A glossary of the contract and legal terms you need to know.

Confidential Information
All material and non-public information in any form, whether or not it is marked as such, which is disclosed in circumstances giving rise to an obligation of confidence on the part of the recipient.
Consensus ad idem
Latin phrase signifying a “meeting of the minds”, which is a legal concept describing agreement between parties as to the exact meaning of the terms of a contract. To have consensus ad idem, and thus form a valid contract, all parties must have the same understanding of the contract being formed.
Consent
The voluntary agreement by a person of age with requisite mental capacity It represents the ethical and legal expression of a person’s autonomy and right to self-determination. In contract law, consent is the knowledge and understanding that the parties have of the contract.
Consequential loss
(aka indirect loss) An unusual loss which is incurred by a party in special circumstances following a breach of contract, it is not a natural result of the breach in the usual course of things. A party can only receive damages for consequential loss in exceptional cases.
Consideration
Anything of value promised or given in exchange for the undertaking or promise of another.
Consultant
A person who provides expert or professional advice on a particular subject to an organisation or an individual. Consultants are typically hired as independent contractors.
Consumer price index
The measure used in the government's target for inflation. It is found by calculating the average change in price of a weighted basked of consumer goods and services purchased by households.
Continuous Employment
A period of unbroken service (without breaks) by an employee with the same employer. The length of continuous employment may give rise to certain rights. Note that events such as sick leave or strikes will usually not interrupt the continuity of employment.
Contract
A contract is a legally binding agreement by one party to fulfil an obligation to another party in return for consideration. It can either be oral or in writing.
Contract Audit
The inspection of a written contract to investigate whether the rights and duties set out in it are being properly performed by all the parties to the contract.
Contract Automation
The use of document automation software to develop, manage, and store routine legal documents within and beyond an organisation.
Contract Compliance
A contract management strategy that seeks to ensure that performance of contractual obligations comply with government standards and regulations.
Contract Law
An area of law that regulates the creation, performance, and termination of legally binding agreements between parties. Contract law also deals with the claims arising from or connected to these agreements.
Contract Lifecycle Management
CLM is the methodical management of a contract by streamlining contract processes into key stages. These stages may include initiation, negotiation, execution, performance and renewal.
Contract Management
The process of systematically managing contracts from their creation through to their execution and eventual termination, in order to ensure all parties perform their contractual obligations as efficiently as possible, thereby minimising financial and other risks.
Contract Management Software
A program or series of programs used to store and manage contracts from their creation through to their execution and eventual termination. It enables teams to digitally search, review, and agree all their routine contracts.
Contractual license
A license (permission to do something) which is granted by the express or implied terms of a contract. The license may be either the main purpose of the contract or merely a secondary purpose.
Contractual periodic tenancy
A type of tenancy created when both a landlord and tenant agree in their contract that the tenancy will exist on a rolling basis. This means that it will run from one period of time to the next, such as from month to month, until one of the parties give notice to end the agreement. It is typically contrasted with a statutory periodic tenancy.
Copyright
A property right which gives an individual or an organisation control over their original work. It stops others from copying or using their work without permission. Works which may be copyrighted include songs, photographs, web content, and databases.
Council tax
An annual fee paid to a local council by occupiers of domestic property in England and Wales. The tax, which varies in sum by council, is used to fund local services such as rubbish collection and street lighting.
Counter-offer
A response to an offer which does not exactly correspond exactly with the terms of the original offer. A counter-offer both rejects the previous offer and submits a willingness to enter into a contract on the new terms put forward.
Counterpart
A written document that is one of several documents which constitute the same contract. If a contract is said to be signed in counterparts, it means that each party has signed a different but identical copy of the contract.
Court Order
An official proclamation issued by a judge demaning that a party either take or refrain from taking a certain course of action.
Court proceedings
(aka legal proceedings) The course of action through which a party seeks to use the power of a court/tribunal to enforce a law or take legal action against another party.
Covenant
A binding agreement or solemn promise to engage in or refrain from a specified action. A covenant has historically been distinguished from an ordinary contract by the presence of a seal.
Damages
An award for breach of contract, usually measured with the aim of putting the claimant in the same position as if the contract had been performed properly.
Data Protection Policy
A statement that sets outs the rules and principles that an organisation will follow when collecting, processing, and storing personal data and customer information, in order to ensure ongoing compliance with data protection laws.
Data protection laws
These are laws which provide guidelines on how to collect, process, and store the data of individuals. They aim to control how organisations and government bodies use personal data and customer information. They may also be known as information privacy or data privacy laws.
Deed
A written instrument executed with the necessary formality which (i) passes or confirms an interest, right or property, or (ii) creates or confirms an obligation that is binding on someone.
Default
The failure to fulfil a legal duty or to perform a contractual obligation. It may be categorised as a non-material breach of contract.
Defendant
The party in a legal case who is being accused of having done something wrong.
Deliverable
Anything which can be provided to customers which has been produced as a result of a development process.
Deposit
An advance payment made by a party as security for completing or performing a contract. In sale contracts, the deposit is regarded as a part-payment of the purchase price signifying the buyer’s commitment to the transaction
Disclaimer
An act or statement issued by a party to limit the scope of legal actions that are available against them.
Dishonesty
To act without honesty and in a fraudulent manner. In English law, dishonesty is the fundamental component of many offences and is established through an objective test of whether a person’s actions would be considered dishonest by the standards of an ordinary and reasonable individual.
Dispute
A disagreement or controversy between parties on a point of fact or law, especially one that has given rise to a particular legal conflict.
Due diligence
The process of undertaking an intensive and thorough investigation of an organisation before entering into a contract or business relationship, in order to identify any potential issues or undisclosed liabilities.
Duress
The use of threats or illegitimate pressure to force someone into a contract. It renders the contract voidable.
Duty
A responsibility or obligation to do (or refrain from doing) something; it binds a party from doing a certain thing.
Duty of care
A legal obligation to exercise a standard of reasonable care when performing any acts (or omissions) which can foreseeably cause harm to others. It is the first requirement in the tort of negligence.
Duty of care
A legal obligation to exercise a standard of reasonable care when performing any acts (or omissions) which can foreseeably cause harm to others. It is the first requirement in the tort of negligence.
E-signature
An electronic signature is a technology that makes online contracts possible by allowing individuals to affix their legal signatures onto electronic documents.
The information in this glossary is for general educational use only, and does not constitute any legal advice on which you should rely. While all the definitions have been carefully drafted and we believe them to be accurate, all information in this glossary is provided “as is” and with no guarantee of completeness.