Money claimed by a party as compensation for being harmed in some way, or to recover financial loss.

Data protection

Safeguards relating to personal data, ie personal information about individuals that is stored on a computer and/or in relevant manual filing systems.

Database rights

The rights related to an organised collection of information held on a computer.


Disability Discrimination Act 1996.

De bonis non

Unadministered assets.


A document stating the terms of a loan, usually to a company. Debentures may be secured on part or all of a company’s assets, or they may be unsecured.

Decree absolute

The final order of the court, which brings the marriage to an end.

Decree nisi

The provisional order signifying that the court is satisfied that the ground for divorce has been established.


A written document that must make it clear on its face that it is intended to be a deed and is validly executed as a deed.

Deed of Covenant

A document confirming an agreement to pay or do something or refrain from doing something.

Deed of Gift

A document transferring the ownership of property from one person to another without any payment being made for it.

Deed of Postponement or Priority

Where a Mortgagee agrees to their mortgage ranking after another lender’s mortgage.


The official documents confirming who owns a property (for most properties, the deeds have been replaced electronic records held at The Land Registry). See Title Information document below.


The publication of an untrue statement about a person that tends to lower his reputation in the opinion of right-thinking members of the community or to make them shun or avoid him.


Someone who is being sued in a civil claim.

Demised premises

Premises which are the subject of a lease.

Derogation from Grant

Where a landlord having granted rights to a tenant acts so as to interfere with the tenants ability to enjoy that right.

Design rights

Protection for the external appearance of an article, including its shape, configuration, pattern or ornament. A design right is distinct from a patent, which protects the internal workings of the article.


The bringing or coming to an end of a lease, or an estate or interest in property, especially by notice as expressly provided for in the lease or as a consequence of a fundamental breach of a lease condition.


Property development refers to either the construction of new buildings or refurbishment of existing buildings in the pursuit of gains.


A gift by will of freehold property.


The passing of property by the process of law.


A state of disrepair in a property where there is a legal liability for the condition of disrepair.


Payments a lawyer will make on their clients behalf to a third party i.e. Court fees, experts fees, accident report fees, travelling expenses and investigation fees.


The offender is found guilty of the offence, and the conviction appears on his or her criminal record, but either no further action is taken at all (absolute discharge), or no further action is taken as long as the offender does not offend again in a certain period of time (conditional discharge).


The process of exchanging full financial details.


A decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to continue with a case.

Discretionary Trust

Where assets are left in a will to trustees whose discretion it is to decide who should receive it.


Treatment of one or more members of a specified group in a manner that is unfair in comparison with the treatment of others who are not members of that group.

Disqualification of Directors

A director found to have conducted the affairs of an insolvent company in an “unfit” manner may be disqualified, on application to the court by the DTI, from holding any management position in a company for between 2 and 15 years.


The enforcement of distress for rent.

Distress for rent

A remedy enabling landlords to recover rent arrears by the seizure and sale of goods within the defaulting tenant’s property.

District judge

A judge in the County Court who will deal with the majority of the divorce proceedings and usually with financial matters.


Dissolution of marriage.

Domain name

Virtual address on the internet.


A person’s permanent and principal home for legal purposes which will determine which country’s laws apply.

Duty of Care

The legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing damage. There is no liability for a negligent act or omission unless the act or omission that causes damage is a breach of the duty of care owed to the Claimant.