Legal Dictionary

Useful legal dictionary relevant to words used in the work we do for you.

Acceptance - means acceptance of the terms of an offer to create a contract. The acceptance must be communicated to the other person and must not have any conditions and can ne by words, in writing or conduct.

Action - means when a person formally exercises the right of suing for that which is due. It usually starts with a Legal Notice.

Act of God - means an extraordinary circumstance which was not expected to happen and which could not be guarded against.

Acquisition -

Agreement - A consensus of minds or evidence of such consensus whether spoken or written, relating to anything done or to be done.

Arbitration - means settlement of a dispute by an arbitrator.

Arrears - means money remaining unpaid after the agreed time for payment.

Assignment - to transfer property to another in writing.

Bad Debt - a debt which cannot be recovered.

Bankruptcy - means the compulsory administration of the estate of an insolvent person by the court for the benefit of his creditors.

Beneficiary - a person who receives a gift under a Will

Bid - to make an offer for something which is being sold by auction.

Breach of Contract - the refusal or failure by a party to a contract to fulfil an obligation imposed on him under that contract.

Business Tenancy - means a tenancy relating to property occupied by a tenant for the purposes of a business carried out by or her.

Capital - in a commercial sense, the capital of a business relates to its net worth i.e. the value of its assets less the amount owing to creditors or the authorized, issued and paid up capital of a company.

Cause of Action - means the facts out of which gives a right to sue.  Every fact which is important and must be proven to entitle a person to succeed

Collateral - means security given in addition to the main security.

Consideration – means that which is given or accepted in return for a promise. Examples, a right, profit or benefit or a detriment, loss or responsibility given.

Contracts of Sale - means an agreement to sell something.

Contract for Services - means an oral or written contract to personally perform any work of labour.

Contract under Seal - means a contract outlined in a document to which the maker’s seal is attached and which is delivered as “his deed”.

Copyright -

Costs - means expenses renting to an action and can include fees, charges, disbursements and expenses.

Creditor - means one to whom a debt is owing.

Damages – means the court’s estimated compensation in money for loss or injury sustained by a person in a court case.

Defamation – means the publication of a statement which tends to lower a person in the estimation of right-thinking people of a society.

Default - means a failure to do something required by law.

Defraud - means to deprive a person dishonestly of something which is his or hers or would or might but for the penetration of fraud.

Duty of Care – means a duty to take responsible care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonable foresee would be likely to injure persons Coseley and directly affected by your acts.

Employers Liability – means the liability of an employer to pay compensation to an employee for personal injuries sustained during employment.

Encumbrance - means a liability which burdens property such as a lease, mortgage, easement or rent charge.

Good Faith - means honestly.

Gratuitous - means given freely without receiving anything back.

Gross Negligence -

Implied Term - means a contract term which will be implies by law or custom where it is necessary to carry out the presumed intentions of the parties to a contract, such that it is obvious the parties must have intended that term to apply.

Incorporate – means to combine into whole or to form into a company.

Indemnity - means exemption from incurring red penalties.

Instalment – means portions into which a sum of money or a debt may divided for payments at fixed intervals.

Joint Venture – means a business partnership between two different companies.

Judgement – means a formal decision made and pronounced by a court of law or other tribunal.  It may include the reasoning leading to the decision.

Know-How – means knowledge of how to accomplish something with expert skill

Leasehold - means the interest, term of years created by a lese or agreement for a lease.

Litigation - means the taking of legal action by a person who is referred to as the “litigant”.

Libel - means publishing a statement in permanent form which exposes a person to hatred, ridicule or contempt

Liquidation – means the closure of a company by a liquidator whose duties incudes getting in all of the company’s property, payment of debts and the distribution of any surplus among the company’s shareholders.

Limited Liability - means on the case of a company, its financial exposure will be limited by its shares.  No shareholder will be called upon to pay more than the amount remaining unpaid on his shares.

Liquidated Damages – means the compensation to be paid by one party to another based on a pre-estimate of potential financial loss for breach of contract.

Liquidator – means a person appointed to close a company.  He is not supposed to carry out the company’s business but to conduct its affairs so tat it may be closed as swiftly as possible.                                   

Merger – means the acquisition of one form by another so that only one unit remains.

Negligence - means needless and careless conduct, whether an act or omission which results in damage suffered to a person who the duty is owed.

Notary - known as “a Notary Public”.  Usually a lawyer who attests documents.

Notice to Quit – means a notice required to be given by a landlord to a tenant prior to terminating a tenancy.

Novation – means a contract whereby a creditor at the request of a debtor, agrees to take another person as debtor in replacement of the original debtor.  The original debtor is released from his obligations which passes on to the replacement debtor.

Null & Void – means having no force, invalid.

Obligation – means a duty, usually a legal or moral on and of one’s choice to undertake certain actions.

Offer – means a proposal to give or do something. If may be shown by words or in writing “expressed”, or ‘implied’ from conduct or direct application of the law.

Omission - means a failure to take action when it is required.

Option - means a right which may be acquired by contract to accept or reject a present offer within a given period of time.

Ownership – means right to the exclusive enjoyment of something based on rightful title, e.g. a car, house.

Pari Passu - means at the same rate, equal in every aspect. 

Parties - means either (1) those people who sue and are sued; or (2) they that make a contract and they to whom it is made.

Passing Off - means an act committed by one person in a manner calculated to deceive, he or she ‘passes off’ his or her goods and services or business, as those of another.  For example, imitating appearance or selling them under a similar name or trade mark.

Patents - means an exclusive right given to a person who invents or discovers some process, machine, etc.

Performance - means the completion of an act in accordance with the contract.

Power of Attorney - means a document authorizing one person to act for another during the absence if that other person.

Premises - refers to property e.g. land, buildings etc.

Ratification - means confirmation, approval.

Recitals - means that part of a contract, usually at the top of the first page that indicates the effect and purpose of the contract.

Redundancy - means the dismissal of an employee because his job has ceased to exist.

Remedy - is the means provided by the law to recover rights or compensation for a wrong.

Restrictive Covenant - means a restriction in an employment contract preventing the employee from doing certain things after his or her contract has been terminated.  The term can also be used in property matters to mean use of land in a particular was for the benefit of adjoining land.

Revoke/ Revocation - means the act by which a person cancels something he has done.

Schedule – means a formal list.

Seal - means wax impressed and attached to a document so as to authenticate it.

Severance - means the retention of good points in a contract and rejection of the bad ones.

Share – means the interest of a shareholder in a company measured by a sum of money for the purpose of (a) liability and; (b) dividend.

Share Capital – means the total amount which a company’s shareholders have contributed or are liable to contribute as payment of their shares.

Surrender of Tenancy - means a mode of ending a tenancy where the tenant gives up the leased property to the landlord.

Term - means a fixed period of time.

Third Party - means a person other than the parties to a business arrangement or contract.

Tort - means a civil wrong that is not linked to a contract

Trademark - means a mark used in relation to goods or a business for the purpose of indicating a connection between the goods, the business and owner, or registered user having the right to use the mark.

Undertaking - means a promise usually resulting in an obligation to do something.

Voluntary Winding Up - means the closing of a company by decision of the Board of Directors such that the company and its creditors may settle their affairs before going to court.

Waiver - means abandonment of a right in such a way that the other party is entitled to rely on it if the right is thereafter asserted.