Bishop & Sewell

Writing in the Daily Mail recently Alex Brummer believes that Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey isn’t helping the case for business investment in the UK by spreading gloom and noting that the UK is projected to slide into the longest recession in a century. I agree, writes David Little, a Partner in our Commercial Law team.

Despite the dismal narrative, there are signs of optimism. The construction industry’s S&P purchasing managers index is at a five-month high in November, although new orders are falling back to pandemic levels. Car sales climbed for the third consecutive month in October, even if the comparable months last year were negatively affected by supply bottlenecks.

As regular readers of this blog will remember I wrote that – broadly speaking – the Bank of England’s Governor had one objective, to keep inflation down to 2%. That’s not gone well.

Perhaps it’s something to do with regulators? On the other side of the political divide Alex Lawson of The Guardian, reported on Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite’s call for Ofgem to end excessive profiteering by distribution network operators, who reported £15.8 billion in profits last year and have higher profit margins that any other sector in the UK. In her letter, Graham says the operators have “been holding the public to ransom for too much and for too long.”

We may have gone through four Prime Ministers in six months, and Britain’s global reputation for fiscal and economic prudence may be in tatters, but not everyone’s reporting that the UK is going to hell in a handcart.

Take just three positive headlines:

Sainsbury’s increases pay and offers free staff food amid cost of living crisis

Work underway on hydrogen steel pilot production facility in the North East

Family-run business beats Amazon and Barclays to win national award

Here’s another, according to analysis by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 of new data provided by CreditSafe, 1,257 new businesses were set up across the North East in July – and a further 1,452 start-ups followed in August. In total, 11,031 new businesses have been set up in the North East during the first eight months of 2022.

As North East chair of R3 Chris Ferguson, who is head of recovery and insolvency at Gosforth-based RMT Accountants and Business Advisors, said: “The economic challenges facing us all have become ever clearer over the recent months, but they’ve not been enough to deter the region’s entrepreneurs from looking to put new business ideas into practice, which is obviously positive news.”

These four stories came from just one source, the Northern Echo, the newspaper in the region often quoted as most in need of levelling up.

Isn’t it time we started talking up our fortunes, rather than describing the glass as half empty?

Contact our Corporate & Commercial Solicitors

David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB368 on either 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 12 December 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 12th Dec 2022

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