General, Commercial Stories themes for AC discussion

Discussion in 'Commercial Awareness Forum' started by dosblancos7, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. dosblancos7

    dosblancos7 Valued Member

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    Hi guys!

    I've been reading FT/Economist articles, prepping for an AC and wanted to cover a lot of bases for the case study. In my previous interviews, I really enjoyed bringing in external knowledge to further improve my answers. I've created this thread to discuss , or be further exposed to, relevant, and contemporary stories/underlying themes that is in the commercial sphere. (If there is a previous/similar thread , please lock or disregard this :) )

    Some suggestions that I have are :

    Covid-19 and its impact! This is quite broad, but I like considering the impact of Covid on several industries(for e.g, hospitality industries)

    The death of the High Street(which I was actually asked about earlier in a interview)

    US-China Trade war etc.

    Feel free to contribute your own ideas/discussions, as I'd enjoy reading or learning more about different topics :)
     
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  2. IntrepidL

    IntrepidL Esteemed Member

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    Sounds like a fantastic idea! :)
     
  3. dosblancos7

    dosblancos7 Valued Member

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    Thank you!
     
  4. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Here's a few additional commercial topics I’ve seen come up in interviews recently (late 2019 - 2020). Many of these are firm specific:

    - The regulation of big tech firms (competition concerns/whether social media should be better regulated etc.)
    - Recent companies entering administration/restructuring (e.g. Thomas Cook)
    - The automobile industry and issues surrounding driverless cars
    - Whether all companies should report their gender pay gaps
    - The current situation with oil prices
    - Cybersecurity

    The business of law firms:
    - Where a law firm should open up a new office
    - Where a law firm should open up a new practice area
    - Whether a law firm should act for a particular client (e.g. in a jurisdiction such as North Korea)
    - How to differentiate a firm for its clients
    - How does a firm stand out from its competitors
     
    #4 Jaysen, Aug 3, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  5. Raam

    Raam Valued Member
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    I think one way to stand out commercially would be to (if you get an opportunity) bring up a topic that you're particularly interested in. For example, at one of my VS ACs, I got asked about a recent deal. I spoke about the Froneri-Nestle USA deal but within that I spoke about a fund restructuring that had occurred and why I found that area of PE interesting. I then tied it into the market backdrop at the time (pre-covid thankfully!).

    To add to the comments above - there will be overlap between Big Tech and US-China tensions. There is a great article on Microsoft's potential acquisition of Tik Tok in the FT this morning, and last month there was an article on how the Big Tech companies could navigate the HK security law.

    Also within restructuring, it is worth considering the recent changes to UK insolvency law (the new act is called the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act).
     
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  6. dosblancos7

    dosblancos7 Valued Member

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    Will check up on the new Act- thanks!

    Thank you Jaysen! The administration topic is one that greatly interests me!
     
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  7. Holly

    Holly Legendary Member

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    The importance of ESG for investors is quite a good topic.

    On the one hand, you can see the impact of this on boohoo’s share prices falling following the reports of poor conditions in their Leicester factory.

    On the other hand, with oil prices falling (resulting from covid and Russia-Saudi Arabia war), companies need good reason to turn to renewable energy when oil is currently a cheap alternative (at a time where companies are looking to reduce costs).

    These are just two subtopics there’s much more you can include! :)
     
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  8. Karin

    Karin Valued Member
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    Further on the regulation of big tech, I think it may be useful to know about the issues of taxing big global on-line retailers like Amazon (just in general). I got asked about it in my most recent interview and while they didnt expect me to know much about it (and I knew nothing) it would be nice to have some idea!
     
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  9. D

    D Legendary Member
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    A brief pointer from my own experience - I've gone through three interviews recently. Every single firm asked me to introduce a topic to them to talk about and I was grilled on it. Therefore, I still advocate the same strategy when thinking about commercial issues in interview - Know a couple of topics well, and have an opinion on them!
     
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  10. CarinaH

    CarinaH Star Member
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    Something else that’s been talked about quite a bit recently is merger control in times of Covid and also in regards to sustainability goals! I haven’t seen a single case study that didn’t have an antitrust element to it, so that’s quite an easy one to bring in!
     
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  11. Adam Gilchrist

    Adam Gilchrist Well-Known Member
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    As @D suggested, have a couple of topics you’re genuinely interested in, and that link to sectors the firm is involved in.

    For my Linklaters interview I spoke at some length about both the automotive industry crisis (Covid, trade wars, Uber, autonomous cars, rise of the electric engine) and aviation (how Covid has hit military & civil aviation, commercial airlines and the manufacturers themselves, the defence angle and why that makes manufacturers too big to fail). Both sectors have always interested me, so ideally have a couple of topics you can speak at quite some length and depth about, if you are asked to.
     
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  12. Jennifer

    Jennifer Distinguished Member

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    Do you mind explaining what you mean in terms of merger controls and sustainability goals? I am not picking up on the link. Is it that mergers might be approved/disapproved depending on how 'green' they are?
     
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  13. CarinaH

    CarinaH Star Member
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    It’s quite an interesting subject. Basically there have been discussions on mergers that would normally not necessarily be approved due to anti-trust issues that might be worth approving still with environmental factors becoming increasingly relevant in the merger control assessment.

    https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxlaw/simon_holmes.pdf

    https://www.linklaters.com/en/insig...nability-goals-is-competition-law-cooperating

    https://www.linklaters.com/en/insig...stering-green-deals-via-merger-control-policy
     
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  14. dosblancos7

    dosblancos7 Valued Member

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    I have a question about a news article I saw recently, where TikTok threatens legal action against Trump's US ban. I wonder, this obviously involves law firms, but does this only concern their litigation/disputes department?
     

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