As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), one of the most significant recent securities litigation trends has been the number of filings against post-SPAC-merger publicly traded companies. In the latest of these SPAC-related suit filings, last week a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against Arquit Quantum, a U.K.-based cybersecurity firm that merged with a SPAC in September 2021. Though this latest lawsuit is in many ways representative of the emerging SPAC-related securities litigation, it also has some distinct features as well, as discussed further below. A copy of the May 6, 2022 complaint in the case can be found here.
Continue Reading U.K-Based Cybersecurity Firm Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

Consistent with what is already a well-established current securities class action litigation filing trend, plaintiff shareholders last week filed two more SPAC-related securities suits. Although the two new suits are somewhat different from each other, they share the common feature that they both involve corporate defendants that recently became publicly traded through merger with a SPAC. The SPAC-related lawsuits, including the two most recently filed examples, represent a significant securities litigation phenomenon this year. The two new lawsuits are discussed below.
Continue Reading Two More SPAC-Related Securities Suits Launched

In a new lawsuit that closely mirrors the features of many recent SPAC-related securities lawsuits, and that indeed almost entirely replicates the most recent suits, a plaintiff shareholder has initiated a securities class action against Canadian-based lithium battery recycler, Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. Li-Cycle completed a merger with a publicly traded SPAC in August 2021 and was the subject of a short-seller report in March 2022. The lawsuit against Li-Cycle is the latest in the development of what is becoming an increasingly significant securities litigation phenomenon this year. A copy of the April 19, 2022 lawsuit against Li-Cycle can be found here.
Continue Reading After Short Seller Report, Lithium Battery Recycler Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

In the latest SPAC-related securities suits filing, electric aviation company Lilium N.V. has been sued by an investor after a short-seller published a report questioning the company’s technological and regulatory readiness, its development prospects, and its financial resources. Lilium became a publicly traded company in September 2021, when it merged with Qell Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). This lawsuit is the latest in a series of securities class action lawsuits filed since the beginning of 2021 against post-SPAC-merger companies, as discussed below. A copy of the April 18, 2022 lawsuit against Lilium can be found here.
Continue Reading Electric Aircraft Company Hit With SPAC-Related Securities Suit

The pace of SPAC-related securities lawsuit filings recently has perceptibly increased. Earlier this week, I noted two SPAC-related securities class action lawsuits that had been filed in the preceding days. Following my publication of that earlier post, plaintiffs’ lawyers filed two more SPAC-related securities suits, adding to the growing numbers of SPAC-related securities suits that have been filed this year. As discussed below, the likelihood is that we will continue to see further SPAC-related securities suit filings in the months ahead.
Continue Reading Two More Post-SPAC-Merger Companies Hit with Securities Suits

Last week, the SEC introduced proposed disclosure guidelines for special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) which, if ultimately finalized, will significantly alter the business, legal, and regulatory environment for SPACs and for their merger partners. In the meantime, plaintiffs’ lawyers continue to demonstrate their interest in pursuing claims against post-SPAC-merger operating companies. As discussed below, and in two more examples of what is already one of the most noteworthy securities litigation phenomena so far this year, last week plaintiffs’ lawyers filed two more SPAC-related securities class action lawsuits. As has been the case with many of the recent SPAC-related securities suits, both of the latest suits involve companies in the electric vehicle and smart vehicle industries.
Continue Reading Two More Post-SPAC-Merger Vehicle Technology Companies Get Hit With Securities Suits

In what is the latest step in what the Wall Street Journal has called “SEC Chairman Gensler’s wider push to rein in Wall Street through tougher regulation,” the SEC has approved, by a 3-1 vote, new proposed disclosure requirements and investor protections in connection with SPAC IPOs and de-SPAC transactions. The overall effect of the proposed new regulations, if implemented in a form similar to the proposal, would be to make the SPAC-related disclosure requirements more like those applicable to traditional IPOs. The proposed rules could have a sweeping impact not just on the SPAC IPO marketplace, but also on the marketplace for de-SPAC transactions, at a time when over 600 SPACs are currently searching for merger targets.

The SEC’s March 20, 2022 press release about the proposed new rules can be found here. The Commission’s 372-page proposal can be found here. The Commission’s short fact sheet about the proposed new rules can be found here. Cydney Posner’s detailed analysis of the proposal on the Cooley law firm’s PubCo blog can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Proposed New SPAC-Related Disclosure Rules and Investor Protections

As I have noted in prior posts, one of the most significant securities litigation phenomenon over recent months has been the rise of lawsuits involving special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs). Last week, two more of these SPAC-related suits were filed. Although the new lawsuits have features in common with many of the prior SPAC-related suits, they also have several interesting distinctive attributes as well, as discussed below.
Continue Reading More Securities Lawsuits Filed Against Post-SPAC-Merger Companies

Within the D&O marketplace, the SPAC and De-SPAC space has been difficult over the last 18 to 24 months. Pricing for D&O insurance for SPACs and De-SPACs has been extraordinarily high. In addition, the insurers are only willing to provide coverage at all with extraordinarily high self-insured retentions (SIRs). These difficult marketplace conditions have caused many buyers to consider possible insurance alternatives, such as Side-A only insurance programs. The high SIRs also raise practical questions about how the elevated retentions will be funded in the event of the claim. The possible alternative insurance structures and the questions about funding the elevated retentions in turn raise a host of complicated issues about indemnification and advancement, particularly concerning the obligations of the go-forward De-SPAC company to provide indemnification and advancement for post-merger claims against former directors and officers of the SPAC.

Anyone who has had to try to think about these complicated indemnification and advancement issues will want to review the recent Delaware Chancery Court decision in action brought by a former SPAC officer and director, Marlene Krauss, to try to enforce her advancement rights against the post-merger De-SPAC company, 180 Life Sciences Corp. In a detailed opinion, Vice Chancellor Will basically held that Krauss was entitled to advancement except with respect to claims brought against Krauss for conduct in her capacities other than as a director or officer of the SPAC. Although D&O insurance is not addressed in the Opinion, the Vice Chancellor’s rulings arguably have important insurance implications, for example, with respect to the availability of Side A coverage and the funding of SIRs. The Vice Chancellor’s March 7, 2022 Opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Thinking About SPACs, De-SPACs, and Indemnification and Advancement

In the latest post-SPAC-merger securities class action lawsuit, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities suit against a rare earth mining and processing company that completed a SPAC merger in November 2020. Like many SPAC-related securities suits that have been filed in recent months, the lawsuit follows a drop in the company’s share prices following a negative short-seller report. A copy of the February 22, 2022 lawsuit against MP Materials Corp. can be found here.
Continue Reading Mining Company Hit with Post-SPAC-Merger Securities Suit After Short Seller Report