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There are specific reasons why regular editors cannot do justice to legal documents. They call for expert professionals who are intimately familiar with legalese and can refine the text as needed.
Legal documents like court pleadings, client emails, briefs, contracts, settlements, wills and even prospectuses, annual reports, financial reports, manuals and legal publications are full of legalese. It follows that any errors in the language or even the writing quality can create misunderstandings and will dilute the message of the legal document.
However, barristers, solicitors, judges, paralegals, company lawyers and even law students usually have choc-a-bloc schedules and cannot spare the time to proofread and polish their written materials.
Expert legal editing becomes a prerequisite here. This cannot be equated with regular proofreading and editing as the latter is focused on the spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, presentation and such micro details. While some expert editors also pay attention to the style, flow and consistency of text, they will obviously fail to appreciate the precise nuances and specifics of the legal language.
This is why legal editing necessitates specialized editors who are intimately acquainted with the specific terminology, referencing, structure and even the presentation of legal writing. It could be someone who has a law degree, has worked in the legal sector or even possesses extensive experience in legal proofreading and copyediting.
The right legal editors will ensure that the legal documents are clear, accurate and understandable. They will eliminate confusion and misunderstanding due to convoluted language, verbosity, rhetorical questions, archaic terms and the like. They will correct grammatical and other errors while organizing the terms or arguments properly. This will make the text sharp, impressive and winning too!
Moreover, a ‘fresh eye’ will also shed light on what legal professionals may have overlooked or even assumed that the readers know – thus ensuring effective delivery to the audience.
HKNETS offers English editing services for all types of documents including legal ones. The skilled and professional legal editors possess specialist knowledge of all types of legal documents and will also maintain confidentiality at all times.