About me

As a qualified lawyer with an academic background in, and flair for, languages, I provide a wide range of writing, copy editing, rewriting and plain language services. As a lawyer, what distinguished me was my ability to draft documents and write letters and opinions in language accessible to both lawyers and laymen. The Consumer Protection Act requires organisations and individuals dealing with consumers to communicate in plain language and my unique combination of skills qualifies me to convert complicated texts into plain language.

Professional Background & Qualifications

After completing my BA degree at UCT in 1992 (majors in Latin and Hebrew), my heart wanted to turn my passion for language into a career while my head insisted I follow the sensible path and become a lawyer. My rational self emerged triumphant and I went on to complete a B Proc through UNISA before taking up an opportunity to read law at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge. I emerged from a decade of studies in 1996 armed with a BA LAW (Hons) (CANTAB) and plunged headfirst into a legal career.

LAW-in-other-words

I served my articles of clerkship at Mallinicks Attorneys and was admitted as an attorney in August 2000. I was promoted to senior associate in the commercial department and gained experience in several diverse areas of law. Then, in September 2004, after six years in the corporate world, I left Mallinicks to practice for my own account as a commercial attorney. I also served as the Chairman of Genesis Medical Scheme, having been a trustee since 2000.

In 2009 I closed my practice, resigned my trusteeship of Genesis Medical Scheme and spent two years at home with my young children.

The one constant in my professional life over the past decade, from the early days at Mallinicks right up to the present, has been my position on the board of directors of The Big Issue South Africa. Initially my role was to provide legal advice and opinion on various issues facing the organisation, but gradually I became more involved in the business of the organisation and the publishing of the magazine. This deepening involvement in the magazine in particular reawakened my passion for language, grammar and words and I found myself volunteering to proofread the magazine before it went to print. During 2010 and 2011 I completed courses in basic copy editing, proofreading, grammar and plain language and In other words was born.

In addition to providing the services described here, I also write a regular column for The Media Online in which I rant about words and how we abuse them.