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Accountancy giant names new boss for Scotland

PwC has unveiled a new boss for its operation in Scotland. The firm has unveiled Claire Reid as the successor to long-standing Scottish chairman Lindsay Gardiner, who has stepped down after seven years in the role.

Ms Reid, until recently head of assurance for PwC in Scotland, becomes the first female to hold the post.

And she comes to the role with a strong background in technology. Ms Reid joined PwC in 1998 and in the earlier part of her career with the firm was based in Silicon Valley, California, where she worked with a number of high-profile technology clients.

On returning to the UK she worked to establish and develop PwC’s relationship with Oracle, a cloud computing partner, going on to help build the firm’s cyber security operation, during a 10-year spell in London.

Ms Reid, who has a degree in international business and modern languages from the University of Strathclyde, returned to her hometown of Glasgow in 2016 to become head of assurance and lead the firm’s technology risk practice across the UK.

Ms Reid said: “I am truly honoured to take on the role as regional leader for Scotland. It’s great to be back home in Scotland, working with local organisations and supporting them to prosper and grow across the region.

“Scotland has a dynamic and thriving economy with lots of great opportunity for business, our communities and the people of Scotland.

“I am really excited to build on our recent success and on our investment in Scotland. With my background in technology and digital change, I look forward to bringing continued energy and focus to this topic for our region.”

Mr Gardiner meanwhile will continue to work within the firm’s audit business. Mr Gardiner said: “Leading our wider team in Scotland for the last seven years has been a privilege and great fun. A lot has changed in that time, both in the way we deliver services for our clients, and in the firm itself.

“We now work, in some respects, for the majority of listed companies based in Scotland, have developed our oil and gas and financial services centres of excellence and significantly grown our services to locally-based private organisations and across the public sector.

“We now have more than 900 staff in Scotland and we have opened our new offices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.”

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Schall Law Firm announces investigation into Tyme Technologies, Inc.

The Schall Law Firm, a national shareholder rights litigation firm, announces that it is investigating claims on behalf of investors of Tyme Technologies, Inc. (“Tyme” or “the Company”) (NASDAQ: TYME) for violations of §§10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The investigation focuses on whether the Company issued false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose information pertinent to investors. Tyme reported the results of its open-label Phase 2 study for its drug candidate SM-88 on January 18, 2019. The Company reported positive results, stating SM-88 “improves survival” for late-stage pancreatic cancer patients. Despite this claim, the study did not include a control group, and the Company was comparing its results with historical control data. Based on this news, shares of Tyme fell by more than 35% on the same day.

If you are a shareholder who suffered a loss, please visit https://schallfirm.com/join-action-form/?slug=tyme-technologies-inc&id=1716

We also encourage you to contact Brian Schall, or Sherin Mahdavian, of the Schall Law Firm, 1880 Century Park East, Suite 404, Los Angeles, CA 90067, at 424-303-1964, to discuss your rights free of charge. You can also reach us through the firm’s website at https://schallfirm.com/, or by email at [email protected].

The class in this case has not yet been certified, and until certification occurs, you are not represented by an attorney. If you choose to take no action, you can remain an absent class member.

The Schall Law Firm represents investors around the world and specialises in securities class action lawsuits and shareholder rights litigation.

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High Court blocks iPhone data breach class action against Google

The High Court has blocked a mass legal action against Google over claims that it collected sensitive personal data from more than four million iPhone users.

Mr Justice Warby, sitting in London, announced his decision on Monday.

The litigation was brought by campaign group Google You Owe Us, led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd.

The tech giant faced claims that it bypassed privacy settings on Apple iPhone handsets between August 2011 and February 2012 and used data to divide people into categories for advertisers.

The campaign group hoped to win at least £1 billion in compensation for an estimated 4.4 million users of the device in the UK.

At the first hearing of the case in London in May, lawyers for Mr Lloyd told the court that information collected by Google included racial or ethnic origin, physical and mental health, political affiliations or opinions, sexuality and sexual interests and social class.

They said information about an individual’s financial situation, shopping habits and their geographical location were also obtained.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Mr Lloyd, said information was then “aggregated” and users were put into groups such as “football lovers” or “current affairs enthusiasts”.

These were then offered to subscribing advertisers to choose from when deciding who to direct their marketing to.

Mr Tomlinson said the data was gathered through “clandestine tracking and collation” of information relating to internet usage on iPhone users’ Safari browser – known as the “Safari Workaround”.

He told Mr Justice Warby the activity was exposed by a PhD researcher in 2012 and Google has already paid 39.5 million US dollars to settle claims in the United States.

Google argued that the type of “representative action” being brought against it by Mr Lloyd is unsuitable and should not go ahead.

Lawyers for the California-based company said there is no suggestion that the Safari Workaround resulted in any information being disclosed to third parties.

They also said it is not possible to identify those who may have been affected and the claim has no prospect of success.

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ZoomInfo completes acquisition of technographics provider Datanyze

ZoomInfo, the leading growth acceleration platform for sales and marketing teams, has announced the acquisition of Datanyze, the world-wide leader in technographic data. Financial terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.

Datanyze, headquartered in San Mateo, California, uses machine learning and proprietary methodologies to capture the technologies that are being used or implemented by more than 35 million companies globally. By infusing this information into its growth acceleration platform, ZoomInfo will be able to supplement its unrivalled company and contact information with real-time alerts that enable sales and marketing professionals to sell based on customer technology decisions.

“Business data is rapidly changing and your data platforms must be built to adapt. ZoomInfo has the largest, most complete data set of companies and contacts and a goal to enable our customers to automate, process, curate, and present the data on-demand and in real-time. Delivering industry-leading technographics, the Datanyze technology will be a significant addition to help us deliver the right data, at the right time, to the right person,” Derek Schoettle, CEO, ZoomInfo, said.

Datanyze customers will continue to receive support for the Datanyze product offering. Ilya Semin, CEO, Datanyze, said, “I am thrilled to be joining ZoomInfo at this time of tremendous growth in the organization. Bringing together our two organizations is a perfect union, combining Datanyze’s real-time technographic data with ZoomInfo’s unparalleled – and the industry’s most current – company and contact data.”

With today’s incorporation of Datanyze and the recent addition of Y Labs, ZoomInfo has now increased to six major locations including an expanded headquarter location in Waltham (MA) and satellite offices in San Mateo (CA), Grand Rapid (MI), St Petersburg (Russia), Kazan (Russia), and Ra’anana (Israel).

ZoomInfo was recently named to the Inc. 5000 for the sixth time. The company has more than doubled its headcount in the last year and continues to expand in all areas as they increase their market share.

About ZoomInfo

Accelerate your growth with Zoom Information Inc. (ZoomInfo), an Inc. 5000 company. ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration Platform combines the world’s most comprehensive and searchable B2B contact database with integrated tools to help companies optimize sales and marketing effectiveness, jump-start growth, and maximize profitability. The continuously updated B2B data platform provides businesses access to direct-dial phone numbers, email addresses, and professional background information. For more information, please visit: www.zoominfo.com

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California agricultural law firm Saqui links with Dowling Aaron

The Saqui Law Group PC, which often presents continuing education seminars for Sonoma County Winegrowers, joined Dowling Aaron Incorporated in the of-counsel role.

The Saqui Law Group was established in 2007 to represent California growers, packers and shippers with their labor needs.

Dowling Aaron has represented clients in agribusiness and agricultural litigation including farmers, growers, packers, shippers, dairies, wineries, cooperatives, investors, lenders, processors, insurance providers and others involved in the food production industry.

A full merger of the two firms is set for 2019. Dowling Aaron will maintain offices in Fresno, Bakersfield, Visalia, Salinas and Sacramento.

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California partners are switching from BIG LAW to small law

Partners have long left large law firms to branch out on their own. But in a legal market increasingly under pressure from a variety of sources, including higher associate salaries, it seems that more and more California-based partners have recently left behind their practices at Am Law 200 firms to start their own shops.

Those that have picked up stakes for new endeavours include Michael Hassen, a former chair of the appellate practice at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, who in May formed Reallaw in Walnut Creek, California. John Cermak Jr., a former managing partner of the Los Angeles office at Baker & Hostetler, has launched local firm Cermak & Inglin with former Baker & Hostetler environmental partner Sonja Inglin. And Armen Zenjiryan, a former Jackson Lewis partner in Los Angeles, in June became the co-founder of Burbank, California-based Remedy Law Group. (Zenjiryan declined to comment about his new firm, while Hassen was unavailable by the time of this story to discuss his next enterprise.)

These break-off boutiques from Big Law are often specialized and frequently located in areas where a certain amount of flexibility, whether it be in real estate or hourly rates, is desirable.

“From a business perspective, I felt like it was a good time to start an environmental boutique,” said Cermak, when asked about his decision to leave Baker & Hostetler after more than a decade at the Am Law 100 firm.

Cermak joined Baker & Hostetler in 2007 as part of a mass lateral move from Jenkens & Gilchrist, where he was a member of the now-defunct firm’s board. Cermak cited rate pressure and conflicts with Baker & Hostetler’s other practices as the primary driver for his decision to start his own firm to cater to the needs of his various clients.

“My clients realized that they can get great quality lawyers at smaller firms, there is a lot of rate pressure for in-house counsels,” Cermak said. “We have a long-time relationship with these clients. We have been with them for almost 30 years.”

As clients become more careful about spending, Cermak said setting up his own shop allows him to offer more flexible rates. As associates at large firms are under increased pressure to keep up their billable hours, in part due to salary raises, Cermak noted that a boutique is better suited to training young lawyers interested in a specific practice, such as environmental law.

At the moment, Cermak’s two-partner firm has only one associate. The former Baker & Hostetler partner said he does plan to hire a few more contract lawyers or associates.

While flying solo might appeal to some large firm lawyers, there are also others that seek out a smaller firm atmosphere for the same benefits of flexibility and hands-on experience, but still want less risk.

George Borkowski, a former chair of intellectual property litigation at Venable, last month left his role as senior vice president of litigation and legal affairs at the Recording Industry Association of America to join Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass as a partner in San Francisco.

“I think that a firm such as 84-lawyer Coblentz Patch is perfectly situated—it can be very flexible, it doesn’t have too much bureaucracy, it doesn’t charge ridiculously high hourly rates,” Borkowski said. “You get a lot more bang for your buck, you pay fees that are somewhat less, but you get representation that I think is even better than most of the big firms because you get individualized attention, you get partners paying attention to your cases.”

Prior to returning to California, Borkowski has spent the past four years at the RIAA, which paid him $380,097 in 2016-17, according to the most recent federal tax filing by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. Before that, Borkowski spent nearly three years as a partner at Los Angeles-based Freeman, Freeman & Smiley.

He began his legal career in 1988 at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, where Borkowski was a founder and chair of the IP and technology group during his two decades at that Los Angeles-based firm. Borkowski said he missed being a litigator and that he is excited to help the midsized Coblentz Patch expand its IP litigation practice on the West Coast.

“We do get the job done successfully for clients and we do it in a way that doesn’t break the bank,” Borkowski added.

Bruce Isaacs, a former founding partner of Beverly Hills-based entertainment boutique Wyman & Isaacs who joined Davis Wright Tremaine in early 2015, has also recently left Big Law.

“The clients always want their bill to be smaller,” said Isaacs, now a mediator at Benchmark Resolution Group, which he joined in May after leaving Davis Wright.

For Isaacs, it was a desire to pursue a long-time career interest that spurred his decision to leave the firm for BRG.

“I am 61 years old, and it was time to do something I really felt like doing,” said the veteran litigator about his move to BRG, which was formed last year. Isaacs noted that the new outfit is focused on “figuring out how to solve problems and end litigation.”

BRG’s founding partners included a number of prominent former judges in the Los Angeles area. Isaacs said he felt honoured to become one of the 13 members of that group, which includes nine ex-judges and other experienced litigators.

“I think this company will grow, because I think a lot of the judges that retired are going to want to work here,” Isaacs said. “The retired judges and lawyers are extremely dedicated, they work very hard, and they read every word of every brief and exhibit.“