Your commercial news round-up: transfer window, Wetherspoons, KMPG, Jet2, Natasha’s Law

updated on 02 September 2021

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) officially came into force yesterday, changing the way aspiring lawyers qualify. As well as staying up to date with training and education trends that impact you directly, it’s also important to continue to develop your commercial awareness. This does not mean you need to know everything about a firm and its clients from day one, but it does mean doing more than a last-minute skim of the Financial Times before an application or interview.

Read LawCareers.Net’s commercial news round-up below for a summary of some of the week’s news stories.

  • Despite Premier League clubs spending more than £1 billion during the latest transfer window (9 August until 31 August), overall spending has fallen for the second year in a row – dropping  11% from last summer’s £1.3 billion. Financial services firm Deloitte found that this year it “was the lowest gross spend by Premier League clubs since 2015, and the first time that there has been a consecutive decline since the global financial crisis (summers 2018 to 2010)”. At least Cristiano Ronaldo is back at Manchester United.
  • Some Wetherspoons pubs have reportedly run out of various beer brands due to supply chain issues as the UK faces a shortage of lorry drivers – Heineken, Carling and Coors are listed among the affected brands. Hauliers are naming covid-19 and Brexit as the root of the issue, with calls for immigration rules to be amended to allow EU drivers to return to the UK. Nando’s, McDonald’s and several supermarkets are among others also facing shortages.
  • KPMG has been accused of providing “false and misleading” information about collapsed construction firm Carillion to financial watchdog Financial Reporting Council (FRC), following the regulator’s routine check on the quality of KMPG’s Carillion audit. Speaking about the accusation, the FRC said: "The formal complaint alleges misconduct against KPMG and several individuals regarding the provision of allegedly false and misleading information and/or documents to the FRC by KPMG in connection with the FRC's inspections of two audits carried out by KPMG." The formal complaint case will be reviewed in a disciplinary tribunal, with a hearing scheduled for 10 January.
  • Jet2 has revealed its plans to purchase 36 new A321 neos from Airbus, in a deal worth around £3.6 billion, following the travel industry’s turbulent year as a result of the pandemic. Delivery of the newly purchased aircraft will commence in 2023 and span a five-year period. The package holiday provider said that the order is being placed “to meet the future anticipated growth of its Leisure Travel business and to refresh its existing aircraft fleet”.
  • With Natasha’s Law set to come into effect from 1 October, new research has found that eight in 10 business owners feel unprepared for the new requirements. Under the new food regulations, full ingredient lists and allergen information on pre-packaged foods for direct sale in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland must be provided. Food data specialist GS1 UK found that under 50% of employees in small independent businesses had heard of the new regulations, while nearly 80% of employees in bigger chains are aware of the rules coming into force.

GS1 UK is urging the industry to adopt its ‘2D barcodes’ technology, which works in a similar way to QR codes, enabling consumers to scan a code to access more detailed information about the product. Anne Godfrey, the food data specialist’s CEO, said she believes that the 2D barcodes “should be used on a product’s packaging, no matter what type of product it is. These barcodes can hold significantly more information about a product and can also link to additional data sources which either a supplier or consumer can access through a quick scan.”

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