Your commercial news round-up: Bulb, Govia Thameslink, Crypto, spyware, four-day …

To be successful with your law firm applications, you must demonstrate sound commercial acumen. Many law firms have set their vacation scheme and training contract deadlines throughout December, so this is a great opportunity for you to spend time researching and writing some excellent applications.

Head to LawCareers.Net’s deadline pages to see a list of the firms with deadlines and read our round-up of some of the week’s news below; think about how you can apply your understanding to an application or in an interview.

  • UK energy supplier Bulb has entered “a special administration” amid the UK’s energy crisis. The government has given Bulb £1.7 billion (ie, £1,000 per customer) so it can continue to operate, while a restructuring deal, sale or transfer of its customer base is arranged by administrators. Recent court documents suggest that the energy supplier would have been unable to operate past mid-December without the government’s additional funding.
  • Govia Thameslink Railway is set to face up to £73 million in legal claims after it was sued for overcharging rail journeys. The rail giant operates the Gatwick Express, Thameslink and both Great Northern and Southern services. It has been argued that more than three million passengers were overcharged for their London journeys because boundary fares (which offer discounts to London Travelcard owners) were not made “freely available”, according to the class action. Consumer campaigner Justin Gutmann filed the boundary fare claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal on behalf of other passengers. Gutmann is requesting compensation worth £93 million as he sues South Western and South Eastern too. “This claim is the latest step in my campaign to stamp out routine overcharging of millions of passengers by some of Britain’s top rail operators,” he said. 
  • Israeli spyware firm NSO Group and its parent company are being sued by Apple for reportedly using its hacking tool on iPhone users. The Pegasus spyware was designed to target terrorists and criminals and can be covertly installed on both iPhones and Android devices. The software enables operators to retrieve information, including messages, photos and emails, as well as record calls and activate mics and cameras. Apple said: “To prevent further abuse and harm to its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or device.” Other tech companies, including Microsoft and Meta Platforms have also criticised NSO, with WhatsApp having launched a lawsuit in 2019, which is still making its way through the US court system.
  • A four-day work week has been introduced for Atom Bank’s 430 staff, following the pandemic. The four-day week will see employees work 34 hours across four days (instead of the previous 37.5 across five days) with the option to take Monday or Friday off. The bank has not cut employees’ pay as part of the move. CEO Mark Mullen said: “Covid showed us that it wasn’t necessary… I think doing 9-5, Monday to Friday is a pretty old-fashioned way of working.”

Check the News every Thursday for this weekly commercial news round-up. Follow LawCareers.Net on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram for regular business news updates.



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