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💊 AstraZeneca’s Irish entrance

In today's email:

  • Law firms are using robots

  • AstraZeneca ditched UK for Ireland

  • What's the best high street coffee?

  • Subway might be getting sold

  • How tall are you in bananas?

  • Read Reddit while in the office

If you take just one thing from this email...

Sometimes it's hard to see how 'macro' changes, like trade deals, tax rates or interest rates can have an impact on 'micro' economics (e.g. the success of individual businesses). But they do.

The UK's proposing to increase corporation tax rates which is making some companies set up shop in other countries. This will have a knock-on effect on other UK business - including law firms as there will be less UK business activity for them to advise on.


Ever since the AI chatbot ChatGPT came out, it's taken over the internet.

The product got to 1,000,000 users super fast (check out the chart below).

Since then, lawyers have been wondering - how might this affect the way we work? I mean if you've played around with ChatGPT, you'll know it's pretty capable of reading, writing and kind-of understanding you.

Allen & Overy already look to be adding generative AI (like ChatGPT) to their lawyers' toolkit (we've got a summary of that in the 'In Other News' section below).

I've been really interested by this tech - this week, I put out a video sharing my thoughts on ChatGPT and how it could impact lawyers.

Feel free to check it out! ☝️

Also, to see the limits of this type of AI right now, check out this article by Shawn Curran, Head of Legal Technology at Travers Smith - it's really good.

- Idin


💊 AstraZeneca’s Irish entrance

Credit: Giphy

What's going on here?

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has chosen Dublin for its new £320m manufacturing site rather than the UK.

Why did AstraZeneca make this decision?

AstraZeneca’s decision was influenced by the difference in tax rates across the countries.

The UK’s corporation tax rate (a tax on the profits made by businesses) is 19% and is set to increase to 25% in April this year. This proposed increase has worried some businesses operating in the UK (including AstraZeneca).

In contrast, Ireland’s corporation tax rate is 12.5%.

Why's that important?

AstraZeneca's decision is a blow to the UK's economy, particularly as the site would have been used to produce cancer drugs, which are in high demand. It is also a concern for the UK's pharmaceutical industry, which the UK prides itself on being a leader in.

Bigger than this though, it’s an indicator that other businesses might also be considering a move to lower-tax jurisdictions. If more companies choose to invest in Ireland over the UK because of tax concerns, this could lead to reduced business activity in the UK.

Why should law firms care?

AstraZeneca's decision to build its new factory in Dublin instead of the UK may not seem to have a direct impact on commercial law firms.

But if other businesses see the UK as less attractive for investment, they may also decide to move their operations elsewhere. This could lead to a decline in demand for services provided by UK commercial law firms.

This story is a good example of how ‘macro’ factors, like the government changing tax rates, could have an impact on the ‘micro’ level, like the bottom line of a commercial law firm.


Let's brew the truth ☕

A couple weeks ago, we had a coffee-themed quiz.

When we posted the quiz to Instagram, it started a riot (well... like two comments). Apparently people have strong views on high street coffee in the UK!

This week, we're settling the debate:

Which is the best high street coffee in the UK?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Vote for your favourite! ☝️

We'll share the results in the next email 👀


  • 💻 The Magic Circle law firm Allen & Overy breaks the internet with a new AI chatbot: The chatbot is called Harvey (maybe after Harvey Specter from Suits?!). A&O said that it won't be used on client data and won't cut down on billable hours. Here's a good write-up on it.

  • 🚗 The European Parliament has banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the European Union from 2035: The decision approved a law saying that by 2035, carmakers must achieve a 100% cut in the carbon dioxide emissions from new cars sold - making it impossible to sell new cars powered by fossil fuels.

  • 🥪 The sandwich chain Subway is considering a sale: The company is thinking about selling, after 58-years of family control, because of soaring costs and increased competition. The sale of the company could be for more than $10bn. Subway has appointed JP Morgan to advise the company on the potential sale.


  • 😏 Sneaky: If you've ever found yourself wanting to look at Reddit when you're at work, this site could help you. It makes your screen look like Gmail, but it's actually Reddit's content.

  • 🤖 Crypto: ‘Crypto’ and ‘Web3’ are everywhere, right? It’s okay if you don’t understand it. This handy website translates all the crypto updates to plain English (and fun) daily updates.*

  • 🍌 Useless: Next time you're giving someone a distance, make it real for them by converting that distance into bananas. It's no good if I gave you my height in feet or metres - but I can now tell you I'm 10.3 bananas tall!

* This is an affiliate link. It's free to join for you and if you sign up through us, we will receive a small commission.


  • 👥 Community for aspiring lawyers: If you're struggling with motivation for law firm applications, check out FlowHuddle - a supportive online community, hosting remote co-working sessions, expert office hours and in-person meet-ups.

  • 📕Commercial awareness journal: Check out this journal that we've created alongside the team from The Lawyer Spot. It gives your a simple three-step structure to improve your commercial awareness in a high-quality physical notebook.

  • 📣 Advertise with us: If you're looking to reach an engaged audience of over 6,000 aspiring lawyers, sponsor this newsletter.

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