Kate Francis has been a member of the DNA Legal team for nearly six years, accumulating expert knowledge of all testing procedures and regulations. She oversees our collection network, spanning 4,000 sites in over 200 countries.
Her thorough approach ensures that our sample collectors follow strict guidelines, guaranteeing exceptional service for all clients. Here, she explains how comprehensive training ensures accurate results, and also offers a her tips to legal professionals.
How did you come to specialise in DNA testing?
My background is very varied, but there’s an overriding theme of science and research. Prompted by childhood dreams of becoming a vet, I studied a diploma in animal sciences, but then opted for a career in dental nursing. My knowledge was being constantly updated due to new products and practices in the dental world. I have always found science and research fascinating, as I thrive on learning new developments and technologies.
After four years, I had my first daughter which changed my circumstances, and I then joined DNA Legal alongside David and am now one of the longest serving members of the team. My role has expanded over the years, and I am now head of client services and collections, which I thoroughly enjoy.
What's the secret to managing such a widespread team of collectors?
Coordinating several collection sites and networks is very challenging, however, we ensure that agreements and contracts are in place and protocols are adhered to by all partners. This ensures that clients have a swift and stress-free service, with full support throughout.
We endeavour to provide a faultless service and ensure that things are right first time round, preventing delays or inaccurate results. The important thing is communication and training.
Have you worked on cases where previous testing had failed, and DNA Legal were called in to help?
We receive many requests for repeat testing where results from other suppliers have been disputed, or refused by the passport office in immigration cases. We’re always willing to carry these repeat tests out, offering our expert witness reports.
What advice would you give to legal professionals looking for a DNA testing service?
I would advise solicitors to ensure they give testing providers as much information as possible, including hypotheses for results, locations and contact details for clients and social workers, and references for all split parties. This will ensure that an accurate quote can be given and testing can commence without delay.
The important things that solicitors should ask are:
- How many markers are tested as standard? The more, the better.
- Is the laboratory on the Ministry of justice list of accredited suppliers?
- How long does the whole process take?
- Does the sampling procedure follow a strict chain of custody process? If so, how?
Needless to say, DNA Legal can answer yes to all of the above, and tests the highest number of DNA markers, making us the most comprehensive testing service on the market.
If your client requires DNA testing, please contact DNA Legal for expert advice and peace of mind. Call us today on 020 3199 7397.