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Complex Children and Family Law

The creation of modern families and those built through assisted conception can raise a wide range of complex, unforeseen and unwanted legal and practical issues, including:

  • Relationship issues with an existing or previous partner, known donor, co-parent or surrogate.
  • Uncertainty about legal status of a new partner.
  • Lost or impaired fertility (illness, injury, medical negligence).
  • Age, social, cultural, gender, medical and religious issues.
  • International lifestyle legal and practical issues (e.g. international conflicts of law about legal status and rights of children, parents and families).

We provide expert specialist legal advice.  We operate at the forefront of law, policy and practice , delivering innovative legal solutions to meet the needs of modern families.

How we can help

Our legal services include:

  • Legal packages
  • Bespoke legal advice tailored to your situation, needs and wishes
  • Preparation of legal documentation
  • Legal support and representation in court proceedings

 

Package One

Complex personal or family situation - legal review

This provides initial tailored expert advice for those with complex personal, children and family issues. It can encompass a wide range of issues, including:

If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss a complex children and family law matter contact us

 +44 (0) 20 7965 8399

Leading cases

Louisa Ghevaert has dealt with numerous leading cases in the UK dealing with complex children, fertility and family law, including:

XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832, where for the first time the Court of Appeal awarded damages for the costs of fertility treatment, donor eggs and commercial surrogacy in California for a woman rendered infertile and unable to carry a pregnancy following a delay in detecting cancer in smear tests and biopsies. Louisa Ghevaert gave expert evidence in the case, which featured in The Telegraph 19 December 2018 and The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail Online and The Mirror on 27 January 2019.

AB v CD, EF, GH & IL [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam), representing an intended mother in international contested assisted reproduction and modern family law proceedings in the High Court concerning 2 surrogate born children. This case marks a legal first in the treatment of blended families in the UK following assisted reproduction, divorce, re-marriage, serious allegations of domestic violence and abuse as well as the legal status and identity of two surrogate born children, their biological, intended and social parents and arrangements for the children’s care and upbringing.

XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 2318 (QB), being the first legal case in the UK in which the High Court awarded damages to a woman for altruistic UK surrogacy and fertility treatment following a delay in detecting cancer in smear tests and biopsies. This case marks the cross-section of fertility, family and medical negligence law. It highlights the importance of fertility, surrogacy and family law aspects when medical negligence renders a woman infertile and unable to carry a pregnancy. Louisa Ghevaert gave expert evidence in this case.

In the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case V) [2016] EWHC 2356 (Fam), obtaining a declaration of parentage in the High Court for a woman in a same-sex relationship for a child conceived through fertility treatment at a UK fertility clinic licensed by the HFEA.  The HFEA Consent Form WP was missing from the clinic file. The case for the first time gave guidance on the practice of making interim costs orders in favour of patients to fund litigation and access to justice following errors in the completion of consent forms at UK fertility clinics.

In JP v LP & Ors [2014] EWHC 595 (Fam), acting for the intended father in a high profile complex UK surrogacy dispute case following marriage breakdown and divorce. This case established for the first time a legal framework for cases where the legal criteria for a parental order cannot be met, including wardship, and featured in The Telegraph, BBC News and Mail Online (6 March 2014).

Read more here.

News and commentary

Click here to read more about our media and commentary work in relation to family and fertility law, policy and practice.

In the News

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