This is the first of a new series of Weekly Roundup articles which will feature recent news stories from the legal and corporate business world.

We will share headlines and brief summaries of these notable news stories from around the world, along with a link for those seeking further information.

These roundup articles will provide a quick and easy way for readers to stay up to date with current legal and business affairs, and leave them well informed and able to participate in professional conversations.

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World’s largest law firm Dentons signs deal for new Dublin offices

The world’s largest law firm, Dentons, is pressing ahead with plans to expand its operations into the Irish market with the opening of a new office on Dublin city centre.

The firm has committed to a new two-year sub lease for the second floor of Joshua House on Dawson Street.

Dentons’ new offices extend to 4,500sq ft (418sq m), giving it the capacity to accommodate up to 45 employees.

The firm’s Dublin operation will focus initially on transactional work for clients particularly in the financial services, real estate, energy, infrastructure and technology sectors.

Outside of Ireland, Dentons employs more than 10,000 lawyers in 181 locations across 73 countries.

You can read the full story as reported in the Irish Times by clicking here.

Markets rocked by renewed virus fears

Global stock markets fell last week amid fears that an uptick in coronavirus cases could cause more economic damage.

The UK’s FTSE 100, the Dax in Germany and France’s CAC 40 all lost 4% or more last Thursday while in the U.S. the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined almost 7%.

The declines came after the US Federal Reserve warned that the American economy faces a long road to recovery.

Stock markets in Asia also fell on Friday with benchmark indexes losing ground in Japan, Hong Kong and China.

You can read the report from BBC News here, and the Wall Street Journal here.

U.S. Federal Reserve pledges to hold interest rates near zero through 2022

Last Wednesday the U.S. Federal Reserve announce that it would be keeping interest rates near zero and indicated that’s where they’ll stay as the U.S. economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re not thinking about raising rates. We’re not even thinking about thinking about raising rates,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said. “What we’re thinking about is providing support for the economy. We think this is going to take some time.”

Along with the rate decision, central bankers projected Wednesday that the economy will shrink 6.5% in 2020.

You can read the full press release from the Fed here, and a report from CNBC here.

OECD warns of deepest economic scars in peacetime for a century

Rich countries face a disappointing economic recovery from the historic downturn caused by the pandemic, which will leave deeper scars than any peacetime recession in the past 100 years, the OECD has warned.

In a downbeat set of forecasts, the international organisation said on Wednesday that although developed economies were likely to experience a rapid initial bounceback from the recession, it would probably fall far short of bringing living standards back to their pre-pandemic level in early 2020.

Laurence Boone, chief economist of the OECD, said the economic impact of coronavirus on unemployment, corporate bankruptcy and adjustments to normal life forced by social distancing would be large and would prevent a normal economic recovery from recession.

You can read the full report from the Financial Times by clicking here.

Lloyds bank fined £64 million

Lloyds Banking Group has been fined £64m by the City watchdog for failing to treat mortgage customers fairly after they fell into financial difficulty.

The fine is linked to Lloyds’ mishandling between 2011 and 2015 of more than 526,000 mortgage customers, who have since been reimbursed a total of £300m. The Financial Conduct Authority said that while the bank identified the problem as early as 2011, it “failed to fully rectify the issues”.

The problem started with how the bank gathered information about mortgage customers who had fallen behind or were finding it difficult to make payments. It meant call handlers did not have adequate information to assess customers’ circumstances.

You can read the full report from The Guardian by clicking here.

WhatsApp take steps towards providing banking services

Facebook owned messaging service WhatsApp is increasing its foray into retail banking in India.

WhatsApp, which has more than 400 million users in India, has integrated technology that lets banks provide customers with services such as account balance inquiry, credit card statements, and even account opening.

The Facebook-owned messaging platform has ramped up existing partnerships with some of the biggest names in Indian banking: HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, and RBL Bank.

The Application Programming Interface (API) integrations have allowed these lenders to provide basic services such as balance enquiry, routine updates, moratorium facility, credit card statements and in some cases even savings account opening options to customers.

You can read the full article from the Economic Times by clicking here.

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