Audra Pavilcius Karalius - Attorney at Law

Audra Pavilcius Karalius

(312) 219-8540


BS, Chemistry, DePaul University, 1974

MS, Chemistry, DePaul University, 1975

JD, Loyola University School of Law, 1981

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Contact Info

Audra Pavilcius Karalius has successfully managed legal and business opportunities at Nalco Chemical Company, Argonne National Laboratory and Sara Lee Corporation. She has served as Corporate Counsel, Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety and Chief Environment, Health & Safety (ESH) Counsel. Audra excels at evaluating complex business issues, regulatory requirements and risks, sustainability trends and developing insightful, comprehensive business solutions. She is also passionate about assisting her clients in assuring their future through effective estate planning.

Audra has extensive experience in corporate, sustainability, environmental, safety, health, labor, employment, and ethics law. She is adept at dealing with various stakeholders and governmental agencies. Audra has managed due diligence and contract term negotiations for numerous corporate transactions, including acquisitions and divestitures.

Representative Matters:


  • Former Corporate Counsel at Nalco Chemical
  • Adept at evaluating complex business and legal issues, trends, requirements and risks, and developing insightful, comprehensive business solutions. Drafted and negotiated business acquisition agreements, services contracts and leases.
  • Merger & Acquisitions work.

Estate Planning

  • Believes that Estate Planning encompasses the growth, conservation, and transfer of an individual’s wealth through the creation and maintainance of an “estate plan”. The purpose of estate planning is to develop a strategy that will maintain the financial security of you and your family through your lifetime and facilitate the intended transfer of their property and assets at death.
  • Prepares estate plans considering many factors, including age, marital status, family, value of assets, how assets are held, whom the intended beneficiary is, healthcare desires, etc.
  • Assists you in developing an estate plan that will distribute your estate in the most economical manner while still achieving the desired result.


  • Former Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety at Sara Lee Corporation.
  • Designed, implemented and led global sustainability programs that provided businesses with new opportunities, solidified customer relationships, enhanced business performance, improved public perception and increased economic value.
  • Created transparent internal and external stakeholder engagement about the corporate sustainability programs and progress including authoring four (4) annual sustainability reports.
  • Led engagement with key sustainability stakeholders, i.e., customers, non-governmental organizations, investors, financial institutions and ranking and rating organizations, resulting in improved customer relationships and public recognition for the sustainability/CSR programs.

Environmental & Safety

  • Former Corporate Counsel and Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety at Nalco Chemical Company.
  • Provided environmental legal advice, responded to and negotiated resolutions with governmental agency (EPA, OSHA, state, local, MWRD) inquiries, and represented the company in non-compliance situations with respect to environmental and safety matters.
  • Managed site remediation liabilities.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Counseled clients in general business matters, including corporate governance and regulatory environmental, safety, labor, employment, and employee benefit compliance.
  • Represented corporate interests and ensured compliance with EPA, OSHA, FDA, DOE, DOL, & EEOC.


  • Recognized by Leading Lawyers as one of the Top Business Lawyers in Illinois for 2020. Named a Leading Lawyer in Closely & Privately Held Business Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Trust, Will and Estate Planning (2018-2022).
  • Named by Super Lawyers an Illinois Super Lawyer, Corporate/Business Law and Estate Planning (2023).

Activities & Associations:

  • Board Member, the Lithuanian Foundation ($30 million in assets)
  • Board Member, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering Advisory Board
  • Past Vice Chair, Public Service, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources In-house Counsel Committee
  • Cabrini Green Legal Aid volunteer
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Lawyers in the Classroom volunteer
  • Audra is a leader in legal and community organizations.
  • Audra is a recognized conference speaker and presenter on the topic of sustainability strategies and implementation.
  • Audra was an Adjunct Professor at Kendall College, teaching sustainability related classes.
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