Dispute resolution Jargon busterFrequently Asked Questions
Putting off or halting proceedings or on a hearing for a period of time. An adjournment may be agreed between the parties or ordered by the Judge. It may be necessary for proceedings to be adjourned if new evidence has come to light that needs to be investigated.
The presentation of a case before a court or tribunal.
The person who presents a case to the court or tribunal. An advocate will usually be a barrister especially for the final hearing of the case. However, a solicitor may be the advocate in procedural hearings or in hearings for an application.
A procedure for settling a dispute other than litigation or court action.
A lawyer who is qualified to represent clients in court proceedings. A barrister specialises in advocacy or the skill of presenting a claim to a Judge. A barrister may be instructed to prepare written advice or hold a conference with a client to review the claim and evidence and advise on the prospect of succeeding with Court action.
A preliminary hearing held by the Court to review the type of claim and the type of evidence that is going to be required to prepare the matter for a final hearing. The Judge will issue a timetable setting out dates by which various steps need to be completed and the date of the final hearing or trial window will be fixed.
A specialist section of the high court that deals with claims related to business law, trusts, probate, and land law.
The rules that set out the procedure that will be followed by the civil courts. The rules include in rule 1 an overriding objective that must be observed during litigation.
The party that is pursuing a claim against another party in court or tribunal proceedings.
An order that is agreed between the parties by consent.
The legal term describing a dispute about the division or distribution of a person’s assets (called their estate) after they have died.
Another name for a barrister.
A claim issued by a defendant who not only disputes the claim that is being brought against them, but also wishes to recover a sum of money or judgement against the other party.
A civil court that hears lower value or less complicated claims brought between private individuals or companies. There are many county courts across the country.
A specialist court that hears arguments relating to the protection or care of vulnerable people. It is responsible for the supervision of attorneys who have been appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney. The court can appoint a special attorney for anyone who has lost ability to look after their own affairs without appointing an attorney.
A sum of money that can be awarded by a court to recompense a party for wrongdoing that it has suffered.
The written response by a party that has had a claim issued against it. Sets out in detail the facts and legal arguments why the claim should be dismissed.
The party against whom court proceedings are issued.
The legal term for mismanagement, waste or neglect by an executor, administrator, or trustee.
An order by the court setting out the timetable that the parties to the claim must abide by to prepare the evidence required to bring the dispute to the final hearing.
A district registry is used to refer to a county court sitting as a higher court. For example, Bristol County Court has a High Court Chancery Division District Registry. This means that chancery matters can be dealt with by Bristol County Court which may be far more convenient for the parties than attending hearings at the High Court in London.
The legal term for an obligation of trust which is owed by a party because of their position or status. The duty requires that person to act in utmost good faith in every action that they take. For example, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to protect the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
A statute (written law) that sets out the rights which certain people have to bring a claim for a greater share of a deceased persons estate. The legislation includes details about the type of people who are allowed to bring a claim and the things that a court must consider when deciding whether to alter the distribution of the assets.
A written law or statute.
The legal process that is followed to take a dispute to court.
A particular type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that involves the parties attending a session with a trained independent third party called a mediator. The mediator helps the parties to explore whether there is any way to resolve their dispute without going to court.
The principle that is set out in Rule 1 Civil Procedure Rules. The courts are required to observe the overriding objective when determining a civil claim. The court must to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost. Including, (so far as practicable) ensuring the parties are on an equal footing, saving expense, dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate to the amount of money involved, the importance of the case, the complexity of the issues, and the financial position of each party. However, the overriding objective also requires the court to ensure that the case is dealt with expeditiously and fairly and must allot an appropriate share of the court’s resources to it. Finally, the overriding objective requires the court to enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and orders.
The legal term for the written argument or claim that a party wishes to make against another party or parties. The document is submitted to the court at the start of proceedings and will set out the basic facts and legal arguments on which the claim is based.
The legal definition for the paperwork that is submitted to the court by all parties to a dispute. The pleadings will include the particulars of claim and defence.
The term for a set of rules which the parties are expected to observe prior to starting a claim in the court. There are different preaction protocols for different types of claim.
A Judgment given in a previous court hearing that has a similar subject matter.
A legal claim for a share in a property or a right to use the property of the owner. This is often the legal basis for a claim by a person who has been working for the deceased for years without pay or with limited pay on the basis that they have been promised a share in the property. They may be entitled to a share based on proprietary estoppel even though no formal steps were taken to transfer the property or a share in the property to them.
The terms of the agreement reached between the parties to a dispute to bring the dispute to an end. If a settlement is agreed, it will usually be recorded in a consent order and referred to the court.
The small claims court or small claims track is the term used to refer to the rules which will apply to a county court claim for less than £10,000. Unless there is a complex legal argument a claim for less than £10,000 will be dealt with by the small claims court. Any county court can hear cases that are in the small claims court.
It is unusual for a party to recover any legal costs that it incurs pursuing a claim through the small claims track.
A written law also known as an Act of Parliament.
A legal term that refers to a person’s mental ability to make or alter a Will. A person may lack testamentary capacity if he or she has any sort of mental illness that affects his or her capacity to understand financial matters or to appreciate those individuals who may have a claim on their estate by virtue of their relationship to them. A person’s testamentary capacity may fluctuate.
An abbreviation for a statute called the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1925. The abbreviation is often used to refer to a type of claim that is brought against the owner of a property for a share in the property. Often this type of claim is brought by an ex husband, wife or partner for a share in the home that they shared with their former partner. The claim can include a request for an order for sale of the property, enabling one party to force the other party to sell the property.
The court will allocate the case to a period of usually 7 days between which the final hearing will take place. This allows the parties to ensure that they are available for the final hearing and should make sure that they don’t book any doctor’s appointments, holidays, or work commitments during that period.