Friday, July 01, 2011

Lawyer using Trimega evidence wins Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award 2011

I have received the following press release:

Lawyer using Trimega evidence wins Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award 2011

Trimega’s dual-marker hair alcohol test helped reunite mother with

London - 29 June, 2011. Lorna Cservenka, head of the Child Care department at Hanne & Company’s London office, has won the title of Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2011. The award ceremony took place in London on 28 June.

Lorna was selected for her work on the ground-breaking LB Richmond v B & W & B & CB (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 persuading the court that the mother had not been drinking, and this outcome was instrumental in reuniting her with her children. A previous single test conducted by another provider had suggested that the mother had been drinking. The mother wrote at the time 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 case last year was that dual-marker hair alcohol tests should be used for cases where hair analysis is applied. Dual-marker testing provides accuracy rates of over 94%, with less than 1% risk of a false positive, and 5.75% risk of a false negative. At its annual conference in March, The Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) presented these findings, based on Trimega’s data set of approximately 2,000 dual hair tests, the largest of its kind in the world.

Avi Lasarow, CEO of Trimega Laboratories, said: “We are delighted that Lorna won the Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award and that she was able to use the Trimega dual-hair testing technology to help to reunite the mother in the case with her children. The award contributes to what is now a wide acknowledgement of the importance of dual-marker hair alcohol tests in providing high levels of accuracy about alcohol consumption over several months by parents and guardians in child custody cases.”

Lasarow continued: “Given the legal aid reforms, we are particularly conscious that the dual-hair marker test can cost more than alternatives, and we work hard to develop an appropriate pricing policy for our tests. However, the high levels of accuracy of dual-marker tests have been proved scientifically and the impact of that has been borne out in Lorna’s case. We firmly believe that dual-hair testing has a very important part to play in the body of evidence that determines 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 during the previous six months. In contrast, traditional forms of testing, of blood and urine, can cover only the previous three days and four to six weeks respectively.

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.