Louisa Ghevaert

Louisa Ghevaert

Partner

"Head of the fertility and parenting team Louisa Ghevaert has a breadth of expertise in all related matters, including assisting same sex couples in complex issues arising from fertility treatments, adoption and surrogacy. A client states: "I feel very fortunate to be represented by Louisa," because of her "expert knowledge and diligence in leaving no stone uncovered."
Chambers & Partners UK 2018

"The ‘very knowledgeable and kind’ Louisa Ghevaert leads a specialist practice in fertility law and has ‘immense experience’ in surrogacy work. She is recommended for her experience in fertility treatment, international private children cases and international surrogacy involving the US and Eastern and Western Europe."
The Legal 500 UK 2017, London

"Louisa Ghevaert has particular expertise handling complex international commercial surrogacy cases in the High Court... Her knowledge is 'second to none', her attention to detail is 'painstaking', and her manner with clients is 'exemplary'."
The Legal 500 UK 2017, Exeter

"Louisa Ghevaert has a strong reputation for her work in parenting and fertility treatment-related matters, and is particularly praised for her surrogacy expertise…She is very good, extremely conscientious, and knows not just legal arrangements, but is very focused on providing a full service to clients."
Chambers & Partners 2017

"Clients ‘feel that they are in very safe hands’. Louisa Ghevaert is ‘enormously knowledgeable about surrogacy law’."
The Legal 500 UK 2016

"She is very knowledgeable and wise in her advice. If I had a surrogacy issue it's her I would go to as I trust her to get it absolutely spot-on." 
Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2016

"the exceptional Louisa Ghevaert is recommended for her knowledge of fertility law".
The Legal 500 UK 2015 

LouisaGhevaert
@LouisaGhevaert
France to debate restrictive ART law and #egg #donation #fertility treatment - bionews.org.uk/page.asp?obj_i…
22 Feb 18
Interesting read on the ins and outs of pregnancy at age 50 #egg #donanation #fertility #treatment - deseretnews.com/article/900010…
22 Feb 18
Compelling read about one woman's discovery that she has 17 #donor conceived siblings - mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-…
21 Feb 18

About

Louisa's specialist expertise covers international and UK surrogacy, donor conception, co-parenting, fertility treatment law, posthumous conception, complex children law, LGBT family and parenting law, complex international family and children disputes, divorce, finance and cohabitation law. Louisa is a highly respected family and fertility lawyer, litigator and an expert negotiator.  

Louisa is influential at a national law and policy making level. Louisa is a member of the national Egg Donation Stakeholder Advisory Group led by De Montfort University. She is a member of the Surrogacy UK Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform and a Fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. Louisa is also a member of Resolution (the national professional organisation for family lawyers in the UK).

Louisa's thought leadership is in demand by both the legal and medical sectors, with a busy publication and international lecture schedule. Louisa has for the last five years been a specialist contributor on surrogacy in leading UK legal practitioner reference book The International Family Law Practice (Fifth Edition, December 2016). Since 2015, Louisa has been co-author of specialist medical textbook "Reducing Risk in Fertility Treatment" (First Edition, April 2015), helping raise health professional awareness of complex fertility law issues facing patients undergoing fertility treatment in the UK. Louisa also regularly informs media debate on fertility, parenting and family law issues.

Louisa's practice has been at the forefront of the evolution of fertility law in the UK since 2008.  Over the last decade, Louisa has handled many well-known fertility, parenting and family law cases in the UK including:

  • XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 2318 (QB)
  • In the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case V) [2016] EWHC 2356 (Fam) 
  • JP v LP & Ors [2014] EWHC 595 (Fam)
  • Re C [2013] EWHC 2408 (Fam)
  • Re IJ (Foreign Surrogacy Agreement) [2011] 2 FLR 646
  • Re L (A Child) (Parental Order Foreign Surrogacy) [2010] 1 FLR 1423
  • Re X & Y (Foreign Surrogacy) [2009] 1 FLR 733

Louisa acted for Andrea and Aaron Heywood in their high profile battle for fertility treatment on the NHS (June 2012) and Donna and Dean Marshall, helping them win a rare legal battle against their PCT for NHS funding for IVF treatment in December 2011. Louisa acted for Melanie and Robert Gladwin, helping them save their embryos from destruction and win changes to embryo storage law in 2009, making Louisa Times Lawyer of the Week (October 2009).

Louisa’s pioneering legal practice was Highly Commended at The Law Society Excellence Awards 2013 in the category of Business Development and Innovation (and shortlisted in the category of Innovation in 2012).  Her practice was shortlisted at Jordans Family Law Awards 2013 in the Category of Most Innovative Family Lawyer of the Year. Louisa co-founded the UK's first specialist fertility law firm in 2009. Louisa qualified as a solicitor in 2000.

What others say 

"I know Louisa Ghevaert as a leading figure in the legal profession helping individuals and families affected by fertility problems. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area. Ms Ghevaert wrote the section on ‘Legal and regulatory risk for patients’ in ‘Reducing risk in fertility treatment’ published by Springer, which I edited. I was impressed by her depth and breadth of knowledge and her ability to relate to the needs of patients who find themselves having to deal with difficult legal conundrums arising from the complex law around aspects of fertility treatment. This includes matters such as surrogacy, legal parenthood, donor gametes and treatment overseas."
Dr Raj Mathur, Consultant Gynaecologist and Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, Manchester Fertility Clinic (November 2017)

"Louisa is an excellent fertility lawyer. I have had the pleasure of working with her to help mutual international clients. Surrogacy is the most complex way to make a baby and international surrogacy is the most complex form of surrogacy. It’s important to have a lawyer who is across the complexity that is surrogacy law, as well as someone who cares for their clients. Louisa is both!"
Stephen Page, Harrington Family Lawyers (November 2017)

"Congratulations on the expert help you provided your client. While money is not a replacement, at least now she'll be able to afford the surrogacy process. I love knowing that you're over in the UK changing the laws, and people's perceptions, about what we do. Your client chose her attorney wisely."
A US ART attorney (September 2017)

"Louisa Ghevaert, a leading UK surrogacy lawyer and family law expert".
The Independent (15 March 2015)

"Louisa Ghevaert, the fertility lawyer and leading surrogacy expert".
BBC Radio London Interview with Vanessa Feltz on 'Have Your Say' (9 March 2015)

"Leading expert in UK fertility law".
BBC World Service Have Your Say (20 February 2015)

"Louisa Ghevaert is a recognised expert in surrogacy, fertility and parenting law matters.  She has experience in dealing with complex parenting matters, particularly those with an international element".
Chambers & Partners UK 2015

Louisa Ghevaert is ranked as a leading expert in fertility and family law by Chambers and Partners 2014, which says: ‘Sources describe her as “an expert in a very difficult and specialised area of the law - she knows her subject extremely well and gives knowledgeable and sensible advice”.’
Chambers & Partners UK 2014

"leading surrogacy expert".
BBC Radio London interview with Eddie Nestor on Drive Time (August 2014).

“Leading UK fertility and family law specialist”.
Scottish Daily Mail (July 2013)

“Louisa Ghevaert is internationally recognised as a leading expert in UK fertility and parenting law. Her expertise covers international and UK surrogacy, donor conception, co-parenting, embryo storage and testing, children and parenting.”
Fertility Road magazine (2013)

“Leading specialist in fertility and parenting law”.
BBC Radio Berkshire (February 2013)

“Lawyer who specialises in fertility law cases”.
Telegraph (December 2011)

“Leading expert in surrogacy and fertility law”.
The Independent (March 2010)

“Lawyer who specialises in surrogacy cases”.
BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour (January 2011)

“Fertility law specialist”.
BBC Radio 4 The Today Programme (January 2011)

Recent Experience

  • XX v Whittington Hospital NHS Trust [2017], being the first legal case in the UK in which the Court awards damages to a woman for surrogacy following a delay in detecting cancer in smear tests and biopsies. This case marks the cross-section of fertility and medical negligence law. It highlights the importance of fertility, surrogacy and parenting law aspects when medical negligence renders a woman infertile and unable to carry a pregnancy.
  • In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case V) 2016 (obtaining a declaration of parentage 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).
  • JP v LP & Ors 2014, (acting for the intended father in a high profile complex UK surrogacy dispute case where the non-extendable six month deadline for issuing a parental order had expired and where the surrogate born child was made a ward of the English High Court).
  • Re C 2013, (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 (Foreign Surrogacy Agreement) 2011, (obtaining a parental order for British parents whose surrogate born child was born stateless and parentless in the Ukraine.  The case highlights the legal difficulties associated with foreign surrogacy and the critical importance of expert legal advice).
  • Re L (A Child) (Parental Order Foreign Surrogacy) 2010, (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).
  • Re X & Y (Foreign Surrogacy) 2008, (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).

Recent News

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