Marcus Pawson

Writer
Wellington Office

A writer-editor with legal training and a wide knowledge of the government sector, Marcus brings Plain English skills and an eye for engaging content to his work for MartinJenkins.

Marcus provides writing and editing expertise for our reports and proposals. His focus is on ensuring that content is accessible and engaging, with a strong, clear narrative. Marcus learned Plain English writing the hard way, by editing legal textbooks written by lawyers and academics, and one of his strengths is presenting complex technical information in accessible language and a digestible format.

After getting a law degree from Victoria, Marcus worked in legal publishing for six years in the 1990s, and then struck out as a free-lance writer and editor, mainly for government agencies and not-for-profits, and particularly in the legal and justice sectors. He has worked across a range of documents and projects – including standards and guideline documents, procedures manuals, website writing, and training and educational resources.

Marcus’s public-sector clients have included the New Zealand Customs Service, the Ministry of Justice, Creative New Zealand, and the Open Polytechnic. These are some examples of his work:

• he was the main author of Achieving Compliance, a comprehensive best-practice guide for public regulatory agencies published in 2011, and for which MartinJenkins provided expert input

• in 2016 he wrote a substantial internal report for the Ministry of Justice on recent innovations in the Ministry’s work and systems

• Marcus developed a procedures manual for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner in 2015–16 for its complaints and investigations work

• he wrote an accessible guide to immigration and refugee law for Community Law in 2016–17.

Marcus has also researched and written legal textbooks for lawyers and law students. He is a keen student of the advances that have been made in legal writing in the last 20 years, particularly the new, clearer approaches to drafting legislation.