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  • Abandon

    Abandon is when an investor decides not to sell or act upon an option at the end of the contract.

     

  • Abandoned Property

    Abandoned Property is property that an owner has given up all claims, possession and rights. No designation has been given as the possessor.

     

  • Abandonment

    Abandonment is the voluntary relinquishment of all rights, title, or claim to property that rightfully belongs to the owner of the property. Stocks, bonds or mutual funds held in a brokerage account where the owner can’t be located or contacted is an example of abandonment. The laws of escheat may cause the property to be taken control by the state.

     

  • Abandonment Clause

    An abandonment clause gives insured parties the right to forfeit damaged property in exchange for full payment. Insurance companies take ownership of the damaged asset.

     

  • Abandonment of Child

    Abandonment of Child is deserting a child and having no intention of fulfilling any obligations to the child. Cutting off all relations and obligations to the child.

     

  • Abandonment of Spouse

    Abandonment of Spouse is the leaving of a husband or wife without just cause and with a deliberate intention of creating a lifetime separation.

     

  • Abandonment of Trademark

    Abandonment of Trademark is giving up using a trademark and explicitly showing the intention of giving it up.

     

  • Abandonment of Value

    Abandonment of Value is when the amount earned if an investment is discontinued. The general rule for this situation is that if the amount received for scrap or salvage is more than the net present value (NPV) the project is abandoned.

     

  • Abatement

    Abatement has four stances:
    – Commerce: a reduction in the amount of a bill due to factors such as demurrage, overtime penalty, or rent.
    – Environment: to reduce or eliminate polluting or hazardous substances. This is done by removing them or considering a new plan of more efficient waste management.
    – Legal: A court decision that is suspended, or simply closing the case before the final decision is reached.
    – Taxation: A rebate given under special circumstances such as in aftermath of natural disasters.

     

  • Abator

    Abator is a person who takes a property before the heir has a chance to get the property.

     

  • Abbreviated Accounts

    Abbreviated Accounts is s simplified financial statement that a specific small firm is allowed to file. Almost half of active UK firms have abbreviated accounts for their companies. Another term for abridged accounts.

     

  • Abduction

    Abduction is a criminal offense. The taking by force or strong persuasion of a wife, husband, child or other person.

     

  • Abettor

    An Abettor is the person promoting or instigating the performing of a criminal act. See instigation.

     

  • Abeyance

    Abeyance is the status of real estate ownership when no clear owner is present and must be determined.

     

  • Abeyance In

    Abeyance In mean being in expectation. An estate will be in abeyance when there is no one to claim it. The law does anticipate that the heir will be found and the estate will no longer be abeyance.

     

  • Ability to Stand Trail

    Ability to Stand Trail refers to being able to physically and mentally able to defend yourself in court. The ability depends on medical findings done by consultants appointed by the court.

     

  • Abridged Account

    An Abridged Account is an account that does not include detailed financial information but records the transactions of a full accounting period.

     

  • Abridgment of Damages

    Abridgment of Damages is where the court will reduce the amount damages to paid that a jury has awarded to a victim. The court may deem the amount to be too high.

     

  • Abroachment

    Abroachment is when goods are bought wholesale and are then sold as retail but are not offered to the open market for sale.

     

  • Abrogate

    Abrogate is to nullify an contract by means of mutual agreement.

     

  • Abscond

    To Abscond is to run away from the law. To make yourself absent in an attempt to avoid the legal process.

  • Absconding Debtor

    An Absconding Debtor is a person who owes money to another person and he runs away from his creditors or goes into hiding so he cannot be found.

  • Absentee Landlord

    An Absentee Landlord is a property owner that rents or leaves their property vacant. They have not abandoned it. This individual is considered an absentee owner.

  • Absolute Conveyance

    Absolute Conveyance is a deed transferring the title of property from one person to another without any conditions.

  • Absolute Dirvorce

    An Absolute Dirvorce is a divorce that is total and final where the husband and wife return to being single.

  • Absolute Discharge

    Absolute Discharge means that no further action will be taken against the offender. The offender still has a criminal record, but the court will take no action against them.

  • Absolute Guarantee

    Absolute Guarantee an agreement where the borrower guarantees absolutely that the repayments will be made on the loan or the contract where one party absolutely agrees to pay due monies.

  • Absolute Liability

    Liability that is determined to be against the public good or negiligent on behalf of a company or parties action. Any party that is assigned absolute liability may have to pay damages to effected parties.

  • Absolute Owner

    The only owner of property such as equipment, buildings, land or vehicles.

  • Absolute Title

    A title that is acquired by the proprietor. This absolute title is free from any complications such as judgments or liens. It is the only title required for selling a property or getting a mortgage. It is often called a perfect title.

  • Absolve

    Absolve is the action to acquit; or the action to release from an obligation.

  • Abstention

    Abstention is the refusal, from one bankruptcy court, to get involved with a matter of another court with jurisdiction.

  • Abstract of Record

    Abstract of Record is a brief created from a court transcript used in appellate court.

  • Abstract of Title

    An Abstract of Title is a document that lists all items in an estate to establish the present state of title. These items listed may change the value of the title. Also referred to as an abstract and epitome of title.

  • Abstract of Trust

    An Abstract of Trust is a brief version of a trust that leaves out the beneficiaries identity and other specific information included.

  • Abuse

    Abuse is the misuse of anything or cruelty that causes harm to another.

  • Abuse of Process

    Abuse of Process is legal action that is regarded by the courts as misuse or even abuse of the legal process.

  • Abuttals

    The parts of the boundaries of a piece of land which touch pieces of land alongside.

  • Accelerated Possession Order

    Some private landlords can apply to a county court for a Accelerated Possession Order to evict tenants without the need for a court hearing. Can only be used if you are an assured shorthold tenant and you were given a written tenancy agreement when you first moved in. Your landlord has to first serve a valid Section 21 notice.

  • Acceptance of Plea

    Acceptance of Plea is where the court will accept a guilty plea in a criminal case.

  • Accessory

    An Accessory is aiding or contributing in a secondary way or assisting in or contributing to as a subordinate. See Accessory to a Crime.

  • Accessory to a Crime

    An Accessory to a Crime is any person connected to a crime before or after it has happened, but was not present when the crime was committed.

  • Accomplice

    An Accomplice is a party who agrees to a crime as the main criminal or in accessory.

  • Accord

    An Accord is the agreement between parties to settle their claims and differences.

  • Accord and satisfaction

    The purchase by one party to a contract of a release from his obligations under it when the other party

  • Account monitoring order

    An order of the court requiring a financial institution to provide certain information held by them relating to a customer

  • Accusation

    Accusation is the formal charge that is made in court where a person is guilty of a offence that is punishable.

  • Accused

    The Accused is the person charged, who has allegedly committed the offence

  • Accuser

    An Accuser is the person who claims that another person is guilty of an offense that is punishable or of a crime. See Plaintiff.

  • Acknowledgement of Service

    When the particulars of a claim form (outlining details of the claim) are served on (delivered to) a defendant, they receive a response pack including a form called Acknowledgement of Service, which they must use to acknowledge they have received the claim. The defendant must file (return) the acknowledgment form within 14 days of receiving the particulars of the claim. The particulars can be served with, or separately from the claim form.

  • Acquit

    To Acquit is to free someone from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty.

  • Acquittal

    Acquittal is the discharge of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty.

  • Act

    A law; an Act of Parliament.

  • Act of Parliament

    A document that sets out legal rules and has (normally) been passed by both Houses of Parliament.

  • Acting in Person

    (Notice of) Acting in Person refers to a change in legal representation, specifically when a person has a solicitor acting on their behalf, but then decides to “go it alone” and represent themselves. The court and the other side need to know if that happens and so document known as Notice of Acting in Person needs to be filed with the court.

  • Active Trust

    A trust that imposes duties on the trustee other than that of merely handing over the trust property to the person entitled to it (compare bare trust). These duties may impose a specific obligation on the trustee or confer a discretion on him.

  • Activity Requirement

    A requirement that may be imposed by a sentencing court as part of a community order or a suspended sentence order under the Criminal Justice Act 2003. It requires that the offender carries out a specified activity, typically one designed to make reparation to the victim or to make the offender less likely to reoffend (e.g. by acquiring basic literacy skills).

  • Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)

    Actual Bodily Harm is minor injury, such as bruising, inflicted on a person by the deliberate action of another. Also know as Common Assult, ABH it is considered less serious than Grievous Bodily Harm.

  • Actual Loss

    An insurance term which means that the insured item no longer exists.

  • Adjourn

    To Adjourn is to suspend the hearing of a case.

  • Adjournment

    Adjournment is to postpone the hearing of a case until a later date.

  • Adjudication

    Adjudication is a judgment or decision of a court, tribunal or adjudicator in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) cases where disputes are resolved outside of the court.

  • Administration Order

    An Administration Order is an order by a County Court directing a debtor to pay a specified monthly installment into Court in respect of outstanding debts. The Court retains the payments made and at intervals distributes it between the creditors on a pro-rata basis

  • Administrative Court

    The Administrative Court is part of the High Court. It deals with applications for judicial review.

  • Admiralty Court

    Admiralty Court is part of the High Court. An admiralty claim is a claim for the arrest of a ship at sea to satisfy a debt.

  • Admissibility of Evidence

    Which evidence can be presented in court. Evidence must be relevant to the case but even some relevant evidence cannot be presented, such as hearsay or evidence of little value. The judge decides whether or not evidence can be used in the case

  • Admission (including part admissions)

    A party involved in a claim may admit the truth of all or part of the other party’s case, at any stage during proceedings. For example, a defendant may agree that he or she owes some money, but less than the amount being claimed. If the defendant makes an admission, the claimant may apply for judgment, on the admission.

  • Adoption

    An act by which the rights and duties of the natural parents of a child are suppressed in order for the adopter or adopters to become invested in those same rights and duties.

  • Adultery

    Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not the spouse, while the marriage is still valid.

  • Adversarial

    Arrangements designed to bring out the truth of a matter, through adversarial (conflict based) techniques such as cross-examination.

  • Advice

    Advice, in a legal sense, is the view; opinion; the counsel given by lawyers to their clients. An opinion expressed as to wisdom of future conduct.

  • Advise

    To Advise is to give an opinion or counsel, or recommend a plan or course of action; also to give notice.

  • Advocacy Qualification

    A qualification authorizing a person to act as an advocate under the provisions of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. There are separate qualifications for different levels of the court system, but the rights of those already entitled to appear as advocates at any level of the system at the time when the Act came into force are preserved.

  • Advocate

    An advocate is a barrister or a solicitor who is representing either you or another party in a hearing before a Court.

  • Affidavit

    An Affidavit is a written statement voluntarily made by an affiant under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorised to do so by law.

  • Affirmation

    An Affirmation is a declaration by a witness that has no religious belief or has religious beliefs that prevent them from making an oath.

  • Affirmation

    Solemnly promising to tell the truth when giving evidence. It is an alternative to swearing an oath when the person giving evidence does not wish to.

  • Affray

    Affray is an instance of group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace.

  • Aforesaid

    Describing something which has been said or referred to before in the document.

  • Age of Consent

    The age at which a person can legally consent to sexual intercourse, or to an act that would otherwise constitute sexual assault. This age is 16.

  • Aggravating Circumstance

    Aggravating Circumstance is a condition that makes the accused more liable. The more severe punishment is given to cases with brutality.

  • Agreement

    Where two parties reach consensus on a set of facts or course of action. For example, when a formerly married couple agree the terms of their divorce.

  • Agricultural Holding

    The tenant has special rights including, when the tenancy finishes, the right to compensation for improvements to the land. If the land has deteriorated the tenant must compensate the landlord.

  • Aiding and abetting

    Helping someone to commit a crime.

  • Alias

    A false name or cover name.

  • Alibi

    An Alibi is a form of defense used in criminal procedures where the accused attempts to prove that he or she was in another place at the time the alleged offense was committed.

  • Alienation

    The transfer of property (particularly real property) from one person to another.

  • Allegation

    An Allegation is a formal claim or assertion against someone that they have done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof.

  • Allocation

    The process by which a judge assigns a defended civil case, to one of three case management tracks: the small claims track, the fast track or the multi-track.

  • Allocation questionnaire

    A case (claim) is allocated to a case management track, when an allocation questionnaire has been returned completed by the people involved (parties) in the case. Reponses to the questionnaire provide a judge with information on case value and other matters, to assist him or her to allocate the case to the correct track.

  • Alternate Director

    A person appointed by a director to take the director’s place.

  • Alternative dispute resolution

    Alternative dispute resolution are schemes such as arbitration and mediation which are designed to allow parties to find a resolution to their problem, without legal action. A party’s refusal to consider ADR could lead to sanctions (penalties) against that party, by a judge, even if the party wins the case.

  • Ambiguity

    Capability of more than one meaning. When a statement’s meaning is not clear because it is capable of more than one meaning, it contains an ambiguity.

  • Ambulatory Will

    A will which can be revoked or changed while the person who made it is still living.

  • Amendment

    Amendment is the process by which corrections to court documents, such as statements of case, can be made. A statement of case can be amended at any time, before it is served or with permission of all other parties or the court, (once served). The court may reject the amendment, even if the party concerned has permission of other parties to the case.

  • Amicable

    Amicable:- Friendly; mutually forbearing ; agreed or assented to by parties having conflicting interests or a dispute; as opposed to hostile or adversary.

  • Amnesty

    Amnesty is a sovereign act of pardon and oblivion for past acts, granted by a government to all persons (or to certain persons) who have been guilty of crime or delict, generally political offenses.

  • Amount offered in satisfaction

    An amount offered in satisfaction is the amount of money offered by a defendant to pay a debt or to settle another type of claim, for example in a personal injury case.

  • Ancillary relief

    Often used in relation to items such as maintenance payments, these are extra claims that are attached to a divorce or separation petition.

  • Annual Return

    A return which must be sent by companies to the Registrar of Companies. Each year the officers of a company have to fill in an annual return with details of the members, officers, shares issued and other information about the company. The return is then sent to Companies House for filing and is available for inspection by members of the public.

  • Annuity

    An Annuity is a financial provides you with a regular income for life when you retire – with the guarantee that the money won’t run out before you die.

  • Annul

    To declare no longer valid.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous:- Nameless; wanting a name or names. Cases are sometimes reported anonymously, i. e., without giving the names of the parties. Abbreviated to Anon.

  • Appeal

    Application to a higher court or other body for review of a decision taken by a lower court or tribunal.

  • Appellant

    An appellant is a person appealing to a higher court or body against a decision made in a lower court or body.

  • Appellant

    The person who is appealing to a court against a decision of a lower court.

  • Applicant

    An Applicant is a person making a request or demand e.g a person who issues an application.

  • Application

    An Application is made when applying to a civil court and asking them to do something e.g to start proceedings.

  • Appointeeship

    If a person is incapacitated and entitled to receive a retirement pension or other state benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions can choose an ‘appointee’ to receive those benefits on that person’s behalf. The appointee can be a relative, friend or someone from the caring professions (such as the local authority social services department).

  • Apportioning

    Apportioning is to place or assign, blame for example.

  • Appraisal

    Appraisal is the valuation of goods seized under warrant before sale.

  • Arbitration

    The use of a third party to resolve a dispute, whose decision is binding. Arbitration takes place outside of court and can either be voluntary or mandatory. It is most commonly used for commercial disputes such as cases of unfair dismissal or working conditions disputes.

  • Arbitrator

    The independent referee who settles a dispute without the need to use the courts.

  • Arguement on Appeal

    Arguement on Appeal is a legal argument that is set before a court that aids it in making proper judgement. It will submit facts and points of law that will bolster its contention.

  • Arrangement

    Arrangement – when a debtor and creditor make an agreement about repayment or a debt.

  • Arrest

    To Arrest is to keep a person in lawful custody if they are suspected of committing a crime.

  • Arrest Warrant

    An Arrest Warrant is a court order given to detain a party if probable cause is present. AKA warrant for arrest.

  • Arrogate

    To Arrogate is to take or claim (something) without justification.

  • Arson

    Arson is the crime of intentionally, deliberately and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wildland areas, dumpsters, vehicles or other property with the intent to cause damage.

  • Assisted person (legally)

    An assisted person is a party to legal proceedings who is receiving legal aid.

  • Assured Shorthold Tenancy

    An Assured Shorthold Tenancy usually lasts 6 or 12 months and give you the right to have your deposit protected and be given notice of eviction.

     

  • Assured tenancy

    Assured tenancy is a tenancy defined by the Housing Act 1996 where the tenant enjoys security of tenure.

  • Asylum

    Protection and immunity from extradition granted by a government to a political refugee from another country.

  • Attachment of earnings order

    An attachment of earnings order is an order that instructs an employer to deduct a regular amount, fixed by the court, from a debtor’s earnings and to pay that money into court. The court pays the money to the person or people to whom it is owed.

  • Automatic Transfer

    Automatic Transfer – providing that a number of conditions are met, proceedings are automatically transferred to the court nearest to a defendant’s home.

  • Autopsy

    An examination of a dead body to find the cause of death.

  • Averment

    Averment is an affirmation or allegation. A formal statement by a party in a case of a fact or circumstance which the party offers to prove or substantiate.

  • Award

    Award is the result of an arbitration hearing or the amount of damages assessed by a Court.

  • B E

    An abbreviation for “Baron of the Court of Exchequer.”

  • Baby Act

    Plea of infancy, interposed for the purpose of defeating an action upon a contract made while the person was a minor, is vulgarly called “pleading the baby act.” By extension, the term is applied to a plea of the statute of limitations.

  • Back Dating

    When application date is after the effective date on any contract. Insurers do this deciding age younger than the actual age of the insured.

  • Back Pay Award

    A requirement that retroactive compensation be denied by an employer. They were used in discrimination cases in the federal civil rights laws.

  • Badwill

    When a company has a bad business practice that investors find out about. Revenue is lost as well as investors, customers, and suppliers. The market value also goes down. This can also be tried in court.

  • Bail

    Release of a defendant from custody, until his or her next appearance in Court, sometimes subject to security being given and/or compliance with certain conditions.

  • Bail Court

    In English law and practice. An auxiliary court of the court of queen’s bench at Westminster, wherein points connected more particularly with pleading and practice are ar- pued and determined. Holthouse.

  • Bailbond

    A bond executed by a defendant who has been arrested, together with other persons as sureties. naming the sheriff, constable, or marshal as obligee, in a penal sum proportioned to the damages claimed or penalty denounced, conditioned that the defendant shall duly appear to answer to the legal process in the officer’s hands, or shall cause special bail to be put in, as the case may be.

  • Bailee

    Bailee is an organisation or person who is looking after valuable items for the owner.

  • Bailiff

    Along with enforcement officers, a Bailiff has legal power to remove and sell possessions in order to pay debts owed to a person or an organisation. They can conduct evictions, and arrest people.
    A bailiff can also serve court documents on people.

  • Bailment

    Transferring possession of goods from the owner to someone else. The ownership of the goods is not transferred. A practical example of bailment is that someone who hires a television has possession of it, but the rental company still owns the television.

  • Balancing the Book

    Closing accounts at the end of a period. The total debt and credit is reconciled determining profit or loss.

  • Ban

    In old English and civil law. A proclamation; a public notice; the announcement of an intended marriage. Cowell. An excommunication; a curse, publicly pronounced. A proclamation of silence made by a crier in court before the meeting of champions in combat. Id. A statute, edict, or command; a fine, or penalty.

  • Bank Examination

    When a countries central bank does an inspection of its banks. It is checking for proper management, customers, policy, following national policy, stability, and how transparent its operations are. Refer to CAMELS rating.

  • Bankrupt

    Similar to insolvant, Bankrupt is when an individual is unable to pay creditors and has goods administered by a liquidator and sold to raise cash to pay off creditors. Usually results from an order under the Insolvancy Act 1986.

  • Bar

    The Bar is a collective term for a group of barristers.

  • Bare Trust

    Bare Trust is a trust that holds property on behalf of a person until they request for it to be returned to them.

  • Barrister

    A barrister is a lawyer who can represent you in any court and collectively barristers are known as members of “the Bar”.

  • Behaviour

    Behaviour is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others. Unfavourable behaviour is the most common reason for divorce or civil partnership dissolution.

  • Bench

    Bench is the name for judges or magistrates present in a court.

  • Bench warrant

    A Bench warrant is a warrant issued by a judge for an absent defendant to be arrested and brought before Court.

  • Beneficial Interest

    The rights of a beneficiary in respect of the property held in trust for him.

  • Bequeath

    To leave something (such as possessions or money) to someone in your will. You cannot bequeath land or real property but you can devise them instead.

  • Bequest

    Something given in a will, other than land or real property.

  • Beyond Reasonable Doubt

    Beyond Reasonable Doubt is the highest standard of proof that must be met in any trial. If the jurors or judge have no doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, or if their only doubts are unreasonable doubts, then the prosecutor has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the defendant should be pronounced guilty.

  • Bigamy

    Bigamy is the offence of marrying someone while already married to another person.

  • Bill of exchange

    A signed written order, instructing the person it is addressed to to pay an amount of money to someone. A cheque is a type of bill of exchange.

  • Bill of Indictment

    Bill of Indictment is a written statement of the charges against a defendant sent for trial to the Crown Court, and signed by an officer of the Court.

  • Bill of sale

    A document which transfers ownership of goods from one person to another.

  • Bind Over

    To Bind Over means to order a defendant to be placed in custody pending the outcome of a proceedings against them.

  • Bind Over for Sentence

    Bind Over for Sentence is an order which requires a defendant to return to court for sentencing.

  • Binding

    A Binding decision is one that is made and must be obeyed by the people concerned.

  • Blackmail

    Blackmail is a term for extortion and it is a criminal act where a person will attempt to get money from another person by threats.

  • Boundary

    The word ‘boundary’ has no special meaning in law. There are two senses in which it can be used: legal boundary and physical boundary. Also see general boundaries.

  • Bounty

    Bounty is a sum paid for killing or capturing a person or animal.

  • Brawl

    A Brawl is a clamorous or tumultuous quarrel in a public place, to the disturbance of the public peace.

  • Breach

    A Breach is a violation of a law, obligation, or promise.

  • Breach of Contract

    Breach of Contract can occur if any of the agreed terms and conditions of a contract are broken.

  • Breach of Duty

    A Breach of Duty occurs when one person or company has a duty of care toward another person or company, but fails to live up to that standard.

  • Breach of Peace

    The term Breach of Peace applies to the creating of a public disturbance with loud noises, riotous and unsocial behaviour.

  • Breach of Privilege

    An act or default in violation of the privilege of either house of parliament, of congress, or of a state legislature.

  • Breakeven Formula

    An analysis to determine the point at which revenue received equals the costs associated with receiving the revenue. Break-even analysis calculates what is known as a margin of safety, the amount that revenues exceed the break-even point. This is the amount that revenues can fall while still staying above the break-even point.

  • Bribe

    To Bribe is to dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favour by a gift of money or other inducement.

  • Brief

    A Brief is the written instructions to counsel to appear at a hearing on behalf of a party prepared by the solicitor and setting out the facts of the case and any case law relied upon.

  • Building Permit

    A permit required in most jurisdictions for new construction, or adding on to pre-existing structures, and in some cases for major renovations. Generally, the new construction must be inspected during construction and after completion to ensure compliance with national, regional, and local building codes.

  • Bullion

    Gold and silver intended to be coined. The term is usually applied to a quantity of these metals ready for the mint, but as yet lying in bars, plates, lumps, or other masses; but it may also include ornaments or dishes of gold and silver, or foreign coins not current as money.

  • Business Address

    The Business Address is the location from which business activities take place.

  • Business Continuity

    The activity performed by an organisation to ensure that critical business functions will be available to customers, suppliers, regulators, and other entities that must have access to those functions.

  • Business-to-Business (B2B)

    (B2B) describes commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer. Contrasting terms are business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-government (B2G).

  • Bylaws

    These are the rules and regulations that are adopted by corporations benefit societies and associations that govern all ongoing activities.

  • Bystander

    The term given to a person who looks on but has nothing to do with the activity that is in progress.

  • CAFCASS

    The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) looks after the interests of children involved in family proceedings. It is independent of the courts and social services, but works under the rules of the Family Court and legislation.

  • Cant

    In the civil law. A method of dividing property held in common by two or more joint owners.

  • Capital

    The basic assets of a business or an individual, including cash, equipment and property that has value in producing revenue.

  • Capital Allowance

    A tax allowance for businesses on capital expenditure on particular items. These can include machinery plant and industrial buildings.

  • Care & Supervision Orders

    A court order placing a child or young person under the supervision of a local authority or a probation officer in a case of delinquency or where care proceedings are appropriate. A supervision order may also refer to a parent being allowed access to their child under the supervision of a court representative.

  • Carryover

    In taxation accounting, using a tax year’s deductions, business losses or credits to apply to the following year’s tax return to reduce the tax liability.

  • Case

    An action, suit or claim in a court of law. The term can also mean the arguments put forward by parties in a court of law.

  • Case Disposal

    Case Disposal is when a case is taken out of the court process.

  • Case Management Conference (CMC)

    Case Management Conference is a meeting between all parties to a case and the Judge to check the progress of the case, with regards to costs and other matters. The numbers of CMCs held depend on the complexity of the case.

  • Case Management Tracks

    Civil cases are allocated to one of three Case Management Tracks, depending on financial value, issues of law and the likely duration (length) of the case. The three tracks are:
    – the small claims track in which cases to the value of five thousand pounds can be considered and the claimant does not have to have legal representation
    – the fast track for cases of value between five and fifteen thousand pounds and
    – the multi- track for cases of value over fifteen thousand pounds. Legal representation is advisable in the fast and multi-tracks.

  • Case Number

    A Case Number is a reference number given to each case by the issuing court.

  • Case Stated

    The written statement setting out the facts of a case. It is produced by a magistrates’ court when asking the High Court for an opinion on the law.

  • Case Value

    The financial value of a case – known as Case Value – is one of the factors used to asses which track a case (claim) should be allocated to.

  • Cause of Action

    The basis of a lawsuit founded on legal grounds and alleged facts which, if proved, would constitute all the “elements” required by statute.

  • Caution

    A Caution is an official or legal warning, given by a Police Officer, to someone who has committed a minor offence but has not been charged.  Can also refer to notice given to the Land Registry by a person with an interest in particular land to ensure that no action is taken in respect of the land without the person’s knowledge.

  • Caveat

    A Caveat is a notice given to the registrar which prevents action by a party without notifying the other party.

  • Certificate of Legal Aid Costs

    Certificate of Legal Aid Costs is a certificate of costs allowed following taxation by a judicial or taxing officer (Previously referred to as an Allocatur).

  • Certificate of Service

    A Certificate of Service is a document stating the date and manner in which the parties were served (given) a document. For example where a claim form is served by the claimant court rule requires the claimant to file a certificate of service within seven days of service of the claim form otherwise he may not obtain judgment in default.

  • Cessate

    Cessate is a grant of representation of limited duration which has ceased and expired.

  • Challenge to a jury

    When either side in a case objects to the people who have been selected to serve on the jury before they are sworn in.

  • Chambers

    These are essentially rooms used either as the offices of a barrister or a private area where a judge may hold specific types of hearings.

  • Chancel repair searches

    This search reveals any leftover medieval liabilities on the property to help pay for church repairs. The potential buyer may wish to take out chancel repair insurance instead for around £20.

  • Chancery Division

    The Chancery Division is part of the High Court. It deals with cases involving land law, trusts and company law.

  • Character Witness

    A Character Witness is a witness who testifies to the general character and reputation of the person on trial.

  • Charge

    A Charge is a formal accusation against a person that a criminal offence has been committed.

  • Charge Certificate

    A certificate which the Land Registry issues to the legal mortgagee (the lender) who has lent money on the security of registered land. It is proof of the legal mortgagee’s right to the security.

  • Charge Sheet

    The document on which a police officer records details of the accusation against a suspect.

  • Charging Order

    A Charging Order is a court order directing that a charge be put on the judgment debtors’ property, such as a house or piece of land to secure payment of money due. This prevents the debtor from selling the property or land – without paying what is owed to the claimant.

  • Chattel

    A Chattel (in general use) is a personal possession. In Law, it is an item of property other than freehold land, including tangible goods and leasehold interests.

  • Child Abuse

    Child Abuse is the term is applied to the often violent and inhuman behaviour that an adult shows toward a child.

  • Child Custody

    Child Custody is the term applied to the support and control of a child that is determined by the court when the parents of the child are divorced or separated.

  • Child Support Agency (CSA)

    The Child Support Agency (CSA) is an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions, which is responsible for administering the system of child maintenance under which non-resident parents are required to pay towards the upbringing and support of their children.

  • Circuit Judge

    A Circuit Judge is a judge between the level of a High Court Judge and a District Judge, who sits in the County Court and/or Crown Court.

  • Circumstantial Evidence

    Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference.

  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

    The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is a charity which can offer free legal and financial advice to the general public.

  • Civil

    The term Civil refers to matters concerning private rights and not offences against the state i.e. accidents, business, contracts, domestic relations, estates, negligence.

  • Civil Case or Claim

    A Civil Case or Claim is a civil dispute that involves court action. See Claim.

  • Civil Determination

    Civil Determination – If the defendant offers to pay to the claimant an amount by instalments and the claimant refuses the offer, an officer of the court will make an assessment of what would be reasonable for the defendant to pay.

  • Civil Justice or Civil Law

    Civil Justice or Civil Law is a branch of the law which applies to the rights and dealings of private citizens, (including such matters as unpaid debts, negligence and the enforcement of contracts). It does not include criminal, immigration, employment or family matters.

  • Civil Justice Reforms

    Civil Justice Reforms are the result of the Access to Justice report by Lord Woolf. The aim is to provide more effective access to Justice through quicker, cheaper and more proportionate justice for defended cases. It introduced a unified set of Rules and Practice Directions for the County and High Courts, and Judicial Case Management. The reforms came into effect on 26 April 1999.

  • Civil Procedure

    Civil Procedure – the rules and procedures to be followed by civil cases in county courts and High Courts.

  • Civil Procedure Rules

    Civil Procedure Rules are the rules and procedures for proceedings in civil courts England and Wales. An important feature is active case management by the courts.

  • Civil Rights

    Civil Rights are the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.

  • Civil Trial

    Civil trials are generally held before one or more judges without a jury. The form and length of a civil trial will depend on the track to which the case has been allocated.

  • Claim

    A Claim is the proceedings issued in the County or High Court. Previously know as an Action. See also Civil Case or Claim.

  • Claim Form

    Proceedings in a civil court start with the issuing of a claim form. The form, which is issued by the court (after the claimant has filed the form in court), includes a summary of the nature of the claim and the remedy (compensation or amends) sought.

  • Claimant

    The person issuing the claim. Also known as the plaintiff.

  • Classified

    Classified is a widely-used term defining information as being confidential, restricted, secret, or top-secret.

  • Clause

    A Clause is a single paragraph or subdivision of a legal document, such as a contract, deed, will, constitution, or statute. Sometimes a sentence or part of a sentence.

  • Clear Evidence

    Clear Evidence is evidence that is clear and positive and beyond the shadow of a doubt.

  • Cleared

    To be Cleared is to be free from a legal charge or imputation of guilt i.e. the suspect is cleared of murder.

  • Clemency

    To show Clemency is to show mercy or leniency.
    Clemency is also to pardon or excuse a person convicted of a criminal offense.

  • Clerk of the Court

    The Clerk of the Court is the official who records all of the proceedings of the court during a trial and then holds these records.

  • Clinical Negligence

    Clinical Negligence is a broad term that denotes a breach in the duty of care involved in medical treatment. Usually concerned with claims against doctors and other healthcare professionals and their employers.

  • Closing Argument

    A Closing Argument or Closing Statement is the concluding statement of each party’s counsel reiterating the important arguments for their client in a court case.

  • Co-defendant

    The term Co-defendant applies to any of two or more individuals, companies, or institutions answering the same charge in a court of law.

  • Co-litigant

    A Co-litigant is a person who joins someone else in the suing of a defendant.

  • Co-respondent

    A co-respondent is a person named as an adulterer (or third person) in a petition for divorce.

  • Code of Practice

    A Code of Practice is the written guidelines of ethical standards given by an official body or a professional association to its members to help them comply with these standards. Also known as Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct.

  • Codicil

    Codicil is an addendum signed which amends or adds something to a Will.

  • Coercion

    Coercion exists when an individual is forced to behave in a particular way, by threats of violence, for example, and is not able to act freely.

  • Cohabitation contracts

    These set out, in advance, what each member of the relationship expects of the other, both during the relationship and if they separate or one of them dies. They are ‘honourable agreements’, which means that not all clauses may be enforced by the courts, but they do limit disagreements and certainly provide some peace of mind.

  • Collaboration

    Collaboration is working together to solve a problem.

  • Collaborative Law

    Collaborative Law, also known as collaborative practice, divorce or family law, is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers on a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children.

  • Collective Punishment

    Collective Punishment is a penalty applied to each member of a group regardless of a member’s involvement in the group’s actions and conduct.

  • Collective Responsibility

    Collective Responsibility is where every member is deeemed responsible regardless of an individual member’s involvement in decisions or the member’s position or rank.

  • Commercial Court

    A Commercial Court is part of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.

  • Commercial property

    Property that is used for business activities. Includes offices, industrial property, retail property (shops), farms, and more.

  • Committal

    – Committal for Trial: Following examination by the Magistrates of a case involving and indictable or either way offence, the procedure of directing the case to the Crown Court to be dealt with
    – Committal for Sentence: Where the Magistrates consider that the offence justifies a sentence greater than they are empowered to impose they may commit the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence to be passed by a judge
    – Committal Order: An order of the Court committing someone to prison
    – Committal Warrant. See Warrant of Committal.

  • Commodities

    Commodities are goods, wares, and merchandise of any kind; movables; articles of trade or commerce.

  • Common Law

    The law established, by precedent, from judicial decisions and established within a community.

  • Community

    A Community is a society of people living in the same place, under the same laws and regulations, and who have common rights and privileges.

  • Community Punishment Order

    A Community Punishment Order involve the offender doing unpaid work in the community. These are usually handed to offenders between the ages of 16 and 17.

  • Compensation

    Usually a sum of money offered to make amends for an act, error or omission that harmed someone. The harm suffered may have been loss, personal injury or inconvenience.

  • Compensation Order

    A Compensation Order is an order from a court that the convicted person must pay compensation to cover the cost of the damages they committed.

  • Competency

    Competency refers to the law of evidence. The presence of those characteristics, or the absence of those disabilities, which render a witness legally fit and qualified to give testimony in a court of justice. The term is also applied, in the same sense, to documents or other written evidence.

  • Complainant

    A complainant is a person who makes a complaint.

  • Complaint

    A complaint is expressing discontent for something.

  • Complete / completion (property)

    Completion takes place when the purchase money is transferred to the seller and other fees are paid.

  • Compliance

    Compliance is the process by which an organisation ensures that it observes and complies with the external statutory laws and regulations.

  • Conciliation

    An alternative to alternative dispute resolution where the parties to a dispute use a conciliator, who meets with the parties both separately and together in an attempt to resolve their differences.

  • Concurrent Sentence

    A Concurrent Sentence is a direction by a Court that a number of sentences of imprisonment should run at the same time.

  • Concurrent Writ

    A Concurrent Writ is a duplicate of the original writ bearing the same date and expiring at the same time as the original.

  • Conditional Discharge

    A Conditional Discharge is a discharge of a convicted defendant without sentence on condition that he/she does not re-offend within a specified period of time.

  • Conduct Money

    Conduct Money is money paid to a witness in advance of the hearing of a case as compensation for time spent travelling to and attending Court.

  • Confidential

    If something is deemed Confidential it is intrusted with the confidence of another or with his secret affairs or purposes; intended to be held in confidence or kept secret.

  • Conflict

    A Conflict is the friction that happens when incompatible parties or differences.

  • Conflict of Interest

    The term Conflict of Interest can refer to:
    – a situation that can undermine a person due to self interest and public interest
    – a situation when parties discharge responsibility to a third party.

  • Conflict Resolution

    Conflict Resolution is a form of conversational mediation used by lawyers, aimed at preventing discord.

  • Conflicting Evidence

    Conflicting Evidence is a term given to evidence that is taken from different sources that contradict each other.

  • Confrontation

    In law Confrontation is a term used in criminal law. It refers to the act of setting a witness face to face with the prisoner, in order that the latter may make any objection he has to the witness, or that the witness may identify the accused.

  • Consecutive Sentence

    A Consecutive Sentence is an order for a subsequent sentence of imprisonment to commence as soon as a previous sentence expires. Can apply to more than two sentences.

  • Consensual

    Consensual is a contract that can be oral or written and is agreed to by the parties involved.

  • Consequence

    Consequence is a term that is applied to the natural result of an action and that is expected to happen.

  • Consider

    Consider means to think about, or to ponder or study and to examine carefully. A judge or jury will consider their verdict.

  • Consign

    In civil law, Consign means to deposit in the custody of a third person a thing belonging to the debtor, for the benefit of the creditor, under the authority of a court of justice.

  • Consolidation

    Consolidation is the act of combining two or more things into one. In corporate law, the union of two or more corporations into a new corporation along with the dissolution of the original corporations. See also Merger.

  • Conspiracy

    Conspiracy is the action of plotting. A secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

  • Constructive Dismissal

    Constructive Dismissal is the changing of an employee’s job or working conditions with the aim of forcing their resignation.

  • Constructive Notice

    This is to presume that something is known. The law sometimes presumes that a person knows something even though they do not.

  • Consumer credit agreement

    An agreement by a creditor, such as a bank, to provide up to £25,000 of credit to a consumer.

  • Consumer Rights

    Consumer Rights are a group of laws and organisations designed to ensure the rights of consumers as well as fair trade, competition and accurate information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors.

  • Contempt of Court

    Contempt of Court is the disobedience or disrespect towards the judicial process, a court of law, its officers and practises.
    In civil cases, failing to appear as a witness without informing the court or the party that called you. Being in Contempt of Court could result in a fine.

  • Contentious

    Contentious applies to something that can be contested or is argumentative.

  • Contest

    To Contest is to make defense to an adverse claim in a court of law; to oppose, resist, or dispute the case made by a plaintiff.

  • Contraband

    Contraband is something that is against law or treaty; prohibited. Goods exported from or imported into a country against its laws.

  • Contract

    A Contract is a lawful agreement entered into voluntarily by two or more parties, each of whom intends to create one or more legal obligations between them.

  • Contributory Negligence

    Contributory Negligence is the ppartial responsibility of a claimant for the injury in respect of which he/she claims damages.

  • Convene

    A term used in civil law, to Convene is to bring an action.

  • Conveyance

    The legal process of transferring property from one owner to another.

  • Convict

    As a noun, Convict is a term that applies to a person who has been found guilty of committing a crime or a misdemeanor.
    As a verb, to Convict is to find an accused guilty of crime.

  • Conviction

    A formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence.

  • Copyright

    The exclusive legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to make copies or license literary, artistic, or musical material, whether printed, published, performed, filmed (video) or recorded (audio).

  • Coroner

    A Coroner is a government official whose role it is to confirm and certify the death of an individual. A coroner may also conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death, and investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead.

  • Corroborating Circumstances

    The term Corroborating Circumstances is given to the facts that support the testimony that is given by a witness.

  • Corroborating Evidence

    Corroborating Evidence is evidence supplementary to that already given and tending to strengthen or confirm it; additional evidence of a different character to the same point.

  • Corroboration

    Corroboration is evidence, either written or oral, that supports claims made in court.

  • Corruption

    Corruption refers to dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. An act done with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others.

  • Costs

    Costs are the expenses that a court case can bring, including fees of solicitors and barristers.

  • Counsel

    Counsel is a barrister or other legal adviser conducting a case.

  • Count

    A Count is an individual offence set out in an indictment.

  • Counterclaim

    A Counterclaim is a claim made by a defendant against a claimant in an action. There is no limit imposed on a counterclaim, but a fee is payable according to the amount counterclaimed.

  • Counterfeit

    A Counterfeit is a fraudulent imitation of something else – made in exact imitation of something valuable with the intention to deceive or defraud.

  • Counterpart

    A law a Counterpart is one of two copies of a legal document.

  • County Court

    A county court deals with civil cases as opposed to criminal ones. Examples include business disputes, unpaid fines and negligence and they handle cases up to a value of £50,000.

  • County Court Judgment (CCJ)

    A County Court Judgment is a judgment of the county court that orders a defendant to pay a sum of money to the claimant. CCJs are recorded on the Register of County Court Judgments for six years and can affect a defendant’s ability to borrow money.

  • Court

    A Court is the body with judicial powers (see also Courtroom).

  • Court of Appeal

    The Court of Appeal is divided into civil and criminal divisions. The latter hears appeals:
    – from decisions in the High Court and county courts and,
    – against convictions or sentences passed by the Crown Court, (see also Public Trustee Monies held in Court, for suitors, minors, Court of Protection patients etc)

  • Court of Appeal

    Court of Appeal is a court of law that hears appeals against both civil and criminal judgements from the Crown Courts, High Court, and County Courts.

  • Court of Protection

    The Court of Protection is the branch of the High Court with jurisdiction over the estates of people mentally incapable of handling their own financial affairs.

  • Court Order

    A Court Order is an order that has been written by the judge of the court and needs to be obeyed.

  • Courtroom

    A Courtroom is the room in which cases are heard.

  • Covenant

    A formal agreement or a contract constituting an obligation to perform an act.

  • Cover Up

    A Cover Up is the term given to mean to hide a thing that is unlawful or to evade and impede investigations.

  • Credibility

    Credibility refers to the law of evidence. Worthiness of belief; that quality in a witness which renders his evidence worthy of belief.

  • Creditor

    A Creditor is a person who is owed money by a debtor.

  • Crime of Passion

    Crime of Passion is the name given to a crime that is committed under circumstances that involves the compelling emotion of the perpetrator.

  • Criminal

    A Criminal is a person who has been found guilty of a criminal offence.

  • Criminal Determination

    Criminal Determination is the act of scrutinising a bill of costs in criminal proceedings to see if the work done and amount claimed is reasonable.

  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

    The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a Government organisation that deals with compensation claims from people who have been physically or mentally injured because they were the blameless victim of a violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales.

  • Criminal Intent

    Criminal Intent is the intent to commit a crime: malice, as evidenced by a criminal act; an intent to deprive or defraud the true owner of his property.

  • Criminal negligence

    Criminal negligence is a far more serious form of negligence that usually involves the death of another individual. The defendant has failed to perceive the serious nature of his or her actions and instead precipitated a gross violation of the standard of care expected on an individual.

  • Criminal responsibility

    Criminal responsibility is a term in medical jurisprudence where an accuser’s mental capacity to understand the charges against him and may have no knowledge of the crime.

  • Cross-examination

    Cross-examination is the questioning of a witness for the other side in a case.

  • Crown Court

    The Crown Court hears criminal cases that have been committed for trial before a judge and jury by a Magistrates Court. They also hear appeals for cases that were first dealt with by a Magistrates Court.

  • Crown Prosecution Service

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police and other investigative authorities, in England and Wales.

  • Crown prosecutor

    A lawyer (generally a solicitor or a barrister) working for the Crown Prosecution Service.

  • Culpable

    At fault or guilty of something.

  • Custodial Sentence

    A Custodial Sentence means a prison sentence. You  hav been found guilty of the crime and the punishement is the serve a set amount of time in prison.

  • Custody

    Custody with regards to the law has two meanings:
    – the protective care or guardianship of someone or something, or
    – imprisonment

  • Customs duties

    Duties which are charged on imports of goods into the UK and on some exports.

  • Damage Assessment

    A Damage Assessment is an onsite evaluation of damages that is caused by an accident or event before a claim is made. The information listed is extent of damage, items that are replaceable, restorable, or fixed. Also the time it will take to do this.

  • Damages

    An amount of money claimed as compensation for physical or material loss.

  • Damages Excessive

    These are the monies that are awarded by the jury that are in excess of the warranted damages in a certain case.

  • Date of Service (civil claims)

    The Date of Service of the claim is the date upon which the defendant receives the claim form issued by the court on behalf of the claimant. If the ‘particulars of claim’ section is completed or the particulars of claim are attached, the defendant must acknowledge receipt within 14 days.

  • Debt

    Debt is money that is owed.

  • Debtor

    A Debtor is a person who owes money to someone or to an organisation.

  • Declaration

    A Declaration is a court order setting out the rights of a party in the form of a statement.

  • Decree

    A Decree is an order of the Court in proceedings commenced by petition.

  • Decree Absolute

    A Decree Absolute is a certificate dissolving a marriage.

  • Decree Nisi

    Decree Nisi is an order for divorce unless cause to contrary is shown within a set period.

  • Deed

    A Deed is a legal document, signed by both parties, which sets out the terms of an agreement.

  • Deed of Separation

    Deed of Separation is a contract drawn up by a solicitor that outlines the financial terms of a separation/divorce.

  • Defamation

    When someone says or publishes something that makes people think badly of you or your busines, or which damages your reputation and causes hurt feelings. Defamation can be of two types: libel or slander.

  • Default Judgment

    A Default Judgment may be obtained without a hearing by the claimant if the defendant fails to reply or pay within a 14 day period after service of the claim. A claimant can apply for a default judgment if the amount claimed is specified or for a judgment on liability if the amount claimed is unspecified.

  • Defence or defending a claim (civil)

    Defence or defending a claim is when the defendant disputes the claim made by the claimant.

  • Defendant (civil)

    The person who has a claim made against them. They can defend (dispute the claim) or admit liability, in part or in full.

  • Defendant (criminal)

    A Defendant is a person standing trial or appearing for sentence.

  • Defer

    Defer is an intentional delay until a future date.

  • Delinquent

    Delinquent is a civil law term for he who has been guilty of some crime, offense, or failure of duty.

  • Demeanor

    The term Demeanor is used to characterise the appearance and the look and the attitude of a witness.

  • Denial

    Denial is the formal challenge by a defendant of the truth of an allegation made by the plaintiff.

  • Dependent

    A Dependent is a person who relies on another, especially a family member, for financial support.

  • Deponent

    A Deponent is a person giving evidence by affidavit.

  • Deposition

    Deposition is a written record of a witness’ statement.

  • depreciation

    The drop in value of an asset due to wear and tear, age and obsolescence (going out of date), as recorded in an organisation’s financial records.

  • Derogation

    Derogation is damaging someone’s rights or entitlements.

  • Desertion

    Desertion is grounds for a divorce/dissolution. For example if your partner leaves to work overseas and doesn’t wish to return.

  • Designated Civil Judge

    A Designated Civil Judge is a judge designated to deal with the Civil Justice Reforms for a group of courts.

  • Detailed Assessment (of costs)

    A Detailed Assessment is when a court makes a costs order it may make an assessment of costs, usually at the conclusion of proceedings. A costs officer would carry out the assessment. See also Summary Assessment and Taxation of Costs.

  • Determination

    Determination is the ending of an agreement.

  • Devi

    A Devi is an individual who is given freehold land by a Will.

  • Devise

    Devise is to leave land in a will.

  • Devolution

    the transfer of title to real property by the automatic operation of law. 2) n. the transfer of rights, powers or an office (public or private) from one person or government to another.

  • Direct Examination

    the first questioning of a witness during a trial or deposition (testimony out of court), as distinguished from cross-examination by opposing attorneys and redirect examination when the witness is again questioned by the original attorney.

  • Directions (civil)

    Directions are case management instructions given by the judge which give a time-table for pre-trial procedures. In cases allocated to the small claims track the judge will usually give standard directions, in cases allocate to the multi-track, there may be several hearings on directions.

  • Disability

    The inability of a person to handle their own affairs, for instance through mental illness or a minor under 18 years of age, which prevents involvement in civil legal proceedings without representation.

  • Disbursement

    A payment made by a professional person, such as a solicitor or accountant, on behalf of a client. The money is claimed back by including it on the bill for professional services which is sent to the client.

  • Discharge

    A Discharge is a type of sentence where no punishment is imposed. An absolute discharge is unconditional: the defendant is not punished, and the case is over. In some jurisdictions, an absolute discharge means there is no conviction despite finding that the defendant is guilty.

  • Disciplinary

    In employment law, disciplinary action is a process for dealing with job-related behavior that does not meet expected and communicated performance standards.

  • Disclaimer

    A Disclaimer is a statement that denies something, especially responsibility. An act of repudiating a claim, warranty, or bequest.

  • Disclosure

    Disclosure is when parties of a civil case disclose documents they wish to rely on in court.

  • Discontinuance

    Discontinuance is the instruction from the claimant, given by the Court, that they do not wish to proceed with the case.

  • Discovery of Documents

    Discovery of Documents is the mutual exchange of evidence and all relevant information held by each party relating to the case. See Inspection of Documents.

  • Discredit

    To Discredit is to destroy or impair the credibility of a person ; to impeach ; to lessen the degree of credit to be accorded to a witness or document; to disparage or weaken the reliance upon the testimony of a witness, or upon documentary evidence, by any means whatever.

  • Discretion

    Discretion is the power of a judge, public official or a private party (under authority given by contract, trust or will) to make decisions on various matters based on his/her opinion within general legal guidelines.
    Judicial discretion is the exercise of judgment by a judge or court based on his/her personal judgment and guided by the principles of law.
    Prosecutorial discretion refers to the varying options available to a prosecutor when prosecuting a criminal case.
    In criminal law and tort law, discretion is the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong, sufficient to render one responsible for one’s own actions.

  • Discrimination

    To distinguish, single out, or make a distinction. In the context of civil rights law, unlawful discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment based on certain characteristics, age, gender, disability, religion etc. In the UK you are protected from discrinination by the Equality Act 2000 at work/in education, as a consumer, when buying/rent property and using public services.

  • Dismissal

    Dismissal is to make order or decision that a claim be ceased.

  • Disorder

    Disorder is the breakdown of peaceful and law-abiding public behaviour. A public order offence such as criminal damage, violent disorder, harassment and inciting racial or religious hatred, are all criminal acts. Someone accused of a disorder offence may face prosecution and/or trial.

  • Dispute

    A Dispute is a civil problem not dealt with in court, (a civil dispute which comes to court is called a civil case); challenging the views of the opposing party in a civil case.

  • Disrepute

    Disrepute is a state of not being respected or trusted by most people, A state of having a bad reputation, or lack or decline of good reputation. A state of being held in low esteem.

  • Dissolution

    Dissolution is a legal process that ends your contract of civil partnership.

  • Distress Warrant

    A Distress Warrant is a court order which gives permission to seize goods from a debtor to pay their debts.

  • Distribution

    the act of dividing up the assets of an estate or trust, or paying out profits or assets of a corporation or business according to the ownership percentages.

  • District Judge

    A District Judge is a judicial officer of the Court whose duties involve hearing applications made within proceedings and final hearings subject to any limit of jurisdiction. Previously known as Registrars.

  • Disturbance

    A Disturbance is an interference with rights or property. In some cases in can be a criminal act and prosecution is possible.

  • Divisional Court

    Divisional Court – As well as having an original jurisdiction of their own, all three divisions of the High Court have appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from lower Courts and tribunals.
    – The Divisional Court of the Chancery Division deals with appeals in bankruptcy matters from the County Court.
    – The Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division deals largely with certain appeals on points of law from many Courts.
    – The Divisional Court of the Family Division deals largely with appeals from Magistrates Courts in matrimonial matters a ‘next friend’ or ‘guardian ad litem’

  • Divorce

    Divorce is the nullity of a marriage.

  • Dock

    The Dock is the enclosure in a courtroom for the defendant on trial.

  • Dolus Eventualis

    Dolus Eventualis or legal intention is intent which is present when the perpetrator objectively foresees the possibility of his act causing death and persists regardless of the consequences, suffices to find someone guilty of murder.

  • Domestic Partners

    Unmarried couples, including homosexuals, living together in long-standing relationships, who may be entitled to some of the same benefits as married people, such as job-related health plans.

  • Dossier

    Dossier is a term is given to the bundle of papers and information on a particular person, event, or subject.

  • Double Will

    A Double Will is a will in which two persons join, each leaving his property and estate to the other, so that the survivor takes the whole.

  • Doubt

    Doubt is uncertainty of mind; the absence of a settled opinion or conviction; theattitude of mind towards the acceptance of or belief in a proposition, theory, orstatement, in which the judgment is not at rest but inclines alternately to either side.

    It is that state of the case which, after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidence, leaves the minds of jurors in that condition that they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction to a moral certainty of the truth of the charge.

  • Draconian Law(s)

    Draconian Law is a code of laws prepared by Draco, the celebrated law-giver of Athens. These laws were exceedingly severe, and the term is now sometimes applied to any laws of unusual harshness.

  • Drawer

    The person or organisation that has written a bill of exchange, such as a person who has written a cheque.

  • Due Diligence

    An action a person can take which is considered reasonable in a particular circumstance in 0rder to keep themselves or others safe. For example, a doctor or surgeon ensuring that they are performing their duties to their maximum ability, or a landowner removing any hazards which could be harmful to others.

  • Duly Qualified

    Duly Qualified means that a person is trained and prepared to perform tasks or to fulfil an office.

  • Duly Sworn

    Duly Sworn means to have sworn under oath by a person who administers oaths.

  • Duress

    Duress refers to threats, violence, constraints or other action used to coerce someone into doing something against their will or better judgement.

  • Duty of Care

    An individual may owe a Duty of Care to another, to ensure that they do not suffer any unreasonable harm or loss. A breach of duty of care can lead to legal action by the victim or shareholders for any losses they incur.

  • Dying Declaration

    the statement of a mortally injured person who is aware he/she is about to die, telling who caused the injury and possibly the circumstances (“Frankie shot me”). Although hearsay since the dead person cannot testify in person, it is admissible on the theory that a dying person has no reason not to tell the truth.

  • Early Neutral Evaluation

    Early Neutral Evaluation will provide you with an initial assessment of the merits of a case. An independent (usually legally qualified) person, who expresses an opinion on the merits of the issues would evaluate the case. This opinion is non-binding but provides an unbiased evaluation and guidance as to the likely outcome should the case be heard in court. The advantage of this is that if the parties agree with the evaluation then court proceedings may be avoided and both your time and costs are saved.

  • Earnest

    An earnest is the payment of a part of the price of goods sold, or the delivery of part of such goods, for the purpose of binding the contract.

  • Easement

    Easement is the right to use someone else’s land.

  • Either-way Offence

    An Either-way Offence is an offence for which the accused may elect the case to be dealt with either summarily by the magistrates or by committal to the Crown Court to be tried by jury.

  • Embezzlement

    Embezzlement is the misappropriation of funds or property that has been entrusted to your care but owned by someone else. To take money for personal use.

  • Emigrant

    An Emigrant is one who quits his country for any lawful reason, with a design to settleelsewhere, and who takes his family and property, if he has any, with him.

  • Employ

    To Employ is to engage in one’s service in exchange for monetary payment.

  • Employee

    An Employee is a person who works for another person or a company for wages or a salary or other compensation.

  • Employer

    An Employer is one who employs the services of others; one for whom employees workand who pays their wages or salaries.

  • Employer’s Liability

    Employer’s Liability is accountability legally held against an employer. Employers may be held liable for an accident arising out of the general course of employment. In some jurisdictions, it is possible for the employee to take legal action against the employer to recover damages for harm caused by the employer’s negligence.

  • Employer’s Liability Insurance

    Employer’s Liability Insurance is a that policy covers accountability legally held against an employer for harm arising from an accident occurring during the general course of employment.

  • Encroach

    To Encroach is to advance gradually beyond usual or acceptable limits. To gain unlawfully upon the lands, property, or authority of another.

  • Endorsement

    Endorsement refers to the signing of a document which allows for the legal transfer of a negotiable from one party to another.

  • Endowment Policy

    A type of insurance policy which will pay out a lump sum on a fixed date in the future, or when you die if this happens earlier.

  • Enforcement

    Enforcement is to pursue a civil action after a judgement has been made. Usually the collection of fines and other monetary orders carried out by a Magistrates Court.

  • Enforcement/enforcing a judgment

    Enforcement/enforcing a judgment is when a judgment/order has not been paid or terms obeyed with, enforcement proceedings can be issued to ensure compliance. A court can order such action as the seizure of a defendant’s property for sale.

  • Enter Judgment on Admission

    The claimant can ask the court to Enter Judgment on Admission when the defendant has admitted all or part of the case and offered payment or other restitution.

  • Entry of Judgment

    Entry of Judgment is the decision of the Court in favour of one or other of the parties.

  • Environmental Law

    Environmental Law is the collective body of rules and regulations, orders and statutes, constraints and allowances that seeks to protect or enhance the environment. Legal basis for measuring active accountability and liability of environmental crime or failure to comply with legal provisions. Legal constraints on economic activities in an environment.

  • Environmental Liability

    Environmental Liability is a principle-based obligation of a polluting party to pay for any and all damage the party caused to the environment. If damage can be tied to a specific party, this is a strict liability in some countries.

  • Equal Opportunity

    Equal Opportunity means each opportunity is available to everyone equally regardless of their age, race, sex, religion, political association, ethnic origin, and any other individual or group characteristic unrelated to ability, performance, and qualification. The pinnacle principle of non-discrimination. Adamant that education, employment, and advancement possibilities, as well as benefits, and resources, must be openly available to every citizen.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer

    An Equal Opportunity Employer is an employer who overt advertises to being in compliance with the principle of equal opportunity. The focus is typically hiring and promotion practices. Such an employer will not discriminate and will terminate anyone within the company that does discriminate.

  • Equality

    Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably, specific to their needs, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. Promoting equality should remove discrimination in all of the aforementioned areas.

  • Equality Act 2010

    The Equality Act 2010 gives women (and men) a right to equal pay for equal work. It replaces previous legislation on equal pay, including the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and the equality provisions in the Pensions Act 1995.

  • Equitable Relief

    Equitable Relief applies to the assistance to a complainant seeking a just and fair remedy from the court.

  • Equitable Remedy

    Equitable Remedy is when a court awards a nonmonetary judgment, such as an order to do something (mandamus or specific performance) or refrain from doing something (injunction), when monetary damages are not sufficient to repair the injury.

  • Equity Fund

    An Equity Fund is a fund that invests in company shares.

  • Equity Income Fund

    An Equity Income Fund is a mutual fund whose goal is high return by income through either immediate dividend yield or projected future growth. This occurs by using most of the available investment capital to purchase common stock with these characteristics.

  • Equity Interest

    Equity Interest is partial or full ownership in a company by shares of stock, rather than a creditor’s interest from being owed money.

  • Equity Option or Equity Warrent

    An Equity Option or Equity Warrent is an opportunity given an investor to buy, or sell a specific number of shares, by a certain date (date of expiration), for a set price.

  • Equity Value

    Equity Value is the total value of a company after subtracting out liabilities and debt.

  • Ergonomics

    Ergonomics is the study of the human in the workplace. Focus is on the mental and physical stresses, necessary abilities and constraints, various workplace settings. Anatomical, physiological, and psychological activity or human factors are applied to work settings and the work done. The intent is to mitigate potential and actual damage, accidents, and pain.

  • Escape Clause

    An Escape Clause is the allowance for withdrawing from a contract when specified conditions occur. Can also allow changing these conditions. Provision in a contract.

  • Escrow

    Escrow is a deed that has been supplied but cannot come into effect until a set date, or until a particular event has occurred.

  • Espionage

    Espionage is the practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.

  • Estate

    An Estate is the assets of a person in terms of property.

  • Estimate

    An Estimate is an offer to do a set of work for a calculated price.

  • Ethical Standards

    Ethical Standards are moral principles intended to generate trust, good behavior, fairness, and kindness. Typically occurs in a corporate setting, an organisation will set out its Ethical Standards at employees and shareholders must adhere to.

  • Ethics

    The term Ethics refers to the branch of philosophy that deals with morality. Ethics is concerned with the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity. The right and wrong human actions.

  • European Convention on Human Rights

    The European Convention on Human Rights is a landmark treaty that was drawn up in the aftermath of World War II. It protects human rights and fundamental freedoms aimed at achieving greater international unity in recognising the equal rights of men and women, and incorporating the traditions of civil liberty

  • European Court of Human Rights

    European Court of Human Rights aims to apply and to protect the civil and political rights of the continent’s citizens. It hears applications alleging that a member state has breached one or more of the human rights provisions concerning civil and political rights set out in the Convention and its protocols. An application can be lodged by an individual, a group of individuals or one or more of the other contracting states, and, besides judgments.

  • European Court of Justice

    The European Court of Justice is the EU supreme court. It interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way in all EU countries, and settles legal disputes between national governments and EU institutions. It consists of 27 Judges and 8 Advocates General. Each member state appoints one Judge on legal expertise.

  • Eviction

    Eviction is the removal of a tenant from rental property by the landlord.

  • Eviction Notice

    Private tenants are usually entitled to a written Eviction Notice to leave their homes. How much notice you get depends on the type of tenancy you have and the reason you are being evicted. Usually a ‘Section 21’ notice gives you two months.

  • Evidence

    Evidence is the materials used to support an individual’s case in a court of law.

  • Ex turpi causa (non oritur actio)

    A Latin term, from a base cause no right of action will arise.

    A legal principle that one knowingly engaged in an illegal activity and may not claim damages arising out of that activity.

  • Examination

    Examination refers to the primary questioning of a witness during a trial that is conducted by the side for which that person is acting as a witness.

  • Exchange (property)

    A conveyancing term which refers to the exchange of contracts. Once signed, there is a legally binding contract between the seller and buyer for the sale and purchase of a property.

  • Exclusion of Witnesses

    Exclusion of Witnesses is the rule of evidence that requires all witnesses (except the defendant and the plaintiff) to remain outside the courtroom until each is called to testify. Its objective is to prevent the witnesses from being influenced by one another’s testimony. It also prohibits a witness from discussing his or testimony with other witnesses before testifying.

  • Exclusions

    Exclusions is a list of items that a policy (such as insurance) does not cover, these will be listed in the agreement.

  • Exclusive License

    An Exclusive License is the certified allowance of a person or entity to conduct specified activities in a specified area or industry for a specified amount time, involving specified goods and/or services. Certified allowance of another person or entity to conduct other specified activities in a different specified area or industry for a specified amount time, involving different specified goods and/or services. As long as some aspect of what is allowed differs from one license to another, the exclusiveness of the license is met by the licensor or issuing agency. Copyright laws are an example of this type of license. The writer/owner has exclusive rights to market the written content. This does not prevent other writers from having the same rights, but to their own written content.

  • Exculpate

    Exculpate is removing blame or accusation from a person. Typically for a non-criminal act, like a traffic accident. There is nothing illegal or immoral or criminal in this action.

  • Excusable

    In law, Excusable implies that the act or omission spoken of is on its face unlawful, wrong, or liable to entail loss or disadvantage on the person chargeable, but that the circumstances attending it were such as to constitute a legal “excuse” for it, that is a legal reason for withholding or foregoing the punishment, liability, or disadvantage which otherwise would follow.

  • Excusatio

    A term used in civil law, Excusatio is an excuse or reason which exempts from some duty or obligation.

  • Execute

    To Execute is to carry out the terms of a contract.

  • Execution

    Execution is the seizure of debtors goods following non payment of a Court order (see Levy and Fi-Fa).

  • Executor

    An Executor is the person or persons assigned to carry out the provisions of a Will.

  • Exempt

    Exempt is to be freed from liability or allegiance.

  • Exhibit

    An Exhibit is a document or item that is submitted as evidence in court.

  • Exonerate

    To Exonerate is to clear (someone) of an accusation; free from guilt or blame; exculpate. Can also mean to release someone from a duty or obligation.

  • Expert Testimony

    Expert Testimony is the testimony given by a person with expertise in a particular field.

  • Expert Witness

    An Expert Witness is a professional appointed to give evidence on a subject in which they have expertise or are qualified.

  • Extradition

    The surrender by one state or country of a person charged with a crime in another state or country.

  • Eyewitness

    An Eyewitness is one who saw the act, fact, or transaction. A party that testifies about what they saw.

  • Fabricated Evidence

    This evidence that is false or altered so much that it is deceitful.

  • Face Amount

    The total amount of coverage provided by an insurance contract, as stated on the face.

  • Failure of Proof

    This evidence that is false or altered so much that it is deceitful.

  • Fair Comment

    Fair Comment is the defence to defamation. It is an honest statement about the subject at hand.

  • Fair Hearing

    Fair Hearing is a hearing with fundamental principles of justice that is not held in court.

  • Falsa Demonstratio Non Nocet

    Falsa Demonstratio Non Nocet is a phrase meaning a false description does not vitiate or spoil. Most commonly applied to a wrong description of something in a legal document, usually a Will. This error will not necessarily void the Will if it can be determined from other facts in the document.

  • False Arrest

    False Arrest applies to the unlawful restraint and or imprisonment of a person and an illegal arrest.

  • False Claim

    False Claim is the term used when a person knowingly makes an untrue statement or claim to gain an benefit or reward.

  • False Entry

    False Entry is an untrue statement in books of accounts that is made to deceive.

  • False Impersonation

    False Impersonation is the act of taking another person’s identity.

  • False Pretence

    Misleading someone by deliberately making a false statement.

  • False Pretenses

    False Pretenses is the premeditated and calculated act that misrepresents the facts or a situation in order to defraud.

  • False Statement

    A False Statement is a deceitful and untrue statement that is made for ulterior motives

  • False Witness

    A False Witness is a witness who has knowingly and willfully given a false testimony.

  • Falsify

    To Falsify is to alter (information, a document, or evidence) so as to mislead.
    To prove (a statement or theory) to be false.

  • Family Division

    Family Division is the part of the High Court that deals with divorces or family matters.

  • Family Limited Partnership

    A Family Limited Partnership is a business partnership putting control in the family. Each generation gets the rights. It avoids taxes and gets more benefits from a limited partnership.

  • Family Trust

    A Family Trust is a trust that lets a parent transfer assets to children to prevent a spouse from getting it.

  • Fast Track

    Fast Track is the path that defended claims of no more than £15,000 are allocated.

  • Fiat

    A Fiat is a demand or decree.

  • Fiduciary

    In a position of trust. This includes people such as trustees looking after trust assets for the beneficiaries and company directors running a company for the shareholders’ benefit.

  • Fieri-Facias (FI-FA)

    Fieri-Facias is the High Court version of warrant of execution in County Court. A directive by a High Court to a sheriff to seize sufficient goods of a debtor to satisfy judgment debt (see Execution and Levy).

  • Filing

    Filing is the act of presenting forms or other documents to a court, for instance a defence to a claim must be filed. Also see Lodging.

  • Final Decision

    Final Decision is a judgment disposing of the case before the court; after the judgment (or an appeal from it) is rendered all that remains is to enforce the judgment.

  • Final Judgement

    The court’s final decision in a civil case.

  • Final Settlement

    A Final Settlement is the agreement that ends matters between partners dissolving a partnership. The settling of outstanding obligations.

  • Fine

    A Fine is a monetary charge imposed upon individuals who have been convicted of a crime or a lesser offense. A Fine is the most common form of punishment for minor offences.

  • First Conviction

    A First Conviction is the conviction taken into consideration when a repeat criminal is sentenced for a subsequent event.

  • First Degree Burglary

    First Degree Burglary is the intentional breaking into of a dwelling with the intent to steal.

  • First Degree Murder

    First Degree Murder is the term applied to deliberate and premeditated killing.

  • First Instance

    First Instance refers to the trial court where a case was tried first.

  • First-hand Evidence

    First-hand Evidence is the evidence that results from seeing an event or being part of an event.

  • Fixed Annuity

    A Fixed Annuity has fixed payments up to a date for the life of the annuitant.

  • Fixed Assets

    Fixed Assets are the assets and resources needed to operate a business. They are not sold in normal business and can be land, property, equipment, vehicles, improvements and other items that are not normal business issues.

  • Fixed Charges

    Fixed Charges are overhead expenses that are related to production capacity but not the level of output. It can be rent, interest, and insurance.

  • Fixed Cost

    A Fixed Cost is the cost that is unchanged but comes up periodically. The output and revenue do not affect it. It could be depreciation, insurance, interest, rent, salary, and wages.

  • Fixed Costs

    Fixed Costs are costs in civil cases that are established at a level and can be claimed in specific circumstances.

  • Fixed Liabilities

    Fixed Liabilities applies to the known debts and obligations of a business.

  • Fixed Rate

    Fixed Rate – interest that doesn’t change over the loan life.

  • Fixed Term Tenancy

    A Fixed Term Tenancy is when a tenancy expires at the end of the lease. A new landlord does not change this.

  • Fixture

    A Fixture is sn item of personal property that is physically attached to a property and becomes part of it, as a machine that is installed. Generally fixtures cannot be removed at the end of a tenancy or rental agreement.

  • Flat Loan

    A Flat Loan is a loan provided without interest, generally used by investors who borrow money for a short sale to give to lenders as collateral. This is also common when family members and friends loan money between one another.

  • Flexible Working

    Flexible Working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, eg having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working.

  • Footnotes

    Footnotes are annotations that are used for amendments where there is authority to change the text.

  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure are unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.

  • Forced Entry

    Forced Entry means to enter a person’s property by force and against the occupants wishes.

  • Forced Sale

    A Forced Sale is the auctioning of a debtor’s assets (including property) by its creditors, upon obtaining a civil court order to the effect, and dividing the profits. Opposite of Orderly Sale. Also called Forced Liquidation.

  • Foreclosure

    Foreclosure is when someone is unable to make repayments on their mortgage and the lender has a right to seize the property from its owner. If the property owner is then able to make repayments they have a right to live in the property again.

  • Foreclosure Order

    Foreclosure Order or Repossession Order is an court order transferring the ownership of a property from the borrower to the bank or lender beacause the borrower has been upable to keep up with the mortgage repayments.

  • Forensic Evidence

    Forensic Evidence is evidence that can be used in a court based on science. It can be blood tests, ballistics, and DNA.

  • Forfeiture

    A Forfeiture is when a person gives up money, property, or privileges to compensate for losses resulting from a breach of a legal obligation.

  • Forgery

    Forgery is the crime of falsely making or altering a writing by which the legal rights or obligations of another person are apparently affected; simulated signing of another person’s name to any such writing whether or not it is also the forger’s name.

  • Fostering

    Fostering is when a child without parental support and protection, is placed with a person or family to be cared for, usually by local authority social services or by court order.

  • Franchise

    A Franchise is an authorisation granted by a government or company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities, for example acting as an agent for a company’s products.

  • Franchising

    Franchising is the contractual selling or renting of a business model around specific products and/or services at specific locations under specific arrangements. The franchiser contractually gives the franchisee use of a brand name or trademark or trade-name, and certain business systems and processes. The process are how to specifically produce and market franchise goods or services.

  • Fraption

    Fraption is absorbing a higher premium cost to secure a lower interest rate for a certain time as an investment strategy.

  • Fraud

    Fraud is actions that are designed to manipulate someone into giving someone else something of value or important information such as bank details.

  • Fraudulent Claim

    A Fraudulent Claim is the intentional use of false information in filing a claim.

  • Fraudulent Concealment

    Fraudulent Concealment is the intent to deceive or defraud in a contractual arrangement by deliberate hiding, nondisclosure, or suppression of a material fact or circumstance legally or morally bound to reveal.

  • Free Enterprise

    Free Enterprise is an economic system in which private business operates in competition and largely free of state control.

  • Free speech

    Freedom of speech and expression are recognised under the European Convention of Human Rights as fundamental human rights.

    There is no agreed official definition but generally speaking Free Speech refers to the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, by any means.

    Most people would agree that in an open, democratic society, free speech is essential. The press, the broadcast media and political opponents must have the freedom to criticise those in power. It is one of the ways that people in such a society hold their leaders accountable and express their individuality as free citizens.

  • Free Trade

    Free Trade is the buying and selling, importing and exporting of goods and services, not capital or labor, that has no limits or quotas or barriers or unbalanced tariffs.

  • Free Trade Agreement

    Free Trade Agreement is the buying and selling, importing and exporting of goods and services, not capital or labor, between two or more countries that have no limits or quotas or barriers or unbalanced tariffs.

  • Freedom of Information

    Freedom of Information is a citizen right to governmental information, requested in writing. Refuseals must be returned in writing. Reason for refusal can be requested, in writing.

  • Freehold

    Freehold is land that only its owner has any rights over.

  • Freeholder

    Freehold is the ownership of property. A Freeholder is a person who holds the rights to a freehold property.

  • Freeze Out

    A Freeze Out is an action taken by a company’s majority shareholders that pressures minority holders to sell their stakes in the company. A variety of maneuvers may be considered freeze-out tactics, such as the termination of minority shareholder employees or the refusal to declare dividends.

  • Freezing Order

    If you are an individual or a business involved in a dispute and suspect that your opponent may dispose of its assets to defeat your claim then we can help you obtain a freezing order. This will prevent the disposition of assets or funds until the case goes to trial.

  • Friendly Takeover

    A Friendly Takeover is a situation in which a target company’s management and board of directors agree to a merger or acquisition by another company.

  • Friendly Witness

    A Friendly Witness is a witness who is called to the court by one party to give testimony in favour to that party.

  • Frustration of Contract

    Frustration of Contract is the legal termination of a contract due to unforeseen circumstances that (1) prevent achievement of its objectives, (2) render its performance illegal, or (3) make it practically impossible to execute.

  • Frustration of Testamentary Intention

    Frustration of Testamentary Intention is the term used when an heir or a legatee fails to fulfil a promise that has been made when the deceased was alive.

  • Fugitive

    A Fugitive is one who flees; always used in law with the implication of a flight, evasion or escape from some duty or penalty or from the consequences of a misdeed.

  • Fugitive Witness

    Fugitive Witness is the name given to a person needed to testify in court but has run away and becomes a fugitive from justice.

  • Full Disclosure

    Full Disclosure:
    1. In Accounting, this is the practice of disclosing all material facts truthfully and completely to avoid any misunderstanding. 2. In Patenting, this is the disclosure of all material facts to avoid any deviation that may render the patent null and void in the patent application.

  • Full Settlement

    Full Settlement applies to the complete payment of any obligations, debts and claims where outstanding issue are terminated.

  • Gag Order

    A Gag Order is an order given by a court that restricts any information about a case that is pending.

  • Gainful Occupation

    Gainful Occupation means that you work for a living and earn wages.

  • Gains

    Gains refers to the value increase posted on the company’s balance sheet, reflected in the company’s financials. Caused by the profitable sale of an asset, a valued instrument.

  • Garnishee

    A Garnishee is a summons issued by a claimant, against a third party, who holds money or property that belongs to the defendant.

  • GDP

    Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period (quarterly or yearly).

  • General Assets

    General Assets applies to the money and property available and the assets in hand that can be used to pay an outstanding debt.

  • General boundaries

    Given the difficulties in establishing the position of legal boundaries, the great majority of registered titles show only the ’general boundaries’.

    These are based on a reasonable interpretation of the land in the pre-registration deeds in relation to the detail on Ordnance Survey mapping, taking into account any areas of land that the pre-registration deeds show to have been sold off and any existing adjoining registrations.

  • General Exception

    General Exception is the term given to an objection to a plea as it has little substance.

  • General Fund

    A General Fund is an account holding the revenue and expense balances used in businesses and agencies that are open to the public, like a public school system.

  • General Guarantee

    A General Guarantee covers any obligation incurred by the guarantor. Enforced by anyone to fulfill an obligation as a written undertaking.

  • General Meeting

    A General Meeting is a meeting that takes place between the owners of a company to make decisions about the company.

  • General Strike

    A General Strike (or mass strike) is a strike action in which a substantial proportion of the total labour force in a town, city, region, or country participates. General strikes are characterised by the participation of workers in a multitude of workplaces, and tend to involve entire communities.

  • Generation Skipping Transfer

    Generation Skipping Transfer refers to a person two generations or more below the owner receiving property inheritance.

  • Geographical Extent

    Geographical Extent is the area within the UK to which a legislation applies.

  • Give Notice

    Give Notice is the term used when a person is informed that a suit is about to take place.

  • Good Behaviour

    Good Behaviour is the term used for a person showing orderly conduct while in prison. It can help parole be granted and the sentence shortened.

  • Grace Period

    Grace Period is the additional time scheduled or allocated to complete a task, such as complying with a regulation, meeting an obligation, or obtaining an agreement.

  • Grant

    A Grant is proof that an individual is entitled to deal with a deceased’s estate. Grants are issued by the Probate Registry.

  • Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH)

    Grievous Bodily Harm or GBH is serious physical injury inflicted on a person by the deliberate action of another.

  • Gross negligence

    Carelessness which is in reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, and is so great it appears to be a conscious violation of other people’s rights to safety. It is more than simple inadvertence, but it is just shy of being intentionally evil. If one has borrowed or contracted to take care of another’s property, then gross negligence is the failure to actively take the care one would of his/her own property. If gross negligence is found by the trier of fact (judge or jury), it can result in the award of punitive damages on top of general and special damages.

  • Group Litigation Orders

    Group Litigation Orders can be made in a claim in which there are multiple parties or claimants. The order will provide for the case management of claims which give rise to common or related issues of fact or law.

  • Guarantor

    Guarantor is the act of promising to make a payment for another if the person responsible for making the payment is unable to do so. Usually the repayment of a loan or higher purchase agreement.

  • Guardian

    A person appointed to safeguard, protect and/or manage the interests of a child or person under mental disability (see Next Friend).

  • Guardianship Order

    A Guardianship Order is an order that requires someone to take charge of a child’s affairs and property.

  • Guilty

    Guilty is a court’s verdict that the person charged with a crime committed it.

  • Harassment

    Harassment is repeated behaviour that is bothersome or irritating. In employment law it refers to inappropriate behaviour that affects the terms and conditions of the employees terms and conditions of employment.

  • Harassment of Debtors

    Harassment of Debtors is the illegal act of trying to collect a debt by threatening verbal or physical activity to a debtor.

  • Hearing

    A Hearing is the trial of the case, usually held in public.

  • Hearsay

    Hearsay is information given by a witness who is not telling what he/she knows personally but what others have said.

  • High Court

    The High Court is a supreme court of justice. In England and Wales, a civil court comprising three divisions:
    Queen’s Bench – civil disputes for recovery of money, including breach of contract, personal injuries, libel/slander
    Family – concerned with matrimonial maters and proceedings relating to children
    Chancery – property matters including fraud and bankruptcy

  • High Court Enforcement Officers

    A High Court Enforcement Officers is an officer appointed by the Lord Chancellor to enforce High Court judgements and orders.

  • Hire

    To Hire is to borrow something for a period of time.

  • HM Land Registry

    HM Land Registry is the government organisation that keeps record of the ownership of all registered land.

  • Holding Company

    A company which controls another company, usually by owning more than half of its shares.

  • Home Court

    A Home Court is the court nearest to the defendant’s business or home.

  • Hostile Possession

    Occupancy of a piece of real property coupled with a claim of ownership (which may be implied by actions, such as putting in a fence) over anyone, including the holder of recorded title.

  • Hostile Witness

    A Hostile Witness is awitness who gives negative evidence against the party who called them as a witness. AKA Adverse Witness.

  • House Arrest

    House Arrest is the state of being kept as a prisoner in one’s own house, rather than in a prison.

  • House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

    A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a house occupied by at least 3 unrelated persons (eg a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.

  • House Survey

    A house survey will help you find out about the condition of the building you are buying and highlight any problems before you buy it. There are three types of surveys:
    A condition report – assesses the physical condition of the property. Aimed at conventional properties and newer homes.
    A home buyer report – as above plus a market valuation and insurance rebuild costs.
    A building survey – in-depth analysis of the property’s condition. Includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance. Essential for older buildings or if you’re planning major work.

  • Housing Claim

    Housing Claim is the procedure that a landlord may follow in a court to recover land or property.

  • Hung Jury

    Slang for a hopelessly deadlocked jury in a criminal case, in which neither side is able to prevail. Usually it means there is no unanimous verdict. If the jury is hung the trial judge will declare a mistrial. A new trial from scratch, with a new jury panel, is required. The prosecutor can decide not to re-try the case, particularly if a majority of the jury favoured acquittal.

  • Illegitimacy

    The condition before the law, or the social status, of a bastard; the state or condition of one whose parents were not intermarried at the time of his birth.

  • Illegitimate

    Illegitimate – not recognised as lawful offspring; specifically a child born of parents not married to each other.

  • Imitation

    Imitation is the making of one thing in the similitude or likeness of another; as, counterfeit coin is said to be made “in imitation”of the genuine. An imitation of a trade-mark is that which so far resembles the genuine trade-mark as to be likely to induce the belief that it is genuine.

  • Impartial

    Impartial means to not show any favouritism to one side during a dispute.

  • Implied Terms

    Terms that are assumed to be included in a contract or agreement, even if they were not expressly stated. For example, in the case of a sales contract, the usability of the product is implied.

  • Improbable

    Improbable means a thing is difficult to believe such as improbable testimony or alibi.

  • Indecent

    The term Indecent -means not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society; offensive to good taste especially in sexual matters. It can relate to indecent behaviour with regards to children and indent images, usually of a sexual nature.

  • Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability for damages. The concept of indemnity is based on a contractual agreement made between two parties, in which one party agrees to pay for potential losses or damages caused by the other party.

  • Independent

    Independent – a person or organisation not connected to any of the parties in a dispute or legal case, with the intention of giving impartical advice or evidence.

  • Indictable Offence

    An Indictable Offence is a criminal offence triable only by the Crown Court. The different types of offence are classified 1, 2, 3 or 4. Murder is a class 1 offence.

  • Infant

    A minor: a person under 18 years of age which prevents them from acting on their own behalf in legal proceedings.

  • Informant

    An Informant is someone who gives information to another.

  • Inheritance tax
    A tax levied on property and money acquired by gift or inheritance.
  • Initiate Tenant By Courtesy

    Initiate Tenant By Courtesy is said of a husband who becomes such in his wife’s estate of inheritance by the birth of achild, but whose estate is not consummated till the death of the wife.

  • Injunction

    An Injunction is a court order requiring a person to follow a particular course of action or restrains them from a course of action or behaviour.

  • Innocent

    Innocent in legal terms can have a number of definitions:
    – not guilty of a crime or offence (also referred to as Not Guilty)
    – a defendants plea – they state they are innocent (Not Guilty) of the charge against them
    – Innocent party – is a person involved by chance in a situation, especially a victim of crime.

  • Inquest

    An Inquest is a judicial inquiry in common law jurisdictions, particularly one held to determine the cause of a person’s death. Conducted by a judge, jury, or government official, an inquest may or may not require an autopsy carried out by a coroner or medical examiner. Generally, inquests are only conducted when deaths are sudden or unexplained.

  • Insolvency

    Insolvency is when a party has ceased to pay its debts in the ordinary course of business, or cannot pay its debts as they become due. Usually results from an order under the Insolvancy Act 1986. See Bankrupt.

  • Inspection of Documents

    Inspection of Documents is when arrangements are made by the parties to allow mutual exchange and copying of documents. See Discovery of Documents.

  • Instalments

    Instalments is a method of paying a debt in several parts at intervals. Payment by instalments is agreed to make the burden of repayment lighter.

  • Instigation

    Incitation is the act by which one incites another to do something, as to commit a crime.

  • Intellectual Property

    A brand, something you have invented, or an original piece of work that you have written.

  • Interest

    Interest is a charge for borrowing money, it is a percentage of the sum borrowed.

  • Interim

    Interim is an order given in a Court which is not final.

  • Interim Order

    An Interim Order is an order made during proceedings which is not a final order.

  • Interlocutory

    Interlocutory is an interim, pending a full order/decision, e.g. interlocutory judgment for damages pending further hearing to assess amount to be awarded and entered as final judgment.

  • Intermediary

    An Intermediary is someone who asks a witness, usually a child, questions that have been posed by a legal representative.

  • Interpleader

    An Interpleader is a claim by a third party to ownership of goods levied upon under a warrant of execution which is disputed by a creditor. The Court then issues an interpleader summons for the parties to attend Court to adjudicate on rightful ownership.

  • Intestate

    To be Intestate is to die without leaving a Will.

  • Invention

    A solution to a specific technological problem. Can be a product or a process.

  • Involuntary manslaughter

    Death caused by a person who thought they might cause physical but not fatal harm and there was no lawful excuse.

  • Issue

    Issue is to begin legal proceedings in pursuit of a claim.

  • Joint and Several Liability

    Joint and Several Liability is responsibility shared between two or more parties, for example in terms of debt each party responsible will owe their own share.

  • Joint Tenants

    Joint Tenants have equal rights to the whole property. The property automatically goes to the other owners if you die. You can’t pass on your ownership of the property in your will.

  • Joint Venture

    A joint venture is a singular, contractual business transaction between two or more parties.

  • Joint will

    A single will which two or more people make to cover all their estates. Probate has to be obtained on each death.

  • Judge

    A Judge is an officer appointed to administer the law who has authority to hear and try cases and pass sentence in a court of law.

  • Judgment

    A Judgment is the decision or sentence issued by a court in legal proceedings.

  • Judgment Set Aside

    Judgment Set Aside – A judgment or order can be set aside (made void) at the request of a party to the case in certain circumstances, for example if they were too ill to attend court on the day of the judgment

  • Judicial Discretion (civil)

    Judicial Discretion is the power judges have to decide how best to manage the case on the individual facts. They do not necessarily have to look at how similar cases are managed. The judge has very wide case management powers under Rule 3 of the civil procedure rules to decide on the evidence parties produce how best to manage their case.

  • Judicial immunity

    A judge will generally have immunity from being sued for any damages, while acting as a judge.

  • Judicial or Judiciary

    Judicial or judiciary can mean the administration of justice / the judgment of a Court OR a judge or other officer empowered to act as a judge.

  • Judicial Review

    A Judicial Review is a review, at the High Court, of decisions made by lower courts or public bodies to ensure that the decision making process has been lawful.

  • Junior Counsel

    Junior Counsel is a member of the bar: the branch of the legal profession which has rights of audience before all Courts.

  • Jurat

    A Jurat is a statement contained at the conclusion of an affidavit which states the name of the person giving the evidence, the name of the person before whom and the place where the oath or affirmation was taken.

  • Jurisdiction

    The official power to make legal decisions. This can refer to a system of individuals with legal authority or the territory it extends over.

  • Juror

    A Juror is a person who has been summoned by a Court to be a member of a jury.

  • Jury

    A Jury are members of the public sworn to reach a verdict according to the evidence heard in a Court.

  • Justice

    Fairness in protection of rights and punishment of wrongs.

  • Justice of the Peace

    This is a lay Magistrate which means they are appointed from the general pubic to administer judicial business in a Magistrates Court. They usually sit in a panel of three.

  • Juvenile

    A Juvenile is a person under the age of 17.

  • Keeping the peace

    The term that means to maintain public order and to prevent violence and other unlawful behaviour.

  • Labeling

    Labeling is identifying information on packaging about its contents, on a container holding several packages, or the product itself.

  • Labour Cost

    Total paid to workers in an accounting period, daily, weekly, monthly, or job basis. Payroll, related taxes, benefits is the cost of wages.

  • Labour Dispute

    Gap regarding the terms and conditions of employment, fringe benefits, hours or work, tenure, wages being negotiated during collective bargaining between an employer and its employees.

  • Labour Disrupt

    Gap regarding the terms and conditions of employment, fringe benefits, hours or work, tenure, wages being negotiated during collective bargaining between an employer and its employees.

  • Labour Intensive

    High amount of Physical effort. labor, required to accomplish a specific action. Examples of labour intensive industries are agriculture, construction, and coal-mining industries. Larger portion of total costs is labor, compared to costs for purchase, maintenance, and depreciation of capital equipment. Also refer to capital intensive.

  • Labour Union

    The name of an organisation of working people that is formed to protect their rights and working conditions.

  • Lack of Durisdiction

    A term that means the lack of power to act or the lack of authority in a legal matter.

  • Land Registry

    The Land Registry are responsible for the registering the ownership of land and property in England and Wales.

  • Landlord

    A Landlord is the person or agency that are responsible for land or buildings that are leased to tenants.

  • Landlord and Tenant Act

    The Landlord and Tenant Act allows tenants to seek an extension of their lease or any other act concerning tenancy.

  • Lateral Support

    The right of a land- owner to assurance that his/her neighbour’s land will provide support against any slippage, cave-in or landslide.

  • Laundering

    Converting illegal funds into legal by absorbing it into legal commercial cash flow.

  • Law

    The Law is the system made up of rules and regulations decided by an act of parliament, custom or practice or prohibiting certain action.

  • Law Lords

    Law Lords describes the judges of the House of Lords who are known as the Lords of Appeal in ordinary.

  • Lawyer

    A Lawyer is the legal profession in the UK is divided into two branches, with a different type of lawyer for each. A barrister has the right to represent clients in higher courts whereas a solicitor is restricted to represent their clients in the lower courts.

  • Lay Representative

    A Lay Representative is a person, not legally qualified, who accompanies another during a court hearing. The person may be a colleague, friend or spouse.

  • Leading Junior Counsel

    A Leading Junior Counsel is a senior barrister that deals with more serious cases (not a QC).

  • Lease

    A Lease is the letting of land or property for a set period of time.

  • Leasehold

    A legal agreement with the landlord (sometimes known as the ‘freeholder’). This tells you how many years you’ll own the property. Ownership of the property returns to the landlord when the lease comes to an end. Most leases are for 999 years and have an annual ground rent of £14.00, payable by the property owner.

  • Leave

    Leave means ‘permission’ when some steps in legal action require the permission of the court. For example a losing party may be granted leave to appeal.

  • Leave of Appeal

    Leave of Appeal is permission granted to appeal the decision of a court.

  • Leave of the Court

    Leave of the Court is permission granted by the court.

  • Legal Advice

    Advice about the law and your options from a qualified legal representative or advice centre.

  • Legal Aid

    Legal Aid or Public Funding is state funded assistance, for those on low incomes, to cover legal fees.

  • Legal boundary
  • Legal Capacity

    The legal definition says that someone who lacks capacity cannot, due to an illness or disability such as a mental health problem, dementia or a learning disability, do the following:

    • understand information given to them to make a particular decision
    • retain that information long enough to be able to make the decision
    • use or weigh up the information to make the decision
    • communicate their decision
  • Legal compliance

    Narrowly defined to mean the process by which an organisation ensures that it observes and complies with external statutory laws and regulations.

  • Legal Personal Representative

    Legal Personal Representative is the person to whom a grant of probate or letters of administration has been issued.

  • Legal Redress

    To set right, relief or remedy or a means of seeking relief or remedy. It can be putting right a wrong by compensation or compensation for injuries sustained; recovery or restitution for harm or injury; damages or equitable relief.

  • Legal Rights

    Legal rights are sometimes called civil rights or statutory rights and are culturally and politically relative since they depend on a specific societal context to have meaning.

  • Legatee

    Legatee is a person to whom personal estate is given by will.

  • Legislation

    The action or process of making a law or set of laws by a government.

  • Letters of Administration

    Letters of Administration are authority granted by a Probate Registry to someone interested in the estate of a person who has died without leaving a Will. The order allows the ‘administrator’ to carry out the duties relating to the estate.

  • Levy

    A Levy is a duty carried out by a bailiff or sheriff under the authority of a warrant or writ of fi-fa, for a sum of money whereby goods of value belonging to the debtor are claimed with a view to removal and sale at a public auction in an attempt to obtain payment (see Execution and Fi-Fa).

  • Liability

    Responsibility or obligation. For example, a debt is a liability or responsibility.

  • Libel

    Libel is the tern for written defamation – a published statement, article or image which infers damaging remarks on a person’s reputation.

  • License

    A License grants you the ability to carry out an act which would otherwise be illegal.

  • Lien

    A Lien is a legal right to withhold the goods/property of another until payment is made.

  • Liquidation

    If a business, company or organisation goes bankrupt or shuts down, it must go through the process of liquidation. Through this process, the assets of the company are sold to pay creditors, with any surplus going to shareholders.

  • Listing Questionnaire

    Listing Questionnaire is used to ensure that all issues are resolved and that the parties are ready for trial. Used for Fast track and Multi track claims only.

  • Litigant in Person

    A Litigant in Person is a person who starts or defends a case without legal representation. Such a person is entitled to be accompanied by another person who may advise them, but may not address the court.

  • Litigation

    Litigation is the process of taking legal action, specifically by taking a case through Court.

  • Litigation Friend

    A Litigation Friend is a person who conducts legal proceedings on behalf of a child or a mentally incapacitated person.

  • Living Together

    Living Together is another term for cohabitation where marriage or civil partnership rights are not legally applicable.

  • Loan creditor

    A person or organisation which has lent money to an organisation.

  • Local authority search

    A Local Authority Search (also known as local land charges search or local search) refers to the provision of specific information about a particular property and the surrounding area for buyers and sellers.

  • Local Justice Area

    Local Justice Area is an area established for the purposes of the administration of magistrates’ courts.

  • Lodging

    Lodging is the process of filing (delivering) documents to a court. See also Filing.

  • Long Title

    Acts have two titles, the Long Title explains what the act is for, often at great length.

  • Long Vacation

    Long Vacation is the period between 1 August and 30 September in each year during which there are only restricted High Court sittings for urgent matters.

  • Loophole

    A Loophole is an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules. It is a way of evading or avoiding prosecution.

  • Lord Chancellor

    The Lord Chancellor is the cabinet minister who acts as speaker of the House of Lords and oversees the hearings of the Law Lords. Additional responsibilities include supervising the procedure of Courts other than Magistrates or Coroners Courts and selection of judges, magistrates, queens counsel and members of tribunals.

  • Lord Chief Justice

    The Lord Chief Justice is the senior judge of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) who also heads the Queens Bench Division of the High Court of Justice.

  • Lord Justice of Appeal

    Lord Justice of Appeal is the title given to certain judges sitting in the Court of Appeal.

  • Lay Representative

    A Lay Representative is a person, not legally qualified, who accompanies another during a court hearing. The person may be a colleague, friend or spouse.

  • Macro Marketing

    National, societal-based perspective-study of broad marketing activities, institutions, and processes. Starting at an economy’s aggregate goods and services flow, it determines social benefits as resource consumption and environmental effects.

  • Made Known

    National, societal-based perspective-study of broad marketing activities, institutions, and processes. Starting at an economy’s aggregate goods and services flow, it determines social benefits as resource consumption and environmental effects.

  • Magistrates Court

    At a Magistrates Court justices of the peace will either hear criminal cases themselves or if after studying the evidence will commit the case to a Crown Court for trial there. They can also deal with civil cases.

  • Magna Carta

    The 13th-century document that asserted the fundamental principle of the rule of law. It was the first formal document stating that a King had to follow the laws of the land and it guaranteed the rights of individuals against the wishes of the King.

    Chapter 39 says “No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or diseised [dispossessed], or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go against him, nor will we send against him, save by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.”

  • Mainour

    In criminal law. An article stolen, when found in the hands of the thief. A thief caught with the stolen goods in his possession is said to be taken “with the mainour,” that is, with the property in manu, in his hands.

  • Maintenance Pending Suit

    Maintenance Pending Suit is a temporary order for financial provision made within divorce proceedings until such time as the proceedings are finalised (i.e. by issue of the Decree Absolute).

  • Maladministration

    Maladministration is administration that leads to injustice because of such factors as excessive delay, bias or arbitrary decision-making.

  • Malpractice

    Malpractice is an instance of negligence or incompetence on the part of a professional. Types include medical malpractice (clinical negligence) and legal malpractice.

  • Mandamus

    Mandamus is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a superior court, to any government subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from doing)—and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of a statutory duty.

  • Manslaughter

    Manslaughter is the crime of killing a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The essential distinction between the manslaughter and murder is that malice aforethought must be present for Murder.

  • Marriage

    Marriage is the legally or formally recognised union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship.

  • Master

    A Master is a judicial officer of the High Court in the Royal Courts of Justice who normally deals with preliminary matters before trial (see Registrar).

  • Matrimonial Home

    Matrimonial Home is the term used to describe the home that a couple lives in whilst married.

  • Matrimony

    Matrimony is the legal state of being married.

  • McKenzie Friend

    Assists a litigant in person in a court of law in England and Wales. This person does not need to be legally qualified. The crucial point is that litigants in person are entitled to have assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

  • Mediation

    Mediation is the process of resolving a disagreement where an impartial third party (the mediator) will assist those in dispute to find a mutual solution. A preferred option to costly court proceedings, however they can be initiated or re-activated if mediation fails.

  • Mens rea

    The intent to commit a crime and also the knowledge that an act is wrong.

  • Mercantile law

    The branch of the law dealing with commerce.

  • Merger

    Merger is the merging of one estate or title into another. It is a term predominently used in business law. Agreements are merged when one contract is absorbed into another. The merger of contracts is generally based on the language of the agreement and the intent of the parties. Consolidation is an example.

  • Merger or Acquisition

    In Company and Commercial Law, a merger or acquisition is a combination of two companies where one corporation is completely absorbed by another.

  • Mesne Profits

    Mesne Profits is the sum of money claimed by a owner of property against someone not legally entitled to be in possession. Calculated from the date the notice to quit expires until the date possession is given up

  • Minor

    A Minor is someone under 18 years of age and unable to sue or be sued without representation, other than for wages.

  • Minority Shareholder

    A Minority Shareholder is a shareholder holding less than 50% of the total shares available.

  • Miscarriage of Justice

    A Miscarriage of Justice is the conviction and punishment of a person for a crime they did not commit.

  • Mitigating Circumstances

    Mitigating Circumstances are circumstances that may be considered by a court in determining culpability of a defendant or the extent of damages to be awarded to a plaintiff. Mitigating circumstances do not justify or excuse an offense but may reduce the severity of a charge.

  • Mitigation

    Mitigation is an attempt to excuse the offence committed by submitting reasons on behalf of a guilty party in order to minimise the sentence.

  • Money laundering

    The process of transforming the proceeds of crime into ostensibly legitimate money or other assets.

  • Mortgage

    A loan of money advanced to purchase property. The transfer of the property is withheld as security for payment.

  • Motion

    A Motion is an application to the High Court by one party for an order in their favour.

  • Motive

    Motive is the purpose behind an action.

  • Murder

    Murder is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. What differentiates Murder from Manslaughter is malice aforethought.

  • Negative Pledge

    A Negative Pledge is an unsecured loan agreement’ provision requiring the borrower to get the current lender’s consent before obtaining any secured loan. An example is a bond indenture clause prohibiting the bond issuer from pledging these assets to a third party as it reduces the security level for the bondholders.

  • Negligence

    Negligence is conduct that falls below the standards of behaviour expected from citizens to protect others from harm. A person has acted negligently if they have ignored their duty of care expected of them as a reasonable person. Negligence can be harmful actions or a failure to act.

  • Negotiate

    To discuss or arrange a sale or bargain; to arrange the preliminaries of a business transaction. Also to sell or discount negotiable paper, or assign or transfer it by endorsement and delivery.

  • Negotiated settlement

    Also known as an out of court settlement. When disputes are resolved through written correspondence, telephone calls or face to face mettings.

  • Next Friend

    A Next Friend is a person representing a minor or mental patient who is involved in legal proceedings (see Guardian).

  • Nominated Court

    A Nominated Court is the court chosen to take evidence from request by a foreign court.

  • Non-Molestation

    Non-Molestation is an order within an injunction to prevent one person physically attacking another.

  • Non-resident Parent

    Non-resident Parent is a term for a parent who is not living with a child and may or may not have rights to spend time with the child.

  • Non-Suit

    Proceedings where the plaintiff has failed to establish to the Court’s satisfaction that there is a case for the defendant to answer.

  • Not Guilty

    Not Guilty is the verdict from a Court that a person charged with a crime did not commit it, when a defendant is asked for their plea they can also plead not guilty.

  • Notary Public

    Someone who is authorised to swear oaths and certify the execution of deeds.

  • Notice

    Notice is a warning of something about to happen.

  • Notice of Issue

    Notice of Issue is the notice sent by a Court to the claimant informing them of the case number allocated to their action, details of fees paid and the date of service.

  • Notice to Quit

    Notice to Quit is the giving of prior notice, when served in possession proceedings, of termination of a tenancy.

  • Novation

    Novation is replacing an existing agreement with a new one.

  • Nuisance

    Nuisance is the term for doing something that harms other people’s rights.

  • Nullity

    Application to the Court for a marriage to be declared ‘void’ or be annulled, meaning declared never to have existed or to have only subsisted until the Court dissolved it.

  • Oath

    Oath – those giving evidence or professional opinion in court are asked to call upon God to witness that what they say at the hearing is the truth.

  • Oath False

    Oath False describes perjury or the telling of a lie while under oath.

  • Objection

    Objection is the disagreement with an argument by another at the hearing.

  • Occupation

    Occupation is to take control of a piece of land that belongs to someone else.

  • Occupier’s Liability

    Occupier’s Liability is the duty of care of those who own or lease property or land, to people who visit or trespass. If an accident occurs on said property or land, the owner could be prosecuted if it is found that they were negligent in their duty to ensure the premises are safe and fit for purpose.

  • Offence

    An Offence is any act that breaks a criminal law.

  • Offer

    Offer is the promise to do something or not do something, if the promise is accepted it becomes legally binding.

  • Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

    The Office of the Public Guardian protects people in England and Wales who may not have the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves, such as about their health and finance.

  • Official Receiver

    An Official Receiver is a civil servant who works for the Department of Trade and Industry and is appointed by the Court to act as:
    – a liquidator when a company is being wound up;
    – a trustee when an individual is made bankrupt.
    The duties of an official receiver will include examining the company/bankrupt’s property which is available to pay the debts and distributing the money amongst the creditor.

  • Official Solicitor

    An Official Solicitor is a solicitor or barrister appointed by the Lord Chancellor and working in the Lord Chancellor’s Department. The duties include representing, in legal proceedings, people who are incapable of looking after their own affairs i.e. children/persons suffering from mental illness.

  • Ombudsman

    An ombudsman is a type of referee who is independent from a complaint made against an organisation and are generally seen a last resort in trying to resolve the dispute. You can still take court action if you are not satisfied with the outcome of their investigations.

  • Open Correspondence

    Open Correspondence is any email, letter, phone call or meeting which is not “without prejudice“. All open correspondence can be referred to in tribunal in front of a judge. Usually ‘open’ letters between two parties will be outright denials of liability. At the same time ‘without prejudice’ letters are sent saying “just in case we are wrong about the case, then we offer you £x in full and final settlement.”

  • Open Court Room

    An Open Court Room is a courtroom that is open to the public.

  • Opening Statement

    An Opening Statement is a statement made by representatives at the beginning of a trial before any evidence is given.

  • Oral Evidence

    Oral Evidence is evidence given in court verbally rather than in another form such as writing.

  • Oral Examination

    Oral Examination is a method of questioning a person under oath before an officer of the Court to obtain details of their financial affairs.

  • Order

    An Order is a direction given by a Court.

  • Orderly Sale

    An Orderly Sale is the open market sale of assets without the pressure to sell them in the shortest possible time or at whatever price offered. Opposite of Forced Sale. Also called Orderly Liquidation.

  • Originating Application

    Originating Application is a method of commencing proceedings under the authority of a specific act of parliament, e.g. Landlord and Tenant Act, whereby the applicant asks the Court to grant an order in their favour.

  • Ouster

    Ouster is an order within an injunction to force a person to leave a property.

  • Outlaw

    An Outlaw is a person who is not protected by the law.

  • Outright Possession Order

    An Outright Possession Order means the tenant must leave the property by the date given in the order. This is usually 14 days after the date the court makes the order.

  • Overt act

    An act done openly and from which the criminal intention of the act is clear.

  • Package Deal

    A package deal is a deal that provides a range of benefits, services, or concessions, all of which need to be accepted or rejected in one go.

  • Paedophile

    A Paedophile a person who is sexually attracted to children.

  • Paid Up

    Paid up is any loan that has been paid for in full, any obligation that has been discharged or the prices that have been paid for are regarded as the paid up loans.

  • Pardon

    A Pardon is the action of an executive official of the Government that mitigates or sets aside the punishment for a crime.

  • Parole

    Parole is the provisional release of a prisoner who agrees to certain conditions prior to the completion of the maximum sentence period.

  • Part 8 Claim

    A Part 8 Claim is an alternative procedure for issuing a claim to a court.

  • Particulars of Claim

    Particulars of Claim is a document that contains details of the claimant’s claim which must be contained in the claim form or served shortly after the claim form has been served. The particulars should be a concise statement of the facts of the claim.

  • Partnership

    A partnership is an association of two or more persons to carry on as co-owners a business for profit.

  • Party

    A Party is a person or organisation that is involved in a criminal case, this could be as a prosecutor or defendant.

  • Party and Party

    Party and Party refers to the costs that one party must pay to another.

  • Party Wall (property)

    A party wall is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings (or units) that is shared by the tenants of each residence or business. Building and maintenance work to party walls is subject to strict guidelines which can be found in the Party Wall Act 1996.

  • Patent

    A set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention.

  • Patent Defect

    An obvious flaw in a product or a document (such as leaving out the property description in a deed).

  • Patent Infringement

    The manufacture and/or use of an invention or improvement for which someone else owns a patent issued by the government, without obtaining permission of the owner of the patent by contract, license or waiver. The infringing party will be liable to the owner of the patent for all profits made from the use of the invention, as well as any harm which can be shown by the inventor, whether the infringement was intentional or not.

  • Paternity Suit

    A lawsuit, usually by a mother, to prove that a named person is the father of her child (or the fetus she is carrying). Evidence of paternity may include blood tests (which can eliminate a man as a possible father), testimony about sexual relations between the woman and the alleged father, evidence of relationship of the couple during the time the woman became pregnant, admissions of fatherhood, comparison of child in looks, eye and hair color, race and, increasingly, DNA evidence. In addition to the desire to give the child a known natural father, proof of paternity will lead to the right to child support, birthing expenses and the child’s inheritance from his father. The threat of a paternity suit against a man married to another may lead to a prompt and quiet settlement.

  • Patient

    A Patient is a person who is deemed incapable of handling his/her own affairs by reason of mental incapacity and who is under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection.

  • Penal Notice

    Penal Notice are directions attached to an order of a Court stating the penalty for disobedience may result in imprisonment.

  • Penalty

    A punishment imposed for breaking a law, rule, or contract.

  • Pension Sharing Order

    A Pension Sharing Order is a type of agreement made in court that requires a party to share their pension fund.

  • Perjury

    Perjury is the crime of willfully and knowingly making a false statement while under oath.

  • Personal Application

    A Personal Application is an application made to the Court without legal representation.

  • Personal Injury Claim

    A civil claim relating to physical or mental harm suffered by a claimant, due to the defendant’s alleged negligence.

  • Personal Service

    Personal Service is the personal delivery (i.e. not by mail) of a claim, summons or notice.

  • Pervert the Course of Justice

    To Pervert the Course of Justice is when a person prevents justice from being served on him/herself or on another party. It is a common law offence, carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

  • Petition

    Petition is a method of commencing proceedings whereby the order required by the petitioner from the Court is expressed as a prayer, e.g. the petitioner therefore prays that the marriage be dissolved.

  • Petitioner

    Petitioner is the name of someone who issues divorce proceedings.

  • Physical boundary

    A physical feature that we can see such as a fence, wall or a hedge, which may, coincidentally, also follow the line of a legal boundary. Living boundary structures such as hedges can be prone to a certain degree of movement making its original line hard to discern.

  • Plaint Number

    Plaint Number is an old-fashioned term for Claim Number.

  • Plaintiff

    The party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. See Accuser.

  • Plea

    A Plea is a defendant’s reply to a charge put to him by a court; i.e. guilty or not guilty.

  • Pleading

    Pleading are documents setting out claim/defence of parties involved in civil proceedings.

  • Polygamy

    Polygamy is the act of being married to more than one person at once.

  • Possession Claim Online (PCOL)

    Possession Claim Online is an online Service which allows claimants to start legal proceedings related to property online. Defendants can use the service to respond to a claim against them also.

  • Possession Order

    A landlord has to get permission from the county court before a tenant can be evicted. To do this, the landlord will first need to apply to the court for a Possession Order.

  • Possession Proceedings

    Possession Proceedings are legal proceedings by a landlord to recover land or property such as a house or flat.

  • Power of Arrest

    Power of Arrest allows the police to arrest a person who has broken the terms of the order. Attached to some injunctions.

  • Power of Attorney

    Where you give someone full access to make decisions and take action concerning your finances while you still have mental capacity. This is a legal document giving someone else authority to act on your behalf.

  • Practice Directions

    Practice Directions are steps to be followed by parties to a dispute prior to legal action. The aim of the to increase co-operation between parties and therefore the chances of an early settlement.

  • Preamble

    An explanation of a proposed law. At the beginning of each Act of Parliament there is an explanation of what the Act is intended to achieve.

  • Precedent

    Precedent is the decision of a case which established principles of law that act as an authority for future cases of a similar nature.

  • Presumption of Innocence

    The legal presumption that every person charged with a criminal offence is innocent until proved guilty.

  • Priority of Assignment

    The order in which two or more assignments of a chose in action takes effect.

  • Privilege

    Special rights which some people have because of the job they do or their special status. For example, diplomats of foreign countries are immune from arrest in the UK.

  • Probable Cause

    Probable Cause – the facts and evidences that lead many to believe that the accused actually committed the crime.

  • Probate

    The process of establishing the validity of a Will after a death, and the administering of the estate of a person. A Grant of Probate (or Grant of Representation if there is no Will) gives the appointed person the legal right to access the deceased’s bank accounts and deal with their property and finances.

  • Property searches

    The legal searches that are carried out by a conveyancer when a property is being sold/bought. Thes include, local authority searches, checking the title register and title plan, checking the flood risk, water searches, chancel repair searches, and any other location specific searches.

  • Prosecution

    Prosecution is the conduct of criminal proceedings against a person.

  • Provocation

    Causing someone to lose their self-control by doing or saying something.

  • Proxy

    A person appointed by a shareholder to go to a meeting of shareholders. The proxy can vote at the meeting for the shareholder.

  • Public Trustee

    A Public Trustee is a person (usually a barrister or solicitor) appointed by the Lord Chancellor as
    – trustee for trusts managed by the The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG);
    – Accountant General for Court Funds;
    – Receiver (of last resort) for Court of Protection patients

  • Qualified Ownership

    Qualified Ownership is a type of ownership that has limitations such as land that the previous owner has requested not to be built on.

  • Quango

    Quango is an organisation set up by the Government to carry out a certain activity. It is separate to the Government.

  • Quantum

    Quantum is the amount to be decided by a court during a damages claim.

  • Quash

    To Quash is to annul; i.e. to declare no longer valid.

  • Queen’s Council

    Queen’s Council is the highest level that a barrister can reach. It is often referred to as ‘silk’.

  • Queen’s Counsel

    These are senior barristers who have a minimum of 10 years experience. They can then apply to become a QC or “Silk” and if accepted will deal with the most important cases. If a King is on the throne they will become King’s Counsels.

  • Queen’s Evidence

    Queen’s Evidence is evidence for the prosecution that is given by someone who is also accused of the crime being tried.

  • Race Statute

    A law in some states that he first person to file a claim has the right to the claim.

  • Racialism

    Similar to racism where a person is deemed inferior because they belong to a different race of people. That race is a determination of the behaviour that is seen in human beings.

  • Racism

    A set of policies that is exhibited between a person or persons toward a group of people of a different race. Often antagonistic and confronting. The assumption of lower intelligence and importance given to a person because of their racial characteristics.

  • Rack Rent

    Rack Rent is the full market value rent of a property.

  • Racket

    An activity that is criminal and people subjected to a racket are usually deceived of their money. Methods used to get money or goods includes bribery, extortion and intimidation.

  • Ransom

    Ransom is a sum of money demanded or paid for the release of a captive.

  • Reasonable Doubt

    Reasonable Doubt refers to the lack of proof that prevents a judge or jury from convicting a defendant a crime. The prosecuting attorney must provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt to establish guilt.

  • Reasonable Force

    Reasonable force is a complex issue but essentially use of some force must be necessary to defend your property or yourself and the force used must be in proportion to the threat.

  • Receiving

    Receiving is gaining control of a stolen property.

  • Recognisance

    Recognisance is an undertaking before the Court by which a person agrees to comply with a certain condition, e.g. keep the peace/appear in court. A sum of money is normally pledged to ensure compliance.

  • Referral Order

    A Referral Order is when a magistrat refers an offender to the Youth Offender Panel that will decide on an appropriate punishment.

  • Register

    A Register is the records kept by a magistrates court.

  • Registered Land

    Any land recorded at the Land Registry. There is a system of recording and registering, at the Land Registry offices, details of land ownership and interests in land.

  • Registrar

    Registras and deputy registrars were renamed District Judges and Deputy District Judges respectively in the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. (see District Judge and Master)

  • Released

    A witness is released (freed from an obligation or duty) by the court, when he or she has given evidence in a case.

  • Remand

    Remand means the accused person will be kept in custody or placed on bail pending further Court appearance.

  • Reprieve

    A judge suspending or cancelling punishment for an offence.

  • Repudiation

    The refusal to perform an obligation required by contract. In this circumstance, the other party may choose to terminate the contract or take legal action.

  • Residence order

    An order which a court issues when it has decided where a child should live, setting out details of the court’s decision.

  • Residential property

    A building used or is suitable for use as a dwelling, or is in the process of being constructed or adapted for use as a dwelling. The garden or grounds of such a building, including structures on the garden or grounds are also considered as residential property.

  • Respondent

    Respondent is the term used to describe the spouse who did not file for divorce but received the petition from court.

  • Restorative Justice

    Restorative Justice is a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.

  • Restrictive Covenant

    Restrictive Covenant are restrictions within the deeds of how land can be used.

  • Retirement of Jury

    The withdrawal of the jury from the court at the end of the trial so that they may decide.

  • Revenge Porn

    Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress.

  • Revoke

    Revoke is to cancel or withdraw.

  • Sanction

    A Sanction is a penalty imposed on a person involved in a case.

  • Seal

    A Seal is a formal mark that is stamped onto documents to show that it has been issued by a court.

  • search and seizure

    Examination of a person’s premises (residence, business or vehicle) by law enforcement officers looking for evidence of the commission of a crime, and the taking (seizure and removal) of articles of evidence (such as controlled narcotics, a pistol, counterfeit bills, a blood-soaked blanket).

  • Search warrant

    A warrant issued by a magistrate, or High Court judge, to allow police officers to search premises.

  • Sentence

    A sentence is the punishment assigned to a defendant found guilty by a court, or fixed by law for a particular offence.

  • Separation

    A legal separation allows you to live apart, without divorcing or ending a civil partnership.

  • Set Aside

    To Set Aside is to cancel, annul or revoke a judgment or order.

  • Settlement

    A voluntarily agreement by the claimant and defendant to settle their civil case.

  • Short Title

    Acts have two titles, the Short Title is a more convenient term by which the act will be known.

  • Slander

    Slander is verbal defamation or spoken words which have a damaging effect on a person’s reputation.

  • Slavery

    Slavery is a relationship in which one person has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another.

  • Small Claims Court

    A local court in which claims for small sums of money can be heard and decided quickly and cheaply, without legal representation.

  • Small Claims Track

    The path that defended claims of no more than £5,000 (and no more than £1,000 as for personal injury and housing disrepair claims) are allocated to.

  • Solicitor

    A solicitor is someone who is part of the legal profession and is a practising lawyer. They generally offer legal advice and services and prepare cases for court, where a barrister often represents you in court. A solicitor can also represent you in court in certain cases.

  • Special Measures

    Special Measures are provisions that can be put in place to provide protection to a witness.

  • Specific Performance

    A court order to complete a contract. The courts may order a person who has failed to fulfil an obligation under a contract to complete it.

  • Spouse

    A Spouse is a husband or wife.

  • Squatter

    A Squatter is a person occupying land or property without the owners consent.

  • Stamp duty

    A tax on the transfer documents for certain types of transaction. Examples are buying shares, patent rights and properties.

  • Statement

    A Statement is a written account by a witness of the details of a matter.

  • Stay of Execution

    A Stay of Execution is a court order to temporarily suspend or delay the execution of a court judgment or other court order.

  • Strike Out A Case

    The court can Strike Out A Case (prevent all further proceedings) if a party fails to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order. It can also happen if there appears to be no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending a claim. Either party (the defendant or the claimant) can ask the court to strike a case out.

  • Subsidiary

    A company controlled by another company. The control is normally a result of having more than 50% of the voting rights.

  • Suitor

    A Suitor is the person bringing a suit before a court.

  • Summary Assessment (of costs)

    A Summary Assessment is when a court makes a cost order it may make an assessment of costs immediately after it has made the order. The court will usually make a summary assessment. See Detailed Assessment and Taxation of Costs.

  • Summing-up

    Summing-up is a review of the evidence and directions as to the law by a judge immediately before a jury retires to consider its verdict.

  • Summons

    A Summons is an order to appear or produce evidence to a court.

  • Supervision Order

    A Supervision Order can refer to a sentence from the court where the Youth Offending Team will supervise the work that the offender will carry out. These can last up to 3 years. The term can also refer to giving the local authority the legal power monitor a child’s needs and progress while the child lives at home or somewhere else. A social worker will advise, help and befriend the child. In practice, this will mean they give help and support to the family as a whole.

  • Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

    The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (SCUK) is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.

  • Surety

    Surety is someone who guarantees a defendant will attend court or pay a debt.

  • Suspended Sentence

    Suspended Sentence means a convict will not serve a custodial sentence unless they committ a subsequent offence within a specified period.

  • Tacit Law

    A Tacit Law is a law that is accepted by the consent of the people rather than a government body.

  • Tactical Pricing

    A short term variation in price that is aimed at thwarting the competition or gaining entry into the market.

  • Tailoring

    Adaptation of requirements to current needs of operation by deleting, modifying and supplementing without any deviation from the norm.

  • Take and Pay Contract

    A buyer/seller agreement where the buyer’s obligation to pay isn’t unconditional but depends on the delivery of goods purchased or upon the consent of the buyer to take delivery.

  • Take Home Pay

    The part of a salary or wage that the employer gets to take home after the payment of any taxes and deductions.

  • Takeover

    Written promise where the lender provides long term financing to replace a short term loan or bridge finance. Also known as Takeout agreement opt Takeout loan.

  • Takes Price

    The amount that a seller needs to raise for a buyer; or the price that needs to be lowered for the seller so the counter party will accept the offer.

  • Taking the fifth

    refusing to answer a question on the grounds of self-incrimination. See the fifth amendment.

  • Target Witness

    A Target Witness is a witness who is sought out as they have important information to the trial.

  • Tax avoidance

    Reducing tax bills by using legal means.

  • Tax evasion

    Breaking the law to reduce tax bills, such as by concealing income.

  • Taxation of Costs

    Taxation of Costs is an examination of a solicitor’s bill in civil proceedings by a Court to ensure that all charges against the legal aid fund are fair and reason. See Summary Assessment and Detailed Assessment.

  • Taxing Authority

    A Taxing Authority is a body which assesses costs.

  • Technology and Construction Court

    The Technology and Construction Court is a specialist court which deals with disputes in the construction industry. It is part of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.

  • Telephone Hearing

    A Telephone Hearing is a hearing which can be conducted by telephone and includes:
    – all allocation hearings
    – listing hearings
    – case management hearings
    – interim applications
    They are under an hour. Any other application, requires the consent of all the parties and the agreement of the court.

  • Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes

    A landlord must place a tenant’s deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDP) if the property is rented out on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. The schemes in England and Wales are:
    – Deposit Protection Service
    – MyDeposits
    – Tenancy Deposit Scheme

  • Tenant

    A Tenant is a person who occupy’s land or property under a lease.

  • Tenants in Common

    Tenants in Common can own different shares of the property. The property doesn’t automatically go to the other owners if you die. You can pass on your share of the property in your will.

  • Testor/Testator

    A person who makes a will.

  • Third Party

    A Third Party is a person who is not party to a legal case, but may be relevant because he or she owes the defendant money. In that case the defendant can issue a third party notice against such a party.

  • Third Party Debt Order

    A Third Party Debt Order is an order issued by a Claimant, against a third party, to seize money or other assets in their keeping, but belonging to the debtor. Orders can be granted preventing a defendant from withdrawing money from their bank or building society account. The money is paid to the claimant from the account. A third party debt order can also be sent to anyone who owes the defendant money.

  • Timeshare

    An arrangement where people can buy a share in part of a property for a period of time in each year. They can use their part of the accommodation each year for the period that is theirs.

  • Tipstaff

    A Tipstaff is an officer of the Supreme Court whose duties involve the enforcement of High Court arrest warrants

  • Title deeds

    Title deeds are the legal documents which show the chain of ownership for a property or piece of land.

  • Title Plan (property)

    A detailed outline of the property in relation to its surroundings. It often has detailed and coloured markings referred to in the Title Register that illustrate rights of way, rights of access, watercourses and sections of land affected by easements and covenants. The general boundaries of the property itself are edged in red.

  • Title Register (property)

    A complete definition of a property including who owns it, where it is, the extent of land owned, rights that benefit the land and rights that burden it.

  • Tort

    A Tort is a civil wrongdoing that unfairly causes someone else to suffer loss or harm, resulting in legal liability for that person.

  • Tortfeasor

    A Tortfeasor is a person who commits a tort.

  • Trademark

    A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognisable sign, design, or expression which identifies products of a particular source from those of others.

  • Trial

    A Trial is a public hearing where the evidence in a case is examined.

  • Trial Bundles

    Trial Bundles are the documents that are likely to be referred to in a trial or tribunal hearing. Identical bundles are prepared for the judge and the parties to the case.

  • Trial Contents

    Trial Contents include any written statements and documents in trial bundles.

  • Tribunal

    A tribunal is a body outside of the court structure. They hear disputes relating to specific areas such as immigration, employment and some tax matters and then adjudicate on them.

  • Trust

    A Trust is when property is legally given to a person with instructions to use it for another person.

  • Trustee

    A Trustee is an individual who holds or administers a property for another.

  • Undertaking

    Undertaking is a legal promise to the court to do, or not to do something. It can be enforced by the court with a fine or sentencing to imprisonment.

  • Unfair Dismissal

    Unfair Dismissal is the firing of an employee that while done legally is considered to be unnecessarily. It is illegal in many countries and is also called wrongful dismissal.

  • Unspecified amount of money

    An unspecified amount of money is one which is not precise. For example, if you are claiming damages (compensation) for loss or injury, you might not be able to work out exactly what those damages are

  • Unspecified Claim

    An Unspecified Claim is a claim where the amount to be awarded is left to the Court to determine, e.g. damages to be assessed for personal injuries. Previously known as an unliquidated claim

  • Vacancy Factor

    Vacancy Factor is a gross loss of income from an untenanted property available for lease.

  • Varied Order

    A Varied Order is when a defendant cannot pay the instalments set out by a Court they may ask for reduced instalments over a longer period of time.

  • Vendee

    A Vendee is a buyer of goods or services.

  • Vender

    A Vender is an individual or organisation that sells goods or services.

  • Vendor

    The seller in a sale, especially of property.

  • Verdict

    Verdict is the finding of guilty or not guilty, as conducted by a jury.

  • Vested In Possession

    Indicating an immediate right to the enjoyment of an interest in property.

  • Vested rights

    Rights that have accrued to a person, as opposed to rights that he may or may not acquire.

  • Vesting Order

    An order of the High Court creating or transferring a legal estate in land.

  • Vexatious Litigant

    A Vexatious Litigant is a person who often brings court cases with little chance of succeeding. The Attorney General can apply to the High Court to prevent this person from starting legal proceedings without permission.

  • Vice Chancellor

    The Vice Chancellor is a senior judge and head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice (although the Lord Chancellor is the nominal head).

  • Voluntary

    Voluntary is to enter into without compulsion, as a result of choice.

  • Voluntary Disposition

    A conveyance or other transfer of ownership of land, made otherwise than for valuable consideration.

  • Wages

    Wages are money that a worker receives in compensation for labour.

  • Waiver

    Waiver is the voluntary act of giving up a right, a legal waiver must be recorded in court.

  • Waiver of Privilege

    Privilege entitles a party to withhold written or oral evidence from production to a third party or the court. In English common law privilege is a fundamental human right intended to protect the relationship between lawyer and client and upon which the administration of justice as a whole rests.

    Privilege enables the client to consult a lawyer in confidence without fear of those confidential communications having to be disclosed. The rule is absolute. Without exception it cannot be broken once established for so long as it persists.

    A party may choose to waive privilege in a document or part of a document which is helpful to their case. Choosing to waive privilege may have unexpected consequences as the courts have found on occasion that the waiver extended further than anticipated.

  • Walking Possession

    Walking Possession is a signed agreement by a debtor not to remove goods levied by a bailiff under the authority of a warrant of execution and to allow the bailiff access at any time to inspect the goods, in consideration of which the bailiff leaves the goods in the possession of the debtor.

  • Ward of Court

    Ward of Court is the name given to a minor who is the subject of a wardship order. The order ensures that custody of the minor is held by the Court with day to day care of the minor being carried out by an individual(s) or local authority. As long as the minor remains a ward of Court, all decisions regarding the minors upbringing must be approved by the Court, e.g. transfer to a different school, medical treatment etc

  • Wardship

    Wardship is a High Court action of making a minor a ward of court.

  • Warrant of Committal

    Warrant of Committal is imprisonment for failing to comply with the terms of an order of Court.

  • Warrant of Delivery

    Warrant of Delivery is a method of enforcing a judgment for the return of goods (or value of the goods) whereby a bailiff is authorised to recover the goods (or their value) from the debtor and return them to the creditor.

  • Warrant of Detention

    A court order authorizing the *detention of an arrested person.

  • Warrant of Execution

    Warrant of Execution is a method of enforcing a judgment. The bailiff is authorised to remove goods belonging to a defendant from their home or business for sale at public auction.

  • Warrant of Possession

    Warrant of Possession gives court bailiffs the authority to take possession of a property and evict the defendant in cases where an order for possession has been granted by a court.

  • Warrant of Restitution

    Warrant of Restitution is a remedy available following illegal re-entry of premises by persons evicted under a warrant of possession. The bailiff is authorised to evict all occupants found on the premises and re-deliver the premises to the plaintiff.

  • Warranty

    A written statement of good quality of merchandise, clear title to real estate or that a fact stated in a contract is true. An “express warranty” is a definite written statement and “implied warranty” is based on the circumstances surrounding the sale or the creation of the contract.

  • Water or Drainage Search (property)

    This determines whether a property is connected to the mains water, mains drainage and ‘surface water drainage’. The search will also reveal whether there are any publicly maintained drains running through the land, which is important as building near some types of pipes without the water company’s approval is an offence.

  • Whistle-blowing

    The disclosure by an employee of information regarding his employer’s business.

  • Will

    A declaration of a person’s intentions to distribute his or her estate and assets after his or her passing.

  • Winding Up

    Winding Up is a voluntary or compulsory closure of a business, creditors are paid and assets are shared.

  • Without Prejudice

    Without Prejudice means without detriment to any existing right or claim.

    An offer can be made to resolve a dispute ‘without prejudice’. Without Prejudice offers are confidential so if the offer fails and the case goes to trail, information about the offer should not be given to the Judge (or arbitrator) during the hearing.

    To be able to use Without Prejudice, and prevent your discussions being used against you if your case comes to trial:
    – There must be a genuine dispute
    – Your discussion/letter must be a genuine attempt to resolve it
    – You must keep your without prejudice negotiations private or you may lose your right to confidentiality

  • Witness

    A Witness is a person called to give evidence in Court because they were present at or saw an event.

  • Witness Summons

    A Witness Summons is a document issued by a court which requires a person to give evidence, this can be verbal or in form of a written document.

  • Written Evidence / Written Statement

    Written Evidence is a written statement of relevant facts which is submitted to the court.

  • Wrongful Death

    The death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person. Such wrongful acts include: negligence (like careless driving), an intentional attack such as assault and/or battery, a death in the course of another crime, vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter or murder. Wrongful death is the basis for a lawsuit (wrongful death action) against the party or parties who caused the death filed on behalf of the members of the family who have lost the company and support of the deceased. Thus, a child might be entitled to compensation for the personal loss of a father as well as the amount of financial support the child would have received from the now-dead parent while a minor, a wife would recover damages for loss of her husband’s love and companionship and a lifetime of expected support, while a parent would be limited to damages for loss of companionship but not support. A lawsuit for wrongful death may be filed by the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased or by the individual beneficiaries (family members).

  • Wrongful Termination

    A right of an employee to sue his/her employer for damages (loss of wage and “fringe” benefits, and, if against “public policy,” for punitive damages). To bring such a suit the discharge of the employee must have been without “cause,” and the employee a) had an express contract of continued employment or there was an “implied” contract based on the circumstances of his/her hiring or legitimate reasons to believe the employment would be permanent, b) there is a violation of statutory prohibitions against discrimination due to race, gender, sexual preference or age, or c) the discharge was contrary to “public policy” such as in retribution for exposing dishonest acts of the employer. An employee who believes he/she has been wrongfully terminated may bring an action (file a suit) for damages for discharge, as well as for breach of contract, but the court decisions have become increasingly strict in limiting an employee’s grounds for suit.

  • Young Offenders Institution

    Young Offenders Institution (YOI) is an institution for the detention of criminals from the ages of 14 to 20, replacing the former detention centres and youth custody centres.

  • Youth Court

    A Youth Court is a court that exercises jurisdiction over offences committed by young people.

  • Youthful Offenders

    Under-age people accused of crimes who are processed through a juvenile court and juvenile detention or prison facilities