Picture of Louisa Ghevaert, Michelmores to illustrate The Lawyer Hot 100 2018 Louisa Ghevaert, Michelmores career quizName: Louisa Ghevaert

Firm: Michelmores

Position: Partner, head of fertility and parenting team

Trained at: Hart Brown

In Hot 100 for: Cutting-edge fertility law cases. Read her full Hot 100 profile here.

What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee?

Being taken out of my comfort zone and learning to think on my feet. Being a trainee taught me the importance of resilience, determination and hard work.

Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why, and how have they helped you?

My daughter and family. They have provided great understanding, help, motivation and support for my work. Having a family of my own gives me greater insight into the challenges others experience in their personal and family lives and their often complex emotional needs and expectations.

What was the best career decision you ever made, and why?

Deciding to specialise in family, fertility and parenting law. People’s personal and family lives are incredibly varied and every day is different. It’s a privilege to help people achieve their goal of a much wanted child and help place family life on a firm legal and practical footing.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?

Take time to understand what concerns and motivates people in their private and family lives. Ask lots of questions. Keep abreast of developments in law, policy, medicine and science.

What work or career-related project or activity would you really like to do, but don’t have time for?

I would like to help develop and launch a national multi-disciplinary education programme about fertility issues, family building, modern families and relationships. There needs to be more awareness of the legal, medical, financial, emotional and practical issues and difficulties that can happen in life and people’s options for overcoming them.

Creating a family and achieving a successful family life is a key focus for many people across the UK. But women can’t Botox their ovaries. A woman’s optimum biological age for having a baby is in her 20’s. However, work, property ladder struggles and finding love often take priority. By the time women in their 30s and 40s are ready to start a family, they’re increasingly at a biological disadvantage.There are more than 2.5 million men in the UK with fertility problems and 35 per cent of men are believed to be sub-fertile. One in seven couples in the UK, approximately 3.5 million people, have difficulties conceiving each year. This figure increases when you add in single people and same-sex couples.

Family life and modern family building creates increasingly complex issues. An education programme would help people gain a better understanding of the challenges and help them take more control over their health, fertility, private and family lives and proactively plan for success. This could deliver far-reaching social and economic benefits.