Admitted to Practice

  • Florida State Courts, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2017


  • Nova Southeastern University, Juris Doctorate, 1998
  • University of Arkansas, Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy, 1995

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2024, Listed in Florida for Insurance Law

Professional Affiliations

  • Florida Bar
  • Escambia/Santa Rosa County Bar
  • Gulf Coast Association of Insurance Professionals

Speaking Engagements

  • "Medically Speaking… Medical Benefits and Causation," Co-Presenter, Webinar, April 2023
  • "First Party Property Claims, Start to Finish," Co-Presenters, Escambia/Santa Rosa County Bar, June 2022
  • “The Fall Guy: Fumbles, Falls and Football," Co-Presenter Webinar, April 2022
  • "Understanding Social Media and Making It Work For You In Your Case," Co-Presenter, Webinar, July 2021
  • "Late to the Party Challenges in Defending Late Report Claims, STOL and Case Law Update," Webinar, July 2021
  • "Claims Professional Ethics," Co-Presenter, Webinar, April 2021
  • "The "I's" Have It: Idiopathic Falls, Increased Hazard And Independent Contractor/ Employee," Co-Presenter, Webinar, April 2021
  • “Attorney's Fees & Proposals for Settlement," Co-Presenter, Webinar May 2020
  • “Special Requirements for Compensability," Co-Presenter, Webinar, May 2020
  • "5 Hour Law and Ethics Update Course for Adjusters," Co-Presenter, July 2019
  • "Rules of the Road," Co-Presenter, Webinar, April 2019
  • "Overview of Subrogation and Liens," Co-Presenter, Webinar, April 2019
  • Human Resource Law from Start to Finish
  • Successful Hiring & Recruitment Steps
  • Controlling Unemployment Compensation Costs

Representative Experience

  • Jury trials. Federal Court: Northern District of Florida
  • Jury trials. State Courts: Escambia; Okaloosa; Dade; and Broward Counties
  • Judge trials. State Courts: Escambia; Okaloosa; Santa Rosa; Dade; and Broward Counties
  • Administrative Hearings. Judge of Compensation Claims: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Bay Counties
  • Administrative Hearings. Public Employee Relations Commission
  • Administrative Hearings. DMV Bureau of Driver Improvement
  • Administrative Hearings. Florida Commission on Human Relations
  • Administrative Hearings. Federal Administrative Law Judges
  • Administrative Hearings. Federal Longshore