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Ashbury Heights Capital granted leave to proceed with FactSet fraud and breach of contract lawsuit  

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San Francisco-based Ashbury Heights Capital has been granted leave to proceed with its fraud and breach of contract lawsuit against market intelligence company FactSet Research Systems and securities executive Doug Engmann. 

The ruling by a California Court could impact over a dozen of  the world’s leading financial institutions.
Ashbury, founded by MIT graduates Eric McGill and Paul Mingardi, claims that a breakthrough patented analytics technology it developed has been misused by FactSet and Engmann in violation of a license agreement the parties entered in 2012. The technology represented a leap forward in analysing big data to better predict the impact of macro and micro events on stock prices and other targets. FactSet and its predecessors used the technology to help sell its primary data mining services and products to some of the world’s largest hedge funds and government agencies. 
The lawsuit alleges that defendants failed to pay well over USD10 million in licensing revenues owned under their agreement and fraudulently concealed other misuses of the technology. FactSet had purchased the Ashbury license agreement, along with other assets, from Engmann and his company Revere in 2013 for approximately USD16 million. 
In its ruling, the Court rejected FactSet’s and Engmann’s motion to force the case to private arbitration. Paul Mingardi, Ashbury’s co-founder and Managing Partner, says: “We are pleased that the Judge recognised that this action belongs in state court. Just because FactSet and Engmann have enormous resources at their disposal does not allow them to mislead business partners or to misappropriate valuable technology without paying for it.  We look forward to vigorously pursuing our claims.” 
The lawsuit alleges that over a dozen of the world’s largest financial institutions, including WorldQuant, BlueCrest, SAC Capital, Wellington, Airain Limited, Millennium Partners, Renaissance Technologies, and government agencies, including the Director of National Intelligence, have been provided and/or employed the technology. 
Trial is currently set for September 2016. Ashbury is seeking injunctive relief to stop defendants’ misuse of the proprietary technology and royalty compensation, along with punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.  
Ashbury is represented by J Noah Hagey and Matthew Borden of San Francisco and New York commercial trial boutique BraunHagey & Borden LLP.

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