LONDON, June 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Lorna Cservenka, head of the Child Care department at Hanne & Company's London office, has been shortlisted for the title of Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2011.
Lorna was nominated for her work on the ground-breaking LB Richmond v B & W & B & CB (2010) EWHC 2903 (Fam) LB Richmond v B (2010) EWHC 2903 (Fam) child care case in which a mother stood to lose her children if she was found to be abusing alcohol.
Using dual-marker hair testing technology (FAEE and EtG) provided by Trimega Laboratories, Lorna succeeded in establishing that a single test conducted by another provider, which the provider said showed that the mother had been drinking, was flawed. The mother, whose children have been returned to her, wrote in support of Lorna's nomination: "She believed what I was saying and was relentless in getting more information on hair strand testing and helping me challenge the results."
A conclusion of the High Court judgment of the case last year was that only dual marker hair alcohol tests should be used for cases where hair analysis is applied. Dual hair testing provides very accurate results: at its annual conference in March, the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) confirmed that dual testing on hair for alcohol misuse provides accuracy rates of over 94%, with less than 1% risk of a false positive, and just 5.75% risk of a false negative. The SoHT's consensus was based on analysis of Trimega's data set of approximately 2,000 dual hair testing samples, the largest of its kind in the world.
Avi Lasarow, CEO of Trimega Laboratories, said: "We are delighted that Lorna was able to use our dual-marker hair testing methodology to prove that the mother in the case hadn't been abusing alcohol, enabling the return of her children. We are also very pleased that the outcome of Lorna's hard work led to the High Court statement that dual hair tests should be used for hair alcohol analysis. These tests play a very important role in the body of evidence that help courts make appropriate decisions for the welfare of our children."
Trimega commercialised the technological breakthrough of analysing human hair samples for alcohol, firmly believing that just as hair testing had become accepted by the industry as the 'gold standard' for analysis of drug abuse, hair testing for alcohol would receive similar recognition once it had been shown to be very accurate. One of Trimega's key achievements was being the first to market with dual marker hair alcohol testing. Hair testing can provide a picture of consumption of the previous 12 months. In contrast, traditional forms of testing, of blood and urine, can cover only the previous three days and four to six weeks, respectively.
Lorna is one of the three finalists in the Family Legal Aid Lawyer award category. The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held in London on the 28th June. The judging panel includes Cherie Booth QC (who will present the awards); Doreen Lawrence of the Stephen Lawrence Trust; legal journalist Joshua Rozenberg, Mr Justice Andrew McFarlane QC from the Family Division; and LAPG chair Roy Morgan.
The Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards are organised by the Legal Aid Practioner Group, an independent organisation that represents 450 firms and not for profit organisations involved in the provision of publicly funded legal services. The awards are non-profit making.
About Trimega Laboratories (http://www.trimegalabs.co.uk)
Established in London in 2005, Trimega Laboratories is well recognised for being a leader in the development of innovative techniques for testing for substances of abuse. Its core business is laboratory-based analysis of hair samples that provide accurate historical records of alcohol or drugs dependency over a one to 12 month period. In the UK, Trimega's core clients include: family law specialists, law courts, and social services.
Trimega was the first to market with dual marker hair alcohol testing (FAEE and EtG). Dual hair testing provides very accurate results: at its annual conference in March 2011, the Society of Hair Testing (SOHT) confirmed that dual testing on hair for alcohol misuse provides accuracy rates of over 94% for false negatives and over 99% for false positives. The SOHT's consensus was based on analysis of Trimega's data set of approximately 2,000 dual hair testing samples, the largest of its kind in the world.
Other services offered by Trimega include: Roadside Drugalyzer Testing for law enforcement, Hair Steroid Testing for athletes, and Hair Benzodiazepines Testing.
Trimega won the title of Best Use of Technology in the 2008 Barclays-sponsored Startups Awards, and has been on the shortlist for the National Business Awards three years running. Trimega is also one of 25 companies to represent the UK in the 2011 European Business Awards.
Trimega conducts its hair alcohol analysis in laboratories in Germany which are accredited with international standard ISO 17025 by DAkkS, the German issuing authority, equivalent to UKAS in the UK. The technology for hair-alcohol testing originated in Germany.
The UK Ministry of Justice does not require hair testing laboratories to be accredited. However, Trimega's UK laboratory in Manchester, which carries out drug tests, operates to ISO 17025 standards, and has applied for ISO 17025 accreditation from UKAS. Trimega's Manchester laboratory already has IS0 9001:2008 certification from Lloyd's Register Group, itself accredited by UKAS, for the 'provision of clinical collecting, testing, analysis and interpretation services for substances of abuse'. In addition, the Manchester laboratory is the only UK laboratory in the industry to have ISO 14001 certification from QMS International, the environmental management system standard for internal quality management. Trimega is an Investor in People.
Trimega was responsible for the creation of a Hair Strand Scientific Advisory Board. Its purpose is to analyse the fast growing database of information created from the 10,000 hair alcohol tests and 7,000 hair drug tests carried out on UK samples each year, of which Trimega is responsible for around 40%. The findings of the Board are shared with the Society of Hair Testing which will assist it in future decisions, particularly those relating to the setting of universal standards/guidelines.
About Hanne & Co (http://www.hanne.co.uk)
Hanne & Co was established in 1898 by Herbert Curtis Lee Hanne, who was a pioneer in providing legal services to all, regardless of wealth or social standing.
The firm's roots are in Battersea, London (SW11) although over our long history we have maintained branch offices in Surbiton and the Temple. In 1996 the firm moved to new premises in the heart of Clapham Junction consolidating the firm under one roof.
Throughout the years the firm has been at the forefront of legal aid provision. We were one of the first firms in the country to earn a franchise from the Legal Services Commission and we were also one of only 5 firms in London to be offered 'preferred pilot status', highlighting the quality and efficiency of our work. In 2009, Michael Burdett, who joined the firm in 1963, received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Legal Aid Practitioners Group Silver Jubilee.
Provision of legal aid is however just a part of our practice; we also operate a thriving private practice for which we are also renowned. Our clients are truly from all walks of life and this variety is something which we cherish. We are a well known firm locally but also have established client links all over the country and abroad.
We place huge importance on client care and integrity. The firm has conducted a number of high profile cases, which have been reported, and we are proud to maintain our standing and reputation in the provision of legal services.
SOURCE Trimega Laboratories