Karena Nicholls

Senior Associate


  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of International Studies
  • Diploma in Business

Karena has over 16 years’ experience in personal injury, motor vehicle, medical negligence and workers compensation litigation. She started her career as a legal secretary and then worked as a paralegal on major litigation cases while studying Law at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she was responsible for managing up to 200 clients at any one time.

After her admission as a solicitor in 2005, Karena worked in insurance litigation before joining Kells in May 2006. Here, she has worked exclusively in the area she is most passionate about - personal injury litigation. She was promoted to Senior Associate in 2012.

Karena handles complex cases in the District Court and Supreme Court. She has a particular interest in large health law cases and has succeeded in cases involving brain damage, birth defects and claims against negligent doctors, health institutions and others. Karena enjoys seeking resolution to complex claims and has had success in toxic torts against James Hardie, the industrial building materials company which specialises in fibre cement products. She also enjoys the challenge of motor accident claims, including issues of liability, quantum and contributory negligence. The reconstruction of an accident, police briefs and medical records all require expertise and her years of experience have not only given her this but also enable her to seek early resolution, or if required file for a Hearing.

Karena strives to make a difference to those injured through someone else’s negligence and handles complex cases in the District cCourt and Supreme mCourt. She understands that each client has individual needs, and works at developing a strong lawyer-client relationship in order to ascertain and satisfy those needs. She believes clients need to be involved and be kept informed, so she manages her cases to ensure this occurs.

Karena is a member of the NSW Law Society, Wollongong Law Society and the Macarthur Law Society. She is a member of Illawarra Women in Business and Macarthur Legal Centre.  She is also a volunteer for Ronald McDonald House, home-from-homes for families, so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost.

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