The voluntary relinquishment of a property or an interest in a property, where there is no intention of resuming possession of the property or of maintaining rights in it.


A reduction in the amount of legacies, debts or claims where an estate is insufficient to pay all in full.

Absolute Discharge

The court takes no further action against an offender, but the offender’s discharge will appear on his or her criminal record.

Absolute interest

An interest whereby the beneficiary is completely entitled immediately and without restriction or condition.


Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service this body was established under the Employment Protection Act 1975 to work to improve employer/employee relations.


See Contact


The retaining and re-investment of interest.


The person charged.

Acknowledgement of service form

The form by which the respondent (or co-respondent) acknowledges having received the divorce petition.

Acquisition/probate value

The value at which either the personal representatives or the beneficiary acquires the assets.


Release of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty.


Proceedings issued in the High or County Court.


The complete or partial extinction of a specific bequest as a result of the Testator/Testatrix having gifted, sold or otherwise disposed of it during their lifetime (other than by revocation).


The postponement of a case until a later date.


The judgment or decision of a Court or tribunal.

Administration Order

An administration order is a court order placing a company that is, or is likely to become, insolvent under the control of an administrator following a petition by the company, its directors or a creditor. The purpose of the order is to preserve the company’s business and assets to allow a reorganisation or ensure the most advantageous realisation of its assets whilst protecting it from action by its creditors.

Administration, Letters of

Granted by a court to administrators (usually the next of kin) to give them the authority they need to act and to administer/distribute the estate where no will has been made.

Administrative Receiver

The person appointed by the holder of a floating charge debenture over a company’s assets to collect in and realise the assets of that company and to repay the indebtedness to the debenture holder.

Administrative Receivership

The term applied when an insolvency practitioner is appointed as an administrative receiver.


A formal legal process in which the legal obligations and rights of a child toward the biological parents are terminated and new rights and obligations are created between the child and the adoptive parents.


This stands for ‘alternative dispute resolution’. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this.

ADR – Company and Commercial Transactions

This stands for ‘alternative dispute resolution’. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this.

ADR – Family Law

This stands for ‘alternative dispute resolution’. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this.

ADR – Intellectual property

This stands for ‘alternative dispute resolution’. It is used as a way to resolve disputes without going to Court. Mediation is an example of this.


The Mortgage loan.


Procedures and processes which aim to display the truth, through adversarial (conflict-based) techniques i.e. cross-examination.


Appearing for an individual at a Court hearing.


Someone (usually a barrister or solicitor) representing a party in a Court hearing.


Sworn written statement for use in Court proceedings.


A written statement of evidence confirmed on oath or by affirmation that it is true.


Declaration made by a witness who has no religious beliefs (or who has religious beliefs that prevent them taking the Oath) that confirms the evidence he or she is giving is truthful.


A legal relationship between a person known as an agent, who acts and contracts on behalf of another person, known as the principal.


A person appointed by another to act on his or her behalf.


In law, agreement is another name for a contract, which is a legally binding oral or written agreement.


The transfer of an interest in property to another – eg sale of a freehold or the grant or assignment of a lease.


The gradual reduction of a debt or liability, especially by means of equal periodic payments at stated intervals which, in total, are sufficient to repay the capital or principal at the end of the given period and to pay interest on the outstanding balance throughout the period.

Ancillary relief

A general term for the possible financial orders that a court can make (see financial remedy).

Annual Leave

The amount of holiday employees are entitled to by law.


The formal defence to a divorce petition.


An application to a higher Court for review of a decision of a lower Court.


Someone who lodges a complaint with an Employment Tribunal.


The division of income in proportionate shares between certain beneficiaries, calculated on a day-to-day basis.


The transfer of an asset (instead of its sale proceeds) on account of a legacy or share of residue.


An alternative method of resolving disputes paid for by the parties, determined by an arbitrator.

Arms length transaction

Any transaction in which the seller and buyer act completely independently of each other, have no common interest and have no connection or relationship with each other.


Lawful detention by a police officer.


A formal document required to transfer ownership of property to a person entitled to the property following the death of the owner.

Asset transaction

The purchase or sale of the assets of a sellers business (eg their equipment), rather than of the business (eg the company) itself.


Generally speaking, everything that a person owns.


Party to whom a lease has been assigned.


The transfer of a lease from one party to the other. Once a lease has been assigned, the assignee becomes responsible to the landlord for paying the rent and fulfilling the other obligations of the lease.


One who assigns a lease.


A person appointed by another to act in his or her place.