Fertility Preservation Law

It is important to consider and take steps to preserve and maximise your or a loved-one’s fertility. This will help safeguard biological legacy, your family building plans, conception arrangements and mitigate the risks of unexpected illness, injury or death.

Science and assisted reproductive technology continues to evolve rapidly and there are now increasing fertility preservation and maximisation options, including:

  • Egg freezing
  • Ovarian tissue freezing
  • Uterus transplant
  • Sperm freezing
  • Testicular tissue freezing
  • Embryo freezing

We provide bespoke and innovative fertility preservation law advice and representation. Our legal expertise spans the fertility, medical and family law sections, delivering peace of mind in this complex area of law, policy and practice.

If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss your situation please contact us

 +44 (0) 20 7965 8399

How we can help

Our expert fertility preservation lawyer services include:

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

Package One

Fertility preservation - legal review (general)

It provides initial specialist tailored legal advice on English law for individuals and couples seeking to preserve and maximise their fertility for future family building for a range of reasons including: career building, relationship issues, mitigate age and the ‘biological clock’, or future unexpected illness or injury. It:

Package Two

Fertility preservation and maximisation – legal review (urgent or complex needs)

This provides initial expert and tailored English legal advice on fertility preservation and maximization for individuals and couples with a serious or complex medical diagnosis, injury or personal situation to include: cancer diagnosis, rapidly declining fertility level, impaired fertility through medical negligence, trans individuals.

Leading cases

Louisa Ghevaert has dealt with numerous well known and groundbreaking fertility preservation law cases, including:

Whittington Hospital NHS Trust v XX [2020] UKSC 14, a landmark ruling where the UK Supreme Court by a majority of 3:2 dismissed the defendant hospital’s appeal. This enabled the recovery of damages for commercial surrogacy, donor conception and fertility treatment in the US 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 Guardian (1 April 2020) and in BioNews (6 April 2020).

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.

Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust & The HFEA & Z (by his litigation friend, The Official Solicitor) [2018] EWCOP 18, a first-of-its kind judgement in which Louisa was part of the wife’s legal team and 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.

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).

In the News

Our preeminent fertility and family lawyer Louisa Ghevaert regularly commentates in the media about fertility preservation law issues:

“Declining Global Fertility Rates: A Growing Problem” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates’ blog, 13 January 2024).

“Male Infertility and Reproductive Health: A Growing Problem?” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates’ blog, 19 October 2023).

“Can Microplastics Affect My Fertility?” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates’ blog, 28 July 2023).

“One Year On Since Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization [2022]” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates’ blog, 9 May 2023).

“Global Decline In Sperm Counts: Do I Need To Be Concerned?” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates’ blog, 18 November 2022).

“Is it important to protect my fertility and genetic legacy?” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates blog 13 September 2022).

Egg, sperm and embryo freezing: what could go wrong?” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates blog 20 June 2022).

“Expert Witness Fertility Law: Claims for IVF, Donor Conception and Surrogacy” (Louisa Ghevaert Associates’ blog, 18 May 2022).

“The Economics of Older Mums” (BBC World Service radio interview featuring Louisa Ghevaert 12 October 2021).

“Women fired for having IVF: Appallingly many companies still do not understand the toll fertility treatment takes, despite one-in-seven couples using it” (The Daily Mail 4 August 2021).

Podcast “The Intricacies of Fertility Preservation” interview with Louisa Ghevaert and Eloise Edington of Fertility Help Hub (17 December 2020), also on podcast apps Apple, Spotify and Soundcloud.

“The UK Supreme Court awards damages for commercial surrogacy” (BioNews, comment piece by Louisa Ghevaert, 6 April 2020).

Apple podcast on Speak From The Body with Avni Touch entitled “Fertility law for modern families with Louisa Ghevaert” (26 February 2020).

“Why we need root and branch law reform” (BioNews 25 November 2019) and longer associated article “Why we need fertility law reform: the paradigm shift” (25 November 2019).

“Rachael Bland’s fight to preserve her fertility is a battle fought by many modern women” (Female First, 7 September 2018).

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

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

You can read more here.

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