Government appoints new Chair of Legal Services Commission

Internationally respected Adelaide lawyer, Jason Karas has been appointed by the Marshall Government as the next Chairperson of the Legal Services Commission of SA (LSC).

He will replace Michael Abbott AO QC when Mr Abbott’s term ends in January 2020. Mr Abbott has chaired the Commission since December 2013 and has warmly welcomed the appointment of Mr Karas.

The LSC provides vital legal aid assistance to South Australians – including legal education, advice and representation. It delivers more than 100,000 legal assistance services each year and has a particular focus on providing access to justice for those facing disadvantage.

Mr Karas is a principal and co-founder of the highly successful Lipman Karas firm. He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and has practised law in SA since the early 1990s.

"Jason has extensive experience in the management of a large and complex legal practice and those skills will assist the governance of the Commission," Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said.

"He joins the Commission at a milestone in its history, with the Commission celebrating its 40th this year.

"I thank Mr Abbott for his excellent service as LSC Chairperson. The Commission’s outstanding reputation and sound governance are due in no small part to Michael’s work as Chair."

The Commission’s Director, Gabrielle Canny, welcomed the appointment of Mr Karas and also acknowledged Mr Abbott’s outstanding contribution.

"Michael’s energy, expertise, leadership and dedication have greatly assisted the Commission’s development since he joined its Board in late 2013," Ms Canny said.

"Michael has helped to build and refine our operations and the services we provide to the community.

"Jason’s diverse skills will help the Commission build on its strong track record and meet the challenges of providing legal help in the next decade."

Mr Karas said that he was honoured to serve SA in this important role.

"The Commission’s legal assistance ensures South Australians, particularly the most disadvantaged members of our community, have access to justice," Mr Karas said.

"This is essential work and I look forward to supporting the Commission’s delivery of those services."