Christopher Balmford is a sea-kayaker, a former lawyer, an entrepreneur and a plain-language advocate and practitioner. He is the convenor and project leader of ISO’s TC 37 Working Group 11, which is developing a standard for plain language.
In 1999, he founded the consultancy Words and Beyond, which provides plain-language training, cultural change and document rewriting services. Clients include more than 30 government bodies, more than 50 public listed companies, 8 major Australian law firms, many smaller companies and law firms, the Australian Banking Association, the Insurance Council of Australia, the International Labour Organization of the United Nations, and the European Central Bank.
Christopher is a past-president of the international plain language organisation Clarity, which is one of the 3 organisations that formed the International Plain Language Federation. Christopher is on the Board of the Federation. The Federation proposed to Standards Australia that it or ISO develop a plain language standard.
In 2000, Christopher founded the online, legal document provider Cleardocs, which ThomsonReuters acquired in 2011.