Straight Talk

Our set of A-Z legal jargon busters will help your business know exactly where it stands.

A is for…

ADR

This stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution, which is any method of settling a legal dispute without going to court (eg arbitration or mediation).

B is for…

Break clause

This is a term in a tenancy agreement which gives either tenant or landlord (or both) the right to end the tenancy early.

C is for…

Cease and desist letter

You would send this type of letter to ask someone to stop doing something you think is illegal (eg to stop using your trade mark).

D is for…

Data subject request

This is when an individual makes a request to a business which has personal data about them (eg to delete or correct that data).

E is for…

EORI number

This is an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number, which is an identifying number given to any business importing or exporting goods to or from the EU.

F is for…

Forfeiture

In property law, this refers to a landlord ending a tenancy and reclaiming possession of the property if the tenant does not comply with their obligations under the tenancy agreement.

G is for…

General partnership

Also called an ordinary partnership, this is where two or more people carry on a business together in partnership with the aim of making a profit.

H is for…

Heads of agreement

A document setting out the proposed terms for a commercial agreement. It’s not usually legally binding itself, but it provides a framework for negotiating the full contract. Also known as: letter of intent; heads of terms.

I is for…

Indemnity

If one party gives an indemnity to another, it means the first party will compensate the other if a specific event occurs (eg if the first party is negligent or breaches the contract).

J is for…

Joint controllers

Where two data controllers jointly determine the purposes and means of personal data processing. A data controller is the person or company which decides how and why personal data will be processed.

K is for…

KIT day

A Keeping in Touch day for staff on maternity or adoption leave where they can choose to work for their employer without ending or extending their leave.

L is for…

Letter before action

A final warning letter that must be sent before legal action is taken. It might also be called a letter before claim.

M is for…

Memorandum of association

This is a document which forms part of an application to register a company. It sets out how the company will be formed and how share capital will be distributed.

N is for…

Non-compete clause

A term in a contract which prevents one or both of the parties from competing with the other party in certain ways for a specified period of time.

O is for…

Ordinary resolution

This is a decision made by shareholders of a company which requires the approval of shareholder(s) holding a majority (eg more than 50%) of the company’s voting shares.

P is for…

Protected tenancy

This is a type of business tenancy which gives the tenant the right to stay in the premises after their tenancy ends and request a new tenancy. Under a protected tenancy there are limited grounds on which the landlord can object to the new tenancy.

Q is for…

Quorate

A meeting where a quorum is present (a quorum means the minimum number of people required for a meeting to be valid).

R is for…

Redeemable shares

These are shares that can be bought back in future by the issuing company. The company’s directors can be authorised to decide the terms of the shares, which will usually include a fixed redemption date and the option for the company or shareholder to determine when the shares are bought back.

S is for…

Sensitive personal data

Otherwise known as special categories of personal data, this is personal data which is particularly sensitive, including health data and data about someone’s racial or ethnic origins.

T is for…

TUPE

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. These regulations set out the protections employees have when their employer changes.

U is for…

Undertaking

This is a promise to do or not to do something. It is commonly contained in a contract.

V is for…

Vesting

A term which provides for a manager’s entitlement to receive market value and/or keep their shares if they leave the company. If it applies, it’s commonly found in a company’s articles of association.

W is for…

Week-12 rights

These are rights that an agency worker becomes entitled to when they have worked for a business for 12 consecutive weeks in the same role.

X is for…

Expert determination

A process in which two parties agree to submit their dispute to an expert who will decide the matter. The expert’s decision is binding on the parties.

Y is for…

Young worker

A worker who’s under 18 but over school leaving age. In England and Wales, that’s the last Friday in June of the school year that they turn 16.

Z is for…

Zero hours worker

A form of casual worker. They are hired on an as required basis and the hirer has no obligation to offer them any work.