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🛢️ It’s another oil mega-deal


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If you take just one thing from this email…

A bunch of American energy companies are merging, with ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $17.1 billion. This trend is reshaping the US energy sector, creating larger but fewer companies. Regulators are concerned about these mergers as they could lead to less competition and higher oil prices. But energy companies argue that the mergers make them more efficient, lowering the prices they can charge.


I’ve seen a few posts this week about people selling successful law firm applications to aspiring lawyers.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s worth copying from someone else’s application. At best, it's impersonal — at worst, it's plagiarism (you don’t want to get caught for that).

But I get that it’s still really helpful to see what a successful application looks like.

So, I’ve decided to give away my successful application answers — completely free.

There’s a catch, though.

I don’t want your money — but I do want LittleLaw to reach as many aspiring lawyers as possible.

So, you need to refer one person to this newsletter to get access to my answers.

Share your unique code above (please don’t refer yourself — I can see if this happens).

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- Idin

🛢️ It’s another oil mega-deal

oil santa rita film GIF by The Iron Orchard

Credit: Giphy

What's going on here?

ConocoPhillips (a Texas-based energy company) has agreed to buy Marathon Oil (another Texas-based energy company) for $17.1 billion in an all-stock transaction. That means the Marathon Oil shareholders (the sellers) will get ConocoPhillips shares instead of cash.

You can read Conoco’s public announcement here.

When will the deal complete?

The deal’s expected to complete at the end of this year.

Before it completes, it needs to get approval from Marathon Oil’s shareholders as well as clearance from competition regulators (more on this later).

What’s the big picture effect?

🤝 Energy companies are merging: Despite low global activity for mergers and acquisitions, there’s a trend of American oil companies being bought up by competitors.

You get the idea — there’s loads of US energy deals right now!

The energy sector in the US is being entirely reshaped by this trend creating bigger energy companies but fewer of them (that’s the nightmare recipe for competition regulators).

🔍 Beware of the regulators: Because of all the mergers, the competition regulators in the US are trying to decide where to draw the line. On one hand, bigger companies means more efficiency and lower costs (which can help consumers). On the other hand, if a company gets too big, they’ll have too much power to set a price for oil without enough competitors existing to drive the price down.

The Permian Basin: the most important energy-producing region in the US.

After this transaction, just ten companies control over half of the oil and gas coming from the Permian Basin, the most important energy-producing region in the US.

Which law firms are involved?

Of course, for a massive American transaction, you need the US heavy-hitter law firms.

Conoco: Wachtell Lipton is serving as ConocoPhillips’ legal advisor.

Marathon Oil: Kirkland & Ellis is advising Marathon Oil.

This deal is a big payday for the lawyers — it’s among the top 10 biggest transactions announced so far this year.

Why should law firms care about this?

Global presence matters (it’s why the biggest UK law firms are trying to break America) — being in the US gets you access to the biggest deals.

And for the biggest energy deals? Well, you’ll have to go to Texas for those.


Curious about Wall Street bonuses?

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can't blame me for being the quickest


  • 💼 A&O Shearman announced on Friday it's matching the new Magic Circle standard for NQ pay, raising salaries to £150,000. The firm’s increased NQ salary now matches Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Linklaters — leaving Slaughter and May behind as the only Magic Circle firm paying less (they *only* pay £125,000).

  • 💻️ Media companies are warming up to OpenAI. Vox Media and The Atlantic just joined others like News Corp and Reddit in signing licensing deals to let OpenAI use their content to train ChatGPT. However, the New York Times is suing OpenAI for copyright infringement, seekng billions in damages. OpenAI says they were close to a deal with NYT before the lawsuit. This wave of agreements might be OpenAI's way to avoid more legal trouble.

  • 📈 Shein, the fast fashion giant, plans to sell shares on the London Stock Exchange, aiming for a £51.7bn valuation. Known for cheap, trendy clothes promoted by influencers, Shein's success soared during the pandemic. But the company has faced criticism for environmental practices and allegations of using forced labour. Initially targeting a US float, Shein shifted to the UK due to regulatory hurdles and political challenges between the US and China. A UK listing would be a significant boost for London’s financial sector but could be controversial.

  • 🍊 Orange juice prices are soaring to record highs due to poor harvests. This week, frozen concentrated orange juice futures hit $4.87 per pound, nearly five times their 2020 price (futures are contracts to buy or sell juice at a set price in the future, meaning current prices are predicted to stay high). Bad weather and disease have hurt orange groves worldwide, especially in Brazil, the top producer. Brazil's output is expected to drop by 24% this season. Florida, also known for its oranges, can't compensate due to long-term declines from citrus greening (a disease that damages citrus trees), hurricanes, and land development. With OJ demand strong, farmers are looking at alternative fruits like mandarins, apples, and mangoes to fill the gap.


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