CLEA (Clear Legal English Associates) helps clarify legal English. We train, write, edit and proofread.
We’re an informal association of four professional friends who have a longstanding interest in clear legal English. Our backgrounds are in law, editing, teaching and training, and we all have our own businesses. We are past or present members of Clarity, the international organisation that promotes clear legal language. Please see our biographies and websites for more details.
We’re not a legal or professional entity. If one of us wants to share client work with another CLEA member, we obtain the client’s approval and agree terms for that job between us. If we recommend another member to the client, we do not charge a referral fee. We might also help each other informally without charge, if no breach of confidence is involved.
We believe that legal and business ideas can be expressed in clear English. Our services include:
- Training – we’ll work with your staff, in groups or individually, training them to write clearly, using real documents.
- Drafting – we’ll craft a text tailored to your audience, using information you supply (or tell us where to find).
- Redrafting – we’ll use the information in your document, restructuring and rewording it to create a high–quality text.
- Summarising – we’ll produce a user–friendly summary of a longer document.
- Editing – we’ll suggest stylistic, structural and substantive changes to make your text clear, correct, consistent and, where appropriate, persuasive.
- Proofreading – we’ll spot typographical, linguistic and positional errors on a proof, and mark corrections.
A word of warning
As our client, you are wholly responsible for the legal effectiveness of the documents we produce or advise on, and should ask your lawyers to check our work. We will comment on legal content where we can, but you must ensure any document we work on meets your needs.
The CLEA people
Philosophy graduate with a post-graduate teaching certificate and a more recent interest in legal linguistics. Solicitor in general practice from 1979 until 2007, with a commitment to clear, modern drafting from the early 1980s. Founder-member of Clarity; committee member 1984–2010; founding editor of its journal; sometime chair. Author of Clarity for Lawyers (The Law Society) and of many articles about legal writing. Legal-writing trainer from 1990. First recipient of the Christine Mowat Award of Plain Language Association International (PLAIN). Now retired and living in France.
Plain-English writer, editor and proofreader since 1997, with degrees in modern languages and business. Associate of Plain Language Commission (PLC), and faculty member of NHS R&D North West. Previous academic posts at the University of Manchester, and seven years’ experience in NHS management. Author of Tackling NHS Jargon (Radcliffe Medical Press), PLC distance-learning course and style guide, two SfEP guides and 30+ journal articles. Advanced Professional Member of Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). Former secretary of PLAIN, UK representative for Clarity, and coordinator of the SfEP’s North West group. Enjoys reading, walking, learning new skills, and volunteering in bereavement support.
Telephone: 01925 767 403
Solicitor, writer and undergraduate supervisor. Degrees from the universities of London and Cambridge. In high-street legal practice for several years, followed by extensive experience in central and local government; specialist in landlord and tenant. Author of several articles on property and drafting. Co-author and editor of textbooks including Barnsley’s Land Options (Sweet & Maxwell), Modern Legal Drafting (CUP) and Drafting Guide for Private Legal Documents (CreateSpace). Member of Statute Law Society and founder-member of Clarity. Interested in English usage. One-time runner, but now a spectator at sporting events. Visiting fellow in the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge.
Telephone: 01223 358 674
Business writing trainer and editor since 2004; helps writers use clear, professional language rather than basic plain English. Designs and leads tailored writing courses for government agencies, councils, charities, housing groups, emergency services and international companies. Current/recent customers include Towers Watson, TfL, Vanquis Bank, Kent Fire and Rescue, Charities Aid Foundation and PwC. Featured in Management Today, September 2009, ‘Crash Course in Clear Communication’. Judge for the BMA’s annual Patient Information Award. English teacher and public examiner, 1980–2003. BEd (English and education, London); MA (Victorian literature and society, Sussex). Author of Pan literature study guides. Main interests: language, English history, World War 1, South African current affairs, keeping fit. Member of three business writing groups: Clarity, PLAIN and 26.
Telephone: 01634 855 534
Mobile: 07949 910 375