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Louisa Ghevaert Associates delivers forward-thinking fertility and family law solutions for the modern age.

Our preeminent expertise in fertility and family law for modern families spans the fertility, medical and family sectors. This means we can provide end-to-end specialist legal advice and solutions before, during and after assisted conception and pregnancy and resolve complex family and assisted reproduction issues and disputes for fertility patients, parents, children, surrogates, donors, families and others.

Our legal services are lead by Louisa Ghevaert, the UK’s preeminent expert in fertility and family law, whose specialist fertility law expertise spans more than a decade and whose family law expertise spans two decades.

Our legal advice and assistance is innovative and tailored, recognizing every situation is different and that individual and modern families take many forms and have wide-ranging needs that often outstrip the law.

Our legal services are flexible, efficient and pragmatic. They include bespoke legal solutions, one-off advice, legal packages, legal document production, legal mentoring ‘behind the scenes’ and full representation in legal proceedings. Our services utilise: telephone, video conferencing, email, correspondence and face-to-face meetings.

Our extensive global network means we can collaborate with professionals on your behalf in the UK and all over the world.

Leading Cases

Our preeminent specialist legal expertise is backed up by our leading and well known fertility and modern family law cases. These important cases span the fertility, medical and family law sectors and have helped shape and improve law, policy and practice for fertility patients, parents, children, surrogates, donors and families across Britain.

Surrogacy Law

Having been instrumental in the ground-breaking international commercial surrogacy case of X & Y (foreign surrogacy) 2008, Louisa Ghevaert has continued to lead the evolution and development of surrogacy law, policy and practice in Britain.

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.

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).

In Re C [2013] EWHC 2408 (Fam), obtaining a parental order for intended parents who conceived a child through a Californian (USA) commercial surrogacy arrangement. This case redefines the English Court’s approach to the authorisation of commercial payments in view of the UK public policy restriction against commercial surrogacy.

Re IJ (a Child) [2011] EWHC 921, obtaining a parental order for British parents whose surrogate born child was born stateless and parentless in Ukraine. The case highlights the legal difficulties associated with foreign surrogacy and the importance of expert legal advice.

Re L (a minor) [2010] EWHC 3146 (Fam), obtaining a parental order for British parents who conceived a child with a US surrogate mother. The case marks a legal watershed ruling 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 and featured in The Telegraph (8 December 2010).

Re X and Y (foreign surrogacy)[2008] EWHC 3030 (Fam), being the first case in UK legal history to test the law for British parents conceiving through an international commercial surrogacy arrangement and which involved complex and groundbreaking legal issues.

Family Law for modern families

Our cutting-edge specialist legal expertise has helped shape and develop family law for diverse modern families in Britain.

AB v CD, EF, GH & IL [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam), successfully 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.

In the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case V) [2016] EWHC 2356 (Fam), successfully 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.

JP v LP & Ors [2014] EWHC 595 (Fam), successfully 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).

Fertility Treatment Law

Since 2008, Louisa Ghevaert has helped change, improve and promote fertility treatment law and policy in Britain encompassing embryo storage, access to IVF fertility treatment on the NHS, informed legal consent to fertility treatment at UK fertility clinics, claims for fertility damages following medical negligence and protection of individual fertility and biological legacy.

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 on 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 and featured in The Independent (13 July 2018) and The Times (14 July 2018).

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.

Acting for Andrea Heywood, who aged 24, was denied IVF funding on the NHS by her local hospital authority for being too young and featured in The Independent and Mail Online (4 June 2012).

Acting for Donna and Dean Marshall, helping them win a rare legal battle against their PCT for funding for IVF treatment on the NHS and featured in The Telegraph and BBC South Today (20 December 2011) and the Portsmouth News (21 December 2011).

Acting for Melanie and Robert Gladwin, helping them to save their frozen embryos from destruction and winning a high profile last minute change to the law in relation to embryo storage in September 2009.  Louisa Ghevaert was subsequently featured as The Times Lawyer of the Week  (1 October 2009) and Law Society Gazette Lawyer in the News (17 September 2009).

Donor Conception Law

Our specialist legal practice, led by Louisa Ghevaert, operates at the forefront of donor conception law and policy in Britain.

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 on The Telegraph 19 December 2018 and The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail Online and The Mirror on 27 January 2019.

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.

Posthumous Conception Law

Louisa Ghevaert has been instrumental in the development of posthumous conception law in Britain and raising awareness of the importance of protecting individual fertility and biological legacy.

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 and featured in The Independent (13 July 2018) and The Times (14 July 2018).

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