The CMS Glossary of Essential Legal Jargon


23rd March 2017 | 14:12

Learn the secret legal jargon of a modern law firm.

At CMS, we’re committed to empowering our people to be the global elite of the legal industry. As a Top 10 Global Law Firm, we have over 800 partners and 3,000 lawyers advising clients from 60 offices across the world. And just like in any profession, our people have their own special terms and ways of saying things that may not mean much to someone outside of our industry. In fact, some of them might sound downright strange.

That’s why want to share part of that culture with you, so that you can be better prepared for the exciting world we work in every day.

Here are just some of the brilliant jargon you’ll hear when you start your career at CMS.


Prima facie

A Latin term referring to something that, at first look, appears to be true.



A wrongful or illegal act in which a person (or their property) is injured.



A legal principle that prevents a person from doing or saying something, to their benefit, that is contrary to something they previously did or said.


Ham sandwich

When opposing sides in a legal negotiation decide to ‘meat’ in the middle.


Open the kimono

To disclose confidential information or other important details about a case.



A partner or other person who wins lots of new business for their firm.


That’s just the beginning. There’s going to be a lot more jargon for you to learn when you join CMS.

And the best way to do that is through the CMS Academy. When it comes to vacation schemes, the CMS Academy is the best place for a passionate new generation of talent to grow and develop. A combination of a one-week innovative training on the business of law and a two-week internship, it offers a unique launch pad for your career in law.

So, if you’re ready to join the global elite and be part of an energetic, innovative and modern law firm, find out more about getting a jump start into your future career