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Assisted reproduction is complicated and it is not risk free.  It can create legal and practical issues, including difficulties or a dispute about:

  • Procurement of eggs, sperm, embryos.
  • Storage of eggs, sperm and embryos.
  • Use of eggs, sperm or embryos in fertility treatment.
  • A child conceived through assisted reproduction.

Assisted reproduction is complex and multifaceted. It can create diverse unforeseen legal, emotional and wider issues when seeking to build a family through assisted reproduction.

We provide preeminent legal expertise in this complex and evolving area of law, policy and practice. We operate at the forefront of the law, delivering cutting-edge legal solutions. We tailor our legal services to your needs and wishes. Our legal expertise spans the fertility, medical and family law sectors, enabling us to achieve the best outcome for you.

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

Assisted reproduction dispute: eggs, sperm, embryos – general legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on fertility law in the UK in the event of assisted reproduction difficulties or a dispute. It can encompass a range of issues, including:

If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss an assisted reproduction dispute contact us

 +44 (0) 20 7965 8399

Leading cases

Louisa Ghevaert has dealt with numerous leading cases in the UK dealing with assisted reproduction disputes, 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 following a dispute about 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.

Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust & The HFEA & Z (by his litigation friend, The Official Solicitor) [2018] EWCOP 18, a first-of-its kind judgment which secured a unique legal ruling from the Court of Protection to extract and store sperm from a fatally injured man for use in posthumous fertility treatment following difficulties with fertility clinic paperwork and featured in The Independent (13 July 2018) and The Times (14 July 2018).

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 dispute about 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 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).

You can find out more here.

News and commentary

The significance of fertility: A landmark ruling on posthumous conception (BioNews, 3 September 2018).

Anything but child’s play: surrogacy and thorny issues of identity, parenthood and status in modern families (Family Law, 29 August 2018).

Posthumous conception: a legacy in life, incapacity and death (Family Law Week, 20 August 2018).

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

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