Your commercial news round-up: Zoom sales soar, Amazon paves the way in retail, Black Rock saves the day

updated on 03 June 2021

Since March, the UK has seen restrictions being lifted and the government’s four-step roadmap offering a route back to a more normal life. Although we are gearing slowly towards normality, there’s no denying the impact coronavirus has had on our lives and the legal profession. Thus, more than ever, aspiring lawyers must keep up to date with their commercial awareness by thinking of ways covid-19 is changing the face of the legal sector and delivery of legal services. 

When reading a news story, ask yourself what news is relevant to your target firms and their clients. A sure way of topping up your commercial awareness is by reading LCN’s weekly round-up below for some updates to keep you in the loop. 

  • According to the Law Society, the trans-Pacific trade pact will yield “important benefits” for UK law firms. The pact, which includes Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Mexico, hopes to drive the cross-border provision of legal services by encouraging member countries to allow foreign lawyers to operate on a fly-in, fly-out basis and a fully integrated basis with domestic lawyers. Law Society President I. Stephanie Boyce commented that this is an “opportunity for the UK to show leadership in international trade.”
  • Since the covid-19 outbreak, many lawyers have been temporarily working remotely, so it’s no surprise that Zoom has seen a “very strong” start to the year as their sales double. Reports show Zoom profits have reached more than £160 million in the first quarter of 2020. In a bid to stay relevant as offices reopen, Zoom is set to launch Zoom Events aimed at businesses hosting hybrid events (events that mix online and in-person elements). With many firms embracing flexible remote working, Zoom’s annual revenues are likely to keep growing and the business looks set to remain a household name. 
  • With the pandemic having accelerated the shift to online spending, Amazon is predicted to be the UK’s largest retailer by 2025 according to ChargedRetail. Close to stealing Tesco’s crown as Britain’s biggest retailer, the US technology giant has grown its online retail footprint and has now expanded into the high street, opening its first Amazon Fresh store on British soil in March. With a total of four Amazon Fresh shops, including one in Canary Wharf, the UK retail market predicts Amazon’s e-commerce sales to grow from £123.6 billion to hit £500 billion. 
  • The huge decline in air travel during the pandemic has led to Black Rock’s £21 billion takeover of British Airways pension scheme assets, CityAM reports. BA were forced to defer £450 million in retirement contributions. Under the new arrangements, Black Rock will take over the pension scheme that was previously managed in-house. Roger Maynar, a trustee of both APS and NAPS said, “this agreement is the necessary next step in the evolution of the schemes as they look to enhance their respective investment strategies, working toward their funding goals.”

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