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Timeline

Since 2008, Louisa Ghevaert has pioneered fertility and family law for modern families in Britain. She has handled many groundbreaking cases, achieving multiple changes and improvements to law and policy across the medical, fertility and family law sectors.

Family Picture

2019

Since 2017, Louisa has been a member of the national Egg Donation Stakeholder Advisory Group (EDNA) led by De Montfort University concerned with the future landscape of egg donation policy in the UK and Europe.

Sperm and Egg

2019

Louisa attends the Public Policy Projects (PPP) breakfast meeting at The Law Society in London where Professor Lord Robert Winston delivers a keynote speech on the future of fertility policy in light of the genomics revolution. Louisa calls for a root and branch overhaul of law and policy in the UK to ensure its fit for purpose in view of rapid advancements in medicine, science and technology (April 2019).

 

Launch of specialist law firm Louisa Ghevaert Associates to meet the growing need for specialist fertility and family law services in Britain (April 2019).

Louisa joins the panel of expert speakers at The British Fertility Society’s Modern Families Day 2019 and delivers a lecture looking at law and policy issues concerning surrogacy, fertility preservation and posthumous conception (June 2019).

Scales of Justice

Louisa attends the Law Commission of England and Wales’ Roadshow on Surrogacy Law Reform at Exeter University to debate the future of surrogacy law and policy in the UK (19 July 2019).

Pregnant mum

Louisa publishes an Article in The Review Magazine entitled “Do the law Commission’s surrogacy proposals really face the future?” in which she calls for wider reform of fertility law and policy in the UK (July/August 2019).

Louisa joins the Expert UK Surrogacy Consultation in London to help develop international Principles for the protection of the rights of the child in the context of surrogacy organised by Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB), British Association of Social Workers (BASW), the BASW Project Group on Assisted Reproduction (PROGAR) and International Social Service (ISS), (13 and 14 September 2019).

Egg and Sperm

Louisa joins the panel of expert speakers at LaingBuisson’s Fertility Forum 2019 in London and delivers a session on the future legal and regulatory landscape for fertility treatment (1 November 2019).

2018

Louisa features in The Lawyer Hot 100 List 2018 as a top litigator for her groundbreaking fertility and modern family law practice, which recognises her as ‘an influential figure’ at a law and policy making level (January 2018).

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Successful representation by Louisa of an intended mother in complex international contested assisted reproduction and modern family law proceedings in the High Court concerning 2 surrogate born children, AB v CD, EF, GH & IL [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam). 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. (April 2018)

Louisa joins the expert panel of speakers at the British Fertility Society Modern Families Day, London, and delivers a lecture on surrogacy law and policy in Britain (June 2018).

Louisa was part of the wife’s legal team and secured a landmark legal ruling in The Court of Protection to extract and store the sperm of a fatally injured man for his wife’s use in posthumous fertility treatment. This followed a catastrophic injury whilst in the early stages of fertility treatment. This case, Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust & The HFEA & Z (by his litigation friend, The Official Solicitor) [2018] EWCOP 18, represents a unique and important legal ruling on posthumous conception in the UK that individual fertility and reproductive legacy can warrant protection in appropriate circumstances, featured in The Independent (13 July 2018) and The Times (14 July 2018).

Egg and Sperm

Article in BioNews (3 September 2018) by Louisa on the significance of fertility in which she calls for better education and understanding of fertility preservation in Britain.

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Article published by Louisa in lifestyle magazine Female First about fertility preservation in which she calls for better understanding and take-up of specialist fertility and family law advice in Britain(7 September 2018).

 

Article published by Louisa in The Times on posthumous conception law and policy in the UK in which she calls for intervention by the HFEA entitled “Was it legal to create a grandson with a dead man’s sperm?” (13 September 2018). 

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Provision of expert evidence by Louisa in parliament on surrogacy law reform to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surrogacy (APPG on Surrogacy) led by Andrew Percy MP (November 2018).

Pregnant mum

 

Provision of expert evidence by Louisa on fertility and surrogacy law in complex medical negligence proceedings tested in the Court of Appeal, XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 2832. For the first time, the Court of Appeal awarded damages for the costs of fertility treatment 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. The case featured in The Telegraph 19 December 2018 and The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail Online and The Mirror on 27 January 2019.

2017

 

Louisa publishes an article on fertility law and policy implications of 3-person IVF in Family Law (January 2017).

Egg and Sperm

Louisa is quoted in The Telegraph on growing demand for surrogacy in the UK (March 2017).

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Louisa is quoted in The Economist on surrogacy law and policy and growing global demand for surrogacy and assisted reproduction (May 2017).

The Economist

Louisa joins the expert panel of speakers at the British Fertility Society’s Modern Families Day, London, and delivers a lecture on surrogacy and fertility treatment law and policy in Britain (June 2017).

 

Provision of expert evidence by Louisa on fertility and surrogacy law in complex medical negligence proceedings in the High Court, XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 2318 (QB). This was instrumental in winning the first ever UK damages award for altruistic UK surrogacy and fertility treatment (£74,000) for a woman rendered infertile and unable to carry a pregnancy following a delay in detecting cancer in smear tests and biopsies. This case created a new ‘fertility head of claim’ and marks the cross-section of fertility, family and medical negligence law in the UK.

Cat with pram

 

Specialist contribution on surrogacy law by Louisa to leading practitioner textbook “International Family Law Practice” (Fifth Edition, 2016-17), used by solicitors, barristers, judiciary and academics.

International Family Law Practice Fifth Edition

2016

Lecture by Louisa at the British Fertility Society’s Alternative Parenting Day, London, on surrogacy law and policy in Britain (June 2016).

Louisa is interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on Indian Surrogacy Law Reform and surrogacy policy (20 September 2016). 

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Louisa quoted in The Daily Mail calling for reform of surrogacy law and policy in the UK (November 2016).

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Louisa successfully obtained 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,In the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case V) [2016] EWHC 2356 (Fam). 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 secure access to justice following errors by UK fertility clinics in the completion of consent forms.

 

Juggling Child

2015

Louisa was interviewed on BBC World Service ‘Have Your Say’ on international surrogacy, policy and law reform (20 February 2015).

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Louisa is quoted on the complexity of surrogacy law in The Independent as ‘a leading UK surrogacy lawyer and family law expert’ (March 2015).

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Louisa becomes a co-author of medical textbook “Reducing Risk in Fertility Treatment” (First Edition, April 2015), addressing complex fertility treatment and modern family law for medical clinicians treating fertility patients at UK fertility clinics. 

Louisa is quoted in The Guardian on surrogacy law and policy reform in the UK.

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Publication by Louisa of an article in The Times entitled “Surrogacy in the UK; time for legal reform?” (26 November 2015). 

 

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2014

Representation by Louisa of an intended father in a high profile complex UK surrogacy dispute in the High Court, JP v LP & Ors [2014] EWHC 595 (Fam). For the first time, this established a legal framework for cases where the legal criteria for a parental order cannot be met, including use of the Court’s inherent power of wardship and featured on BBC News and The Telegraph (6 March 2014) and Daily Mail (5 March 2014) and BioNews (17 March 2014)

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Louisa features in New Law Journal as an ‘award winning and leading fertility and family law expert’ and calls for greater diversity and more women to take senior roles in the legal profession (September 2014).

Louisa is interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire about the IVF postcode lottery and legal challenge against The Secretary of State for Health (December 2014).

2014 -2018 Louisa was a member of the Surrogacy UK Working Party on Surrogacy Law Reform and contributor to its first-of-its-kind report on surrogacy in the UK entitled “Myth busting and reform” (2015). This informed parliamentary debate on surrogacy law reform and policy in The House of Lords in December 2016 and ongoing work by The Law Commission in England and Wales on surrogacy law reform.

2013

Provision of expert evidence by Louisa to The Hague on UK and international surrogacy law and policy.

Louisa features in a documentary series on Chinese state television about UK medical, fertility treatment and assisted reproduction law, policy and practice entitled “What You Didn’t Know About The West: Healthcare”.

Louisa interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire with Professor Robert Winston about new IVF treatment guidelines for PCTs (20 February 2013).

Broadcasting Symbol

Successful litigation by Louisa of an international parental order application following a Californian (USA) commercial surrogacy arrangement,Re C [2013] EWHC 2408 (Fam). This case redefined the English High Court’s approach to the authorisation of commercial payments in view of the UK public policy restriction against commercial surrogacy.

Louisa was shortlisted by Jordans Family Law Awards 2013 in the category of Most Innovative Family Lawyer of the Year.

fertility law experts

Louisa’s specialist fertility and family law practice was Highly Commended at The Law Society Excellence Awards in the category of Business Development and Innovation.

Two Dads One Mum

2012

Legal representation by Louisa of 24 year-old Andrea Heywood in a high profile case against her local health authority for age discrimination following its refusal to grant her IVF funding on the NHS for being too young, featured in The Daily Mail (4 June 2012) and The Independent (5 June 2012).

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Publication by Louisa of an article in BioNews (2 July 2012) calling for national reform of law and policy for IVF funding on the NHS, following her correspondence with The Secretary of State for Health in December 2011, which called for investigation and review of Portsmouth City PCT’s IVF funding policy over publicized cases of Donna and Dean Marshall and Andrea Heywood.

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Provision of expert evidence by Louisa to The Nuffield Council on donor conception law and policy.

Brother and Sister

Louisa featured on Ukrainian State Television providing commentary on UK and international surrogacy law and policy (15 July 2012).

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Louisa features in National Geographic TV Documentary TABOO, series 9, Episode 905 “Strange Passions” on private sperm donation law and policy in the UK and internationally (August 2012)

Louisa delivers a lecture on the impact of age on law and policy for IVF funding on the NHS at The Progress Educational Trust (PET) 2012 annual conference “Fertility Treatment: A Life-Changing Event?” (December 2012)

2011

Louisa was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on the ethics of paying for surrogacy (19 January 2011), on BBC Radio 4 Today programme on surrogacy law reform (21 January 2011) and on BBC Breakfast TV on surrogacy in the UK with well known UK surrogate Jill Hawkins (23 January 2011).

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Publication by Louisa of an article in BioNews about the legal challenges of progressive global regulation of IVF, donor conception and surrogacy (4 July 2011).

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Legal representation by Louisa of Donna and Dean Marshall, helping them win a rare high profile legal case against their PCT for IVF funding on the NHS against their local health authority, featured in The Telegraph and BBC South Today (20 December 2011) and Portsmouth News (21 December 2011).

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2010

Publication of an article in BioNews on groundbreaking changes to donation law and policy in the UK enabling 2 women to register as parents on a child’s birth certificate (April 2010).

 

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Louisa calls for reform of surrogacy law in the UK and is quoted by The Independent as ‘a leading expert in surrogacy and fertility law” (May 2010).

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Louisa is quoted in The Telegraph on law and policy around private sperm donor websites in the UK (September 2010).

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Louisa successfully obtained a parental order for British parents following a commercial US surrogacy arrangement, Re L (a minor) [2010] EWHC 3146 (Fam) and featured in The Telegraph (8 December 2010). This case marked a legal watershed ruling for the first time that the welfare of the child is decisive over the public policy ban on commercial surrogacy in the UK except in the clearest cases of abuse of public policy.

 

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2009

Publication by Louisa of an article in BioNews calling for reform of surrogacy law and policy in the UK (January 2009).

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Submission by Louisa of written evidence as an expert adviser to the HFEA’s Ethics and Law Advisory Committee, and provided detailed legal comment to the Department of Health’s 2009 consultation on proposed draft surrogacy regulations, which won changes to the law on nationality in international surrogacy cases.

 

Acted for Melanie and Robert Gladwin, helping them save their frozen embryos from destruction and winning a high profile last minute change to embryo storage law, for which Louisa was named The Times Lawyer of The Week (1 October 2009).

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Scales of Justice

2008

Louisa was a member of the stakeholders’ Parliamentary strategy group concerned with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and its associated regulations, and lobbied for legal changes on a diverse range of issues, including surrogacy and embryo storage.

Successful litigation by Louisa of  the first international commercial surrogacy case through the English High Court, Re X and Y (foreign surrogacy) [2008] EWHC 3030 (Fam). This was the first case in UK legal history to test the law for British parents conceiving through an international (Ukrainian) commercial surrogacy arrangement.

Pregnant mum