Glossary

Business Recovery [-][+]

Bankruptcy
A declaration by the Court that an individual is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the individual are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors.

Creditor
A party who is owed money by another party.

Insolvency
The term applied if a debtor is unable to pay their debts as and when they fall due. Being insolvent may lead to a creditor seeking a formal declaration of this by either a Bankruptcy Petition (individuals) or a Winding Up Petition (Companies).

Liquidation
The process that a company goes through if it has been declared insolvent. During liquidation the liquidator will look to raise revenue to pay to the company's creditors.

Liquidation
The formal breaking up of a company or partnership by realising (selling or transferring to pay a debt) the assets of the business. This usually happens when the business is insolvent, but a solvent business can be liquidated if it no longer wishes to continue trading for whatever reason.

Personal Guarantee
A contract in which an individual or company agrees to be liable for a debt owed by a third party if that third party cannot or will not pay

Repossession
The process in which a creditor takes ownership of goods or property if a debtor fails to make payment as agreed. Such goods will have either formed the basis of the contract or have been offered as collateral e.g. a house being offered as collateral for a mortgage.

TUPE
Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. In short, offers employees protection in a business disposal/acquisition context, offering continuous service on the same terms and conditions as their current employment and the right not to be unfairly dismissed because of or in connection with the transfer

Winding Up
A declaration by the Court that a company is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the company are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors

Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution [-][+]

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Various methods of resolving a dispute without going to court, including mediation, adjudication and ombudsman schemes

Arbitration
Using an independent third party to settle disputes without going to Court. The third party acting as arbitrator must be agreed by both sides. Contracts often include arbitration clauses nominating an arbitrator in advance.

Attachment of Earnings
An order to regularly deduct a certain amount from a debtor's salary in order to pay a debt.

Bailiff
An individual employed by the Court who is legally authorised to recover a debt. They can seize and sell goods owned by an individual in order to pay off the debt.

Bankruptcy
A declaration by the Court that an individual is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the individual are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors.

Breach of contract
Failure by one party to a contract to uphold their part of the deal.  A breach of contract will make the whole contract void and can lead to damages being awarded against the party which is in breach.

Charging Order
An order by the court that a CCJ be attached (or secured) against a debtor's property or occasionally other assets. Once a Charging Order has been registered then the property or assets can not be sold or disposed of without reference to the charge holder.

Claim
A general term relating to any legal action brought in the Court by a party (the Claimant) against another party (the Defendant) who they are in a dispute with. The purpose of the Claim is to request the Courts decision (or Judgment) on this dispute (aka "sue").

Counterclaim
When a party that has been sued believes it has a separate claim against the suing party. The Counterclaim will become part of the original Claim and will be considered at the same time.

County Court Judgment (CCJ)
These are most common in litigation as a declaration that one party owes money to another party. CCJ's are usually registered with Credit Reference agencies and can thus affect an individual’s credit rating.

Creditor
A party who is owed money by another party.

Damages
An sum of money awarded by the Court as compensation for losses suffered

Damages
The financial compensation received for injury, disability or financial loss.

Debtor
A party who owes money to another party.

Default Judgment
Judgment which is obtained without a hearing or trial. Usually obtained when one of the parties fails to comply with a Court Deadline.

Defended Claim
A claim in which the Defendant disputes the facts as presented by the Claimant. Providing the matter is not settled beforehand, a Defended Claim will usually be decided at a Hearing or Trial before a Judge.

Dispute
Where parties do not agree on the facts of a matter these facts are said to be in dispute. In Litigation if a dispute remains unresolved then a Judge will usually determine the most likely facts of a matter upon hearing evidence from both parties. Their decision is usually based on the "balance of probabilities"

Enforcement
The general term relating to the steps a Creditor can take to try and obtain payment from the Debtor. Examples include Charging Order, Warrants (Bailiffs), Writs (Sheriffs), Attachment of Earnings Order and Third Party Debt Orders.

Injunction
A court order which prevents or requires an individual to do something.

Insolvency
The term applied if a debtor is unable to pay their debts as and when they fall due. Being insolvent may lead to a creditor seeking a formal declaration of this by either a Bankruptcy Petition (individuals) or a Winding Up Petition (Companies).

Interim order
An order which is made by a Judge but needs to be made final at a formal hearing before it can take full effect. The interim order protects the applicant's position until the hearing. Commonly used where there is a possibility that the respondent could dispose of the assets before the hearing.

Letter Before Action
A formal demand letter advising a Debtor that in absence of payment the Creditor will be issuing proceedings.

Liquidation
The process that a company goes through if it has been declared insolvent. During liquidation the liquidator will look to raise revenue to pay to the company's creditors.

Mediation
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution involving a third party ("the mediator") in which the parties attempt to resolve their differences outside of a claim. The mediator's role is to try and negotiate a settlement that both parties can accept.

Partnership
When two or more people or organisations join together to carry on a business.

Personal Guarantee
A contract in which an individual or company agrees to be liable for a debt owed by a third party if that third party cannot or will not pay

Repossession
The process in which a creditor takes ownership of goods or property if a debtor fails to make payment as agreed. Such goods will have either formed the basis of the contract or have been offered as collateral e.g. a house being offered as collateral for a mortgage.

Settlement
A mutual agreement between parties to end a dispute or claim. Settlements will often have terms within them and if these terms are not followed then the parties will usually reopen the dispute or claim.

Shareholder’s agreement
An agreement between all of the shareholders about how the company should be run and the application of the rights of the shareholders. This acts as a contract between the shareholders.

Sheriff
An individual who is licensed by the Court and is legally authorised to recover a debt. They can seize and sell goods owned by an individual in order to pay off the debt

Slander
An untrue verbal statement which could lead the subject of the statement to suffer loss. If slander is proven in Court the subject may be entitled to damages.

Statutory Demand
A formal demand giving a debtor 21 days in which to pay a creditor. A failure to comply with a statutory demand will allow the creditor to apply for the debtor's insolvency.

Third Party Debt Orders
An order by the Court that a third party which owes money to a debtor pays the money to a creditor. Most commonly used if the creditor is aware that the debtor has a bank account which is in credit.

Winding Up
A declaration by the Court that a company is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the company are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors

Without Prejudice
A term to describe negotiations between parties who are attempting to settle a dispute or claim. To enable both parties to speak freely these negotiations can not usually be relied upon as evidence if the matter proceeds to a hearing.

Commercial Property [-][+]

AGA
Otherwise known as an Authorised Guarantee Agreement. When assigning a lease to a third party, the outgoing tenant usually has to give an AGA to the Landlord guaranteeing that the incoming tenant will pay the rent and observe the covenants given by the Tenant under the lease.

Assignment
The transfer of a lease from a Tenant to a third party. This will generally require the consent of the Landlord and once the lease has been assigned, the incoming tenant then becomes responsible to the Landlord for paying the rent and fulfilling the obligations of the lease.

Break Clause
A clause in a lease which entitles one or both parties to end the lease early if they wish to do so, normally at a given ‘anniversary’ within the lease. Most break clauses are time sensitive and if the date is missed, you will have lost your right to exercise the break.

Covenants
The promises that one party to a lease makes to the other. This covers everything from paying rent to keeping the building in a good state of repair. Restrictive covenants in a lease prevent the tenant from doing something, eg forbidding them to carry out a particular type of trade at the premises.

Dilapidations
A list showing all the ways in which a tenant has failed to comply with its covenant to keep the property in repair.

Forfeiture
Forfeiture of a lease occurs when the landlord exercises his right to regain possession of the property against the wishes of the tenant, where there is a breach in a condition of the lease, or a breach of a covenant.

Freehold
The absolute ownership of land and any property on it.

Guarantee
An agreement whereby someone can be made to pay the Tenant’s debts or carry out its duties if the Tenant doesn’t do so

Guarantor
A person who gives a guarantee.

Leasehold
The ownership of a leasehold property is for a temporary time period. At the end of the term, possession of the property passes back to the freeholder.

Liquidation
The process that a company goes through if it has been declared insolvent. During liquidation the liquidator will look to raise revenue to pay to the company's creditors.

Personal Guarantee
A contract in which an individual or company agrees to be liable for a debt owed by a third party if that third party cannot or will not pay

Rent
The amount you pay regularly to use the Property. The more rent you pay, the less premium you should pay. Rent should not be confused with service charge, insurance premiums, outgoings or tax, all of which are charged on top of the rent unless you specifically agree that the rent is “inclusive”.

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: e.g. the open market rent prevailing at the time of the review, or, as is frequently the case, upwards only.

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.

Term
Also known as “Lease Period”. How long you rent the property for. The industry standard used to be 25 years but the maximum is now in the region of 15 years and even then only if the lease contains break clauses. Leases are often for much shorter periods.

Construction & Engineering [-][+]

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Various methods of resolving a dispute without going to court, including mediation, adjudication and ombudsman schemes

Claim
A general term relating to any legal action brought in the Court by a party (the Claimant) against another party (the Defendant) who they are in a dispute with. The purpose of the Claim is to request the Courts decision (or Judgment) on this dispute (aka "sue").

Counterclaim
When a party that has been sued believes it has a separate claim against the suing party. The Counterclaim will become part of the original Claim and will be considered at the same time.

Damages
An sum of money awarded by the Court as compensation for losses suffered

Debtor
A party who owes money to another party.

Default Judgment
Judgment which is obtained without a hearing or trial. Usually obtained when one of the parties fails to comply with a Court Deadline.

Defended Claim
A claim in which the Defendant disputes the facts as presented by the Claimant. Providing the matter is not settled beforehand, a Defended Claim will usually be decided at a Hearing or Trial before a Judge.

Dispute
Where parties do not agree on the facts of a matter these facts are said to be in dispute. In Litigation if a dispute remains unresolved then a Judge will usually determine the most likely facts of a matter upon hearing evidence from both parties. Their decision is usually based on the "balance of probabilities"

Insolvency
The term applied if a debtor is unable to pay their debts as and when they fall due. Being insolvent may lead to a creditor seeking a formal declaration of this by either a Bankruptcy Petition (individuals) or a Winding Up Petition (Companies).

Interim order
An order which is made by a Judge but needs to be made final at a formal hearing before it can take full effect. The interim order protects the applicant's position until the hearing. Commonly used where there is a possibility that the respondent could dispose of the assets before the hearing.

Mediation
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution involving a third party ("the mediator") in which the parties attempt to resolve their differences outside of a claim. The mediator's role is to try and negotiate a settlement that both parties can accept.

Settlement
A mutual agreement between parties to end a dispute or claim. Settlements will often have terms within them and if these terms are not followed then the parties will usually reopen the dispute or claim.

Corporate [-][+]

Agent
Somebody appointed to act on behalf of another person (known as the principal). The extent of an agent’s authority is subject to agreement between the principal and the agent.

Arbitration
Using an independent third party to settle disputes without going to Court. The third party acting as arbitrator must be agreed by both sides. Contracts often include arbitration clauses nominating an arbitrator in advance.

Breach of contract
Failure by one party to a contract to uphold their part of the deal.  A breach of contract will make the whole contract void and can lead to damages being awarded against the party which is in breach.

Comfort letters
Documents issued to back up an agreement but which often do not have any contractual standing. They are often issued by a parent or associate company stating that the group will back up the position of a small company to improve its trading position.

Company seal
An embossing press used to indicate the official signature of a company when accompanied by the signatures of two officers of the company. Since 1989 it has been possible for a company to indicate its agreement without use of the seal, by two signatures (directors or company secretary) plus a formal declaration. However, some companies still prefer to use a seal and the articles of a company can override the law and require a seal to be used.

Confidentiality agreement/non-disclosure agreement
An agreement made to protect confidential information if it has to be disclosed to another party. This often happens during negotiations for a larger contract or a sale of a company, when the parties may need to divulge information about their operations to each other. In this situation, the confidentiality agreement forms a binding contract not to pass on that information whether or not the actual contract is ever signed.

Consideration
In a contract each side must give some consideration to the other. Usually this is the price paid by one side and the goods transferred or assets supplied by the other. But it can be anything of value to the other party, and can be negative - for example, the promise not to exercise a right of access over somebody else's land in return for a payment would be a valid contract, even if there was no intention of ever using the right anyway.

Due diligence
The formal process of investigating the background of a company or business, either prior to buying it, or as another party in a major contract. It is used to ensure that there are no hidden issues that could affect the deal.

Employment contract
A contract between an employer and an employee. This differs from other contracts in that it is governed by employment legislation - which takes precedence over normal contract law.

Franchising
Commercial agreements that allow one business to deal in a product or service controlled by another. For example, most car manufacturers give franchises to sell their cars to local garages, who then operate using the manufacturer's brand.

Going concern
Accounting idea that a business should be valued on the basis that it will be continuing to trade and able to use its assets for their intended purpose. The alternative is a break-up basis, which sets values according to what the assets could be sold for immediately - often much less than their value if they were kept in use. Businesses sold as a going concern do not typically attract VAT on their sale.

Joint and several liability
Where parties act together in a contract or there are multiple sellers they may have joint and several liability. In addition to being responsible together, each party in these circumstances is also liable individually for the entire contract - so a creditor/buyer could recover a whole debt from any one of them individually, leaving that person to recover their shares from the rest of the partners.

Joint venture
An agreement between two or more independent businesses in a business enterprise, in which they will share the costs, management, profits or benefits arising from the venture. The exact shares and responsibilities will be set out in a Joint Venture Agreement.

Jurisdiction
A jurisdiction clause setting out the country whose laws will govern the contract and where any legal action must take place.

Liability
A person or business deemed liable is subject to a legal obligation. A person/business who commits a wrong or breaks a contract or trust is said to be liable or responsible for it.

Limited liability
Usually refers to limited companies where the owners' liability to pay the debts of the company is limited to the value of their shares. It can also apply to contracts where a valid limitation clause has been included in the terms.

Liquidation
The formal breaking up of a company or partnership by realising (selling or transferring to pay a debt) the assets of the business. This usually happens when the business is insolvent, but a solvent business can be liquidated if it no longer wishes to continue trading for whatever reason.

Parent company
Where one company owns more than 50 per cent of the voting rights of another company it is the parent of that company which in turn becomes its subsidiary. It can also occur where the parent has less than 50 per cent but can control the board of directors of the subsidiary: that is, it has the power to appoint and remove directors without referring to other shareholders.

Partnership
When two or more people or organisations join together to carry on a business.

Patents
A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. It gives the owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission.

Proxy
A person who acts on behalf of another for a specific purpose, or the form used to make such an appointment. In a company a shareholder can appoint a proxy to attend a meeting and vote on their behalf.

Quorum
The minimum number of people needed at a meeting for it to proceed and make any decisions.

Registered office
The official address of the company as stated on the register at Companies House. Any documents delivered to this address are considered to be legally served on the company.

Restrictive covenant
This is often included in long-term contracts and contracts of employment to stop the parties working with competitors during the period of the agreement and for some time thereafter. However, unless carefully written the courts will see them as being a restraint of trade and not enforce them.

Service contract
Directors and officers of a company are usually given service contracts that are different to a contract of service or employment contract. This is because directors and officers are not always employees and the effect of employment law is different.

Shareholder’s agreement
An agreement between all of the shareholders about how the company should be run and the application of the rights of the shareholders. This acts as a contract between the shareholders.

Subject to contract
Words used on documents exchanged by parties during contract negotiations. They denote that the document is not an offer or acceptance and negotiations are ongoing.

Trademark
A registered name or logo that is protected by law.

TUPE
Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. In short, offers employees protection in a business disposal/acquisition context, offering continuous service on the same terms and conditions as their current employment and the right not to be unfairly dismissed because of or in connection with the transfer

Debt Recovery [-][+]

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Various methods of resolving a dispute without going to court, including mediation, adjudication and ombudsman schemes

Attachment of Earnings
An order to regularly deduct a certain amount from a debtor's salary in order to pay a debt.

Bailiff
An individual employed by the Court who is legally authorised to recover a debt. They can seize and sell goods owned by an individual in order to pay off the debt.

Bankruptcy
A declaration by the Court that an individual is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the individual are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors.

Charging Order
An order by the court that a CCJ be attached (or secured) against a debtor's property or occasionally other assets. Once a Charging Order has been registered then the property or assets can not be sold or disposed of without reference to the charge holder.

Claim
A general term relating to any legal action brought in the Court by a party (the Claimant) against another party (the Defendant) who they are in a dispute with. The purpose of the Claim is to request the Courts decision (or Judgment) on this dispute (aka "sue").

Counterclaim
When a party that has been sued believes it has a separate claim against the suing party. The Counterclaim will become part of the original Claim and will be considered at the same time.

County Court Judgment (CCJ)
These are most common in litigation as a declaration that one party owes money to another party. CCJ's are usually registered with Credit Reference agencies and can thus affect an individual’s credit rating.

Creditor
A party who is owed money by another party.

Damages
An sum of money awarded by the Court as compensation for losses suffered

Debtor
A party who owes money to another party.

Default Judgment
Judgment which is obtained without a hearing or trial. Usually obtained when one of the parties fails to comply with a Court Deadline.

Defended Claim
A claim in which the Defendant disputes the facts as presented by the Claimant. Providing the matter is not settled beforehand, a Defended Claim will usually be decided at a Hearing or Trial before a Judge.

Dispute
Where parties do not agree on the facts of a matter these facts are said to be in dispute. In Litigation if a dispute remains unresolved then a Judge will usually determine the most likely facts of a matter upon hearing evidence from both parties. Their decision is usually based on the "balance of probabilities"

Enforcement
The general term relating to the steps a Creditor can take to try and obtain payment from the Debtor. Examples include Charging Order, Warrants (Bailiffs), Writs (Sheriffs), Attachment of Earnings Order and Third Party Debt Orders.

Injunction
A court order which prevents or requires an individual to do something.

Insolvency
The term applied if a debtor is unable to pay their debts as and when they fall due. Being insolvent may lead to a creditor seeking a formal declaration of this by either a Bankruptcy Petition (individuals) or a Winding Up Petition (Companies).

Interim order
An order which is made by a Judge but needs to be made final at a formal hearing before it can take full effect. The interim order protects the applicant's position until the hearing. Commonly used where there is a possibility that the respondent could dispose of the assets before the hearing.

Letter Before Action
A formal demand letter advising a Debtor that in absence of payment the Creditor will be issuing proceedings.

Liquidation
The process that a company goes through if it has been declared insolvent. During liquidation the liquidator will look to raise revenue to pay to the company's creditors.

Mediation
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution involving a third party ("the mediator") in which the parties attempt to resolve their differences outside of a claim. The mediator's role is to try and negotiate a settlement that both parties can accept.

Personal Guarantee
A contract in which an individual or company agrees to be liable for a debt owed by a third party if that third party cannot or will not pay

Repossession
The process in which a creditor takes ownership of goods or property if a debtor fails to make payment as agreed. Such goods will have either formed the basis of the contract or have been offered as collateral e.g. a house being offered as collateral for a mortgage.

Settlement
A mutual agreement between parties to end a dispute or claim. Settlements will often have terms within them and if these terms are not followed then the parties will usually reopen the dispute or claim.

Sheriff
An individual who is licensed by the Court and is legally authorised to recover a debt. They can seize and sell goods owned by an individual in order to pay off the debt

Slander
An untrue verbal statement which could lead the subject of the statement to suffer loss. If slander is proven in Court the subject may be entitled to damages.

Statutory Demand
A formal demand giving a debtor 21 days in which to pay a creditor. A failure to comply with a statutory demand will allow the creditor to apply for the debtor's insolvency.

Third Party Debt Orders
An order by the Court that a third party which owes money to a debtor pays the money to a creditor. Most commonly used if the creditor is aware that the debtor has a bank account which is in credit.

Winding Up
A declaration by the Court that a company is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the company are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors

Without Prejudice
A term to describe negotiations between parties who are attempting to settle a dispute or claim. To enable both parties to speak freely these negotiations can not usually be relied upon as evidence if the matter proceeds to a hearing.

Employer Protection Scheme [-][+]

ACAS
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service - an independent body set up to provide free and impartial advice on employment matters

Compromise Agreement
A legally binding settlement agreement following the termination of employment. An employee generally receives a financial settlement on the condition that they waive their right to claim against their employer in the Employment Tribunal

Constructive Dismissal
Where an employee resigns in response to the employer's conduct, which is deemed to be so serious as to amount to a breach of a fundamental term of the employment contract

Disciplinary action
The formal process where an employer deals with the misconduct or poor performance of an employee, which may result in a disciplinary sanction such as a warning or in some serious cases dismissal

Discrimination
The unfair treatment of an employee on the grounds of protected characteristics namely: age, disability, marriage & civil partnership, race, religion & belief, sex and sexual orientation

Employment Appeal Tribunal
An appeal court which can review the decision made by an Employment Tribunal.

Employment Tribunal
An independent judicial body set up to resolve disputes between employers and employees, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy and other employment rights.

Equal Opportunities
The duty to treat all employees or applicants equally, regardless of race, sex, age or religious beliefs etc.

Garden Leave
When an employee is required to serve their notice period at home (or 'in the garden'). During garden leave the employee will continue to receive their contractual benefits (unless their contract states otherwise) and will be bound by any obligations under their contract until their notice period expires

Grievance
The process where an employee formally raises an issue, concern or complaint about their working conditions

Gross Misconduct
Misconduct of such a serious nature that it would result in the employer summarily dismissing the employee.

Harassment
Where an employer or another worker subjects an employee, on the grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, or religion or belief, to unwanted conduct which has either the effect or purpose of violating his/her dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Misconduct
An offence by an employee that may result in disciplinary action or, in some cases, dismissal. There is no finite list of misconduct offences and these are usually outlined in an employment handbook.

National Minimum Wage
The minimum hourly rate that employers must pay their employees. This varies depending on the employee's age.

Notice / Notice Pay
Statute implies a minimum notice period in every contract of employment, this may be increased by an express or implied contractual term. An employer may also reserve the right to make a payment in lieu of notice.

Redundancy
When an employee is dismissed because the organisation is ceasing to trade, or the need for them to carry out work of a particular type or from a particular location has ceased. The employee may receive redundancy pay as compensation for their loss of employment.

TUPE
Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. In short, offers employees protection in a business disposal/acquisition context, offering continuous service on the same terms and conditions as their current employment and the right not to be unfairly dismissed because of or in connection with the transfer

Unfair Dismissal
Dismissal of an employee without a fair reason or a decision to dismiss for a potentially fair reason but deemed not to fall within the band of reasonable responses.

Whistleblowing
When an employee raises concerns about a dangerous or potentially unlawful practice and/or procedure in their workplace to an appropriate public authority.

Employment & HR [-][+]

ACAS
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service - an independent body set up to provide free and impartial advice on employment matters

Compromise Agreement
A legally binding settlement agreement following the termination of employment. An employee generally receives a financial settlement on the condition that they waive their right to claim against their employer in the Employment Tribunal

Constructive Dismissal
Where an employee resigns in response to the employer's conduct, which is deemed to be so serious as to amount to a breach of a fundamental term of the employment contract

Disciplinary action
The formal process where an employer deals with the misconduct or poor performance of an employee, which may result in a disciplinary sanction such as a warning or in some serious cases dismissal

Discrimination
The unfair treatment of an employee on the grounds of protected characteristics namely: age, disability, marriage & civil partnership, race, religion & belief, sex and sexual orientation

Employment Appeal Tribunal
An appeal court which can review the decision made by an Employment Tribunal.

Employment Tribunal
An independent judicial body set up to resolve disputes between employers and employees, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy and other employment rights.

Equal Opportunities
The duty to treat all employees or applicants equally, regardless of race, sex, age or religious beliefs etc.

Garden Leave
When an employee is required to serve their notice period at home (or 'in the garden'). During garden leave the employee will continue to receive their contractual benefits (unless their contract states otherwise) and will be bound by any obligations under their contract until their notice period expires

Grievance
The process where an employee formally raises an issue, concern or complaint about their working conditions

Gross Misconduct
Misconduct of such a serious nature that it would result in the employer summarily dismissing the employee.

Harassment
Where an employer or another worker subjects an employee, on the grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, or religion or belief, to unwanted conduct which has either the effect or purpose of violating his/her dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Injunction
A court order which prevents or requires an individual to do something.

Misconduct
An offence by an employee that may result in disciplinary action or, in some cases, dismissal. There is no finite list of misconduct offences and these are usually outlined in an employment handbook.

National Minimum Wage
The minimum hourly rate that employers must pay their employees. This varies depending on the employee's age.

Notice / Notice Pay
Statute implies a minimum notice period in every contract of employment, this may be increased by an express or implied contractual term. An employer may also reserve the right to make a payment in lieu of notice.

Redundancy
When an employee is dismissed because the organisation is ceasing to trade, or the need for them to carry out work of a particular type or from a particular location has ceased. The employee may receive redundancy pay as compensation for their loss of employment.

TUPE
Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. In short, offers employees protection in a business disposal/acquisition context, offering continuous service on the same terms and conditions as their current employment and the right not to be unfairly dismissed because of or in connection with the transfer

Unfair Dismissal
Dismissal of an employee without a fair reason or a decision to dismiss for a potentially fair reason but deemed not to fall within the band of reasonable responses.

Whistleblowing
When an employee raises concerns about a dangerous or potentially unlawful practice and/or procedure in their workplace to an appropriate public authority.

Family & Divorce [-][+]

Applicant
The person who commences proceedings is known as the Applicant.

CAFCASS
This is the Children and Family Courts Advisory Service.

Child Arrangements Order
A court order which sets out with whom the child lives and how much time they will spend with the other parent, grandparent or other adult.

Civil Partnership
Same sex marriage.

Cohabitation Agreement
A written agreement between a cohabiting couple (similar to a pre-nuptial agreement) that sets out what will happen to their assets if they separate.

Contact Order
Replaced by Child Arrangements Order

Decree Absolute
This is the final court order which officially ends the marriage.

Decree Nisi
An initial court order confirming there are reasonable grounds for divorce. However, the Decree Nisi does not dissolve the marriage and the petitioner must still apply for a Decree Absolute.

Financial application
The proceedings which settle the financial aspects of the marriage.

Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing (FDR)
The second Court hearing in financial proceedings. The parties are given the opportunity to negotiate and the District Judge will give an indication as to how he feels the matter should be resolved.

First Directions Appointment (FDA)
The first Court hearing in financial proceedings. The Judge will give directions as to how the case should proceed.

Form E
A statement of your financial circumstances

Injunction
A court order which prevents or requires an individual to do something.

Maintenance
A regular payment made by one party to another to assist with living expenses. This can take the form of spouse maintenance or child maintenance.

Mediation
A separate service where two parties meet with an independent mediator to try to resolve the areas of dispute before court proceedings are issued.

Petition (for divorce)
The official application to the courts to end a marriage.

Petitioner (Divorce)
The person applying for a divorce.

Pre Nuptial Agreement
An agreement made by both parties prior to marriage setting out what will happen to their assets in the event of a marriage breakdown.

Prohibited Steps Order
A court order detailing actions that a parent cannot undertake without permission from the court. This includes changing a child's surname or removing them from the country.

Residence Order
Replaced by Child Arrangements Order

Respondent (Divorce)
The person receiving the divorce petition from the court.

Separation Agreement
An agreement between either a married couple or cohabiting couple regarding the division of their assets on separation

Specific Issue Order
A Court Order that deals with any specific issue relating to children that the parties have been unable to resolve by agreement e.g. decisions in relation to health or education.

Fixed Cost Probate [-][+]

Administrator
When a person dies without leaving a valid Will, an administrator is appointed to deal with the estate of the deceased.

Beneficiary
A person who is named in a Will to receive a gift of money, property or assets.

Codicil
A document which makes a simple addition or amendment to an existing Will.

Estate
The whole of a person's assets, including property and debts.

Executor
The person or persons named in a Will who are legally responsible for administering the estate and fulfilling all wishes contained in the Will.

Grant of Probate
The legal document giving authority to handle the affairs of the deceased and deal with their estate.

Inheritance Tax (IHT)
The tax paid on an estate when it is worth over a certain amount.

Intestate
A person who dies without having made a valid Will dies intestate.

Legacy / Bequest
A gift of money, property or possessions made in a Will.

Probate
The process of officially proving the validity of a Will. The term is commonly used to describe the process of finalising and distributing a deceased person's estate.

Will
The document in which someone sets out what they wish to happen to their property and possessions after their death.

Intellectual Property [-][+]

Assignments
In the context of intellectual property this is the method by which all legal and beneficial entitlement to intellectual property rights is transferred.

Classes
When applying for your trade mark, it must be registered for the goods and/or services which you intend to use it for. Goods and services are grouped together into 45 classes. You can only provide for goods and services you may use in the near future (within five years of the application). The more classes you file for, the more expensive the application, but omit important classes and you lose some of the protection afforded by a trade mark registration. It is not possible to add classes to an application once submitted.

Confidentiality Agreements
Also known as non-disclosure agreement. An agreement requiring one party to keep certain information disclosed in the course of a transaction or period of employment confidential, and to use that information only for the particular purpose for which it is disclosed.

Database rights
A database may be protected by copyright as a literary work and/or database right.

Design rights
A registered design is a legal right which protects the overall visual appearance of a product in the geographical area it is registered in. Unregistered design rights give automatic protection for the look of a product.

IP due diligence and auditing
The process of auditing what intellectual property a business has and whether it is secured and being exploited where possible.

Joint Venture Agreements
An agreement when two or more companies work together on a project, whether development, research or commercial exploitation of intellectual property rights.

Know-how
The term "know-how" is not specifically defined in English law, but the term is generally used to describe a type of commercial confidential information which is primarily characterised by its technical nature. "Trade secret" is an alternative name for commercial confidential information, and this is the term favoured in the US.

Licences
The lawful grant of a permission to do something that would otherwise not be legal or allowed, for example, to use another’s Trade Mark to manufacture goods under a brand.

Non-Disclosure Agreements
See Confidentiality Agreements.

Passing off
If a trade mark is not registered, a business may still be able to take action against someone who uses their mark on goods or services without permission, using the common law of passing off.

Patents
A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. It gives the owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission.

Trade Secrets
A trade secret is confidential information which is not appropriate for intellectual property (IP) protection but you want to keep secret.

What is (and isn’t) a trade mark?
For more information on what does (and does not) constitute a trade mark, read our trade mark guide.

What is an Objection?
When the IPO examines your application they can raise grounds of objection. Examiners at the IPO base their Examination Report on their own personal experience and understanding of well known terms and phrases.

What is an Opposition?
If a third party has a trade mark (whether registered or otherwise) they may choose to object to your application on the grounds that their mark is confusingly similar to your mark.

What is the IPO?
The IPO is the Intellectual Property Office and is the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property rights in the UK.

Leisure [-][+]

Authorised Person
A person who has been trained and authorised by the Designated Premises Supervisor or a personal licence holder to sell alcohol.

Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)
The person nominated as the individual who is responsible for the day to day running of a licensed premises.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check
A process through which an individual can show whether or not he had a criminal record.

Late Night Refreshment
Hot food or drink served between 11.00pm and 5.00am – a licensable activity.

Licensable Activities
Activities for which a permission is needed, including the sale of alcohol by retail, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment.

Licensing Authority
The local government body which is responsible for matters relating to licensing.

Mandatory Conditions
Conditions which apply to all premises which are licensed to sell alcohol. These conditions must be complied with.

Objection
In the context of licensing law, an objection is called a relevant representation. Police may object to a temporary event notice or to the appointments of a Designated Premises Supervisor.

Operating Schedule
A plan of how the business will operate. Must be submitted with a premises licence application.

Personal Licence
A licence obtained by an individual, which allows them to sell alcohol in conjunction with a premises licence.

Premises Licence
A licence which applies to the premises and permits one or more licensable activities to take place.

Premises Licence Condition
A set of conditions which form part of the premises licence and govern how the licensable activities can be carried on.

Provisional Statement
A form of premises licence which can be obtained for premises which are under construction or alteration.

Review
A legal process which allows the Licensing Authority to examine and potentially suspend, revoke or make changes to a premises licence.

Risk Assessment
A survey of the risks and steps to minimise them. Must be conducted by the proposed holder of the premises licence before submitting a premises licence application.

Sale of Alcohol by Retail
A sale of alcohol that is made directly to the end consumer, such as a member of the public.

SIA Door Supervisors
Door supervisors must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Statement of Licensing Policy
A policy statement issued every 5 years by each licensing authority.

Temporary Events Notice (TEN)
A means by which licensable activities can be permitted on a temporary basis.

Wholesale of Alcohol
A sale of alcohol which is not made to the end consumer, but to another retailer, such as sale of beer made by a brewery to a pub, who then sell the beer on to the end consumer.

Licensing [-][+]

Authorised Person
A person who has been trained and authorised by the Designated Premises Supervisor or a personal licence holder to sell alcohol.

Civil ceremonies
A civil ceremony is the legal union between two people. The ceremony can include readings, songs or music, but must not include anything that’s religious, e.g. hymns or readings from the Bible.

Civil marriage
Civil Marriage is a marriage ceremony and has a government or civil official perform the ceremony. It takes place without any religious affiliation but meets the necessary legal requirements.

Civil partnership
Civil Partnership is the legal union for same sex couples.

Club Premises certificate
A permission that applies to a specific premises, and which can authorise regulated entertainment and the sale or supply of alcohol to members of the club or their guests.

Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)
The person nominated as the individual who is responsible for the day to day running of a licensed premises.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check
A process through which an individual can show whether or not he had a criminal record.

Hackney carriage
Hackney Carriages must be licensed with the local authority together with the driver. The vehicles can be flagged down in the street and can wait on designated taxi ranks.

Late Night Refreshment
Hot food or drink served between 11.00pm and 5.00am – a licensable activity.

Licensable Activities
Activities for which a permission is needed, including the sale of alcohol by retail, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment.

Licensing Authority
The local government body which is responsible for matters relating to licensing.

Mandatory Conditions
Conditions which apply to all premises which are licensed to sell alcohol. These conditions must be complied with.

Objection
In the context of licensing law, an objection is called a relevant representation. Police may object to a temporary event notice or to the appointments of a Designated Premises Supervisor.

Operating Licences
Operating Licences are issued by the Gambling Commission and required if gambling services are provided either online or at physical venues. There are different types of Operating Licences depending on the gambling services provided.

Operating Schedule
A plan of how the business will operate. Must be submitted with a premises licence application.

Personal Function Licence (PFL)
A PFL is required for operators that work directly in gaming or handle money.

Personal Licence
A licence obtained by an individual, which allows them to sell alcohol in conjunction with a premises licence.

Premises Licence
A licence which applies to the premises and permits one or more licensable activities to take place.

Premises Licence Condition
A set of conditions which form part of the premises licence and govern how the licensable activities can be carried on.

Private Hire operator
Private Hire Operators must be licensed by the local authority. All bookings for a Private Hire vehicle have to be made through a licensed Private Hire Operator.

Private hire vehicle
Private Hire vehicles must be licensed with the local authority together with the driver. To utilise the vehicles they must be pre-booked through a Private Hire Operator. Private Hire vehicles cannot ply for hire from a rank or be flagged down in the street.

Provisional Statement
A form of premises licence which can be obtained for premises which are under construction or alteration.

Regulated Entertainment
Entertainment which is provided for commercial gain or for the entertainment of an audience and for which a permission (such as a premises licence or a temporary event notice) is required.  This may include live music, recorded music or indoor sporting events, although recent years have seen a number of relaxations of the need to licence such activities.

Review
A legal process which allows the Licensing Authority to examine and potentially suspend, revoke or make changes to a premises licence.

Risk Assessment
A survey of the risks and steps to minimise them. Must be conducted by the proposed holder of the premises licence before submitting a premises licence application.

Sale of Alcohol by Retail
A sale of alcohol that is made directly to the end consumer, such as a member of the public.

SIA Door Supervisors
Door supervisors must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Statement of Licensing Policy
A policy statement issued every 5 years by each licensing authority.

Temporary Events Notice (TEN)
A means by which licensable activities can be permitted on a temporary basis.

Test Purchase
These are operations (routinely carried out by the Police and / or Trading Standards) whereby a person under the requisite age is sent in to a premises and attempts to purchase an age-restricted product.  If the product is sold to the test purchaser then the premises fails and a criminal offence has been committed.  These operations often result in prosecutions  against operators or an application to review the premises licence of the site.

Wholesale of Alcohol
A sale of alcohol which is not made to the end consumer, but to another retailer, such as sale of beer made by a brewery to a pub, who then sell the beer on to the end consumer.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution [-][+]

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Various methods of resolving a dispute without going to court, including mediation, adjudication and ombudsman schemes

Attachment of Earnings
An order to regularly deduct a certain amount from a debtor's salary in order to pay a debt.

Bailiff
An individual employed by the Court who is legally authorised to recover a debt. They can seize and sell goods owned by an individual in order to pay off the debt.

Bankruptcy
A declaration by the Court that an individual is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the individual are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors.

Charging Order
An order by the court that a CCJ be attached (or secured) against a debtor's property or occasionally other assets. Once a Charging Order has been registered then the property or assets can not be sold or disposed of without reference to the charge holder.

Claim
A general term relating to any legal action brought in the Court by a party (the Claimant) against another party (the Defendant) who they are in a dispute with. The purpose of the Claim is to request the Courts decision (or Judgment) on this dispute (aka "sue").

Counterclaim
When a party that has been sued believes it has a separate claim against the suing party. The Counterclaim will become part of the original Claim and will be considered at the same time.

County Court Judgment (CCJ)
These are most common in litigation as a declaration that one party owes money to another party. CCJ's are usually registered with Credit Reference agencies and can thus affect an individual’s credit rating.

Creditor
A party who is owed money by another party.

Damages
An sum of money awarded by the Court as compensation for losses suffered

Damages
The financial compensation received for injury, disability or financial loss.

Debtor
A party who owes money to another party.

Default Judgment
Judgment which is obtained without a hearing or trial. Usually obtained when one of the parties fails to comply with a Court Deadline.

Defended Claim
A claim in which the Defendant disputes the facts as presented by the Claimant. Providing the matter is not settled beforehand, a Defended Claim will usually be decided at a Hearing or Trial before a Judge.

Dispute
Where parties do not agree on the facts of a matter these facts are said to be in dispute. In Litigation if a dispute remains unresolved then a Judge will usually determine the most likely facts of a matter upon hearing evidence from both parties. Their decision is usually based on the "balance of probabilities"

Enforcement
The general term relating to the steps a Creditor can take to try and obtain payment from the Debtor. Examples include Charging Order, Warrants (Bailiffs), Writs (Sheriffs), Attachment of Earnings Order and Third Party Debt Orders.

Injunction
A court order which prevents or requires an individual to do something.

Insolvency
The term applied if a debtor is unable to pay their debts as and when they fall due. Being insolvent may lead to a creditor seeking a formal declaration of this by either a Bankruptcy Petition (individuals) or a Winding Up Petition (Companies).

Interim order
An order which is made by a Judge but needs to be made final at a formal hearing before it can take full effect. The interim order protects the applicant's position until the hearing. Commonly used where there is a possibility that the respondent could dispose of the assets before the hearing.

Letter Before Action
A formal demand letter advising a Debtor that in absence of payment the Creditor will be issuing proceedings.

Liquidation
The process that a company goes through if it has been declared insolvent. During liquidation the liquidator will look to raise revenue to pay to the company's creditors.

Mediation
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution involving a third party ("the mediator") in which the parties attempt to resolve their differences outside of a claim. The mediator's role is to try and negotiate a settlement that both parties can accept.

Personal Guarantee
A contract in which an individual or company agrees to be liable for a debt owed by a third party if that third party cannot or will not pay

Repossession
The process in which a creditor takes ownership of goods or property if a debtor fails to make payment as agreed. Such goods will have either formed the basis of the contract or have been offered as collateral e.g. a house being offered as collateral for a mortgage.

Settlement
A mutual agreement between parties to end a dispute or claim. Settlements will often have terms within them and if these terms are not followed then the parties will usually reopen the dispute or claim.

Sheriff
An individual who is licensed by the Court and is legally authorised to recover a debt. They can seize and sell goods owned by an individual in order to pay off the debt

Slander
An untrue verbal statement which could lead the subject of the statement to suffer loss. If slander is proven in Court the subject may be entitled to damages.

Statutory Demand
A formal demand giving a debtor 21 days in which to pay a creditor. A failure to comply with a statutory demand will allow the creditor to apply for the debtor's insolvency.

Third Party Debt Orders
An order by the Court that a third party which owes money to a debtor pays the money to a creditor. Most commonly used if the creditor is aware that the debtor has a bank account which is in credit.

Winding Up
A declaration by the Court that a company is unable to pay the debts they owe. The assets of the company are then sold in an attempt to repay its creditors

Without Prejudice
A term to describe negotiations between parties who are attempting to settle a dispute or claim. To enable both parties to speak freely these negotiations can not usually be relied upon as evidence if the matter proceeds to a hearing.

Personal Injury [-][+]

Contributory Negligence
Where one party is primarily responsible for an accident, but the victim is also partly responsible as a result of their own actions. A percentage of compensation will be deducted from the claim according to the victim's level of responsibility.

Damages
The financial compensation received for injury, disability or financial loss.

Expert Witness
A specialist in a particular field who may be asked to give their expert opinion on a case (eg medical practitioner, psychologist, forensic expert).

Insured losses
Losses which are covered by an insurance policy, eg repairs to the damaged vehicle.

Limitation Deadline
Following an accident, there is a three year time limit in which to file a claim.

Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB)
The MIB will consider compensation claims for people involved in accidents where the driver causing the accident is uninsured or untraceable.

Negligence
The fault or wrongdoing of one person which leads to loss or injury for another.

Uninsured losses
Losses which are not covered by an insurance policy, eg loss of earnings and personal injury.

Residential Property [-][+]

Chancel Repair Liability
An obligation on some property owners to fund repairs to the chancel of their local church.

Completion date
The date when the ownership of the property transfers from the buyer to the seller. The seller receives payment for the property and the keys are handed over to the buyer.

Contract
The document setting out details of the property, the parties involved and the terms of the conveyancing transaction.

Deeds / Title Deeds
The documents which establish who officially owns a property or piece of land.

Deposit
The sum of money that the buyer gives the seller on exchange of contracts to secure the purchase. It usually amounts to 10% of the purchase price.

Exchange (of contracts)
This is the stage at which the contract between buyer and seller becomes legally binding. It is usually the time when the deposit is paid and the completion date is set and, after this point, neither party is free to pull out of the transaction without incurring a penalty.

Fixtures & Fittings
The contents of the house, including items which are fixed and those that can be removed.

Fixtures, Fittings & Contents Form
A form completed by the seller stating what items will remain or be removed from the property.

Freehold
The absolute ownership of land and any property on it.

Ground Rent
This is an annual sum of rent paid by the leaseholder of a property to the freeholder of the property.

Joint Tenants
A form of co-ownership of a property where, if one owner dies, their share of the property automatically transfers to the other owner, even if a Will has not been made.

Land Registry
A government department responsible for recording who has ownership of registered land.

Leasehold
The ownership of a leasehold property is for a temporary time period. At the end of the term, possession of the property passes back to the freeholder.

Property Information Form / Preliminary Enquiries
A questionnaire provided by the seller giving details about the property, including information on boundaries, alterations, neighbour disputes etc. The questionnaire forms part of the contract and is legally binding.

Registration of Title
In all areas of the country, title to land has to be registered in one of the registers maintained by the Land Registry on completion of a purchase. The Register records ownership and all important details of rights and liabilities.

Searches
These include Local Authority Search, Environmental Search, Water & Drainage Search and Chancel Liability Search. Subject to the location of the property, additional searches such as Mining, Tin and Brine Searches may also be undertaken.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
This is a tax payable on the purchase of a property over a certain price.

Survey
A report based on a thorough inspection of the property which may flag up any problems with the property's construction or condition.

Tenants in Common
A form of co-ownership of a property where if one owner dies, their share of the property passes to whoever is specified in their Will - it does not automatically pass to the other owner.

Transfer Deed
This is the document which officially transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.

Trade Mark Registration [-][+]

Classes
When applying for your trade mark, it must be registered for the goods and/or services which you intend to use it for. Goods and services are grouped together into 45 classes. You can only provide for goods and services you may use in the near future (within five years of the application). The more classes you file for, the more expensive the application, but omit important classes and you lose some of the protection afforded by a trade mark registration. It is not possible to add classes to an application once submitted.

What is (and isn’t) a trade mark?
For more information on what does (and does not) constitute a trade mark, read our trade mark guide.

What is an Objection?
When the IPO examines your application they can raise grounds of objection. Examiners at the IPO base their Examination Report on their own personal experience and understanding of well known terms and phrases.

What is an Opposition?
If a third party has a trade mark (whether registered or otherwise) they may choose to object to your application on the grounds that their mark is confusingly similar to your mark.

What is the IPO?
The IPO is the Intellectual Property Office and is the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property rights in the UK.

Wills & Estate Planning [-][+]

Administrator
When a person dies without leaving a valid Will, an administrator is appointed to deal with the estate of the deceased.

Beneficiary
A person who is named in a Will to receive a gift of money, property or assets.

Codicil
A document which makes a simple addition or amendment to an existing Will.

Court of Protection
A specialist court for issues relating to people who lack mental capacity.

Estate
The whole of a person's assets, including property and debts.

Executor
The person or persons named in a Will who are legally responsible for administering the estate and fulfilling all wishes contained in the Will.

Grant of Probate
The legal document giving authority to handle the affairs of the deceased and deal with their estate.

Inheritance Tax (IHT)
The tax paid on an estate when it is worth over a certain amount.

Intestate
A person who dies without having made a valid Will dies intestate.

Lasting Power of Attorney
The document in which someone appoints individuals to manage their affairs in the event of their incapacity.

Legacy / Bequest
A gift of money, property or possessions made in a Will.

Probate
The process of officially proving the validity of a Will. The term is commonly used to describe the process of finalising and distributing a deceased person's estate.

Testator
A person who has made a valid Will.

Trust
A legal arrangement where trustees hold and manage assets for another person.

Will
The document in which someone sets out what they wish to happen to their property and possessions after their death.

Witness (Will)
A Will must be witnessed by two people who cannot be beneficiaries of the Will or related to the Testator.