I am internationally recognised as a leading expert in UK fertility, family and parenting law with expertise covering international surrogacy and UK surrogacy, donor conception, co-parenting, embryo storage and testing, posthumous conception, children and parenting, gay and lesbian parenting, divorce and finances, cohabitation and international family law.
I am a prominent commentator on fertility law issues on television, radio and in the national press. My pioneering practice of fertility and parenting law derived from my own personal achievement of a hard won family. I have also dealt with some of the most significant fertility law cases in the UK representing parents:
In Re L (a minor) in the High Court in October 2010, marking a legal watershed ruling that the welfare of the child is decisive over the government public policy ban on commerical surrogacy except in the clearest cases of abuse of public policy.
In Re X & Y in the High Court in November 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.
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. I was featured asThe Times’ Lawyer of The Week 1 October 2009) and Law Society Gazette Lawyer in the News (17 September 2009) as a result.
I provide expert fertility and parenting law commentary on television, radio and in the national press. I have provided advice to the BBC and written articles for BioNews, national magazines as well as leading legal journals including Family Law, International Family Law, Family Law Journal and The Review.
I am an accomplished public speaker and I regularly speak at national fertility sector events.
I have over a decade of family, fertility and parenting law experience. I have been a member of Resolution (the professional association of family lawyers) since 2003, an accredited member of the law Society Family Panel since 2005 and trained as a collaborative lawyer. I have particular expertise in complex private family and children law and heavy weight litigation often with an international element including surrogacy arrangements, acquisition of legal status and parental rights for birth and non birth parents and other significant adults, as well as issues surrounding contact, care and upbringing of a child and parental responsibility.
I 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. I submitted 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 situations.
I provide regular help and assistance to charities and not-for-profit organisations.
I qualified as a solicitor in 2000.