Jargon buster

To find the word or term you are looking for, select the relevant category letter below.


Bringing a Claim to Court including Personal Injury Claims

Action
proceedings issued in the High or County Court
Adjournment
the postponement of a case until a later date
Adjudication
the judgment or decision of a Court or tribunal
ADR
this stands for 'alternative dispute resolution'. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this
Adversarial
procedures and processes which aim to display the truth, through adversarial (conflict-based) techniques i.e. cross-examination
Advocacy
appearing for an individual at a Court hearing
Advocate
someone (usually a barrister or solicitor) representing a party in a Court hearing
Affidavit
sworn written statement for use in Court proceedings
Affirmation
declaration made by a witness who has no religious beliefs (or who has religious beliefs that prevent them taking the Oath) that confirms the evidence he or she is giving is truthful
Appeal
an application to a higher Court for review of a decision of a lower Court
Arbitration
an alternative method of resolving disputes paid for by the parties, determined by an arbitrator
Balance of probabilities
the standard of proof in civil proceedings
Barrister
barristers are specialists in advocacy, usually under instruction from a solicitor
Brief
a set of papers giving the details of a client's case for use in Court
Chambers/set
the offices where barristers work
Civil
matters concerning private rights rather than offences against the State
Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)
the rules which set out the procedure for bringing, defending and conducting claims in the Civil Courts
Claim
this refers to the demand for damages or other civil remedy  against another party
Claim Form
the form that commences official legal proceedings
Claimant
the person bringing the claim, formerly known as the Plaintiff
Clinical Negligence
an action for damages arising from the alleged negligence of a medical practitioner
Common law /case law
refers to the legal system that has developed in England and Wales through precedents set by Court rulings rather than through Acts of Parliament.
Compensation
a sum of money awarded to make amends for an injury, breakage, hardship and/or inconvenience caused by another
Conditional Fee Agreement
an agreement linking the lawyers fees to the success of the case, often referred to as a No Win No Fee Agreement
Contentious
a dispute that calls for a legal remedy
Contributory Negligence
partial responsibility of a Claimant for the claim in which he or she is claiming damages
Counsel
another name for a barrister
Counterclaim
a claim made by the Defendant in response to the original claim
County Court
the Court for less complex types of claim which are worth less than £15,000 (£50,000 for personal injury claims)
Court of Appeal
Court which is divided into Civil and Criminal Divisions and hears appeals against decisions made in the High or County Courts
Damages
money claimed by a party as compensation for being harmed in some way, or to recover financial loss
Defamation
the publication of an untrue statement about a person that tends to lower his reputation in the opinion of right-thinking members of the community or to make them shun or avoid him
Defendant
someone who is being sued in a civil claim
Disbursements
payments a lawyer will make on their clients behalf to a third party i.e. Court fees, experts fees, accident report fees, travelling expenses and investigation fees
Duty of Care
the legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing damage. There is no liability for a negligent act or omission unless the act or omission that causes damage is a breach of the duty of care owed to the Claimant.
Employers Liability Claim
a claim for personal injury arising from harm sustained whilst carrying out duties in the course of employment
Fast Track
the track that defended claims with a value of between £5,000 to £25,000 are allocated to in the Court system and which is then governed by certain specific procedural rules
General Damages
the compensation payment for the injuries suffered by a Claimant in a personal injury claim.
High Court
the Court for larger or more serious claims with three divisions
Insurance
the cover provided by an insurer to protect the insured from certain risks
Interim Hearing
a Court hearing that does not finally dispose of the claim
Interim payment
money that a Court instructs the Defendant to pay (or they agree to pay) whilst waiting for a settlement or for the Court's final decision
Judgment
a Court's decision on a case it has heard
Junior
name for a barrister who is not a QC
Jurisdiction
the area and matters over which a Court has legal authority
Legal aid
limited facility for the fees and expenses of counsel and solicitors retained by those of modest means paid from a fund administered by the Legal Services Commission
Legal Expenses Insurance
insurance to cover legal expenses often purchased or supplied in conjunction with motor or household insurance or which may be purchased after the event to specifically cover legal expenses in a particular claim
Letter of Claim
one of the initial mandatory steps within the Pre -Action Protocols
Limitation period
the period of time available to a Claimant to bring an action against a Defendant.
Litigation
contesting an issue at law through Court proceedings 
Litigation Friend
the person who conducts the claim on behalf of a Minor or other person who lacks the mental capacity to conduct the claim themselves
Mediation
alternative process to Court (see ADR)
Minor
a person under 18 years of age who must be represented by a Litigation Friend as they are unable to act on their own behalf
Motor Insurers' Bureau
the Bureau responsible for claims made against uninsured or untraced drivers
Multi-Track
the track that defended claims with a value in excess of £25,000 are allocated to in the Court system and which is then governed by certain specific procedural rules
Negligence
the act of failing to take reasonable care and breaching the Duty Of Care
Nuisance
an interference with the enjoyment of property rights
Oath
a solemn calling upon God to witness to the truth of statements
Order
a direction by a Court
Plaintiff
a person bringing a claim (now called Claimant)
Pleadings
documents setting out the claim/defence of the parties involved in the proceedings (now known as Statements of Case)
Pre-Action Protocol
the procedure stipulated by the Civil Procedure Rules to be followed in particular categories of claims
Provisional Damages
this refers to money that the Court says the opponent must pay (or agrees to pay), on the understanding that the Claimant may return to Court at a later date for further damages if their condition deteriorates
QC
barristers (or less commonly solicitors) with a minimum standing of ten years may apply to become Queens Counsel. QCs are often referred to as 'silks' and are involved on larger or more important claims
Quantum
the amount of damages (compensation) awarded
Right of Audience
the entitlement to appear before a Court and speak on behalf of a party to the proceedings
Silk
a senior barrister sometimes referred to as a leader or leading counsel (also see QC)
Small Claims Track
the track that defended claims with a value of up to £5,000 (non injury) and £1,000 (injury) are allocated to in the Court system and which is then governed by certain specific procedural rules
Special Damages
fixed and quantifiable losses associated with a claim for personal injury damages such as loss of earnings, vehicle damage, etc
Statement of Truth
the signature at the end of a Statement of Case, application or other document verifying that the contents of that document are true
Statements of Case
documents setting out the claim/defence of the parties involved in the proceedings
Sub Judice
in the course of trial - whilst a Court case is under consideration proceedings are sub-judice and details cannot be disclosed
Success fee
the percentage of basic charges added to the legal bill under a Conditional Fee Agreement if a person’s claim for damages is successful
Summons
an order to appear or to produce evidence to a Court
The Bar
a term used to describe the barristers' branch of the legal profession
Third Party
someone joined into Court proceedings by a Defendant
Tort
a civil wrong
Trespass
a wrongful direct interference with another person or with his possession of land or goods
Trial Window
a period of time within which the claim must be listed for trial
Vicarious liability
the legal liability imposed on one person for wrongs committed by another, although the person made vicariously liable is not personally at fault
Without prejudice
this refers to negotiations between the Claimant and Defendant which take place with a view to a settlement and which cannot be revealed to the Court except under limited circumstances

Buying and selling residential property

Advance
the Mortgage loan
Assent
a formal document required to transfer ownership of property to a person entitled to the property following the death of the owner
Bridging loan
short term loan enabling the borrower to bridge the gap between the purchase of a new house and the sale of the old one
Chain
if a property seller is also buying another property then this will result in a chain of transactions (there can be a number of linked sales like this)
Completion
the point in a property transaction at which the legal transfer of a property from the seller to the buyer is finalised (contracts will have previously been exchanged  see exchange).  The buyer can take possession of the property from the completion date
Completion Statement
a written calculation of all the income and payments due in respect of the transaction
Conveyancing
the legal work needed to buy and sell a property
Deed of Covenant
a document confirming an agreement to pay or do something or refrain from doing something
Deed of Gift
a document transferring the ownership of property from one person to another without any payment being made for it
Deed of Postponement or Priority
where a Mortgagee agrees to their mortgage ranking after another lender's mortgage
Deeds
the official documents confirming who owns a property (for most properties, the deeds have been replaced electronic records held at The Land Registry). See Title Information document below
Disbursements
payments a lawyer will make on their clients behalf to a third party i.e. Court fees, experts fees, accident report fees, travelling expenses and investigation fees
Energy Performance Certificate
rates your home from A to G on how efficiently it uses energy. This data includes the date, construction and location of the house, and relevant fittings such as heating systems, insulation or double-glazing.
Equity
the difference between the value of the property and the amounts of any loans secured against it
Exchange of Contracts
once contracts have been exchanged, each party is legally committed to the transaction and risk regarding the property passes to the buyer
Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form
this is a list of the items at the property stating whether they are included or excluded from the agreed price
Freehold
an owners interest in land where both the property and the land on which it stands belong to their owner indefinitely ie the outright ownership of a property
Gazanging
where the seller withdraws at the last minute, often due to market uncertainty or the seller failing to find a property to buy
Gazumping
where a seller agrees to sell to one buyer but then either sells to another buyer or raises the price when two or more buyers show interest
Gazundering
where the buyer lowers their offer on the property after agreeing a price, often on the day contracts are due to be exchanged
Ground rent
annual charge paid by leaseholders to the freeholder
Guarantee
a legal commitment to repay a debt if the original borrower fails to do so. Directors may give guarantees to banks in return for the bank giving finance to their companies. Companies in a group may guarantee each others loans
Homebuyers report
surveyor's report on a property (less extensive than a structural survey)
Joint Tenant
where you jointly own property with another person in undefined shares (compare with Tenants in Common)
Land Registry
a government department responsible for keeping and maintaining the Land Register of England and Wales.  The department registers title to land in England and Wales and records dealings, such as sales and mortgages, with registered land
Leasehold
the right to occupy a portion of a building for a given length of time
Lessee/Leaseholder
the person to whom a lease is granted
Lessor/Landlord
the person who grants a lease
Local Search
a search carried out at the local authority to check whether there have been any notices registered affecting the use of the property
Mortgage
a loan for a fixed period of time to help purchase the house. The mortgage is secured on the property. This means that you cannot sell the property without paying it off at the same time
Mortgage Deed
the mortgage deed is the document recording the Mortgage
Mortgagee
the person (or organisation, usually a bank or building society) lending the mortgage advance
Mortgagor
the borrower against whose property the money is borrowed
Occupiers Consent
any person over 17 living at the property but not signing the Mortgage Deed will be asked to consent to the Mortgage being taken out and agree to move out if the Mortgagee takes possession due to the default of the Mortgagor
Planning Permission
approval by the local authority to the building or change of use of a property or extension to an existing property
Principal
the amount of the loan on which interest is calculated
Property Information Form
this is a questionnaire about the property completed by the sellers. It covers such items as guarantees, neighbour disputes and boundaries
Purchaser
another name for the buyer of a property
Redemption
the repayment of a mortgage loan
Remortgage
a mortgage which is a replacement loan for another mortgage
Service charge
the amount a tenant pays for services the  landlord provides
Subject to contract
wording of any agreement before exchange of contracts which allows either party to withdraw without incurring any penalty
Survey
a report carried out by a surveyor on the physical condition of the property being purchased
Tenants in Common
where you have a defined share of a property held jointly with another person (compare with Joint Tenant)
Term
the length of time over which a Mortgage loan is to be repaid
Title Information Document
A copy of the entries at the Land Registry which relate to the property and which is issued once the title has been registered after completion
Transfer Deed
the document that records the transfer of ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. It is dated with the completion date, and will be sent to the Land Registry after Completion.
Unregistered Title
where the title to a property has not previously been registered at the Land Registry and ownership is proved by the production of a complete chain of documents showing successive ownership
Vendor
another name for the seller of a property
Wayleave Agreement
a formal agreement entered into with a property owner to give a service provider (e.g. electricity or telephone company) a right for their pipe or cable to pass through or over their property

Commercial Property

Abandonment
the voluntary relinquishment of a property or an interest in a property, where there is no intention of resuming possession of the property or of maintaining rights in it
Alienation
the transfer of an interest in property to another - eg sale of a freehold or the grant or assignment of a lease
Amortisation
the gradual reduction of a debt or liability, especially by means of equal periodic payments at stated intervals which, in total, are sufficient to repay the capital or principal at the end of the given period and to pay interest on the outstanding balance throughout the period
Arbitration
an alternative method of resolving disputes paid for by the parties, determined by an arbitrator
Assignee
party to whom a lease has been assigned
Assignment
the transfer of a lease from one party to the other. Once a lease has been assigned, the assignee becomes responsible to the landlord for paying the rent and fulfilling the other obligations of the lease
Assignor
one who assigns a lease
Break clause
a clause in a lease giving either or both parties the right to terminate a lease in specified circumstances
Building lease
a long-term lease, imposing an obligation on the lessee to erect one or more buildings on the leased land, which will become the property of the landlord after the lease expires
Capital allowances
tax allowances that the owner of an asset can offset against taxable income or profits.  They provide a deduction for tax purposes in lieu of the depreciation charged in accounts
Capital value
the value of an asset, freehold or leasehold, as distinct from its annual or periodic (rental) value
Capitalisation
the value of an asset assessed in relation to the expected future income (rental) stream
Comparables
in determining the initial rent, or the market rent during the course of a rent review, parties and those acting on their behalf will have regard to evidence of rents for similar properties. Comparables may also be used to analyse properties' sale values
Completion
the point in a property transaction at which the legal transfer of a property from the seller to the buyer is finalised (contracts will have previously been exchanged  see exchange).  The buyer can take possession of the property from the completion date
Contracting out
agreement between landlord and tenant that the security of tenure provisions of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 shall not apply
Covenant
may be either a clause in a document requiring a party to do something or to refrain from doing something; or a term denoting the worth of a tenant which will have a bearing on the value of the lease
Demised premises
premises which are the subject of a lease
Derogation from Grant
where a landlord having granted rights to a tenant acts so as to interfere with the tenants ability to enjoy that right
Determination
the bringing or coming to an end of a lease, or an estate or interest in property, especially by notice as expressly provided for in the lease or as a consequence of a fundamental breach of a lease condition
Development
property development refers to either the construction of new buildings or refurbishment of existing buildings in the pursuit of gains
Dilapidations
a state of disrepair in a property where there is a legal liability for the condition of disrepair
Distraint
the enforcement of distress for rent
Distress for rent
a remedy enabling landlords to recover rent arrears by the seizure and sale of goods within the defaulting tenant's property
Exchange
the point at which contracts are exchanged between the buyer and seller.  This event creates a binding contract on both the buyer and seller and it is not possible to back out once contracts have been exchanged without risking serious financial penalties
Forfeiture
forfeiture of a lease occurs when the landlord exercises his right to regain possession against the wishes of the tenant, where there is a breach
Freehold
an owners interest in land where both the property and the land on which it stands belong to their owner indefinitely ie the outright ownership of a property
Freeholder
one holding the freehold
Full repairing and insuring (FRI) lease
an FRI lease requires the tenant to pay all running costs, eg maintenance, rates and insurance
Head lessee
where a sub-tenancy (or series of subtenancies) exists, the highest leaseholder in the chain (who pays rent to the freeholder)
Headline rent
the rent apparently being paid, which may not take account of concessions such as rent-free periods
Independent expert determination
an independent determination of the rent to be paid on review. Independent expert determination differs from arbitration in that the independent expert is not confined to the evidence presented by the parties
Indexation
the regular adjustment of a rent in accordance with a specified index, eg the Retail Price Index
Institutional lease
the typical institutional lease has been developed in England since the 1960s to meet the requirements of the pension funds and insurance companies investing in property. Generally tenants pay for all repairs and insurance to give the landlord a clear net income and minimise his management costs
Interim rent
a landlord may apply to the court to fix an interim rent when he has given notice of termination of a tenancy or where the tenant has served notice of a request for a new tenancy on the landlord
Land Registry
a government department responsible for keeping and maintaining the Land Register of England and Wales.  The department registers title to land in England and Wales and records dealings, such as sales and mortgages, with registered land
Landlord/Lessor
the party letting the property
Leasehold
the right to occupy a portion of a building for a given length of time
Lessee/Tenant
a party to whom a property has been let.
Market rent
the best rent at which a property might reasonably be expected to be let with vacant possession in the open market, with a willing landlord and tenant, taking full account of all terms of the lease offered
Marriage value
latent value which the merger of two or more interests in land would release
Mesne landlord
an intermediate landlord
Open market rent review
where the rent review clause provides that the rent on review should be based on the open market rent prevailing for new lettings
Prelet
property developments that have been let to tenants (on long or short leases) whilst the schemes are being planned or are under construction
Premium
the price an actual or prospective lessee pays to a lessor, usually in return for the rent being reduced to below what otherwise would be payable. Or a sum paid at the outset for the purchase of a lease
Prime location
the most desirable or sought after location
Prime property
a term used to define property of particular interest to investors. Broadly, prime property is likely to be a modern or recently refurbished building, finished to a high specification, well situated in a commercially strong geographical location and let to a good tenant
Quiet enjoyment
most leases contain a covenant for quiet enjoyment, entitling the tenant to enjoy the lease without unlawful entry, eviction or interruption
Rack rent
the best market rent obtainable
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
close ended companies or trusts that hold, manage and maintain real estate for investment purposes which is leased to tenants
Re-entry
a landlord may exercise his right to regain possession of premises by peaceable re-entry where there has been a breach of covenant by the tenant
Rent
an agreed charge for the use of a capital asset, typically property
Rent review
leases generally contain clauses providing for a periodical review of the rent, say at five yearly intervals. The lease will generally specify what the basis of the review is to be: eg the open market rent prevailing at the time of the review
Rental value
the rent that a property might reasonably be expected to command in the open market at a given time, subject to the terms of the lease
Restrictive covenant
a covenant in a lease restricting the tenant in some respect
Reverse premium
on assignment, the payment of a sum of money by the assignor to the assignee a sum of money to reflect unfavourable lease terms
Reversion
the return of property to the landlord on the expiry of a lease
Sale and leaseback
an arrangement whereby a property is sold, with the vendor simultaneously being granted a lease on the property by the purchaser
Secondary property
property which is defective in one (or possibly two) of the characteristics of prime property
Securitisation
the conversion of assets into tradeable securities
Security of tenure
the right of a tenant to continue to occupy until the landlord obtains a court order for possession or the tenant terminates of the agreement
Service charge
the amount a tenant pays for services the  landlord provides
Side agreement
terms agreed separately by landlord and tenant, or by buyer and seller, which do not form part of the lease or contract of sale
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
an SPV is any entity established for the purpose of undertaking a single property transaction.   There are many types of SPVs and each has its own tax status
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
this is a tax charged by the government on land transactions and is chargeable at rates between 1% and 5% on the VAT inclusive purchase price and rent
Subletting
where the tenant lets part or all of the premises to a subtenant, as permitted by the terms of the lease. It differs from assignment in that the head lessee remains responsible to the landlord for the payment of rent and fulfilment of other obligations
Termination
the coming or bringing to an end of a lease, by mutual agreement, expiry of the lease, or by the exercise of a right of one of the parties
Turnover rent
where part or all of a rent, especially of retail premises, is based on a specified proportion of the tenant's turnover
Upward only rent reviews
clauses in leases providing for regular reviews, at which the rent will be fixed at either the current rent or the open market level, whichever the higher
Waiver
the act of voluntarily giving up, or intentionally relinquishing, a claim, benefit or interest. A landlord waives his right of forfeiture, when a tenant is in breach of covenant, if he knows of the breach and accepts or demands rent or unequivocally recognises the continued existence of the lease

Company and Commercial Transactions

ADR - Company and Commercial Transactions 
this stands for 'alternative dispute resolution'. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this
Agency
a legal relationship between a person known as an agent, who acts and contracts on behalf of another person, known as the principal
Agent
a person appointed by another to act on his or her behalf.
Agreement
in law, agreement is another name for a contract, which is a legally binding oral or written agreement
Arbitration
an alternative method of resolving disputes paid for by the parties, determined by an arbitrator
Arms length transaction
any transaction in which the seller and buyer act completely independently of each other, have no common interest and have no connection or relationship with each other
Asset transaction
the purchase or sale of the assets of a sellers business (eg their equipment), rather than of the business (eg the company) itself
Beneficial owner
a beneficial owner is the true owner of a security or property, which may be registered in another name. An example is a shareholder, who may have registered his securities in the name of a broker or nominee
Bodies corporate
an entity that has legal personality, in other words is capable of enjoying and being subject to legal rights and duties. An example would be a limited company
Breach of contract
a failure by a party to a contract to abide by the terms of the contract or to perform the obligations outlined in the contract
Breach of warranty
a warranty is made by one party to another, a statement of fact usually relating to condition or quality of goods. A breach of warranty occurs when the promise is broken, i.e. product is defective or not as a reasonable buyer should expect
Clause
a separate section of a legal document such as a statute, contract or will
Confidentiality agreement
a signed document that legally binds the parties to keep the information confidential, and contractually restricts disclosure of this information to anybody else
Consequential loss
financial loss which is the result of physical damage to property, beyond the direct cost of repairing the physical damage (or replacing the damaged goods)
Consideration
to form a legal contract, an agreement must involve each party paying a price for whatever he received from the other party. This price is consideration, which can be money, an act, forbearance or a promise. A contract is not valid without consideration
Construction
the process of determining the true meaning of a written document
Contract
this is the agreement between the buyer and the seller. It sets out the main terms of what has been agreed such as the property to be bought and sold, the price and the names of the parties, and any special terms
Contractual obligations
an obligation made under a legally binding agreement, e.g. an obligation to pay, or to provide a service
Damages
money claimed by a party as compensation for being harmed in some way, or to recover financial loss
Data protection
safeguards relating to personal data, ie personal information about individuals that is stored on a computer and/or in relevant manual filing systems
Deed
a written document that must make it clear on its face that it is intended to be a deed and is validly executed as a deed
Fiduciary relationship
a relationship of trust and confidence, as between principal and agent, trustee and beneficiary, attorney and client, director and company
Force majeure
an event or effect beyond the control of the parties involved. It includes 'acts of God', such as extreme weather.  Specific provision is made for the exclusion of payment for damage or injury arising from force majeure in many contracts
Guarantee
a legal commitment to repay a debt if the original borrower fails to do so. Directors may give guarantees to banks in return for the bank giving finance to their companies. Companies in a group may guarantee each others loans
Injunction
an order issued by the court preventing or requiring action, often in an emergency
Intangible property
items that represent value but are not actual, physical objects. Examples include stocks in a company, bonds, bank notes, trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks
Intellectual property
property that derives from the work of the mind or intellect. May receive legal protection through such mechanisms as copyright, patents and trade marks
Know-how
information with technical significance that is not formally recognised as an intellectual property right
Licence
a legal agreement granting a person (the licensee) permission to use something for certain purposes or under certain conditions
Lien
right to retain possession of assets or documents until full settlement of a debt
Mediation
alternative process to Court (see ADR)
Misrepresentation
making a false or misleading statement on which another party relies
Non-disclosure agreement
an agreement where parties share certain sensitive or confidential information with one another, but wish that information to remain undisclosed to other parties
Notice to terminate
a formal notification that the contract is to be terminated after a period specified in the contract or the notice itself
Novation
the substitution of one of the parties to a contract by another person, which releases the obligation of the former party and imposes it on the new one.  Novation can also mean the substitution of an existing contract by a new one between the same parties
Offer
a promise to do something or refrain from doing something which can be capable of leading to a legally binding contract if it is accepted by the other side.  An offer can be withdrawn or revoked before its acceptance by the other party
Tangible property
physical articles, as distinguished from intangible assets such as rights, patents, copyrights and franchises. Examples include furniture, cars, jewellery and artwork (see intangible property)
Trade name
a name of a business or one of its products that identifies the product as belonging to the business
Warranty
a statement attesting to a particular state of affairs, such as the good quality of merchandise, clear title to real estate or that a fact stated in a contract is true

Criminal Proceedings

Absolute Discharge
the court takes no further action against an offender, but the offender's discharge will appear on his or her criminal record
Accused
the person charged
Acquittal
release of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty
Appeal
an application to a higher Court for review of a decision of a lower Court
Arrest
lawful detention by a police officer
Bail
release of a defendant from custody, until his/her next appearance in Court, subject sometimes to security being given and/or compliance with certain conditions
Bench Warrant
a warrant issued by the magistrates or judge for an absent defendant to be arrested and brought before a Court either on bail or in custody
Caution
either a Simple Caution (non-statutory warning given by the police, following admission of guilt, as an alternative to prosecution, which though not a conviction will go on the police database), or a Conditional Caution (warning under the Criminal Justice Act 2003) following admission of guilt, which though not a conviction will go on the police database)
Charge
a formal accusation against a person
Committal
either Committal for Trial when following examination by the Magistrates of a case involving an either way offence it is sent to the Crown Court, or Committal for Sentence where the Magistrates consider that the offence justifies a sentence greater than they are empowered to impose and they commit the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence to be passed by a judge
Community Penalties
alternatives to prison which deal with the offender in the community rather than in prison. These include community punishment, community rehabilitation orders and drug treatment and testing orders
Compensation Order
a court order requiring the offender to pay compensation to the victim
Concurrent Sentence
a direction by a Court that a number of sentences of imprisonment or community penalty should run at the same time
Conditional Discharge
a discharge of a convicted defendant without sentence on condition that they do not re-offend within a specified period of time
Consecutive Sentence
an order for a subsequent sentence of imprisonment or community penalty to commence as soon as a previous sentence expires. Can apply to more than two sentences
Conviction
when an offender has pleaded or been found guilty of an offence in a court, he or she is said to have been convicted. The conviction then appears on the offender's criminal record
Crown Court
the Crown Court deals with all crime committed or sent for trial by Magistrates Courts. Cases for trial are heard before a judge and jury. The Crown Court also acts as an appeal court for cases heard and dealt with by the Magistrates
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
the Crown Prosecution Service decides whether there is enough evidence to take a case to court, and whether it would be in the public interest
Curfew Order
a curfew order is a form of house arrest. People must stay indoors, usually at their home, for the curfew period. An electronic tag, worn on the ankle or wrist, notifies monitoring services if the offender is absent during the curfew hours
Custodial Sentences
sentences where the offender is locked up in a prison, Young Offender Institution or Secure Training Centre
Discharge
the offender is found guilty of the offence, and the conviction appears on his or her criminal record, but either no further action is taken at all (absolute discharge), or no further action is taken as long as the offender does not offend again in a certain period of time (conditional discharge)
Discontinuance
a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to continue with a case
District judge
a judge in the County Court who will deal with the majority of the divorce proceedings and usually with financial matters
Either-Way Offence
an offence for which the accused may be tried by the magistrates or by committal to the Crown Court to be tried by jury
Indictable Offence
a criminal offence that can only be tried by the Crown Court. The different types of offence are classified 1, 2, 3 or 4. Murder is a class 1 offence
Indictment
a written statement of the charges against a defendant sent for trial to the Crown Court, and signed by an officer of the Court
Jury
body of 12 people sworn to try a case and reach a verdict according to the evidence presented to the Court
Justice of the Peace (JP)
a lay magistrate; a person appointed to administer judicial business in a Magistrates Court
Magistrates' Court
a Court where criminal proceedings are commenced before Justices of the Peace, or District Judges, who examine the evidence/statements and either deal with the case themselves or commit to the Crown Court for trial or sentence
Mitigation
the explanation for the offence given on behalf of a guilty party in order to excuse or partly excuse the offence committed in an attempt to minimise the sentence
Notifiable Offence
offence deemed serious enough to be recorded by the Police. Includes most indictable and triable either-way offences
Plea
a defendant's reply to a charge put to him by a court; ie guilty or not guilty
Reasonable Doubt
the standard of proof in criminal courts in the UK is that the case is proved 'beyond reasonable doubt'. The Crown Prosecutor must prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the defendant committed the offence
Remand (in Custody)
the accused person (defendant) is kept in custody or placed on bail pending further Court appearance(s)
Stipendiary Magistrate
a legally qualified and salaried Magistrate  now called a District Judge
Summary Offence
a criminal offence which can only be tried by a Magistrates' Court
Surety
a person's undertaking to be liable for another's non-attendance at Court
Suspended Sentence
a custodial sentence which will not take effect unless there is a subsequent offence within a specified period

Employment Law

ACAS
Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service  this body was established under the Employment Protection Act 1975 to work to improve employer/ employee relations.
Agent
a person appointed by another to act on his or her behalf.
Annual Leave
the amount of holiday employees are entitled to by law
Applicant
someone who lodges a complaint with an Employment Tribunal
Breach of contract
a failure by a party to a contract to abide by the terms of the contract or to perform the obligations outlined in the contract
Code of practice
rules established by regulatory authorities, administrative bodies, trade associations, etc., which are used to suggest and guide behaviour
Collective agreement
an agreement reached as a result of negotiations between an employer and a trade union
Common law
laws arising from court rulings rather than from Acts of Parliament
Constructive dismissal
resignation by an employee in circumstances such that he or she is entitled to resign by reason of an act or course of action by the employer
Contract for service
a type of contract that defines an independent contractor
Contract of service
a type of contract in which an individual agrees to be paid a regular wage, work regular hours; in other words, an employment contract
Contract out
attempting to exclude or limit liability
DDA
Disability Discrimination Act 1996
Discrimination
treatment of one or more members of a specified group in a manner that is unfair in comparison with the treatment of others who are not members of that group
Employers Liability
the liability of an employer for breach of his duty to provide for his employees competent fellow-workers, safe equipment, a safe place of work, and a safe system of work, including adequate supervision
Employment Tribunal
the main forum for resolving an employment dispute between an employee and employer.  The claim is made to the employment tribunal following prescribed procedures and is usually resolved at a final hearing  Certain employment disputes may also be resolved through the County Courts
EPA
Equal Pay Act 1970 - requires that men and women be paid the same rate for like employment, or work rated as equivalent, or having equal value
Ex gratia payment
an ex gratia payment is discretionary, often given as a favour, and not as a result of legal duty
Express terms
the terms and provisions of a contract that the parties specifically deal with and agree upon
Frustration
an unexpected and unintentional event that makes it impossible to fulfil the terms of a contract
Garden or Gardening leave
when someone is paid for a period when they are not working, either after they have given in their notice or when they are being investigated for alleged misconduct
Grievance procedure
procedure to be followed by an employee with a complaint against an employer before commencing Tribunal action
Gross wages
the amount of wages before any deductions are made
Legitimate interests
an employers right to have certain interests protected by law
Maternity leave
the period of time a woman is allowed to be absent from her job because of her pregnancy
Misconduct
this is a potentially fair reason for dismissal if it is conduct so serious that dismissal is justified
National Minimum Wage
the minimum amount an employer is obliged to pay per hour
Net wages
the amount of wages after deductions are made.
Notice
advance notification by one party to an employment contract to the other that the contract will expire and will not be renewed
Paternity leave
the right for eligible employees to take paid leave to care for their baby or to support the mother following birth
Redundancy
termination of employment because a job no longer exists
Remuneration
reward or pay for service
Repudiatory breach
a fundamental breach of contract by either the employer or the employee that entitles the other party to terminate the relationship without providing notice
Respondent
the person against whom relief is sought by the applicant
Restrictive covenant in employment
a term in the employment contract restricting the employee’s activities either during the term of  the contact or after termination 
RRA
Race Relations Act 1976 - prohibits discrimination based on colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin
SDA
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 - prohibits discrimination based on gender or marital status in employment or when making an offer of employment
SMP
Statutory Maternity Pay - an employer must pay SMP to any employee who is eligible
SSP
Statutory Sick Pay
Statement of Particulars
a written statement outlining the terms, duties and responsibilities of a particular job
Statutory rights
any privilege recognised and protected by law.
Unfair dismissal
a remedy for unjustifiable dismissal based on statutory rights
Unlawful deduction from wages
where an employer holds back an individuals pay for no legitimate reason
Wrongful dismissal
a remedy for unjustifiable dismissal based on contractual rights

Family Law

Access
see contact
Acknowledgement of service form
the form by which the respondent (or co-respondent) acknowledges having received the divorce petition
Adoption
a formal legal process in which the legal obligations and rights of a child toward the biological parents are terminated and new rights and obligations are created between the child and the adoptive parents.
ADR - Family Law
this stands for 'alternative dispute resolution'. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this
Affidavit
sworn written statement for use in Court proceedings
Ancillary relief
a general term for the possible financial orders that a court can make (see financial remedy)
Answer
the formal defence to a divorce petition
Child abduction
the illegal removal of a child from its home, often from one country to another
Civil partnership
the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 enables same sex couples to register their relationship, thus securing largely the same treatment as marriage
Clean break
an order dealing with all the finances between the parties with a view to ensuring finality
Consent order
an order made by a court which gives effect to the terms agreed between a husband and wife, or between civil partners
Contact (formerly Access)
the arrangement by which a child sees the parent, or other individual, with whom he or she does not live
Co-respondent
a person with whom the respondent is alleged to have committed adultery
Custody
see residence order
Decree absolute
the final order of the court, which brings the marriage to an end
Decree nisi
the provisional order signifying that the court is satisfied that the ground for divorce has been established
Disclosure
the process of exchanging full financial details
District judge
a judge in the County Court who will deal with the majority of the divorce proceedings and usually with financial matters
Divorce
dissolution of marriage
Domicile
a person's permanent and principal home for legal purposes which will determine which country's laws apply
Family Proceedings Court
the division of the Magistrates Court that deals with family law matters
Financial Remedy
formerly known as anciallary relief – the powers of the court to make an order redistributing the income and capital assets of parties to divorce proceedings
Form E
a sworn statement containing financial information
Injunction
an order issued by the court preventing or requiring action, often in an emergency
Judicial separation
a formal separation sanctioned by the court, which enables the courts to make orders relating to money and property
Lump sum
payment of a capital sum of money
Maintenance
money paid by one party to the other for ongoing financial support
Maintenance pending suit
temporary maintenance pending the finalisation of a divorce
Matrimonial home
the property in which a married couple live together, regardless of whether or not they own or rent it
Mediation
alternative process to Court (see ADR)
Non-molestation order
an order preventing the use or threat of violence, or intimidation or harassment
Occupation order
an order regulating the right to occupy the matrimonial home
Parental responsibility
the rights and responsibilities that parents have towards their children
Pension sharing
the division of a pension fund between husband and wife, or civil partners
Periodical payments
see maintenance
Petition
the document in which a divorce or judicial separation is applied for
Petitioner
the person who is applying for a divorce or judicial separation
Pre nuptial agreement
a formal written agreement entered into by a couple before marriage recording their intentions as to the division of assets if the relationship breaks down.  Although not always legally binding, in certain circumstances the agreement can be accepted by the courts.  Equivalent agreements can be entered into before a civil partnership.
Prohibited steps order
an order prohibiting specific steps in relation to a child i.e. a change of surname or removal from the jurisdiction
Property adjustment order
an order that a property should be transferred
Request for directions
an application to the court for a decree nisi
Residence order
an order determining where a child is to live
Respondent
the person against whom relief is sought by the applicant
Separation agreement
a document setting out agreed terms for a separation without involving court proceedings
Service
the process by which court documents are formally sent to the recipient party (usually via their solicitor)
Specific issue order
an order determining a specific issue relating to a child, such as a dispute regarding education or medical treatment
Statement of arrangements
the form that must to be sent to the court with the petition if children are involved, setting out the proposed arrangements for those children when the divorce takes place

Insolvency

Administration Order
an administration order is a court order placing a company that is, or is likely to become, insolvent under the control of an administrator following a petition by the company, its directors or a creditor. The purpose of the order is to preserve the company's business and assets to allow a reorganisation or ensure the most advantageous realisation of its assets whilst protecting it from action by its creditors
Administrative Receiver
the person appointed by the holder of a floating charge debenture over a company's assets to collect in and realise the assets of that company and to repay the indebtedness to the debenture holder
Administrative Receivership
the term applied when an insolvency practitioner is appointed as an administrative receiver
Bankrupt
a person who cannot pay the debts owed to his creditors as they fall due or with an excess of liabilities over assets and who has not been discharged from bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Order
the court order making an individual bankrupt
Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)
a voluntary agreement for a company is a procedure whereby a plan of reorganisation or composition in satisfaction of debts, is put forward to creditors and shareholders.
Compulsory Liquidation
the placing of a company into liquidation as a result of an application to the court, usually by a creditor
Connected Persons
directors or shadow directors and their associates, and associates of the company
Creditors' Committee
a creditors' committee is formed to represent the interests of all creditors in supervising the activities of an administrator or trustee in bankruptcy, or receiving reports from an administrative receiver
Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)
relates to an insolvent company. It is commenced by resolution of the shareholders, but is under the effective control of creditors
Debenture
a document stating the terms of a loan, usually to a company. Debentures may be secured on part or all of a company's assets, or they may be unsecured
Disqualification of Directors
a director found to have conducted the affairs of an insolvent company in an "unfit" manner may be disqualified, on application to the court by the DTI, from holding any management position in a company for between 2 and 15 years.
Fixed Charge
a fixed charge is a form of security granted over specific assets, preventing the debtor dealing with those assets without the consent of the secured creditor. It gives the secured creditor a first claim on the proceeds of sale, and the creditor can usually appoint a receiver to realise the assets in the event of default
Floating Charge
a floating charge is a form of security granted to a creditor over general assets of a company which may change from time to time in the normal course of business (e.g. stock). The company can continue to use the assets in its business until an event of default occurs and the charge becomes a fixed charge over the assets
Fraudulent Trading
where a company has carried on business with intent to defraud creditors, or for any fraudulent purpose. It is a criminal offence and those involved can be made personally liable for the company's liabilities
Going Concern
basis on which insolvency practitioners prefer to sell a business. Effectively it means the business continues, jobs are saved, and a higher price is obtained
Guarantee
a legal commitment to repay a debt if the original borrower fails to do so. Directors may give guarantees to banks in return for the bank giving finance to their companies. Companies in a group may guarantee each others loans
Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)
a voluntary arrangement for an individual is a procedure whereby the person comes to an arrangement with his creditors as to how their debts will be discharged. Such a scheme requires the approval of the court and is under the control of a supervisor
Insolvency Practitioner (IP)
a person authorised by an approved body to act as an IP. The only people who may act as office holder in an insolvency proceeding
Insolvent
the state of not being able to pay one's debts as they fall due or having an excess of liabilities over assets
Insolvent Liquidation
a company goes into insolvent liquidation if it goes into liquidation at a time when assets are insufficient for the payment of its debts and other liabilities and the expenses of liquidation
Interim Order
an individual who intends to propose a voluntary arrangement to his creditors may apply to the court for an interim order which, if granted, precludes bankruptcy and other legal proceedings whilst the order is in force
Lien
right to retain possession of assets or documents until full settlement of a debt
Liquidation
the procedure whereby the assets of a company are gathered in and realised, the liabilities met and surplus, if any, distributed to members
Liquidation Committee
a committee of creditors who receive information from the liquidator and sanction some of his actions
Liquidator
the person appointed to deal with the assets and liabilities of the company or partnership once the resolution to wind up has been passed or a compulsory winding up order has been made
LPA Receiver (Law of Property Act 1925 receiver)
a person appointed to take charge of a mortgaged property by a lender whose loan is in default, usually with a view to sale or to collect rental income for the lender
Members' Voluntary Liquidation (MVL)
a solvent liquidation where the shareholders appoint the liquidator to realise assets and settle all the company's debts in full within 12 months
Misfeasance
breach of duty in relation to the funds or property of a company by its directors or managers
Nominee
the person chosen by the individual or corporate debtor to report on the debtor's proposals for an IVA or CVA
Office Holder
a qualified insolvency practitioner who holds the following posts: liquidator, provisional liquidator, administrator, administrative receiver, supervisor of a voluntary arrangement, or trustee in bankruptcy
Official Receiver (OR)
the civil servant employed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (formerly known as the Department for Trade and Industry) to head the regional offices whose responsibilities cover bankruptcies and compulsory liquidations
Onerous Property
unprofitable contracts, or property which is unsaleable or not easily saleable or which might give rise to a continuing liability. Such property can be disclaimed by a liquidator or a trustee in bankruptcy
Preference
a payment or other transaction in the six month to two year period preceding a liquidation, administration or bankruptcy, which places a creditor or a person connected with the insolvent, in a better position than they would have been otherwise. A liquidator, administrator or trustee in bankruptcy may recover any sums which are found to be preferences
Preferential Creditor
defined in Schedule 6 of The Insolvency Act 1986. Has priority over ordinary creditors when funds are distributed by a liquidator, administrative receiver or trustee in bankruptcy
Proof of Debt
the document submitted in an insolvency to establish a creditor's claim.
Proving
a creditor who claims is referred to as "proving" for his debt, and the document by which he seeks to establish his claim is his "proof"
Provisional Liquidator
the person appointed by the court to deal with the affairs of the company until a compulsory winding up order is made
Proxy
the authority given by a creditor or member to another person (proxyholder) to attend a meeting and speak and vote at a meeting on their behalf
Reservation of Title or Retention of Title Agreement
an agreement for the sale of goods to a company under which, if the seller is not paid and the company is wound up, the seller will have priority over all other creditors of the company in respect to the goods
Secured Creditor
a creditor with specific rights over some or all of the debtor's assets in the event of insolvency. In essence he is paid first from the secured assets
Security
a charge or mortgage over assets taken to secure payment of a debt. If the debt is not paid, the lender has a right to sell the charged assets. The most common example is a mortgage over a property
Shadow Director
a person who is not formally appointed as a director, but in accordance with whose directions or instructions the directors of a company are accustomed to act
Statutory Demand
a formal notice requiring payment of a debt exceeding £750 within 21 days, in default of which bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings may be commenced without further notice
Supervisor
the person appointed to supervise the implementation of the IVA or CVA
Transaction at an Undervalue
a transaction in which the consideration received is significantly less than that given. In certain circumstances such a transaction can be challenged by an administrator, a liquidator or a trustee in bankruptcy
Undischarged Bankrupt
someone against whom a bankruptcy order has been made and who has not been discharged from bankruptcy
Unsecured Creditor
any creditor who does not hold security  and therefore the last to receive payment, ahead only of shareholders
VAT Bad Debt Relief
the relief obtained in respect of the VAT element of an unpaid debt. Previously available only when the debtor became insolvent, relief is now available on any debt unpaid for more than 6 months.
Voluntary Liquidation
the placing of the company into liquidation by resolution of the members
Winding-Up (or liquidation)
the procedure whereby the assets of a company are realised, the liabilities met and the surplus, if any, distributed to members
Winding-Up Order
the order made by the court for a company to be placed in compulsory liquidation
Winding-Up Petition
a winding-up petition is a petition presented to the court seeking an order that a company be put into compulsory liquidation
Wrongful Trading
applied to companies in liquidation where directors allowed the company to continue trading in circumstances where they should have concluded that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into liquidation. The directors involved may be made personally liable to make a contribution to the company's assets

Intellectual property

ADR - Intellectual property
this stands for 'alternative dispute resolution'. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this
Agency
a legal relationship between a person known as an agent, who acts and contracts on behalf of another person, known as the principal
Agent
a person appointed by another to act on his or her behalf.
Agreement
in law, agreement is another name for a contract, which is a legally binding oral or written agreement
Arbitration
an alternative method of resolving disputes paid for by the parties, determined by an arbitrator
Breach of contract
a failure by a party to a contract to abide by the terms of the contract or to perform the obligations outlined in the contract
Breach of privacy
an unwarranted or unauthorised intrusion of an individuals privacy by government, media or other institutions or individuals
Collective mark
trade marks owned by an organisation (such as an association) whose members use them to identify themselves with a level of quality or accuracy, geographical origin or other characteristic(s) set by the organisation
Confidentiality agreement
a signed document that legally binds the parties to keep the information confidential, and contractually restricts disclosure of this information to anybody else
Copyright
a persons exclusive right to reproduce, publish or sell his or her original work of authorship (as a literary, musical, dramatic, artistic or architectural work)
Damages
money claimed by a party as compensation for being harmed in some way, or to recover financial loss
Data protection
safeguards relating to personal data, ie personal information about individuals that is stored on a computer and/or in relevant manual filing systems
Database rights
the rights related to an organised collection of information held on a computer
Defamation
the publication of an untrue statement about a person that tends to lower his reputation in the opinion of right-thinking members of the community or to make them shun or avoid him
Design rights
protection for the external appearance of an article, including its shape, configuration, pattern or ornament. A design right is distinct from a patent, which protects the internal workings of the article
Domain name
virtual address on the internet
European Patent Office (EPO)
pan-European body responsible for granting patents across Europe
Exclusive/non-exclusive right
an exclusive right refers to an agreement under which only one person may sell or otherwise use a particular item or permission, often at the exclusion of the person who originally owned it. A non-exclusive right refers to a situation where multiple agents may sell a property
Infringement
the unauthorised copying or use of a protected form of intellectual property
Injunction
an order issued by the court preventing or requiring action, often in an emergency
Injunctive relief
the granting of an injunction
Intangible property
items that represent value but are not actual, physical objects. Examples include stocks in a company, bonds, bank notes, trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks
property that derives from the work of the mind or intellect. May receive legal protection through such mechanisms as copyright, patents and trade marks
Intellectual property rights (IPR)
intangible property rights resulting from intellectual effort, including patents, designs, copyright
Invention
the creation of a new technical idea and of the physical means to accomplish or embody it. To be granted a patent, an invention must be novel, have utility and make a distinct and recognised contribution to the advancement of science
Know-how
information with technical significance that is not formally recognised as an intellectual property right
Letter of consent
letter from one party consenting to the use or registration of another partys trade mark
Libel
the publication or broadcast of an untruth about a person that will harm their reputation by fostering the ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is distinguished from slander, which is oral defamation (see defamation)
License
agreement granting a person (the licensee) permission to use a work for certain purposes or under certain conditions
Mediation
alternative process to Court (see ADR)
Misrepresentation
making a false or misleading statement on which another party relies
Moral rights
the author of a copyright work retains certain rights over a work even after sale or transfer of the works copyright
Non-disclosure agreement
an agreement where parties share certain sensitive or confidential information with one another, but wish that information to remain undisclosed to other parties
Notice to terminate
a formal notification that the contract is to be terminated after a period specified in the contract or the notice itself
Obligation of confidence
the duty not to make public or known to a third party some secret or private information that was expressly or impliedly imparted under a relationship of confidence
Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM)
the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union
Passing off
actionable misrepresentation by a party that goods or business are those of another
Patent
the grant of an exclusive right to exploit an invention i.e. to use it and benefit from it
Patent application
a technical document describing in detail an innovation for which a patent is sought
Patent Attorney
qualified under the rules of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
Personality right
combination of rights owned by a person to exploit his or her image and consequently to sue any party for any unauthorised exploitation of that image
Plant variety rights
a form of intellectual property designed to protect new varieties of plants in a similar fashion to a patent.  Also sometimes know as plant breeders' rights and governed by the Plant Varieties Act 1997
Publicity rights
a collection of rights held by individuals enabling them to control the commercial use of their identity and persona, such as name, voice, signature, photograph and likeness
Royalty
a sum payable by a third party to the rightsholder for the right to use their property for the purpose of gain.  Royalties are paid generally for the licensing of intellectual property
Tangible property
physical articles, as distinguished from intangible assets such as rights, patents, copyrights and franchises. Examples include furniture, cars, jewellery and artwork (see intangible property)
Trade mark
any sign, symbol, feature or get-up that is capable of distinguishing one traders product, or service, from anothers
Trade Mark Agent/Attorney
member of the UK Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys
Trade name
a name of a business or one of its products that identifies the product as belonging to the business
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation)
international body responsible for facilitating the granting of intellectual property rights throughout the world

Wills and Probate

Abatement
a reduction in the amount of legacies, debts or claims where an estate is insufficient to pay all in full
Absolute interest
an interest whereby the beneficiary is completely entitled immediately and without restriction or condition
Accumulation
the retaining and re-investment of interest
Acquisition/probate value
the value at which either the personal representatives or the beneficiary acquires the assets
Adeem/ademption
the complete or partial extinction of a specific bequest as a result of the Testator/Testatrix having gifted, sold or otherwise disposed of it during their lifetime (other than by revocation)
Administration, Letters of
granted by a court to administrators (usually the next of kin) to give them the authority they need to act and to administer/distribute the estate where no will has been made
Affidavit/oath
a written statement of evidence confirmed on oath or by affirmation that it is true
Apportionment
the division of income in proportionate shares between certain beneficiaries, calculated on a day-to-day basis
Appropriation
the transfer of an asset (instead of its sale proceeds) on account of a legacy or share of residue
Assets
generally speaking, everything that a person owns
Attorney
a person appointed by another to act in his or her place
Beneficiary
anyone who receives anything from a will
Bequest
a gift left in a will
Bona vacantia
a term for ownerless property which passes by law to the Crown
Chargeable gift
a gift on which inheritance tax may be charged
Chattels
personal possessions ie clothes/furniture as distinct from land
Citation
calling on someone to do something
Codicil
a modifying clause added to a will
Commissioner for Oaths
a person entitled to administer oaths
Contingent gift
a gift that is conditional on the occurrence of a particular event, i.e. a beneficiary reaching the age of 21
Crown or Treasury
a term used to refer to the government. If you do not have a will and have no next of kin, the Crown will receive your estate following your death.
De bonis non
unadministered assets
Devise
a gift by will of freehold property
Devolution
the passing of property by the process of law
Discretionary Trust
where assets are left in a will to trustees whose discretion it is to decide who should receive it
Enduring Power of Attorney
a document giving legal authority for others to conduct your affairs. These have now been replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (see below) but will be valid if made before 1 October 2007
Engross
to prepare a document for signature
Estate
the total value of everything you own at your death, less any outstanding commitments
Executors
the people chosen to implement a persons will
Grant of representation
the court order authorising a person to deal with the assets of the deceased. If a will appoints executors, it is called a grant of probate; otherwise, a grant of letters of administration (with or without a will annexed).
Guardian
someone selected to look after the interests of a child under 18 years of age
Inheritance Act claim
A claim by someone for better provision under the will of someone from whom they were receiving financial support 
Inheritance Tax
tax payable on the transfer of assets either during an individual's lifetime or on his or her death
Intestacy
the situation that arises when someone dies without making a will
Legacy
a gift left in a will (also see pecuniary legacy)
Life interest
the right to enjoy for life (or until a specified time period has elapsed or an event has occurred) an asset which will eventually revert to the original estate on the expiry of the term
LPA
Lasting Power of Attorney
Marshalling
the order of payment as between creditors and beneficiaries
Next of kin
the nearest blood relative
Pecuniary Legacy
a gift of money under a will
Power of Attorney
a legal document in which one person gives another the power to carry out actions on their behalf behalf but which is only valid to the extent for the performance of those actions and whilst the person giving the power has capacity (see Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney)
Predeceased
someone who dies before the individual who has made the will
Probate, Grant of
the document which confirms to executors that they have authority to act, and which validates the will
Realisation
converting estate assets into cash
Renouncing probate
the act whereby a named executor signs a legal document which cancels his/her appointment
Residue
the remainder of the estate after the payment of all debts, taxes, administration expenses, legacies and bequests under the will
Reversionary Interest
interest in trust property after the expiry of a life interest
Revocation
cancellation by an act, event or order of court
Testator/Testatrix
the person making the will
Trust
a legal structure allowing assets to be held for the benefit of other parties
Trustee
the person who holds property in the trust and is responsible for administering them in accordance with the terms of the trust
Variation, Deed of
an arrangement whereby selected provisions of a will may be varied by consent of the beneficiaries
Vested interest
right to immediate or future entitlement
Will
a document declaring how an individual wishes to dispose of their assets upon his or her death
Witness
an individual must be seen signing their will by two witnesses, and he or she is then required to watch the witnesses sign the document. The witnesses must also watch each other sign the will. No beneficiary (or their spouse) should sign the will; if they do, any gift to them or their spouse will be invalid.

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23 Apr 2018

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The much reported 'right to be forgotten' case against the search engine giant Google has been decided.

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