Legal Glossary (English and Latin) - L


A legacy is a gift of personal property in a will (to a legatee).

A legacy may be: (1) specific (a gift of a specified thing e.g. "my gold wedding ring"); (2) demonstrative (a gift, in its nature general, directed to be satisfied or paid out of a specified fund or specified part of the testator`s property e.g "£1000 out of my deposit account with Barclays"); (3) general (a bequest which does not identify specifically the thing bequethed e.g. "a horse to X and a gold watch to Y"; (4) pecuniary (a sum of money); (5) residuary (i.e. the residue of a personal estate); (6) contingent (e.g. "to X on her entering university").


A licence is an agreement that allows the licensee to do an act which would otherwise be the exclusive right of the licensor.

Licensing-out is commonly engaged in by companies without the resources fully to commercialise their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Larger companies may conversely licence-in, assisting others in developing their products. A licence may be exclusive (only the licensee can exploit the IPR) sole (where both the licensor and the licensee can use the IPR) or non-exclusive (where the licensor can appoint other licensees). The licence major may not include the right to the licence to grant sub-licences to others within the territory.

Limited Company

A limited company is one structured such that the owners have limited liability.

All companies have limited liability except for those incorporated as unlimited companies. The latter are rarely encountered and tend only to be used to serve specific tax or accounting arrangements.

Limited Liability

Limited liability means that a person's liability is limited to the amount invested.

Shareholders in a limited company are only liable to third parties to the limit of their shareholding. Other participants e.g. directors would not normally have any personal liability except with respect to creditors where there has been wrongful or fraudulent trading or when personal guarantees or other such undertakings have been given by directors or others.


Liquidation is the process by which a company dies.

Under Part IV of the Insolvency Act 1986, there are three separate procedures - a member's voluntary winding up where a company is solvent, a creditors' voluntary winding up for insolvent companies and a compulsory winding up by the court. Once the process starts the company is administered by a liquidator who disposes of all assets, and distributes the proceeds to creditors and any remainder to shareholders. When the liquidation process is complete, the company is struck off the Companies Register and ceases to exist.


Under the Insolvency Act 1986, the liquidator is the person, other than the Official Receiver, responsible for dealing with the winding up of a company.

Living Will

A living will, also known as an "advance directive" is a document which usually takes the form of a written statement setting out in advance what types of medical treatment the maker of the will does or does not desire to receive in specific circumstances should he be incapable of giving or refusing consent.

A living will must be signed whilst the maker is mentally competent.

Locus in quo

The Latin term "Locus in quo" means, in a UK legal context: "scene of the event".

T&Cs Documents by Trade
Documents by Section
News and Information