Costs are everything

Costs are everything, and the legal system is no exception. Cheshire based AlphaBiolabs set out to save the public purse over £1 Million per year.

Costs are everything, and the legal system is no exception. The publication of the recent Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill outlined the government’s proposals to cut £350m from the legal aid budget and to implement Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals on civil litigation costs. As law firms come to terms with the proposed cuts, they too are looking at ways of reducing overheads and keeping within the financial constraints set by the LSC.

DNA, drug and alcohol hair testing have now become a regular feature of Court work and until recently testing laboratories could effectively ‘name their price’. However the recent cuts in LSC funding has meant that many solicitors are becoming more discerning and costs conscious when instructing laboratories for DNA, drug and alcohol hair testing. A recent survey revealed that there has been a large shift in instructing solicitors moving away from the large multinational laboratories and opting for smaller and more cost effective alternatives.

The Association of Lawyers for Children recent response to the Ministry of Justice’s Consultation on experts’ fees indicated that, in their view, fees for DNA, drug and alcohol hair testing were too high and were supportive of the introduction of fixed fees. The response said: “…fees at this kind of level for routine laboratory work are, in our view, excessive. We believe that the Legal Services Commission and the Ministry are entirely right to look at these kinds of routine assessments differently from more comprehensive professional expert assessments, and we would therefore support the imposition of fixed fees for the former type of disbursement. “

In line with these new attitudes to fees demonstrated in the overwhelming responses gathered from a recent survey for DNA, Drug and Alcohol hair testing, North West based Alpha Biolaboratories are launching a new MoJ accredited DNA test which is significantly more cost effective than other tests in the market. Established seven years ago, Alpha Biolabs is accredited with the essential UKAS ISO 17025 (demonstrates technical competence) and has a nationwide network of registered nurses. This unique network of nurses can collect samples throughout the UK direct from clients in the convenient surroundings of their own home or nominated address to avoid the need to visit a GP or law practice.

Managing Director, David Thomas, said “ At Alpha Biolabs we understand that many firms are looking for reliable, accurate and accredited testing facilities which are also cost effective. Our new DNA test, which is UKAS 17025 and MoJ accredited, will allow firms to provide a prompt quality service to their clients and at the same time, the fees are fixed so that costs are controlled.”

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