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✂️ Google changes the locks

In today's email, we've got:

  • Google locking out its staff

  • a battle between Zana and Zara

  • 101 networking tips that you can use

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

When the economy is doing badly, companies tighten their purse-strings to cut costs. The easiest way to do this is usually by getting rid of staff. Recently, this has particularly hit the tech industry but other sectors aren't immune!


It's coming to the end of the first month of the year.

80% of people ditch their New Year's resolution by February (source: some random website I found). I'm no different - I usually bin my resolution off after a couple of weeks.

So I've taken a new approach this year.

Instead of setting a long 365-day New Year's resolution, I'll be setting myself shorter '30-day challenges'.

The current one I'm doing it to try to learn a muscle-up at the gym.

I think this approach works better for me because:

  1. it's easier to push yourself through to the end of a 30-day period (as opposed to a whole year!), and

  2. if you mess it up, you can just restart again next month!

So if you've already fallen short of your New Year's resolution, join me on February first and set yourself a new 30-day challenge (it can even be the same thing you just failed to do)!

If you're going to do it, send me an email to let me know what your challenge will be.

- Idin


✂️ Google changes the locks

Credit: Giphy

What's going on here?

Alphabet, Google's parent company, will cut 12,000 jobs globally (which is 6% of the company's workforce). Many staff only found out that they'd been cut when they came into work but their key cards didn't let them in.

Why has this happened?

Alphabet's decision comes only days after Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, and just weeks after Amazon announced 18,000 job cuts.

Job cuts in the tech industry seem to be a trend at the moment. This is for a combination of reasons:

  1. Overhiring: Tech companies expanded their workforce during COVID but now, realising they overhired, are cutting back.

  2. Economic Uncertainty: Companies are bracing for potential recession by reducing staff expenses to remain profitable.

  3. Stock Market Sentiment: Tech companies are reducing costs to improve investor sentiment and boost profitability.

Is it just the tech industry that's doing layoffs?

No - layoffs are taking place in other industries too, mostly citing the reasons as potential recession (causing a decrease in demand for goods) and high interest rates (expensive borrowing means costs, like staff, might need to be reduced).

Earlier this month, investment bank Goldman Sachs also went through an aggressive layoff process. It was reported that they gave about 3,200 of their staff members 30 minutes to collect their belongings and quit.

Will there be layoffs at law firms?

There are reports that UK commercial law firms may be forced to lay off lawyers because of the economic downturn (and subsequent lull in M&A activity).

The pay war in the legal sector has seen NQ salaries in City law firms surge to well over £100,000 a year, with those at the top end receiving up to £179,000 per year. But this has led to lower efficiency as, although the lawyers are on higher salaries, there isn't enough work for them to do.

Andrew Waters, managing partner at recruitment firm Chadwick Nott, said that while law firms are continuing to be profitable, they may have to let go of some staff if there isn't enough work for them.

Why should law firms care?

A recession is generally bad for commercial law firms as their clients are less active, meaning there's less for lawyers to get involved with.

This particularly applies to transactional areas of law (like corporate transactions or real estate transactions) which make up a large source of revenue for commercial law firms.

But some areas of law are countercyclical (meaning they do better when the economy is in a down-swing). So, commercial law firms that specialise in areas such as financial regulation, insolvency and restructuring may see an increase in demand during a recession.


Are broken lawyers, better lawyers?

Credit: Alex Su


  • 🚨 Law firm Ferguson Bricknell received a record £20,000 fine for AML failings: The Oxfordshire firm was fined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for failing to have anti-money laundering training and systems in place, despite claiming to the SRA that it had them.

  • 👗 The owner of House of Zana fights back and wins against Zara in a trademark dispute: A boutique owner and designer won a trademark dispute against global fashion company Zara to keep her own shop's name, as the similarities were 'too insubstantial'.

  • 🏭 The UK government prepares a £600m support package for the country's biggest steelmakers to help them go green: The £600m is proposed to go to Jingye and Tata Steel so that the UK's most emissions-intensive steel sites can avoid financial collapse and fund the transition to greener operations. The funds will be contingent on the companies moving away from traditional (and not so green) blast furnace operations.


  • 🤝 Networking: Here's a list of 101 professional networking tips. They're not all applicable to law but some are really useful (like avoid sending standard connection requests on LinkedIn - you want to be personalising that!).

  • 🎶 Music: If you've ever known the 'vibe' of the music you want to listen to, this site can create you a Spotify playlist based on a description that you've typed.

  • 🕹 Bored: Once you've worked enough and it's time to have some fun, do it right by playing Prince of Persia in your browser.

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