Index

Sue Bramall added 21.3.18
"Joe K" added 21.3.18
Lord Neuberger
T.N.G. Norman
David Pickup
Elizabeth and Phillip Taylor new version added 1.4.18
Peter Todd added 1.4.18


Lord Neuberger, then President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, in his foreword:
… In all these circumstances, a book on clear drafting for lawyers is to be welcomed, and a good book on the topic is to be greatly welcomed. Mark Adler and Daphne Parry have written a good book on the topic, and it is a pleasure to write this foreword to the third edition. The book is engagingly written and well structured. Many parts of the book can be read through almost as much for pleasure as for instruction, as they can be regarded as a collection of anecdotes or cautionary tales. That is because the authors very sensibly realise that by far the best way to make their point is by way of examples. Finally, I would venture to suggest that anyone who is engaged in communication, whether in writing or by word of mouth, could profit from reading this book.

Reviews


Sue Bramall, marketing consultant to law firms, on Amazon:
This should be on the syllabus of every law school in the country - it really is not enough to know the law if you cannot communicate its implications to your clients in a way that they understand and are comfortable with. Daphne Perry and Mark Adler have covered all the usual bad habits that occur in legal drafting in a pithy and no-nonsense way. Points are made and bad practice demonstrated with often amusing and enlightening examples from recent cases. I would not expect to say this of a non-fiction book but I found it was a very enjoyable read.

"Joe K" on Amazon:
Now in its third edition, this excellent book only gets better. It covers all aspects of clear legal writing: the deficiencies of traditional style, the considerable advantages of plain language, the misconceptions about it, the evidence for its effectiveness, the means to achieving it (the book’s largest section), and much more. The book is chock-full of before-and-after examples that are bound to sharpen the judgment and skill of legal drafters. Just get it. Highly recommended.

T.P.G. Norman, solicitor, on Amazon:
Packed full of useful, career-enhancing pearls of wisdom. And it's fun to read too. I keep my copy by my bedside.

David Pickup, solicitor, in The Law Society's Gazette:
… There is much for all to learn in this book. …

Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, The Barrister, on Amazon (with an extended, oral, version on YouTube):
It’s a rare privilege to be asked to review this new third edition of Mark Adler’s definitive work on “Clarity for Lawyers”, now co-written with Daphne Perry, as we regard the book as a professional lifesaver.

There is a recurring theme that many senior lawyers, judges and academics raise regularly about the low quality of written communication across the business world so we welcome the decision by the Law Society to update this important title for the 2020s. …

One of the principle benefits of the new edition is the approach which we all need to adopt with the advent of IT which has lengthened documents. The language we use is also changing again so the section on “choosing words” explains much for us. …

The three appendices are particularly helpful, especially Appendix A which is “a legal writing workshop”. Do follow through the various sections and try the practical exercises. Appendix B gives a highly practical “analysis of examples” which you need to cross refer to the main text pages, and Appendix C offers brilliantly “hands on” precedents which are invaluable.

The final word must be left to Mark and Daphne who say that their aim is to help lawyers work more effectively and more efficiently. Their aim succeeds admirably. …

The two authors want this book to be “more interesting and readable than just a style guide” in the hope it will sometimes surprise us. Yes, it does, because it is a very good book which should be by your side as an excellent companion for the 2020s. …

Peter Todd, solicitor, training partner at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, in Managing for Success, published by The Law Society:
For over 20 years, I have worked with trainee solicitors who have taken a civil litigation seat at my firm. They spend six months in their seat, often in the early stages of their training. …

If I could ask [them] to do one thing before starting their seat with me, it would be to carefully read and learn from Clarity for Lawyers. … It is one of those legal books every lawyer should have read.

I read it myself when I was starting my legal career and it had a real impact on me. It radically changed the way I approached the task of drafting — be it a humble attendance note, a letter of advice, a letter of claim, witness statement, statement of case, instructions to Counsel or any of the many documents which lawyers are required to draft. This book can help significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of drafting. …

The revelation of this book is that by simplifying and clarifying drafting, you avoid mistakes and become more effective. Witness statements gain probative weight as the key evidence drives home the case with power. Letters of advice are concise, precise and easy to understand.

This latest edition offers updated knowledge to reflect current law and practice and its new co-editor, Daphne Perry, commercial barrister and legal trainer, offers fresh and relevant insight. It also includes new training materials which would be useful for in-house legal training.

A good lawyer must have the ability to communicate effectively, to persuade, advocate, negotiate and explain. The latest edition of Clarity for Lawyers is a notable contribution to this.