As I noted in a recent post, one of the most distinctive phenomena in the U.S. financial markets this year has been the tremendous amount of IPO activity involving Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). According to SPACInsider (here), there have been 243 SPAC IPOs so far in 2020 (as of December 22, 2020), raising total gross proceeds of over $81.3 billion. As I also noted in my prior post, lawsuits relating to SPACs are starting to accumulate. In the latest example of a securities suit relating to a SPAC transaction, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action against the surviving company following a SPACs acquisition of a target company; the complaint in the lawsuit names as defendants not only the CEO of the surviving company, but also the former president of the SPAC. As discussed below, this new lawsuit may have implications for possible future SPAC-related securities litigation in 2021, and possibly even beyond. Continue Reading SPAC-Acquired Company Hit with Post-Acquisition Securities Suit

In the latest coronavirus outbreak-related securities suit, a Canadian diagnostic medical testing company that hoped to obtain emergency regulatory authorization for its rapid COVID-19 antigen test has been hit with a securities class action lawsuit after the company failed to obtain the regulatory approvals. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint, filed on December 17, 2020 in the Central District of California, can be found here. In addition, as discussed below, this past week, the SEC separately filed a coronavirus-related enforcement action against a biotechnology company that touted its ability to provide a blood-based diagnostic test for the coronavirus. Continue Reading Canadian Testing Company Hit with COVID-19-Related Securities Suit

As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), allegations of bribery and improper payments often lead to follow-on securities class action lawsuits. Although historically claimants in these kinds of securities suits have had mixed results, some of these lawsuits have resulted in significant settlements (including most notably the $3 billion settlement in the Petrobras case). In the latest of these bribery follow-on lawsuits to result in a significant settlement, on December 11, 2020, the parties to the securities lawsuit pending against the Chilean company Chemical and Mining Company of Chile Inc. (a/k/a Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A., or “SQM’) filed with the  court their agreement to settle the lawsuit based on SQM’s agreement to pay $62.5 million. The parties’ December 11, 2020 stipulation of settlement can be found here. The lead plaintiff’s motion for preliminary approval of the settlement can be found here. Continue Reading Chilean Company Pays $62.5 Million to Settle Bribery-Related Securities Suit

On December 15, 2020, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced the imposition under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of a €450,000 fine against the social media company Twitter for its delay in reporting to DPC a data breach the company sustained in late 2018. According to the DPC’s press release about the fine, the DPC’s inquiry concerning the Twitter data breach was the first to go through the GDPR “dispute resolution” process since the GDPR’s introduction and was also  the first decision in a “big tech” case in which all EU supervisory authorities were consulted as Concerned Supervisory Authorities. The DPC’s December 9, 2020 order can be found here. The DPC’s December 15, 2020 press release can be found here. Continue Reading In First for U.S. Tech Firm, Twitter Hit with GDPR Fine

Francis Kean

In the following guest post, Francis Kean examines the proposed new U.K. National Security and Investment Bill, which creates a new enforcement regime and carries substantial new risks for fines and even imprisonment. Francis is a Partner, Financial Lines, at McGill and Partners. A version of this article previously was published as a McGill client alert. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article. Continue Reading Guest Post: New Source of Potential Fines, Penalties and Imprisonment for Directors

The massive U.K. collective lawsuit against Mastercard will return to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for further proceedings as a result of the December 11, 2020 Judgement of the U.K. Supreme Court. The high-profile lawsuit is the first under the U.K.’s recently adopted opt-out collective action procedures for consumer protection claims. The case is also the first collective action proceeding to reach the U.K Supreme Court. The Court’s judgment sets out important guidelines and principles for collective action proceedings. The Court’s December 11, 2020 Judgment can be found here. A written summary of the Court’s Judgment can be found here, and a video summary of the Judgment delivered by Lord Michael Briggs can be found here. Continue Reading U.K. Supreme Court Ruling Clears Way for Massive Opt-Out Collective Action Proceeding Against Mastercard

In the same December 11, 2020 Order in which it rejected the bid by the Texas Attorney General to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court also agreed to take up a case involving the effort of Goldman Sachs to overturn the certification of a class in the long-running securities lawsuit. The case relates to the bank’s alleged conflicts of interest in structuring collateralized debt obligation securities before the global financial crisis. The case will require the Court to address important questions pertaining to the ability of securities lawsuit defendants opposing class certification to attempt to rebut the presumption of reliance and the extent to which the defendants in opposing class certification can rely on matter that is also relevant to merits-related issues such as materiality. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Take Up Securities Suit Class Certification Issues

A third California state court has ruled that a provision specifying that federal courts are the exclusive forum for the resolution of ‘33 act liability actions is valid and enforceable. This latest decision — in a state court securities class action lawsuit pending against Dropbox — suggests that a broad consensus is emerging in California court to enforce federal forum provisions. But while the Dropbox decision is largely consistent with the prior California state court decisions enforcing FFP, there are certain features of the Dropbox decision that make it noteworthy and interesting in its own right. A copy of the December 4, 2020 decision in the Dropbox case can be found here. A December 8, 2020 memo from the Seyfarth Shaw law firm about the ruling can be found here. Continue Reading Third California State Court Upholds Enforceability of Federal Forum Provision

Jeffrey Lubitz
Elisa Mendoza

One of the most distinctive and interesting securities class action litigation phenomena in recent years has been the rise of event driven litigation. In the following guest post, Jeffrey Lubitz, Executive Director at ISS Securities Class Action Services, and Elisa Mendoza, Vice President of Operations at ISS Securities Class Action Services, take a detailed look at the event driven securities litigation phenomenon, which they describe as a new driver in the growth of securities suit filings. A complete version of this ISS SCAS white paper with footnotes, endnotes, and sources is available  on the ISS website. I would like to thank Jeff and Elisa for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would l like to submit a guest post. Here is Jeff and Elisa’s article. Continue Reading Guest Post: Event Driven Securities Litigation: The New Driver in Class Action Growth

Paul Ferrillo

In the following guest, Paul Ferrillo takes a look at the current deteriorating cyber insurance claims environment and offers his views on the likely impact of the claims developments on the market for cyber insurance in 2021. Paul is a partner in the McDermott, Will & Emery law firm. My thanks to Paul for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest posts from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Paul’s article. Continue Reading Guest Post: Be Prepared: Costly Cyber Claims Could Lead to Higher Premiums in 2021