Karen Codling
Karen Codling

I lead the Special Damages Unit, a team of dedicated personnel who deal with the quantification of financial losses. The Special Damages Unit, a resource unique to Irwin Mitchell, has been developed in-house since 1990 and boasts 20 members with a broad array of accountancy qualifications and work experience. 

We’ve prepared schedules of loss for a number of high profile and boundary-breaking cases including the claimants Warren and Annable in Heil v Rankin, the June Hancock case, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease litigation, the Hatfield and Selby cases, the Ladbroke Grove Rail Disaster and the Cadbury's cases.

We produce schedules of loss on the basis of in-house procedures accounting for the latest case law and statistics. We’re continually updating our procedures and schedule templates to ensure that any changes in case law and statistics are reflected in all the schedules produced. 

In addition to this, the team provide compensation advice to case handlers and at conferences. We also deliver firmwide training to ensure full understanding of compensation sums, and to maximise recovery of damages for clients to enhance their quality of life.

What Inspired You To Get Into Law?

LA Law! I am not a qualified solicitor so didn't choose to do this as a university degree, it is a career that has developed with me. I have always wanted to do whatever I can to help other people. 

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?

When a personal injury claim reaches a conclusion, especially a catastrophic injury case, it is good to know that the work I have contributed to will make a positive impact on the remainder of the client's life. 

What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?

Being in a position that gives me the opportunity to help others, not just our clients but the local community through charity work and fund raising.   

I am heavily involved in the firm’s charity and corporate social responsibility activity. I work closely with Business in the Community to coordinate a number of initiatives between the firm and a local secondary school. Activities which we have been involved with include maths workshops (with members of my team), a reading partners initiative, careers aspiration presentations and CV/interview workshops as well as helping with a Dragon’s Den style review of business ideas in a national competition.

I have also co-ordinated initiatives for staff well-being and health with Activity Sheffield, including free health checks and pilates sessions.

I head up the Sheffield Children’s Group, as well as taking the Community role in the Social Responsibility Group in Sheffield.

What Do You Do Away From The Office?

In my spare time I am the family taxi! Taking and collecting my two daughters from numerous activities. I love cooking, going to the gym, reading and gardening.

I founded Sheffield Smashers Boccia club in 2011 in partnership with Activity Sheffield. The club is now one of the largest in the country and has affiliation to Boccia England.

In 2014, I also founded the RideforEric event after the death of my husband Eric. The ride was so successful that we decided to set up a trust, the aim being to fund a bereavement service and to promote safe cycling.

I have been on the board of Cavendish Cancer Care for over six years providing support to people living with a cancer diagnosis.