Legal English Shot – What are the German and English equivalents of the French expression “sous les réserves d’usage”?

What is the meaning of that expression in Swiss law? Most legal jurisdictions assign a special status to correspondence between lawyers as a means of facilitating the amicable resolutions of disputes. This makes it possible for the parties to speak freely and openly with one another while negotiating an out-of-court settlement. In Switzerland, lawyers are […]

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Legal English Shot – In English, a “partner” is the superior of an “associate”. In French, the partner of an associée is her loving spouse.

How are the various members of a law firm referred to in English, French, German, and Italian? As the influence of Anglo-Saxon law firms in Europe grows, it is becoming more and more common to hear lawyers in Romandie speaking of colleagues who have become “partners” in a law firm, rather than “associés”.  Use of […]

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Legal English Shot – What are the English terms for a “Prokurist” / “fondé de procuration” and a “Handlungsbevollmächtigter” / “mandataire commercial”?

Terms relating to rights of representation and signing authority in companies   A company is normally represented by the members of its governing body (Exekutivorgan; organe exécutif; organo esecutivo), as registered in the commercial register. In the case of a company limited by shares, for example, this would include the following (recommended English terminology for the […]

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Legal English Shot – Don’t let yourself be “indoctrinated” by legal literature

Beware of false friends: Jurisprudence, doctrines and the legal literature The French terms “doctrine“ and “jurisprudence“ (in German: “Lehre“ and “Rechtsprechung“) are often mistranslated in English with “doctrine” and “jurisprudence”. The English term “jurisprudence” normally refers to the theory, philosophy and analysis of the law (Oxford dictionary of law: “Jurisprudence is the theoretical analysis of […]

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Legal English Shot – Is there a quid pro quo in your contract? A question well worth consideration.

The notion of “consideration” under Common law In connection with contracts, consideration is the technical term for “the act, forbearance, or promise by which one party to a contract buys the promise of the other” (Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage). It is also called a “quid pro quo” (something for something). The equivalent in German […]

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Legal English Shot – Don’t let the court of competent jurisdiction hold you incompetent

Master the difference between jurisdiction and competence The English term “jurisdiction” can have different meanings, depending on the context: The official power to hear a suit and to make judicially binding decisions or judgements (e.g. “The courts of Switzerland have no jurisdiction in/over the matter”, “The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from […]

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