Withy & King prepares for IVF battle

The judgment in a groundbreaking challenge to the current law relating to IVF treatment, as laid down by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, is expected at the Royal Courts of Justice on 1 October.

Bath-based firm Withy King represented two women at a five-day trial in July in their battle to save the embryos they had frozen and placed in storage following IVF treatment. Head of personal injury Muiris Lyons told The Lawyer that, win or lose, the outcome will break new legal ground. “If we’re successful the judgment will set down guidelines for future IVF treatment,” said Lyons. “If we’re not, the current provisions will need to be revised.”

Lyons was instructed on the case via a referral from a clinical negligence matter on which he had been advising one of the women, Natallie Evans. Evans and Lorraine Hadley both separated from their partners shortly after IVF treatment. The former partners withdrew consent for the use of the embryos. The women are challenging the law, which states that their embryos will have to be destroyed.