Commercial law can seem complicated when you’re unfamiliar with the jargon. So we’ve translated some of the more common terminology into language we can all understand. Some, like Banking and Tax, may seem quite obvious, but here we’ll be looking at them in the context of a legal career.
Providing clients with expertise on particular aspects of the law and recommendations as to the action they should take in given situations.
At Baker McKenzie this refers to an entry to mid-level qualified lawyer working in any of the Firm's practice groups, supporting the Partners.
Banking and Finance law is predominantly focused on the contractual relationship between lenders and borrowers.
Time spent working on a project that can be charged to the client, according to an agreed hourly rate.
The City of London, which generally refers to the UK Capital's business district.
End of the working day.
Law that relates to resolving disputes between different parties.
Law that relates to the various ways corporations raise funds – to grow or strengthen their existing business, or realise new opportunities.
Law that relates to the restructuring (and, in some cases, liquidation) of organisations that may be experiencing financial difficulties.
The responsibility an organisation has to make a positive impact on its people, its communities and the wider world.
Law that relates to advising companies on the purchasing and / or merging with other companies.
Private equity law is predominantly advising on private equity investments, venture capital, management buyouts and investment agreements.
Helping conflicting parties to reach an agreement and, wherever possible, avoid going to court. Includes various alternative methods, such as mediation, negotiation and arbitration.
Thorough research of a target company or client.
Employment law regulates the relationship between employees and employers and / or Trade Unions / Government – from grievance procedures to employers' rights, duties and obligations.
The three core elements of a responsible law firm's sustainability strategy.
In the context of a law firm, this means a share of the Firm's profits.
Law that relates to the movement of people, goods and services within the European Union.
The 100 companies traded on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation.
Price agreed between a law firm and its client to complete a given task. Sometimes used instead of billable hours.
Combining global reach with local knowledge to help clients achieve their internal goals while being mindful of different cultures and practices.
Agreed amount a client is charged for each hour a lawyer spends working on their behalf.
Inclusion is about creating an environment in which everyone feels they belong, without having to conform; that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential. Diversity is about recognising and valuing difference, acknowledging the benefits of having a range of perspectives in decision-making and a workforce that reflects the wider community.
Law that relates to the ownership and protection of ideas and inventions. In a fast-changing, competitive and increasingly tech-led world, IP has become an integral part of the business landscape.
Technology designed to support, enhance or replace traditional ways of delivering legal services.
Formal or technical language associated with legal documents.
Informal name for the five most prestigious law firms headquartered in London.
At Baker McKenzie, this refers to an elected board of senior stakeholders, across practice groups and business services, who are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Firm. They are key decision-makers on policies and processes, ensuring the activities of the Firm are in line with its objectives and values.
Newly qualified Solicitor.
Crucial support staff whose work is often similar to that of a trainee and includes tasks such as preparing legal documents, conducting research and general office administration.
Highly experienced lawyer who often (but not always) owns a share of the relevant firm in return for their own investment in it. There can be different levels of Partner; a salaried Partner, a fixed share equity Partner and a full equity Partner. At Baker McKenzie we have both Local and Principal Partners.
Amount of experience a Solicitor has gained since qualifying. E.g. three years' PQE.
Legal advice or representation provided by a law firm, free of charge.
Qualified lawyer who acts as a central resource to carry out research and share knowledge in a given practice area.
Professional legal experience that counts towards the two years you need to qualify as a Solicitor in England and Wales.
Also known as property law, deals with transactions that relate to residential and commercial property, including specialist areas like property finance, mortgage lending and social housing.
Percentage of trainees who stay with a law firm after their Training Contract, as a NQ.
Different departments within the Firm that trainees 'rotate' between as part of their Qualifying Work Experience. Training Contracts at Baker McKenzie consist of four six-month seats.
Informal name given to an elite group of corporate law firms.
New route to qualification being phased in from September 2021, that will eventually replace the current Legal Practice Course (LPC).
Regulatory body for Solicitors and other legal professionals in England and Wales.
The law around complex financial instruments (like Collateralised Debt Obligations, or CDOs) and the markets they are traded in.
Line manager, usually a qualified Solicitor in the context of a Training Contract. Trainees will tend to change supervisor each seat.
Business model that enables companies to merge under the same brand, while keeping their finances and liabilities separate within each office or region.
Law that regulates the taxation of individuals and companies. Private sector tax lawyers advise clients on their tax affairs. Public sector tax lawyers work with government tax and revenue departments to enforce tax legislation.
The TMT sector is an industry group that includes the majority of companies that are focused on new technologies and is one of the fastest developing sectors in the legal market.
Tracking and recording billable and non-billable hours.
Two-year period of Qualifying Work Experience that serves as the final step to qualifying as a Solicitor.
Practicing Solicitor responsible for the training of Trainee Solicitors within their firm.
Transactional law is a type of practice dealing with the exchange of products, goods and services within business and commerce.
Metric used to measure a lawyer's activity against the total time available to that person.
Structured work experience placement within a law firm.