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Mark Adler began helping in his father's legal practice as a copy typist and office boy during the school holidays in the late 1950s and continued throughout his teens, gradually taking on more responsibilities. After an honours degree in philosophy from Warwick University, a post-graduate teaching certificate from Birmingham University, and a 2-month teaching career, he returned to the firm as a clerk in 1972 while he decided what to do next, and stayed on. In the days before compulsory attendance at law school he put himself through the Law Society's exams while working in the practice part-time, qualifying in 1979. He remained as assistant solicitor and took over the practice on his father's sudden death the following year.

Lacking both the opportunity and the inclination to specialise, he took on private and commercial conveyancing, landlord-and-tenant work, family law, employment, wills, probate, and a wide range of civil litigation. Later he advised the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors on the merits of complaints and in minor cases conciliated between solicitors and their dissatisfied clients.

He had always enjoyed writing and began early in his career to improve his legal style, horrifying one tenant’s solicitor by submitting a punctuated lease. His “plain language” policy attracted clients seeking intelligible documents, from lay people who wanted to understand their own wills to institutions (and fellow-solicitors) whose precedents he rewrote and to whom he gave seminars.

He joined the lawyers' campaigning group Clarity when John Walton founded it in 1983 and served on the committee from 1984 until 2010, chairing it for 9 years between 1989 and 2000 and editing the journal for 13 years.

He retired from practice in 2007 with an award for his work from PLAIN (Plain Language Association InterNational). Since then he has lived with his wife and various animals in the mountains of southern France. But he has continued his interest in legal language and the 3rd edition of Clarity for Lawyers reflects the development of his ideas during this period.

His website "http://www.mark-adler-law.uk" opens in a separate window, and he can be reached at markadler@orange.fr or inspected on his LinkedIn profile.
Daphne Perry graduated in law from Cambridge University in the 1980s and has been a plain English enthusiast since 1993, when an expert witness introduced her to the international campaign group Clarity.

For 12 years she practised (as Daphne Loebl) as a commercial barrister at Fountain Court Chambers in London, using plain English to become more persuasive. In 1997, Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession recommended her as one of the 10 runners-up to the top junior barrister for commercial work in London.

For 12 years after that she was plain language co-ordinator at Dentons, a large international law firm based in London, writing, training, and supporting the fee-earners.

She is now a freelance consultant, legal writer, and trainer on plain English for law and business. She also writes commercial contract law and drafting materials for Practical Law Commercial.

She has served as Clarity's international secretary and for many years organised Clarity events in London. She remains Clarity's UK representative.

She also enjoys walking, singing, gardening, and bell ringing.

For more information about her experience and her consultancy, writing and training work see her LinkedIn page and ClarifyNow or contact her at daphne.perry@clarifynow.co.uk.


Daphne talks to Eduardo Reyes, features editor of the Law Society Gazette, in this 8-minute vodcast: