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This award celebrates the great tradition of pro bono service within the legal profession. The award recognises an individual or legal team that truly goes above and beyond in terms of the delivery of pro bono legal services to the most vulnerable in our community. The award celebrates both the volume and the effectiveness of pro bono work, as well as creating and championing a culture of service within the profession.

2022 Winner: Karen Iles, Violet Co Legal & Consulting

Karen Iles is recognised for going above and beyond in delivering pro bono legal services to the most vulnerable in our community.

With over 20 years of experience in the community and corporate sectors, Iles is the sole director and Principal Solicitor of Violet Co Legal and Consulting – a legal practice devoted to helping women and Indigenous People.

Violet Co Legal and Consulting’s goal as signatories to the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s National Pro Bono Target is to support the rights of its clients in an ethical and environmentally friendly way. Their offices are certified carbon-neutral workplaces that use 100 per cent renewable energy.

Before founding her practice, Iles worked directly with high-profile businesses and organisations like KPMG Australia, Amnesty International Australia, Tata Consultancy Services, Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers, Coffey International Development and two Trade Unions.

She’s been involved with several for-purpose organisations, including as a member of the Fundraising Committee of NSW Women’s Legal Services.

Recently Iles launched a campaign for law reform to pressure police to investigate cases of sexual assault in NSW, with a petition that at the time of writing has gained more than 23,000 signatures.

“At Violet Co, we view pro bono legal services as a responsibility and an obligation of us as legal practitioners. We count our contribution not so much in terms of hours spent as in results and systemic change we help support and achieve.”

The Law Society of New South Wales, President and Council congratulate Karen Iles on this achievement.


  • Ashleigh Buckett, Associate Legal Director, National Justice Project
  • Peter Wigens, Coleman Wigens & Chan Solicitors
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