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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 conciliated between solicitors and their dissatisfied clients for the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors.

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 www.adler.demon.co.uk opens in a separate window, and he can be reached at adler@adler.demon.co.uk or inspected on his LinkedIn profile.
Daphne Perry has been a plain English enthusiast since 1993, when an expert witness introduced her to the campaign group Clarity.

At first, Daphne used plain English to become more persuasive in her work as a commercial barrister. By 1997, Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession recommended her as one of the top 11 junior barristers for commercial work in London.

When she moved into writing and training in a London law firm, she used plain English to write for the web and save time for her readers, who were all busy lawyers. She became plain language co-ordinator for the firm and started arranging Clarity events in London, to meet like-minded people and learn more.

She is now a freelance consultant, legal writer and trainer on plain English for law and business, and secretary of Clarity, by now an international organisation. Her mission is to change the world (a bit) by making lawyers write so their readers can understand first time.

She first learned law at Cambridge University in the 1980s. She now writes commercial contract law and drafting materials for Practical Law Commercial.

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

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