Margarita Varigos takes on the emerald city

Margarita Varigos takes on the emerald city

From skincare to pharmaceuticals, Margarita Varigos enjoys the broad exposure she gets from working in house, Lynn Elsey finds.

Margarita Varigos is trading one stunning harbour for another as she takes on a new role as an in-house lawyer for Amazon in Seattle, America’s Emerald City. For the past two years she worked as legal counsel for Australian skincare company Jurlique; previously she was a legal counsel for Australian Pharmaceutical Industries in Melbourne. Varigos received a BA in Arts (Comms) and LLB from Monash University. 


What’s so great about working in house?

It’s the best aspect of legal work. You aren’t just a lawyer; you are part of a business. You get to use your commercial acumen and help the company achieve goals. It’s much more rewarding than working in private practice and just being assessed on billable hours. And I enjoy working with a diverse group of people, not just lawyers.

How was working for Jurlique?

I loved it. It was more challenging than I initially expected. I previously worked for an Australian company, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, but as Jurlique is a global company (its products are sold in more than 20 countries and the company has offices around the world) it involved a whole range of new challenges; particularly as there were only two lawyers in the company.

How did you land the role at Amazon?

I’ve always been interested in technology and innovation and doing things better and more efficiently. But when a friend, an Australian lawyer, landed a position with Amazon in Seattle, I decided to apply, especially after learning that Washington was one of the US states that exempts foreign lawyers from having to be a member of the state bar in certain circumstances.

So I applied and when they had an Australian recruitment drive, I was lucky enough to get interviewed and land a job.

What will be your role?

I will be a Corporate Counsel - Global Store, which will involve expanding Amazon’s retail offering globally.