Court filing deadlines? Need to arrest a vessel? Closing an M&A deal?
Someone working behind the scenes on your English documentation
When Lexpertise matters



LEXPERTISE convinces everyone that your eloquently translated documents were originally written in English.

LEXPERTISE is a firm believer in the Latin adage Rem tene, verba sequentur (Grasp the subject and the words will follow) and only accepts work in her areas of specialisation. And this will be clear when anyone reads the translation you have commissioned, because nothing will jar or seem misplaced. Unlike most legal translators, LEXPERTISE is legally qualified, has practised in an area of law that requires a solid understanding of finance, is able to make the fine distinctions that are so critical in a legal text, and intuitively spots and draws attention to potential legal issues in Dutch source texts.

LEXPERTISE will assess your document as general (e.g. a statement of claim for an unpaid invoice), specialised (e.g. an annual report for a pension fund) or highly specialised (e.g. an article on admiralty law for an academic journal), consider your proposed timeframe, and quote according to your chosen pricing model. All translations are thoroughly revised and proofread once before delivery. But in cases where a four-eyes approach is advisable, a second, independent proofreader (also a specialised, native English linguist) can be arranged for an additional fee.

  • Dutch (NL/BE) to English
  • Law, Finance and Socioeconomics
  • Average daily output: 3,000 words


LEXPERTISE prunes dense wording and rakes through gobbledegook, leaving you with a manicured lawn of precise legal English.

LEXPERTISE works with legal professionals whose native or second language is English to remove errors, strip dead wood from, and add clarity and persuasiveness to their English texts. Even though this is the 21st century, legal writing is still bogged down in a quicksand of antiquated drafting, mindlessly passed from one generation of lawyers to the next. Trite phrases, doublets and triplets, sexist language, purple prose and pretentious foreignisms still abound. Time now to press the reset button and recognise there is no substitute for good writing, substance and relevance.

LEXPERTISE knows that legal texts cannot be oversimplified, but works with you — using her legal expertise and a plain-language approach — to ensure they are not needlessly complex. And because LEXPERTISE translates from a Germanic language and resides in a Romance-language country, she is also attuned to and easily spots errors that English second-language (ESL) lawyers tend to make in most European countries. Let LEXPERTISE ensure all the proper words are used in all the proper places, while you steadily improve your own English legal writing skills in the process.

  • Editing for native English and ESL lawyers
  • All areas of legal practice
  • Average daily output: 5,000 words


LEXPERTISE converts first impressions of your law firm's English marketing materials into clients ready to sign on the dotted line.

LEXPERTISE has a vested interest in moulding the image that potential clients form of your firm online — before you even know they exist — into enduring business relationships. After all, the more English-speaking clients you attract, the more reason you have to use LEXPERTISE's specialist services. Unless you live off the grid, you must realise that people turn to search engines these days for many of their purchasing decisions, and legal services are no exception. But online marketing can also be an ethical minefield for law firms, so it's vital to team up with a copywriter who is mindful of this.

If an English-speaking client comes across a poorly translated website or, even worse, no English version of your website at all, they'll feel unable to connect with you and simply keep searching. Let LEXPERTISE do the heavy lifting and write the English content for your website, newsletters and blog. Simply provide a bullet-point brief of the required topic — written in English, Dutch or Portuguese — suggest a word limit, and let LEXPERTISE do the rest. LEXPERTISE also develops English style guides so law firms can be consistent in their corporate communications.

  • English copy for NL, BE and PT law firms
  • All areas of legal practice
  • Average daily output: 1,000 words


Welcome! My name is Deborah do Carmo and I own and operate LEXPERTISE, a legal writing studio in Algarve, Portugal.

I left my native Liverpool (UK) at a young age and completed my schooling and undergraduate studies in South Africa. After graduating from law school, I remained in the Department of Justice, where I'd interned throughout my degree, and progressed to the rank of Acting Assistant Master of the High Court before moving into private practice. In 1995, I co-founded my own firm specialising in insolvencies and liquidations. By the time I emigrated to Portugal at the end of 2001, I had wound up over 400 estates, ranging from personal bankruptcies to airlines, mines and commercial farming operations.

My time spent in bilingual legal practice – including cross-border insolvency battles in the muddied trenches of comparative law –  was a natural springboard into specialist translation. With 15 years of experience and a portfolio of repeat clients, I now focus on translating challenging legal, financial and socioeconomic texts from Dutch into English. Increasingly, I also provide monolingual English editing services to lawyers whose native or second language is English, and assist law firms with English content for their marketing materials.

If you are looking for a native English lawyer-linguist, who:
(a) delivers precision under pressure;
(b) knows her limits; and
(c) will maintain strict confidentiality,
please use the contact form below to get in touch. Let’s see if we’re a good fit for each other.


  • Bachelor of Laws (cum laude) – University of South Africa
  • Faculty medal for best law graduate – University of South Africa

  • Dutch to English IoLET course – City University, London
  • IoLET Diploma in Translation – UK Chartered Institute of Linguists

  • PG Cert. in Editing & Revising - Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain



1I only work in — or into — English, my native language.

2I only accept work within my three fields of specialisation.

3I only commit to deadlines that I can meet without sacrificing quality.

4I personally handle all projects from start to finish.

5I welcome constructive feedback.

In short, because LEXPERTISE matters.

Law | Finance | Socioeconomics


Working Languages


Years in Translation


YTD Projects 2018


YTD Words 2018

Particularly successful features of the translation are its understanding of difficult concepts, command of style and register, and clarity of expression.
Directorate-General Translation

Directorate-General Translation

Internal Revisor

Simply outstanding.
David Salter

David Salter

Director and UK/Australian lawyer


Professionals are only as good as their tools and LEXPERTISE is no exception.


The LEXPERTISE in-house library is a well-stocked repository of specialist dictionaries (over 150 at the last count, including law, finance, banking, insurance, medicine, IT and construction). It also houses textbooks on most fields of the law, covering different jurisdictions within both common-law and civil-law systems. Remaining shelf space is taken up by books on finance, economics, social policy, legal translation theory, legal English teaching and editing. LEXPERTISE also subscribes to several legal and financial online dictionaries, academic libraries, and databases of legislation and case-law in various countries.


The LEXPERTISE workflow incorporates the use of sophisticated translation memory (TM) software. This software analyses, and then leverages, fully or partially-matched segments of text previously translated for a particular client. Advantages include speeding up the translation process, minimising errors, and ensuring consistency of terminology within a specific context. Because of the need for absolute confidentiality, an ‘umbrella’ TM is created for each client, containing their separate project TMs. This facilitates any last-minute amendments before court filing and other deadlines, or subsequent updating of documents. LEXPERTISE also uses legal editing software that helps to identify the most common errors made in legal drafting before the substantive edit of the document begins. Time saved from using software is always factored into LEXPERTISE’s all-inclusive project fees.


Best option for individual projects | Ideal for documents that are not time-critical and can join the best-possible-deadline queue | Urgent projects requiring after-hour or weekend work are subject to a rush surcharge | Payment terms: within 7 calendar days of delivery | Project fee includes one round of post-delivery queries, provided these are received in writing within 5 calendar days | LEXPERTISE T&Cs – which include a limitation of liability – apply to the exclusion of all other terms and conditions
Best option for larger projects that can be planned in advance | Avoid the queue with a guaranteed time slot | Ideal for pleadings with a court filing calendar, annual reports with fixed publication dates, academic articles with submission deadlines, etc. | Payment terms: non-refundable retainer to reserve time, with balance payable within 7 calendar days of delivery | No rush surcharge applies | Project fee includes one round of post-delivery queries, provided these are received in writing within 5 calendar days | LEXPERTISE T&Cs – which include a limitation of liability – apply to the exclusion of all other terms and conditions


If you would like more information about my specialised services, or need a quote, please use this contact form and I'll get back to you shortly.