Lawsuit A legal case involving two parties, where one has a claim or complaint against the other.
Lease A contract whereby one party (i.e. a landlord) grants another party (i.e. a tenant) certain rights to something in their possession (i.e. a property) for a fixed amount of time, provided certain conditions (i.e. regular rent payments) are met.
Legatee An individual or organisation who has been left personal property in a will.
Lessee An individual who leases property. Also known as a tenant.
Liabilities (or legal responsibility) The condition of being accountable for something in the eyes of the law. Also known as ‘legal responsibility’.
Life assurance policy (insurance) An insurance policy that stipulates that the insurer pays a specified sum of money to a designated beneficiary in the event of the policy holder’s death.
Life interest A right that lasts only during its holder’s (the ‘life tenant’s’) lifetime, and ends upon their death. Known as a ‘life rent’ in Scotland.
Life sentence A punishment that is given for only the most serious of crimes, such as murder. It entails a lengthy imprisonment and, while the offender may be released at a later date, they can be returned to prison at any time if the situation merits it (i.e. they commit another crime). A life sentence is not to be confused with a whole-life term, which is when the offender will spend the rest of their life in prison without the possibility of release.
Liquidation The process whereby a business’ assets and property are redistributed following its closure.
Litigation The process whereby one party (the plaintiff) brings another party (the defendant) to court to settle a legal matter.
Teeming and lading A form of fraud in which a bookkeeper steals money from one customer’s payment, then conceals the theft by using money stolen from another customer’s payment to balance the books. This can be repeated multiple times. Also known as ‘short banking’, ‘lapping’ and ‘delayed accounting’.