Parents of baby Charlie Gard instruct new solicitors as appeal deadline nears

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A couple whose baby son was at the centre of a High Court life-support treatment fight have instructed new solicitors as an appeal deadline nears.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates wanted to be allowed to take their son Charlie to America for a treatment trial, but a High Court judge last month ruled against them.

The couple have indicated that they want to challenge Mr Justice Francis's decision in the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers involved in the case say a deadline for lodging an appeal is due to expire in the next few hours.

A spokeswoman for the couple's new solicitors' firm, HarrisdaSilva, on Tuesday said she could not say whether any appeal had been lodged.

She said information regarding clients was confidential.

Mr Justice Francis decided that doctors could stop providing life-support treatment for Charlie Gard on April 11 after analysing the case in a hearing at the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Charlie's parents, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had wanted a specialist in America to provide therapy.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie is being cared for, disagreed and said life-support treatment should stop.

Mr Justice Francis ruled in Great Ormond Street's favour and concluded that Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should move to a palliative care regime.

Great Ormond Street bosses said treatment would continue until the couple had decided whether they wanted to challenge the judge's decision at the Court of Appeal.

Litigants who want to mount an appeal normally first make an application for permission to mount an appeal in writing to an appeal court judge.

If that written application is refused a litigant can ask to be allowed to make another permission application at a Court of Appeal hearing.

Appeal judges consider whether a litigant has a reasonable chance of success before allowing a full appeal hearing to be held.