A to Z of legal phrasesFree guidesIntroductionThe language used in law is changing.
Many lawyers are now adopting a plain English style Search terms in the same document; or: Either search term or both terms; %: Not containing terms; : Search for This practice note is an overview of case management in litigation. Request a free trial. To access this resource and thousands more, register for a free, no-obligation trial of Practical Law. End of Document..
But there are still legal phrases that baffle non-lawyers.
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The explanations in this guide are not intended to be straight alternatives. Although we hope the explanations will prompt lawyers to make sure they only use legal jargon where strictly necessary, our wording is there to explain ideas and concepts rather than to give strict legal definitions.
The terms and explanations are for the law in England and Wales. This is very much a 'work in progress', and we welcome any corrections, clarifications or suggested additions.
The copyright on this guide belongs to Plain English Campaign.
Please contact us if you want to reproduce any part of it. Abatementstopping a nuisance;reducing the payments to creditors in proportion, if there is not enough money to pay them in full; or reducing the bequests in a will, in proportion, when there is not enough money to pay them in full.
AbductionAb initioAbovementionedAbscondwhen a person fails to present themselves before the court when required, such as when they have been released on bail and not returned to court. AbsoluteAbsolute dischargesomeone who has been convicted of an offence being released without any penalty.
)Absolute ownerAbsolute privilegea defence which can be used in a case of defamation if the statement from which the defamation arose was: made in Parliament;made during court proceedings.
Abstract of titlea document, drawn up by the seller, summarising the title deeds to a property (such as a house). Abuse of processwhen criminal proceedings are brought against a person without there being any good reason and with malice.
AbuttalsAcceptanceAcceptance of serviceAcceptorthe organisation (such as a bank) which will pay the cheque or bill of exchange it has accepted. AccessoryAccompliceAccordinglyAccountsAccumulationAccusedAcknowledgementAcknowledgement of Servicewhen a defendant agrees that a writ or originating summons ('claim form' since April 1999) has been received.
The defendant fills in, signs and sends back the acknowledgement of service to confirm in writing that the documents were received. Acquitwhen a court lets a person go without any penalty.
If a court decides that a person is not guilty of a crime, or the case has not been proved, it will acquit the person. AcquittalActionActive trusta trust where the trustees have other responsibilities rather than to just let the beneficiaries have the trust's assets when they ask for them.
Act of bankruptcyan act which, if carried out by a person with debts, could have led to bankruptcy proceedings against that person. Act of Godan extreme naturally occurring event (such as an earthquake, avalanche or flood) that could not have been anticipated.
Actual bodily harmActual lossActuaryan expert on pension scheme assets and liabilities, life expectancy and probabilities (the likelihood of things happening) for insurance purposes. An actuary works out whether enough money is being paid into a pension scheme to pay the pensions when they are due.
Actus reusAdditional voluntary contribution (AVC)AdemptionAd hocfor a particular purpose. For example, a committee set up to deal with a particular situation is an ad hoc committee.
)Ad idemAd infinitumAdjourned sine dieAdjournmentAdjudge/adjudicateto give an official judgement about something.
For example, if someone cannot pay their debts a court may adjudge them bankrupt. Adjudication orderthe former name for a court order which made someone bankrupt.
It has now been replaced with the term bankruptcy order. Administration orderan order made by a county court when a person or a company cannot pay their debts.
Normally the court orders that the debts are repaid by instalments and as long as the debtor keeps to the order the creditors cannot do anything else to recover their money. Administratorsomeone who has been appointed:to manage the affairs of a bankrupt business; or to manage the estate of someone who has died without leaving a will.
Admissibility of evidencewhich 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. AdmissionAdmonitionreprimanding of a defendant by a judge even though the case against the defendant has been discharged (dropped).
Adoptionthe system which people use to become parents, even though they are not the child's natural parents. Adoptive childAdoptive parentAd valoremin proportion to the value.
An ad valorem duty goes up as the value of the goods, shares and so on that it is charged on rises. )Adverse possessionAdverse witnessa witness who gives evidence which damages the case of the side which asked the witness to testify for them. Advocatesolemnly promise to tell the truth in an affidavit;confirm a decision made by a lower court; orallow a contract to continue even though it could have been cancelled because it was fundamentally breached.
Affirmationsolemnly 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.
AffrayAforementionedAforesaidAgencyAgentAge of consentthe age when a person can consent to have sexual intercourse. Aggravated assaultAggravated burglaryAggravated damagesAggravated vehicle takingAgricultural holdinga type of tenancy agreement for someone doing agricultural work. 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 abettingAirspacethe space in the atmosphere directly above a piece of land.
If you own a piece of land you also own the airspace above the land. AliasAlibia claim that a person was elsewhere when a crime was committed.
If someone is accused of a crime their alibi is: evidence that the person was somewhere else when the crime was committed; oran attempt to prove that the person was somewhere else when the crime was committed. AlienAlienationAll and sundryAlleviateAllocation ratethe proportion of money left to be invested after charges have been taken off when money is paid into a fund (such as a pension fund).
For example, if the charges were 2%, the allocation rate would be 98%. An allotment of shares in a company gives the owner (of the allotment) an unconditional right to buy the shares at a fixed price. All thatAlternate directorAlternative verdicta person being found guilty of a less serious crime than the one they were charged with.
If a more serious charge has not been proved and the defendant has been found not guilty, the defendant may be found guilty of a less serious crime instead. For example, there may not be enough evidence to convict someone of a murder but there may still be enough for a manslaughter conviction.
AmalgamationAmbiguitycapability 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 willa will which can be revoked or changed while the person who made it is still living.
Amnestynot punishing a person for an offence they have committed and removing details of the offence from the court's records is giving the person an amnesty. Ancient lightsAnnual accountsthe summary of an organisation's financial transactions during the year covered by their accounts, and a 'snapshot' of the assets and liabilities at the end of the year.
Annual general meetingthe yearly meeting of the members of an organisation which must be held to meet legal conditions. The annual accounts are presented for approval at this meeting.
Annual returna 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. AnnuitantAnnuityan amount paid out every year to someone.
The money usually comes from an insurance policy. It can be split up into smaller amounts and be paid out more frequently, such as monthly.
It is usually paid for the rest of the beneficiary's life. AnnulAntecedentsdetails about the past of a defendant or a person found guilty of a crime.
The information about previous crimes, background and bad behaviour is given to the court before the sentence is given. Antenuptial agreementa legal agreement between two people who are about to get married.
The agreement sets out how the couple's assets will be divided between them if they later divorce. It gives the applicant permission to search the defendant's premises for evidence, inspect it and take it away. It is intended to prevent evidence being destroyed or hidden which would be relevant to the case.
(Since April 1999, this has been known as a 'search order'. )Appealasking a court to overturn a lower court's decision.
If the decision of a court is disputed it may be possible to ask a higher court to consider the case again by lodging an appeal. AppellantAppellate jurisdictionthe authority a court has to hear an appeal against a decision made by a lower court.
Appertaining to applicantAppointeeAppointorAppurtenancesArbitrageis: borrowing money at a low rate of interest to lend out again at a higher rate; orbuying and selling in different markets to make profits out of the price differences. Arbitrationsettling a dispute by using a referee.
If a dispute goes to arbitration it is settled by an independent referee. It avoids having to use the courts to settle the dispute.
ArbitratorArraignmenta procedure at the start of a trial when details of the offences are read out and the defendants are asked whether they will plead guilty or not guilty. Arrestto seize someone, usually because they are suspected of committing a crime, and take them into custody. Arrestable offenceArsonArticlesthe clauses in a document.
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Articles of associationAssaultwhen someone threatens another person with physical harm. Words on their own do not amount to assault but threatening gestures do, even if the person threatened is not touched.
AssentAssetAssignto formally transfer something, such as when ownership of property is transferred from one person to another. Assignmentthe formal transfer of the rights to something.
An example would be a bank customer assigning to the bank the right to receive the benefits from a life insurance policy to give the bank security for a loan. AssuranceAssureAssuredthe person whose life is insured or who is entitled to receive the benefit from the assurance cover.
Assured shorthold tenancya type of tenancy agreement under which the landlord has the right to take the property back at the end of the tenancy agreement. Attachment of earningsa court order that deductions be made from a person's earnings.
The employer pays the money collected to the court and the court pays the money to the people it is owed to. AttestAttorneya person appointed to act for another person (such as when someone cannot look after their own affairs).
A formal document called a power of attorney is used to appoint the attorney. Attorney Generalthe chief legal adviser to the Government. He or she must be a Member of Parliament (or have a seat in the House of Lords) and must be a barrister.
Auditan independent examination of an organisation's records and financial statements (report and accounts) to make sure that: the financial statements show a fair reflection of the financial position at the accounting date;the income and spending is shown accurately;the financial statements meet any legal conditions; andthe financial statements are drawn up clearly. Auditor's reportAuthorised share capitalthe highest amount of share capital that a company can issue.
The amount is set out in the company's memorandum of association. Authorised investmentsAutopsy Bailto pay, or promise to pay, an amount of money so that an accused person is not put in prison before the trial.
If the accused person does not appear at the trial, the court can keep the money put up for bail. BaileeBail hostelaccommodation found for people charged with offences and released on bail, but who do not have a permanent address so that the police know where to find them.
Bailiffan officer of the court who carries out the court's orders, such as taking a debtor's goods and selling them to get money to pay the debtor's debts. A bailiff can also personally deliver (serve) documents on people.
BailiwickBailmenttransferring possession of goods from the owner to someone else. A practical example of bailment is that someone who hires a television has possession of it, but the rental company still owns the television. Bailorthe owner of valuable items which are in the possession of another person or organisation for safekeeping.
Balance sheeta summary of an organisation's financial position. It lists the values, in the books of account on a particular date, of all the organisation's assets and liabilities.
The assets and liabilities are grouped in categories and paint a picture of the organisation's strengths and weaknesses. Banker's drafta cheque drawn by a bank on itself.
It is used when there must be certainty that a cheque will be paid. BankruptBankruptcy orderan order that a court may issue against someone if they cannot pay their debts when they are due to be paid.
This order takes ownership of the debtor's property away from the debtor and allows much of the property to be sold. The money raised is divided between the creditors following strict rules.
Bankruptcy searchBarthe collective term for barristers. When a lawyer becomes a barrister, it is called 'being called to the bar'.
Bare trustBare trusteeBargain and saleBarristera lawyer who can speak in the higher courts, which a solicitor is not allowed to do. BarterBatteryusing physical force on someone either intentionally or carelessly and without their agreement.
It would not be battery if two boxers took part in a boxing match, even though they hurt each other during the match, because they would have agreed to fight each other. BearerBenchBench warranta warrant issued by a court for the arrest of an accused person who has failed to attend court.
It is also issued when someone has committed contempt of court and can't be traced. Beneficial interestbelonging to a person even though someone else is the legal owner.
If something really belongs to someone, even if that person does not legally own it, they have a beneficial interest in it. If, for instance, parents hold an investment on behalf of their child they are the legal owners, but the child is the beneficial owner of the investment.
Beneficial ownerthe owner of a piece of land (and the buildings on it). Beneficial owners have the right: to the income their land generates; orto use the land for their own purposes.
It can also be a person who really owns something even though it is held in someone else's name. BeneficiaryBequeathto 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. Bigamythe offence committed by someone who is already married but still goes through a marriage ceremony with someone else.
Bill of coststhe invoice the solicitor sends to a client giving details of any disbursements the solicitor has paid on behalf of the client, the fee the solicitor is charging and any expenses. Bill of exchangea signed written order, instructing the person it is addressed to to pay an amount of money to someone.
Bill of ladingBill of saleBinding effectBinding overan order by a court in a criminal case.
If someone has misbehaved or broken the peace, magistrates can bind them over. This will be forfeited (won't be repaid) if the binding over terms are broken. Binding precedentfollowing the decisions made by higher courts.
Lower courts must follow the precedents set by the decisions of higher courts and this is called binding precedent. BlackmailBodily harmBona vacantiaBonda written promise to repay a debt at an agreed time and to pay an agreed rate of interest on the debt.
Bonded goodsgoods for which a bond has been paid to HM Customs and Excise as security for the duty owed on the goods. Bonded warehousea warehouse approved by HM Customs and Excise for storing goods imported into the UK until the duty on them has been paid or the goods have been exported to another country.
Bonus sharesBook valuethe value of a fixed asset, such as a building or machine, as recorded in an organisation's books. It is usually the amount paid for the asset less an amount for depreciation.
Bought notea document showing details of a purchase by someone for a third party. Stockbrokers produce bought notes for their clients.
The bought note shows details of the investments the broker has bought for the client, including the price paid and any commission and duty charged. Breach of contractBreach of dutyBreach of the peace (or breaking the peace)when harm is done to someone, or harm is threatened.
Breach of trustwhen a trustee does something which is against the trust's rules or fails to do something required by the trust's rules. Break clauseBridle waya path or road which is a right of way for people walking and people leading or riding horses.
Cyclists can use it as well but must give way to pedestrians and horses. Briefa document prepared by a solicitor which contains the instructions for the barrister to follow when acting for the solicitor in court.
Building preservation noticea notice that a building is listed. If a building is in danger of being altered or demolished, but the local planning authority thinks it should be preserved, the authority can issue a notice that the building is listed.
BurglaryBye-law or bylaw Callasking people to pay for new shares they have applied for. A company makes a call when it asks buyers of its new shares to pay some, or all, of the share price.
When this happens the shares are being called up. Called-up capitalall the shares called by a company when it issues shares.
When calls have been made for the whole of the share price and the shareholders have paid, the shares become paid-up share capital. Canon lawCapacitysomeone's ability to enter into a legal agreement.
For example, a minor would not be able to buy something on credit. Capital allowancesallowances that you can sometimes claim when you buy long-term assets, such as machines, to use in your business.
You claim part of the cost against your profits before your tax is worked out for the year. Capital gainthe profit you make if you sell or dispose of a longterm asset (such as a building) for more than it cost you.
Capital gains taxCapital punishmentCapital redemption reserveA company has to have this reserve in its financial records and in its accounts if any of the shares it has issued are cancelled. The reserve cannot be paid out to the members until the company is liquidated and so it prevents the company's capital being reduced.
Careless drivingCare orderCartelCase lawCase statedthe 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.
CausationCause of actionCausing death by careless and inconsiderate drivingan offence committed by someone who is unfit to drive because of drink or drugs, but nevertheless drives a vehicle and kills another person. The punishment for careless and inconsiderate driving is less severe than for dangerous driving.
Causing death by dangerous drivinga criminal offence committed by someone whose driving is dangerous and results in another person being killed. The courts consider dangerous driving to be a very serious offence.
Cautiona warning given by the police to a suspected criminal when the suspect is arrested;a warning given by the police when they release a suspect without prosecution that, if there are any more offences committed by the suspect, the first possible offence may be taken into account; ora document sent to the Land Registry by someone who may have a right over land, which demands that no dealings in the land are registered until the person with the right has been told. It is used to warn people buying goods that they may not be able to get compensation if the goods they buy are faulty.
)Central Criminal CourtCertificate of Incorporationa certificate stating that a company has been incorporated (that is, it has a separate existence from its members) Who can write my LPC papers or thesis? LPC Writing Service Paper Types successfully complete the LPC legal practice course in London in order to be hired Our quality legal practice management course preparation will help you on .
The Registrar of Companies issues the certificate of incorporation once a company has been formed. Certificate of originCertiorarian order by the High Court that a case should be reviewed.
If the High Court considers that a case heard in a lower court is flawed it may order that it be reviewed by the High Court. )Challenge for causeChallenge to a jurywhen either side in a case objects to the people who have been selected to serve on the jury before they are sworn in. Challenge to the arrayChallenge without causeChambersChancery Divisiona section of the High Court.
It deals with cases involving trusts, land, company law, patents and so on. Chargeto use property as security for a debt (such as a mortgage); ora direction given by a judge to tell the jury what they must do.
Chargeable eventChargeable gaina gain on which capital gains tax is payable. If a capital asset such as a building is sold or disposed of at a profit, tax on the gain has to be worked out unless the capital asset is one exempted by law.
Charge certificatea 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.
Charges clauseCharge sheetCharges registerpart of the certificate which is evidence of someone's title. The register shows details of any mortgages, restrictions on the use of the land or rights someone else may have over the land such as a right of way.
Charging clauseCharging ordera court judgement which a creditor may get against the person or organisation which owes the money, giving the creditor security over the debtor's property for repayment of the debt. Charityan organisation set up to do good for the community, such as help poor people, educate people and protect animals.
Most charities are registered with the Charity Commission. Charity Commissionan organisation responsible for checking that charities are run properly.
It also decides whether proposed charities can be placed on the register of charities. ChattelChattels personalthe name for tangible goods (goods which can be touched) such as watches, clothes, furniture and so on.
Chattels realCheata person who fails to send tax returns to the tax authorities or fails to pay the tax owing, such as income tax or value added tax. Chequea written order, addressed to a bank, instructing the bank to pay an amount of money to the person or organisation named on the cheque.
The bank takes the money out of the relevant customer's account. Cheque carda card issued by a bank to a customer.
It guarantees that a cheque used with the card will be paid if the person issuing the cheque has kept to all the conditions. Chief rentChild abuseChild assessment orderan order which a local authority may apply to a court for to assess a child's situation if there are concerns about the child's welfare.
Children in carechildren looked after by a local authority. The local authority takes on the responsibility for the children as if it was a parent.
Child Support Agencypart of the Department of Social Security. It supervises the assessment and payment of maintenance for children.
Child Support MaintenanceChoseChose in actiona right such as a patent, or a right to recover a debt. For example, you cannot touch patents or rights because they have no physical existence. Chose in possessionCircuitany of the six legal regions into which the United Kingdom is divided up.
Each circuit has its own system to administer the courts within the circuit. Circuit judgea judge who presides over (is in charge of) cases in the Crown Court and county courts.
Circumstantial evidenceCitationto demand a remedy; oran application for something such as a rightClaimantClauseClearing bankone of several major banks which work together to exchange and pay for cheques which their customers have written. Clerk to the JusticesClose companyClosing orderan order prohibiting the use of a house because the house is not fit for humans to live in.
Codicilextra pages to change a valid will which needs a minor alteration. The codicil must be signed and witnessed and then be attached to the will.
Codifying statuteCoercionCollateralextra security for a debt. If there is a main security for a debt, such as a house being security for a mortgage, any extra security supplied is called collateral.
Commissioner for OathsCommittal for sentencehappens when magistrates have found someone guilty of a crime but they think their sentencing powers are not enough. The magistrates transfer the case to the Crown Court where a higher sentence can be imposed.
Committal for trialwhen magistrates look at the evidence in a case and then send the case to be heard in the Crown Court. Committal orderCommittal proceedingsa hearing where magistrates work out if there is enough evidence of a serious crime to justify a trial by jury.
Committee of Inspectiona committee appointed from the creditors of a company in liquidation to oversee the liquidator's work. Common assaultwhen someone threatens another person with physical harm, even if they are not touched.
This is a less serious type of assault (compare with aggravated assault). Threatening someone with a weapon such as a knife or gun is common assault.
Common duty of carethe duty of the occupier of premises or land to take reasonable care of visitors to make sure that they are kept safe. Common sealthe seal companies use to authenticate (validate) important company documents.
Commorientesclosely related people who die at the same time, and it is unclear which of them died first.
)Community service orderan order to do work in the community without pay.
If someone has been convicted of a crime they may be given a community service order as an alternative to being sent to prison. Companies Housethe office which stores company information such as annual accounts, directors' names and addresses and the registered office address.
People who are interested in a company can inspect some of the information stored. Company secretarya person appointed by the directors of a company who is responsible for making sure that the company complies with the Companies Acts.
CompensationCompensation for loss of officelump-sum compensation a company pays to an employee whose contract has been ended. Compensation orderCompletiontransferring property in exchange for payment.
When there is a contract to sell land, there will be an initial payment to confirm the contract. Completion happens when the ownership of the land is transferred to the person buying it, in return for the seller receiving the rest of the purchase price.
Composition with creditorsan arrangement between a debtor and the creditors. The creditors agree to accept a proportion of what is owed to them in full settlement.
Compulsory purchasetaking land and giving compensation for it. When land is needed for a project, such as a road, local authorities and other public bodies can take the land off the landowner.
Compulsory winding upthe liquidation of a company by order of the court.
It usually happens because the company has not been able to pay its bills on time and a creditor has presented to the court a petition for winding up the company. Concealmentfailure by one side negotiating a contract to disclose (reveal) information which the other side would need to consider when deciding whether or not to go ahead.
Concealment of securitieshiding or destroying a document such as a will to gain benefit for yourself or cause other people loss of benefit. Conclusive evidenceConcurrent sentencewhen someone is sentenced for different crimes and the sentences are to be served at the same time.
The agreement or contract may collapse if a condition is broken.
Conditional agreementan agreement which depends on a certain thing happening in the future. If the event does not happen the agreement will not start to operate.
Conditional dischargeA court may decide not to punish a criminal immediately for an offence and may conditionally discharge the criminal instead. If the criminal reoffends the court may impose a punishment for the original offence as well as the later ones.
Conditional sale agreementan agreement by which the seller remains the owner of the goods until all the instalments have been paid and all other conditions have been met. Condition precedentCondition subsequentConfiscation orderIf someone has been convicted of a crime the court may order the person convicted to pay the court a sum of money.
Consecutive sentencewhen someone is sentenced for different crimes and the sentences have to be served one after another.
A contract would not be valid unless all the parties consented to it.
ConsiderationConsigneeConsignorConsistory CourtConspiracyhe facts which make up an offence. )CounselCounterclaimmaking a claim in court against someone who has already made a claim in court against you. CounterfeitCounterpartCounty courta court which deals with civil cases such as disputes over unpaid debts and negligence claims.
County court judgeCoupona dated piece of paper attached to a bond.
The coupon has to be surrendered (given back) to get the interest or dividend on the bond. Court of AppealCourt of Protectiona court which administers (manages) the assets and affairs of people who cannot look after themselves, such as people who are mentally ill. CovenantCreditorCreditors' voluntary winding upIf a company is insolvent (cannot pay its debts when they are due for payment) the members can pass a special resolution to have the company wound up (liquidated).
This is called a creditors' voluntary winding up.
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Cross-examineCrown CourtCulpaCum dividendwith dividend.
If a share is sold cum dividend, the buyer will receive the dividend that was declared just before the share was bought If a court decides that a person is not guilty of a crime, or the case has not been It has now been replaced with the term bankruptcy order. A formal document called a power of attorney is used to appoint the attorney. HM Customs and Excise, a government department responsible for administering (managing) value .
Cumulative preference sharesshares which carry forward unpaid dividends. If dividends on these shares have not been paid in previous years the arrears must be paid before a dividend can be paid on the ordinary shares.
CurfewCustoms duties Debt securitiesDeceitwhen one person deliberately misleads a second person with a statement which causes the second person to do something that causes them damage. DecreeDecree absoluteDecree nisiDeedDeed of arrangementa written agreement which can be made, when a debtor is in financial trouble, between the debtor and the creditors.
It is intended to benefit the creditors and avoid the bankruptcy of the debtor. The creditors get a proportion of the money owing to them.
De factoDefamationDefaultDefencethe name for the team of people (lawyers and so on) against proceedings brought against someone. It is also in a civil case a written statement (pleading) by the defendant setting out the facts that the defence will rely on.
DefendantDe jureDe minimis non curat lexthe law will not take account of trifling matters. )DependantDeponentDepositionDepreciationthe 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. DerogationDeterminationa contract because it has finished or the parties agree to end it; ora punishment for a crime.
Disclaim/disclaimerto give up a claim or a right or refuse to take over an onerous (having more obligations than advantages) contract. A disclaimer can also be a notice to limit responsibility.
Discoveryone party in a civil case revealing to the other party the documents relevant to the case under the first party's control and allowing them to be inspected. Discretionary trusta trust in which the trustees can decide who will benefit from the trust and how much they will get.
Disposal (dispose of)Distrain/distressDivorceDivorce petitionDomicileDomiciledDomicile of choiceDomicile of originthe domicile a newborn child has. This is usually its father's domicile or, if the father is dead, its mother's.
Draweethe organisation which will pay a bill of exchange (such as a cheque). In the case of a cheque, this is the bank that the cheque is drawn on.
Drawerthe person or organisation that has written a bill of exchange, such as a person who has written a cheque. DuressDuty Enabling legislationlegislation which authorises government ministers or bodies to create detailed rules to accomplish general principles set out in the legislation.
For example it may allow a minister to create rules or laws for a particular body, such as the police, to follow. EndorsementEndowment policya 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.
Enduring power of Attorney (in England and Wales)a power of attorney which takes effect in the future. If a person is capable of dealing with their own affairs at present, they can sign an enduring power of attorney.
It will only come into effect when they are no longer capable of looking after their own affairs. It gives authority to the person appointed to act for the person who signed the power of attorney.
(Enduring power of attorney (EPA) was replaced by lasting powers of attorney (LPA) on 1 October 2007. An EPA made before this date is still legal and can still be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
)Engrossmentpreparing the final version of a legal document ready for it to be executed (made valid such as with a signature).
Equitable mortgageEscrowa deed which has been supplied but cannot become effective until a future date, or until a particular event happens. Estatethe right to use land for a period of time.
EstimateEstoppela rule of law that a person cannot deny something they previously said, if someone else acted on what was said and their position was changed, possibly for the worse, as a result. (This phrase is abbreviated from the Latin 'et sequeus'.
)EuthanasiaExcess of jurisdictionExchange of contractswapping identical contracts. When land is sold, the person selling and the person buying both sign identical copies of the contract and exchange them.
Excise dutya type of tax levied on certain goods such as petrol.
It is also levied on some activities such as gambling and on certain licences for activities (such as driving a car on the public roads). Exclusionsthe things an insurance policy does not provide cover for.
If a share is sold ex dividend, the seller will receive the dividend declared just before it was sold. ExecuteExecuteddescribing a document which is made valid (in the eyes of the law) such as by being signed or sealed.
Executive directorExecutora man appointed in a will to deal with the estate, according to the wishes set out in the will. Today it is often used to refer to a woman as well.
ExecutoryExecutrixa woman appointed in a will to deal with the estate, according to the wishes set out in the will. Exemplary damagesEx gratiadescribing something done or given as a favour rather than a legal obligation.
Since April 1999, it is often replaced with 'without notice'.
)Expert witnessan expert in a particular field who is called to give an opinion in a court case. Ex post factodescribing a law which is retrospective (it affects past acts as well as future ones).
)ExtraditionExtraordinary general meetingExtraordinary resolutiona resolution for consideration by the members of a company at a general meeting of the members.
When something is sold ex works the buyer can collect it from the place it was manufactured or from some other place agreed by the buyer and seller.
someone buying or selling for a commission; oran organisation which provides finance for a business by advancing money on the value of the invoices the business sends out. False imprisonmentFalse pretenceFalse representationFamily DivisionFelonythe former term used for serious crimes such as rape or murder.
Feme covertFeme soleFeuFeu dutyFiduciaryin 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. Final judgementFitness to pleadwhether or not the person charged is capable of making an informed decision.
If, because of mental illness, a person charged with an offence is unable to understand what is going on the person may not be fit to plead guilty or not guilty. Fixed chargeFloating chargea charge used to provide security for money lent to a company.
The charge is over the company's liquid assets (such as stocks and debtors) but it is only triggered by an event such as liquidation. Forbearancewhen one party to an agreement does not pursue rights under the agreement even though the other party has not kept to its terms.
An example would be someone not suing to recover an overdue debt. Force majeurean event which cannot be controlled and which stops duties under an agreement from being carried out.
If a mortgagor (the borrower) has failed to keep up the repayments on a mortgage, the mortgagee (the lender) may apply to the High Court for an order that the debt be repaid by a particular date. If the debt is not repaid the property will be repossessed.
Forfeiturethe loss of possession of a property because the tenancy conditions have not been met by the tenant.
Sometimes children are looked after by people who are not their parents (natural or adopted).
It usually happens because the parents cannot look after the children properly because of changed circumstances such as illness. Fraudlying or deceiving to make a profit or gain an advantage, or to cause someone else to make a loss or suffer a disadvantage.
Fraudulent conveyanceFraudulent preferencesomeone who is insolvent paying one of their creditors while knowing there is not enough money to pay the others. Fraudulent tradingFreeholdFree of encumbrancesno one else having any rights over something.
When property is owned by someone and nobody else has any rights over it, it is owned free of encumbrances. Sometimes a contract cannot be carried out because something has happened which makes it impossible. Futures contracta binding contract to buy or sell something on a date in the future at a fixed price. Garnishee ordera court order to a third party who owes money to a judgement debtor to pay the money to the judgement creditor. General damagesdamages a court will give to compensate for a wrong done without needing specific proof that damage has been done to the claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999).
The court presumes that losses or damage exist such as in a libel case.
General meetingGrantproof that you are entitled to deal with a dead person's estate Buy a custom biomedical sciences term paper Academic American CSE US calls towards diversification activity practice on the way to students with postdocs, .
Grant of probatea certificate proving that the executors of a will are entitled to deal with the estate.
When a person dies the executors fill in various forms for the Probate Registry. The forms are then sent to the registry together with the will and the death certificate.
A registrar examines all the documents and, once satisfied with everything, issues the grant of probate. Grievous bodily harmGuaranteea promise by a person (the guarantor) to repay a debt owed by a second person if the second person fails to repay it.
For example, a guarantee is sometimes required by a bank before it will lend money to a customer. Guarantee companya company whose members only have to pay the amount they have agreed to contribute, if the company has to be wound up.
They do not have to pay in extra money if there is not enough to pay all the company's debts. Guarantora person or organisation that promises to pay a debt owed by a second person, if the second person fails to repay it.
Guardiana person appointed formally to look after the interests of a child, or of someone who is not capable of looking after their own affairs. Guilty Habeas corpusa writ which can be applied for to order a person's release if they have been imprisoned unlawfully.
Harassment of debtorsthe illegal act of attempting to collect a debt by threatening, or habitually acting in a way that humiliates or distresses, a debtor. Harassment of occupiersthe illegal act by a landlord of using, or threatening to use, violence, or interfering with the tenant's enjoyment of the property, in an attempt to repossess the property.
Hearsay evidenceHereditamentHigh Court (of Justice)Queen's Bench Division;Indictable offenceIndictmentIntangible propertyInterestInterlocutory judgementa provisional judgement. (Since April 1999, this had been replaced with the phrase 'Judgment for an amount and costs to be decided by the court').
Interlocutory proceedingsthe first things to be done before a civil case comes to trial. They include pleading (preparing the formal written statement) and discovery (stating the documents, under one party's control, which are relevant to the case and making them available to the other party) so that there are no surprises when the trial starts.
Interrogatoriesin a civil case, formal questions from one side which the other side must answer under oath. Intestacy/intestatewhen someone dies without leaving a will.
Their estate is divided up between their relatives following the rules set by law. IntimidationInvoluntary manslaughterDeath caused by a person who thought they might cause physical but not fatal harm and there was no lawful excuse.
IssueIssued share capital Joint and several liabilitytwo or more people responsible for repaying a debt. They are each responsible individually to repay all the debt as well as being responsible as a group.
Joint lives policya life assurance policy on more than one person's life. Joint tenancyJoint willa single will which two or more people make to cover all their estates. JoyridingJudgea person whose job is to adjudicate in court cases. Judge advocateJudge Advocate Generala lawyer who is in charge of military justice in the British Army and the Royal Air Force.
Judge Advocate General's Departmenta government department which appoints barristers to advise army and air force courts. Judge Advocate of the Fleeta lawyer who is in charge of military justice in the British Navy.
(Office of the) Judge Advocate of the Fleeta government department which appoints barristers to advise naval courts. Judge in chambersJudgementJudgement creditora person who is owed money and who has been to court and obtained a judgement for the money owed.
Judgement debtorJudgement in defaultgetting a judgement against you because youfailed to do something. If a civil case has gone to court but the defendant does not do something required by the court (such as turn up), judgement for the claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999) may be given.
Judgement summonsa summons to appear in court to disclose (reveal) income and assets under oath because a judgement debtor has failed to pay the judgement debt. Judicial discretionJudicial immunityJudicial precedentLower courts have to follow the decisions of higher courts.
This is called judicial precedent, binding precedent or precedent. Judicial separationJunior barristerJurisdictionthe power it has to deal with particular cases.
It is also the power the court has to issue orders (give instructions or commends). JurorJurya group of people (usually 12) who review all the evidence in a court case and then come to a verdict.
Most people between the ages of 18 and 70 can be required to serve on a jury.
Just and equitable winding upa winding up ordered because fairness cannot be achieved for all the members of a company. Justice of the Peace (JP)a person appointed by the Crown to act as a magistrate.
Justificationclaiming that a defamatory statement is true. In a defamation case a defendant may admit that the claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999)'s allegations are true but plead that the statement which defamed was true.
Justifying bailproving to the court that the person giving the surety has the assets to pay the bail. Juvenile offender Kerb crawlingthe offence committed in a street or public place by a man in a motor vehicle (or near a vehicle he has just got out of) who approaches a woman for sexual services in return for money.
KidnapKnock for knockan agreement between insurance companies that they will pay for their own policyholders' losses regardless of who was to blame. Know-how assumes things to be true which in fact are disputed.
Leasea contract between the owner of a property and a tenant, giving the tenant sole use of the property for an agreed time. LeaseholdLegacyLegal aid schemea scheme for paying legal costs out of public funds for people who cannot afford to pay for them.
LegateeLesseeLessorLetter of credita letter one bank sends to a second bank asking them to pay money to a named person. Letters of administrationan authority the courts give to a person to deal with a dead person's estate.
LiabilitiesLiabilityLibelLicenceLicensed conveyancerLicenseeLienthe right to keep possession of something owned by someone who owes a debt, until the debt has been settled.
Life assurance policy (or life insurance policy)a contract between the policyholder and the insurance company. The insurance company pays out if the policyholder dies.
Life assuredLife imprisonmenta sentence given to a criminal to be imprisoned for the rest of their life (though the Home Secretary may release them early on parole). Life interestLife tenantLimited companya company which limits how much its members will have to pay if the company is wound up.
The members of most limited companies will only have to pay any money unpaid on their shares. If a company limited by guarantee is wound up, the money its members have to pay is limited to the amount shown in the memorandum of association.
Liquidated damagesdamages agreed beforehand by the parties to a contract in case one of them should later break the terms of the contract. Liquidationthe process of winding up a company by disposing of its assets, paying its creditors in a strict order of priority and distributing any money left among the members.
LiquidatorLitigantLitigationLoan capitalLoan creditor Magistratea Justice of the Peace who presides over (is in charge of) minor cases heard in the magistrates' court. The things it deals with include minor criminal cases, most criminal cases involving 10- to 17-year-olds, issuing alcoholic drink licences and hearing child welfare cases. Maintenancemoney paid (and things paid for) to support a partner (husband or wife) and children when a marriage has failed.
Majoritythe age when a person gains full legal rights and responsibilities. In the UK it is when a person becomes 18 years old.
Male issueMalfeasanceMediationhelp from an independent person (a mediator) to solve differences between a husband and wife whose marriage has broken down. The mediator helps them to agree what should be done about their children, money and so on.
Memorandum and articles of associationThe memorandum gives details of a company's name, objects (purposes) and share capital. It also sets out the limits of the shareholders' liability if thecompany has to be wound up.
The articles set out the members' rights and the directors' powers. Mens reathe intent to commit a crime and also the knowledge that an act is wrong.
)Mercantile lawMerchantable qualitythe assumption in the law that goods sold by a business will be fit for their purpose.
Mesne profitsincome lost by a landlord because the property is occupied without the landlord's permission. An example would be a tenant failing to leave the property when the tenancy finished.
It is also the profits lost by a landowner when wrongly deprived of the use of his or her land. MessuageMinorsomeone who has not yet reached the age when they get full legal rights and responsibilities.
MinorityMinutesMisadventureMiscarriage of justiceMisconductMisdirectionMisfeasancesomething is done badly even though it is still legal; ora company officer does something which is a breach of trust or a breach of duty.
MisrepresentationMistrialMitigationMolest/Molestationbehaviour by a person which annoys or greatly troubles their children or spouse. The behaviour can include violence, verbal threats and written threats.
Money launderingMoratoriumMortgageusing property as security for a debt. It is also the name for the contract which is signed by the borrower and lender when money is lent using property as security for a loan.
MortgageeMortgagorthe person who borrows the money to buy a property. The lending is secured with a mortgage of the property. MotiveMuniments Naked trustNaturalisationNegligenceNegligentNegotiable instrumentcan have its ownership changed by changing the name it is paid to; andcan have its ownership changed simply by being delivered to its next owner.
Next of kinNondisclosurethe failure by one side to a contract to disclose (reveal) a fact to the other side that would influence their decision to go ahead with the contract.
Non-exclusive licencean agreement giving someone the right to use something but which does not prevent other people being given similar agreements 6 days ago - Free legal case management software; Law practice management software; Where to get a custom law practice management term paper .
NotaryNot guiltya court's verdict that the person charged with a crime did not commit it. When criminal court cases start the defendants are asked for their pleas.
If they want to deny they committed the offence they plead not guilty. If a court's verdict is that the prosecution has not proved the defendant committed a crime, the defendant has been found not guilty.
NoticeNotice to quita notice to end a tenancy on a stated date. It is usually sent by the landlord to the tenant although the tenant can also send one to the landlord.
If a bill of exchange is marked not negotiable it cannot be transferred to someone else.
NovationNuisance driving in a way which inconveniences other road users. OccupationOccupational pension schemeOccupierOffensive weaponOffera promise to do something, or not to do something.
If the promise is accepted it becomes legally binding. OffereeOfferorOfficial receiverthe person appointed to act as a receiver in bankruptcies and company winding-up cases.
The Department of Trade and Industry appoints official receivers. Official secretinformation which the Government classifies as confidential.
It is a criminal offence to disclose an official secret without permission. Official Solicitoran officer of the Supreme Court whose duties include acting for people who cannot act for themselves, such as children or people with mental health problems.
OmissionOppressionOptiona type of contract under which money is paid for a right to buy or sell goods at a fixed price by a particular date in the future. OrderOrder in Councilan order given by the monarch (King or Queen) after taking advice from the members of the Privy Council.
Originating summonsa summons that sets out the questions the court is being asked to settle. When the facts in a case are not disputed, but the interpretation of the law or of the documents needs to be resolved, an originating summons is prepared.
OutlawOvert act Pardonreleasing someone from a court's punishment. The Crown has the right to alter, cancel or reduce the penalties imposed by the courts.
If someone is given parole they may be returned to prison if they offend again.
Partythe claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999) or defendant in a lawsuit. It is also someone who has taken out a contract or agreement.
Passing offPatentan official right for a specified period of time to be the only person (or organisation) to make or sell something. PatricidePawnPayeePayment into courtmoney paid to the court by the defendant for payment to the claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999).
Penaltyis: a sum of money which has to be paid if the terms of a contract are broken; ora punishment given to someone who commits a crime. Penalty pointspoints given by a court as punishment for driving offences.
If enough penalty points have been collected the offenders may have their driving licences taken off them. The law prevents property being tied up in perpetuity because it could stop owners disposing of it. Per proPer quodPer sePersonal guaranteea pledge, by a person to a bank, to repay a debt owed to the bank if the bank's customer fails to pay it.
Personal injuryPersonal propertyPersonal representativea person who is appointed to deal with a dead person's estate. If there is a will, the executors appointed will be the personal representatives.
If there is no will, the courts will appoint someone called the administrator. PersonaltyPersonationPer stirpesdescribes property divided equally between the offspring.
If a parent who is a beneficiary under a will dies and the legacy goes to the children in equal shares, the legacy has been divided per stirpes. )Perverting the course of justicedoing something to interfere with the justice system (such as misleading the court or intimidating witnesses). Plaintiffthe person who goes to court to make a claim against someone else.
(Since April 1999, this term has been replaced with 'Claimant'. )PleaPlea bargainwhen the defendant pleads guilty instead of not guilty in return for a concession by the prosecution (such as dropping another charge).
PleadPleadingsstatements of the facts prepared by both sides in a civil case. Each side gives the other its pleadings so that they are both aware of what arguments will be used during the trial.
(This term was replaced with statement of case' in April 1999). Pledgeletting someone take possession of goods but the ownership does not change.
It is often done to give security for money owed or to make sure that something is done as promised. PlenipotentiaryPoachingPolygamyPossessPossessionPossessory titlegaining title through possession.
If you have possession of something for a long time you may gain title to it even though you do not have documents to prove that it is yours. Post-mortemPower of appointmentPower of attorneya document which gives power to the person appointed by it to act for the person who signed the document.
Practising certificatecertificates showing a person is entitled to practise law. Every year the Law Society issues these certificates to the solicitors who can practise law.
At the beginning of each Act of Parliament there is an explanation of what the Act is intended to achieve.
PrecedentLower courts have to follow the decisions of the higher courts. This is called precedent, binding precedent or judicial precedent.
Preceptan order given by an official body or person. It is used: by a county council to tell a body to levy (charge) rates for the benefit of the county council;by a sheriff to call an election; orto order payment of a sum of money, such as by a writ or a warrant.
Pre-emptionPreferencePreference sharesa share entitled to a fixed dividend. Holders of preference shares are treated more favourably than ordinary shareholders.
The preference dividend is at a fixed rate and must be paid in full before a dividend can be paid on the ordinary shares. When the company is wound up the preference shares must be fully paid out before the ordinary shareholders can be paid.
Preferential creditorPrima faciePrincipalthe actual person who committed a crime; oran amount of money lent or invested, not including the interest. Privilegespecial 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. Privity of contractPrivy Councila body of people appointed by the Crown.
Its members include members of the royal family, present and former cabinet ministers and people who hold or have held high office. Privy PurseProbateauthority to deal with a dead person's estate. When someone has died and left a will, the executors of the estate apply to the court for this authority.
Probate RegistryProbationIf a court convicts someone of an offence, the court may order that the offender is supervised by a probation officer for a period of at least six months but for no more than three years. This is known as probation and it is an alternative to sending the person to prison.
Processa summons or writ which is used to order someone to appear in court;the whole of a case from beginning to end; orthe total number of summonses or writs issued during a case. Procuratora person who has been given authority to manage another person's affairs, such as under a power of attorney.
Procurator fiscalProduct liabilitythe liability of manufacturers and sellers to compensate people for unsafe goods which have caused injury to people or property. PromiseePromisorPromissory notePropertyPro ratain proportion.
For example, if 10 items cost £100 you would expect three items to cost £30 if they were priced pro rata. )Prosecutionthe name for the team of people (lawyers and so on) bringing proceedings against someone else. Also when legal proceedings are taken against someone it is called a prosecution.
ProsecutorProspectusa formal document giving details of a company's past performance and of its plans for the future. If a public company wants people to invest in it, it prepares a prospectus.
ProstitutionProtected tenancya tenancy agreement for a house. It gives the tenant the right to a fair rent and protection from eviction as long as the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement are kept to.
ProvisoProvocationcausing someone to lose their self-control by doing or saying something (such as threatening to harm a baby) which would cause a reasonable person to temporarily lose their self-control. Proxya person appointed by a shareholder to go to a meeting of shareholders.
The proxy can vote at the meeting for the shareholder. Proxy forma form for shareholders by which, if it is delivered to a company at least 48 hours before the shareholders' meeting, the person who is the proxy will be able to vote at that meeting.
Public mischiefPublic nuisancea crime by which the general public is put in danger or suffers damage to its health, property and so on. Putative father Qualifying childwhen used in connection with child support this means a natural child or adopted child who is under 16, or under 19 if receiving full-time education.
Quangoan organisation set up by the Government to do a particular activity. It is partly independent and does not form part of the Government. Quarter daysin England the days when payments which are made every quarter should be paid.
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If they do not do as the court wishes they may have to pay a sum of money. RecordRecorderRecoveryRedemptionRedundancyRegistered landany 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. Registered officeAlso, the company's registers can be inspected at the registered office.
Registrar of Companiesan official in charge of the office which keeps records of registered companies. There is a registrar for Scotland and another one for England and Wales.
Reinsurancean insurance company insuring part of a risk it is covering. If an insurance company has taken on a large insurance contract it may decide to spread the risk of loss by insuring part of the risk with another insurance company.
Releaseto free someone from prison; ora document used to cancel a claim one person has against another. Remainderan interest which starts when a previous interest finishes.
When more than one person has been left an interest in land the first person to possess an interest will have to die before the next person can possess an interest in the land, and so on. If an accused person is placed on remand they are either kept in prison for a short period or have to pay bail or get someone to pay it for them. It is used for short periods before a trial starts.
Remedyusing the law to get compensation for damage done or for rights infringed. Also, a remedy can be using the law to prevent something from happening.
Renouncing probatea proposed executor refusing to act. Sometimes when a testator dies an executor will not wish to accept appointment.
The executor has to tell the Probate Registry about it in writing. Renta regular payment to the landlord by a tenant in return for being allowed to possess and use the landlord's property.
Repeat offenderReplya claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999)'s answer to a claim. In a civil case the defendant may offer a defence to the claim, or even make a counterclaim.
Repossession or repossessRepresentationacting on behalf of someone else (such as a solicitor acting for a client);taking someone else's place (such as when a court gives an executor the right to deal with a dead person's affairs); ora statement in a contract. Representative actionone or more people, in a group of people with the same grievance, taking legal action representing the group.
ReprieveRescissionReservation of titlea contract which leaves ownership of the goods with the seller until the goods have been paid for. Reservesmoney set aside in accounts which can be spent in later years.
Some types of reserve can only be spent if certain conditions are met. Residence orderan order which a court issues when it has decided where a child should live, setting out details of the court's decision.
Residuary legacywhat remains to be given out from an estate after all debts, taxes and specific legacies have been paid. Residuewhat is left of an estate after all debts, taxes, expenses and specific legacies have been dealt with.
Res ipsa loquiturproof is not needed because the facts speak for themselves. If the defendant was in charge of events and an accident was caused on the face of it by negligence, then it may be presumed that the defendant was negligent unless there is evidence to the contrary.
)Resisting arresta person trying to prevent the police arresting him or her.
A charge could be made of obstructing a police officer in the course of duty. ResolutionRespondentRestitutionis: an order for the return of stolen goods to the victim of the theft or for compensation to be paid to the victim; ora writ, following a successful appeal, for the return of the items lost after the original case.
Restraining orderan order which a court may issue to prevent a person from doing a particular thing. For example, if someone has been harassing another person, the court may order that the harassment must stop.
RestrictionRestriction orderThis order by the Crown Court prevents a person being discharged from hospital, to protect the public. Restrictive covenantRetainerRetention of titleReversionRevolving credit agreementa loan agreement under which a person can borrow again to top up the loan, as long as they do not go over their credit limit.
Right of wayRights issuean issue of extra shares by a company. Existing shareholders can buy extra new shares in proportion to the shares they already hold.
The shares are usually on sale at a lower price than the stock market price to encourage shareholders to buy. The shareholders can sell the rights if they do not wish to use them.
Riota gathering of 12 or more people using, or threatening to use, violence to achieve a common end. Robbery Sale or returnan arrangement under which goods can be kept by the potential buyer for a period while their resale is attempted.
Unsold goods can be returned if the conditions of the contract have been kept to and the buyer pays for the goods used. SalvageSatisfactionsettling an obligation by substituting something satisfactory for what was originally required.
Scheme of arrangementan agreement between a person with debts, who cannot pay them when they are due, and the creditors. The creditors share the money the debtor manages to pay in proportion to what they are each owed.
ScripScrip dividendScrip issueSearchinspection of the registers maintained by organisations such as the Land Registry. When a person intends to buy a property such as a house, a solicitor arranges the inspection.
This is to find out if there is any adverse information about the property or the surrounding area. Search warranta warrant issued by a magistrate, or High Court judge, to allow police officers to search premises.
Securitiesstocks, shares, debentures and so on where there is a right to receive interest or dividends from the investment. Securitysomething of value pledged to a bank by a borrower.
If the borrower fails to repay the debt, the bank can sell the security and repay the debt out of the proceeds of the sale. Security of tenureSeditionwriting things or saying things which encourage ordinary people to rise up against the Government or which cause discontent.
SentenceSeparation orderSequestrationSettleto draw up a contract and agree its terms. Settlementwhen property is bestowed, usually by a will or a deed, on a trust for the benefit of people decided by the settlor.
It also means voluntarily agreeing to settle a civil case. SettlorSeveralShadow directora person who has not been appointed a director of a company but nevertheless gives instructions to the directors, which they comply with.
Share capitalthe money invested directly in a company by its members. When the shares are first made available by the company, people can apply to buy them.
The company states the price it wants for the shares. Share certificatea document which certifies who owns shares in a Company.
It gives the type and number of shares owned by the shareholder and lists the serial numbers of the shares. Share premium accountan account in a set of books recording the extra amount over face value that shares have been issued for.
If shares are issued for more than their face value, the extra amount over face value is called a share premium. Sheriffsomeone appointed each year by the Crown to be a county's senior officer.
To be eligible for the office the person must own some land in the county.
The areas of the law which come within the sheriff's jurisdiction are largely dealt with by the under-sheriff. ShopliftingShorthold tenancySine dieindefinitely.
If a case has been adjourned sine die no date has been set for it to be continued. )Slandersaying something untrue about a person or doing something, such as making a gesture, which damages their reputation. Small claims courta section of the county court which deals with small claims.
There is a simplified way of making a claim in the county court in a civil case where the claim is for no more than £5000 (or £1000 in personal injury cases). Smugglingimporting or exporting goods illegally to avoid a ban on them or to avoid the duties on them. Sold notea note that shows details of investments which have been sold, including the sale price and any charges taken.
Stockbrokers produce sold notes for their clients. SolicitingSolicitora person who can deal with legal matters for the public and give advice on legal matters.
All solicitors are listed on the roll of solicitors kept by the Law Society. Some solicitors can appear for their clients in some of the lower courts.
Solicitor GeneralSpecial resolutiona resolution which must be approved by holders of at least 75% of the shares with voting rights. (Some types of share give their owners the right to vote at shareholder meetings, but there are other types which do not.
)Specific performancea 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.
Spent convictiona conviction which, after the passage of a stated time period, does not have to be disclosed (revealed) to a court. SquatterStalkingthe name given to a form of harassment where a person is made to feel alarmed or distressed by another person's actions.
The prosecution has to prove that a reasonable person would have known that the behaviour would create distress or fear. The harassment must have happened on at least two occasions.
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)Statushow the law regards a person, such as whether the person is a minor or a bankrupt and so on.
StatuteSub judicedescribes something being dealt with by a court which cannot be discussed outside the court. )Subpoenaa writ requiring the person it is addressed to to attend at a specific place (such as a court) on a specific date and at a stated time. SubrogationSubscribersSubsidiaritysubsidiary activities.
Member countries of the European Community agreed that activities could be done by the individual member countries unless they could not do them adequately alone. The European Community therefore should only do subsidiary activities and this is called subsidiarity.
Subsidiarya company controlled by another company. The control is normally a result of having more than 50% of the voting rights.
SueSuicideSui generisdescribes something that belongs in a particular category or is the only one of its class. )Sui jurisSuitSummary judgementobtaining judgement without a trial. In an action in the High Court to recover damages or a debt, if the claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999) swears an affidavit that it is believed that there is no defence to the claim, the claimant ('plaintiff' before April 1999) can obtain summary judgement.
Summary offenceSummary proceedingsa trial by magistrates, where the defendant has the right to choose which court should hear the case, but has agreed to be tried in the magistrates' court. Summary trialSumming upthe judge's summary of a case.
At the end of a trial by jury the judge explains points of law in the case to the jury, explains the jury's role and summarises the evidence. Summonsan order by a court that a person attend at a particular court at a stated time on a particular date.
Superior courtsthe higher courts in English law, which include the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Crown Court and the House of Lords. Their decisions act as precedents for the lower courts to follow.
Supervision ordera court order that a child should be supervised by a probation officer or a local authority. SupraSupreme Courtthe highest court in the UK, the Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for both civil cases in the UK, and for criminal cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It is also an extra charge banks make if customers do not keep to the agreements they made with the bank.
Suretysomeone who takes responsibility for someone else's debts or promises, and guarantees that they will be paid or undertaken (done). It is also the name for the money put up as security that someone will appear in court.
If they do not appear in court the money will be forfeited. Suspended sentenceSWIFT paymenta payment from one bank account to another using the SWIFT system.
SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications and it is an international system for paying by credit transfer. Tangible propertyTaxmoney raised by the Government to pay for the services it provides.
Some taxes are called indirect because they are part of the price we pay for goods and services, such as VAT. Other tax is called direct because the individual taxpayer pays it.
Income tax and corporation tax are examples of direct taxes. Taxable supplya term for supplying goods and services on which value added tax can be charged.
This applies even if the tax rate is 0% at present, because it can be increased if the Government chooses to. TaxationTaxation of coststhe scrutiny of and, if necessary, the lowering of a solicitor's bill to a client.
Tax avoidanceTax evasionTax pointthe date when value added tax arises on goods or services supplied (or made available) to a customer.
It is not necessarily the same as the date of the invoice.
Teeming and ladinga term used to describe attempts to hide the loss of cash received from one customer by using cash from other customers to replace it. This fraud can carry on by using cash from other customers in the sameTenantTendersupplying a price for a job.
If an organisation asks firms to send in tenders for supplying something, they are asking for firm written offers to do the work to an agreed standard and at a stated price. TenureTermTerraTerrorismTestamentTestamentumTestatorTestifyTheftThreatening behaviourTimesharean 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. TitleTitle deedsTollTortdoing something which harms someone else.
)TortfeasorTrademarka mark which is registered at trademark registries and which is used on products produced by the owner. It is illegal for anyone else to display the mark.
TranscriptTransferable securitiesTransfereeTransferorTreasonTreasure trovetreasure found in a hiding place and whose owner cannot be traced. It belongs to the Crown but the finder and the landowner may get a reward.
TreasuryTreasury billan unconditional promise by the Treasury to repay money it has borrowed for the short term (up to one year), to pay for government spending. Treasury SolicitorTrespassingTrialTribunalTrustee in bankruptcya person who administers (manages) a bankrupt person's estate and pays any available money to the creditors.
In certain contracts (such as insurance policies) one party must disclose (reveal) any material facts to the other party.
If they are not disclosed the contract can be cancelled or become unenforceable. If an organisation does something ultra vires, what it has done is invalid.
UnderleaseUndertakinga promise which can be enforced by law such as a promise made by one of the parties or by their counsel during legal proceedings. Unfair contract termsprevents a party to a contract unfairly limiting their liability.
The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 was passed to control unfair exclusion clauses. In particular, in a case where someone had been killed or injured because of someone else's negligence the act prevented a contract limiting the negligent person's liability.
When an employee has been dismissed it is the employer's responsibility to prove that the dismissal was fair.
If an industrial tribunal finds that the dismissal was unfair it can insist on compensation or reinstatement. People can invest in unit trusts by buying units. The managers of the trust use the money people invest to buy investments.
The fund manager values the fund's assets from time to time and puts a new price on the fund's units. Unlawful woundingUnliquidated damagesthe amount of damages decided by a court because the parties to a contract had not agreed in advance how much the damages would be for breaking the terms of the contract.
Unreasonable behaviourUnregistered companyUnregistered landUnsecured creditorUterine Warrantis: a certificate which gives the person holding it the right to buy shares at a given price;a magistrate's written instruction to arrest someone; ora magistrate's written instruction to search a property. If the term is not complied with damages can be claimed by the injured party. Wayleavea right of way through or over a piece of land often for a particular purpose, such as for a pipeline to go through a piece of land or for goods to be carried over it.
Willa legal document which people use to bequeath (leave as a gift) money and property when they die. Winding updisposing of all a company's assets and paying all its debts.
Any money left is then divided among the members. Without prejudicewhen written on a document, the document cannot be used as evidence that a contract or agreement exists.
Witnesssomeone who: watches a signature being put on a document, and then signs as well to verify the signature's authenticity; orattends court to testify about events they know about. To witness a document is to watch it being signed and then add your own signature and name, address and occupation.
Words of artwords which have a fixed meaning in law so that their use in a legal document can have only one interpretation. Writan order issued by a court telling someone to do something or not to do something.
(This has been known as a 'claim form' since April 1999). Writ of executionWrit of summonsa type of writ ('claim form' since April 1999) used to start a civil case in the High Court.
(This has been known as a 'claim form' since April 1999). Wrongful dismissalWrongful tradingcontinuing to trade while knowing that there is little prospect of the company being able to pay its debts.