Christopher Balmford

BA LLB (Hons) Monash University

Christopher is an internationally recognised expert in making legal and related documents clear, accurate, and easy to use.  He is:

  • a former president of the international plain-language organisation Clarity, see;
  • the founder and Managing Director of Words and Beyond; and
  • the founder, and former Managing Director, of online legal document provider Cleardocs, which launched in Australia in 2002, see In June 2012, Thomson Reuters acquired Cleardocs.


Christopher was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in Victoria in 1988.  He worked:

  • as a solicitor in the Melbourne office of Baker & McKenzie for 3 years;
  • as a plain-language advocate and practitioner at the Law Reform Commission of Victoria for 3 years;
  • as a plain-language change-agent and practitioner at Phillips Fox (now DLA Piper) for 6 years; and
  • on secondment from Phillips Fox to AMP as a plain-language change-agent and practitioner for 3 years.


Christopher founded Words and Beyond in 1998.  He provides plain-language training, rewrites documents, and advises on clear-communication cultural-change programs.

His clients include 16 government bodies, more than 20 public listed companies, 8 major national law firms (and other law firms), the Labour Organization of the United Nations, and the European Central Bank.