- Start your search
- Start your search from the search box, which appears on every page of our website.
- Search in allows you to limit your search to a particular practice area, or if you’re starting from our global site, a particular jurisdiction. Select your chosen area, enter your search term and click Search. Once within a practice area, country or topic page, the search will only return results from that practice area or country by default.
- You can use free text, exact phrases or other query modifiers you would use in a Google search. If you enter more than one search term, the search engine will automatically perform an 'AND' search – meaning that it will only return a result if it contains all the terms you have entered. Use double quotation marks around the phrase, for example "asset acquisitions", to limit your search to that phrase.
See Advanced searching tips (below) for more information on how to search.
- You can change to search within a different area at any time by selecting a different option from the Search in dropdown menu which appears on every page.
- If you are unsure where you are searching, check the breadcrumb trail above your search results. You can click your way back through the breadcrumb trail or return to home at any point by clicking on Practical Law on the top left of the page.
View your search results
- The title, type of resource, relevant jurisdiction(s), maintenance status or publication date and abstract where available is displayed for each result.
- Your search results are presented in tabs. The default tab is Know-how. This tab displays practical guidance that is created and maintained by our team of experts. Know-how includes: standard documents, clauses and drafting notes, forms, practice notes, checklists, legal updates, glossary articles, ‘Ask’ queries (UK search only) and country Q&As.
- If you want to search magazine articles from Practical Law for Companies (PLC) Magazine, Practical Law the Journal or books from Bloomsbury Professional, click on the Publications tab.
- If you want to search our database of public deals summaries and AGM materials, click on the What’s Market tab (UK and US search only).
- To search recently filed court documents reflecting current formatting and content requirements, click on Brief Bank (US search only).
- You can switch between the UK, Global and US search at any time using the tabs underneath the main search button.
Check if your resource is up to date
If the status of a resource reads 'Maintained', it means Practical Law's team keep the document updated to reflect changes that have a practical impact on the work of frontline lawyers.
- Refine your results
- Your search results are displayed by relevance to your search term. To view your results in date order, click Sort by date.
- To refine your search results, use the filters to the left of the screen. For an explanation of filters see Using Filters (below).
- Expand and collapse the list of available filters in each group by clicking the arrow to the left of the filter group name or by clicking the filter group name itself.
- Clear all filters by selecting Clear all in the orange box above the filters.
- Using filters
Refine your search results using the filters to the left. Filters include:
This allows you to refine search results to a certain Practical Law resource type (e.g. practice notes, standard documents, legal updates).
Some resource types have sub-filters, for example, under legal updates you can further refine your results to Legal update: case reports.
The Standard documents and clauses filter allows you to refine your results to all standard documents, clauses, drafting notes and forms. You can further filter your results by selecting one of these as a sub-filter.
This allows you to refine search results to a practice area. Once you’ve selected your practice area you can use the filters to further refine your search results to a topic, e.g. Corporate > corporate governance.
This allows you to refine search results to a particular jurisdiction.
- The order in which the filters appear reflects the number of relevant results returned for each filter. If you'd like to see more Resource Type, Practice Area or Jurisdiction options, click More; if you'd like to see fewer, click Less. Filters will only appear if there are search results within that filter.
- Select filters by clicking on those that you wish to apply to your results. For example if you want to refine your results to practice notes only, click on Practice notes under the heading Resource Type in the list of filters.
- The breadcrumb trail above the search results displays all selected filters, so you can see what filters you have applied at a glance. Remove all filters here by clicking the orange Clear all button.
Within each filter group, you may only select one filter at a time. Each time you apply a filter, your search results will automatically narrow to reflect the filter applied. Where you select more than one filter, the results displayed will only contain materials that fall within all selected filters.
- Remove individual filters by clicking All above the filter you have applied. To step back in your search, click back through the breadcrumb trail above your search results.
- Advanced searching tips
Search for resources that contain either one word or another, by entering OR between search terms. For example, "stock OR asset acquisitions".
Search for an exact keyword by including a '+' immediately in front of a word, e.g. +contract.
Please note: The search engine automatically searches for synonyms and alternative forms of common words (e.g. a search for contract will include resources with the terms contracted, contracting, and contracts). The exact keyword modifier (+contract) and the exact phrase modifier ("asset acquisitions") will override this behaviour.
Exclude resources from your search which contain a certain word by entering a minus sign before the word. For example, -asset means you won't return any resources that contain the word 'asset'.
Perform a wildcard search by including an asterisk (*) in place of a missing word or words. This is most usefully used in combination with the exact phrase search, e.g. "share * agreement" will find both "share purchase agreement" and "share sale agreement", among others.
Search for a word in a title
Find articles with a particular word in the title by entering intitle: before the word. For example "intitle:securitisation tax" will find results with securitisation in the title and tax anywhere in the article. Note that there can be no space between the intitle: and the following word.
Search for all the terms in the title
Search for all terms in the title by entering allintitle: before the words. For example, "allintitle:companies bill" will return only documents that have both companies and bill in the title. Note that there can be no space between the allintitle: and the following word.
Keyword search within a resource
Once you are in a Practical Law resource, you can use the keyword search on the bottom right-hand side of the page to quickly find what you are looking for.
The team who create and continually maintain our resources are available to answer your questions every working day. If you can't find a resource or would like us to expand on something you have read in our resources, simply click Ask a question in the top navigation of every page.
You can also contact our customer services team with queries about your account or subscription.