Heir hunters win praise for keeping advice jargon-free

Carolyn Lord: Says a lot of people are confused by legal jargon.
Carolyn Lord: Says a lot of people are confused by legal jargon.
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A Heir hunting firm with a base in Yorkshire has been recognised for its straight talking, jargon-free approach online.

Anglia Research, an international probate genealogy business, has been given the Internet Crystal Mark by the Plain English Campaign for its website.

Leeds-based solicitor Carolyn Lord, commercial director at Anglia Research, told The Yorkshire Post: “I’m a solicitor and I think a lot of people get confused by legal jargon. Particularly in this area, probate genealogy, where it’s an unregulated industry.

“A lot of people get quite bamboozled by what’s going on and it’s something that is quite unexpected.

“Often when they’ve got an inheritance they don’t know what to expect. It’s important that they can go to the website and understand clearly what it is that’s happening, so that they can assure themselves that it is not a scam.

“Most people think that if something out of the blue seems too good to be true, it is too good to be true. So I think it’s important that they can have instant, clearly understood, access to information.”

The website was designed by Bradford-based agency Aardweb.

Ms Lord said: “Aardweb told us that it was important that it was easy to use for all user groups. A lot of our beneficiaries might be elderly people who haven’t really come into contact with paperwork, it was important that they could very quickly understand what’s going on.”

It was also important to ensure clarity for its commercial clients she added.

Ms Lord said that lawyers can become cocooned in legal jargon and called on those in the legal profession to simplify the language.

She said: “The message I’d give is that it’s actually a lot easier than one might think to simplify legal language. I think for lawyers, because we have such a long and arduous training process, we work with the vocabulary that we learn in law school, that we find it often quite difficult to become commercial for clients and to become easily understood.

“It increases business but it also increases the clarity of your own thought and the message that you’re trying to give clients.

“I think it’s win-win, it makes lawyers more professional in how they approach work with clients and I think in turn clients are more happy to come back and use that service.”