Louisa Ghevaert is the UK's preeminent expert in fertility and family law. Her pioneering legal practice has won multiple changes and improvements to law,marking her out as influential at a law and policy making level.
Louisa is the CEO and Founder of Louisa Ghevaert Associates, providing global family formation, specialist UK and international fertility and family law and advisory and consultancy. Her legal, advisory and consultancy expertise transcends the fertility and medical, family, policy and governance sectors in the UK and worldwide, with special interests in assisted reproduction, fertility, genomics and health.
For more information about Louisa Ghevaert’s advisory and consultancy role click here.
Louisa’s specialist legal expertise includes: international and UK surrogacy, donor conception, fertility treatment law, posthumous conception, law and policy (fertility and genomics), co-parenting and known donor arrangements, adoption, legal parentage and parental responsibility, complex assisted reproduction disputes, children and family law disputes, international family law and expert witness fertility, surrogacy and donor conception law services to support or defend claims within medical negligence procedings.
Louisa’s legal practice spans more than two decades following her qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales in September 2000. It includes complex fertility and family law litigation with an international element, legal status and identity of parents/children and families, parental rights for birth and non birth parents, arrangements for the care and upbringing of children, issues surrounding financial provision for children, complex family/children and assisted reproduction disputes, cases with a genetic aspect (including DNA testing) and management of legal issues surrounding fertility preservation and fertility treatment.
Louisa has handled many well-known and landmark fertility and family law cases, helping to shape and improve family, fertility and genomic law, policy and practice in the UK for fertility patients, parents, children and modern families.
Louisa engages at a law and policy making level in the UK and internationally to help promote, change and improve fertility and modern family law and genomics. See below for further information.
Find out more by listening to the following podcast interviews:
“The Intricacies of Fertility Preservation” – Apple, Spotify & Soundcloud
“The economics of older mums” – BBC World Service: Business Daily
Contact Louisa by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44 (0)20 7965 8399.
Louisa is widely recognised as an expert in fertility, surrogacy and family law.
“The fertility lawyer and leading surrogacy expert” – BBC Radio London
“Leading expert in UK fertility law” – BBC World Service ‘Have Your Say’
“Leading expert in UK fertility and family law” – BBC Radio 5 Live
“Leading expert in surrogacy and fertility law” – Times Radio
“Leading UK surrogacy lawyer and family law expert” – The Independent
“Leading UK fertility and family law expert” – Daily Mail
Louisa is a recognised UK legal expert in the field of fertility and family law. She holds membership of various professional and fertility sector organisations including:
- Member of the International Egg Donation Stakeholder Advisory Group led by De Montfort University, Leicester (2017 – 2022).
- Member of the Advisory Board for the International Expanded Carrier Screening Research Project led by De Montfort University, Leicester (2023 – to date).
- ART Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA).
- ART Fellow of the American Bar Association (ABA).
- Member of Resolution (organisation for family justice professionals in England and Wales).
- Member of the Surrogacy Network (which supports professionals and organisations connected to or has an interest in surrogacy to discuss policy improvements, case law examples and healthcare policy to help educate and to share best practice).
Law & Policy
Louisa has operated at a law and policy level concerning fertility and family law and genomics in the UK and internationally for more than 15 years. In doing so, she has helped change and improve fertility and modern family law for fertility patients, parents, children and families.
Louisa won a place on The Lawyer Hot 100 List 2018 (litigators section) for her ground-breaking legal work on milestone cases spanning the family, fertility and medical sectors, starting with the first UK case for overseas surrogacy in 2008, Re X and Y (Foreign Surrogacy) and in 2017 the first case to award damages for surrogacy following medical negligence, XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust .
The Lawyer Hot 100 List 2018 recognised the national and international nature of Louisa’s legal practice, describing her ‘as an influential figure when it comes to ensuring fertility laws are fit for purpose in the 21st century’.
The Lawyer Hot 100 List “celebrates the UK’s top lawyers: the ones acting on the most significant matters, disrupting the industry with their creative flair. It tracks exceptional individuals from private practice, in-house and the Bar”.
Louisa’s law and policy work includes:
- Expert adviser to the HFEA’s Ethics and Law Advisory Committee, providing 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.
- Member of the stakeholders’ Parliamentary strategy group concerned with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and its associated regulations.
- Provided expert evidence to The Nuffield Council on donor conception law and policy in 2012.
- Provided expert evidence to The Hague on UK and international surrogacy law and policy in 2013.
- Member of the SUK Working Party on Surrogacy Law Reform 2014-2018.
- Provided expert evidence on surrogacy law reform to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surrogacy (APPG on Surrogacy) led by Andrew Percy MP (November 2018).
- Joined the Expert UK Surrogacy Consultation 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).
- Delivered a lecture at LaingBuisson’s Fertility Forum in London (1 November 2019) on the future legal and regulatory landscape of the fertility sector, its intersection with genomic technology and need for enlightened law reform.
- Member of the International Egg Donation Stakeholder Advisory Group led by De Montfort University funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (2017 – 2022).
- Member of the Advisory Board for the International Expanded Carrier Screening Research Project led by Dr Cathy Herbrand at De Montfort University, Leicester together with Professor Nicky Hudson at De Montfort University, Professor Pascal Borry at the University of Leuven, Professor Bronwyn Parry at King’s College London and Professor Zosia Miedzybrodzka at the University of Aberdeen entitled, “Reproduction in the age of genomic medicine: the emergence , commercialisation and implications of preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS)” funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (February 2023 – ongoing).
For more information visit our Law and Policy section.
Louisa Ghevaert is a widely published author on fertility, surrogacy and modern family law issues in magazines and leading legal publications. She is:
- A specialist contributor on surrogacy law in practitioner reference book The International Family Law Practice (Sixth Edition 2021, Family Law). “In short, The International Family Law Practice continues to be an indispensable part of the practicing family lawyer’s library and an equally useful work of reference for the judiciary and the academic community”, Nigel Lowe, Emeritus Professor of Law, Cardiff University and Consultant to Number Fourteen of Gray’s Inn Square” (June 2021).
- A co-author of medico-legal reference book Reducing Risk in Fertility Treatment (First Edition, April 2015). This is an essential resource for fertility clinicians, embryologists, nurses, counsellors and administrators. Louisa’s specialist chapter entitled “Legal and Regulatory Risks to Patients: The UK Context” addresses legal and regulatory pitfalls faced by fertility patients seeking various forms of fertility treatment in the UK.
Louisa lectures nationally and internationally on fertility and modern family law.
Click here to find out more about Louisa Ghevaert’s publications and articles.
Louisa frequently provides expert commentary in the media on fertility, family and parenting law issues, including television, radio and the national press. Click here for more information. This includes:
- Providing advice to the BBC television producers of Holby City on surrogacy law and practice (2010).
- Interview on BBC Breakfast TV (January 2011) about UK surrogacy law and policy.
- Interview on Ukrainian television (July 2012) about international surrogacy law and policy.
- Featuring in a National Geographic television documentary series TABOO (August 2012) about private sperm donation law, policy and practice.
- Article in BioNews (2 July 2012), calling for national reform of law and policy for IVF funding on the NHS.
- Featuring in a television documentary series on Chinese state television entitled “What You Didn’t Know About The West: Healthcare” about fertility treatment, medical and family law (broadcast spring 2013).
- Interview on BBC World Service ‘Have Your Say’ on international surrogacy, policy and law reform (20 February 2015).
- Article in The Times entitled “Surrogacy in the UK; time for legal reform?” (26 November 2015).
- Interview on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on Indian Surrogacy Law Reform and surrogacy policy (20 September 2016).
- Article in The Times on posthumous conception law and policy in the UK entitled “Was it legal to create a grandson with a dead man’s sperm?” (13 September 2018).
- Article entitled “Law Commission: reforming surrogacy law” in the July/August 2019 edition of Resolution’s The Review Magazine.
- Article in BioNews entitled “Why we need root and branch fertility law reform” (25 November 2019).
- Interview on BBC Radio 5 Live on whether law in the UK should be changed to enable the harvesting of dead men’s sperm for posthumous conception by strangers (21 January 2020).
- Interview on BBC Radio 5 Live on proposals to lift UK advertising restrictions on surrogacy and wider surrogacy law reform (29 January 2020).
- Apple podcast on Speak From The Body with Avni Touch “Fertility law for modern families with Louisa Ghevaert” (26 February 2020).
- Article in BioNews entitled “The UK Supreme Court awards damages for commercial surrogacy” (6 April 2020).
- Podcast on the “Intricacies of Fertility Preservation” with Louisa Ghevaert and Eloise Edington founder of Fertility Help Hub (17 December 2020).
- Times Radio Interview on single parent surrogacy and law reform with John Pienaar (28 January 2021).
- Quoted in The Daily Mail on fertility treatment and IVF in the workplace (5 August 2021).
- Featured in BBC World Service: Business Daily broadcast “The economics of older mums” with Zoe Kleinman (12 October 2021).
- Highly Commended at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2013 in the Category of Business Development and Innovation (shortlisted in 2012).
- Shortlisted by Jordans Family Law Awards 2013 in the category of Most Innovative Family Lawyer of the Year.
- Named Times Lawyer of the Week in October 2009 for her work helping a married couple save their frozen embryos from destruction and winning a high profile last minute change to embryo storage law in the UK.