As I have noted in a number of posts (most recently here), the size of securities class action settlements rose significantly in 2018 compared to recent years. But what do the 2018 securities class action settlements look like when broken down according to the lead plaintiffs’ firm involved in the settlement? That is the question answered in a recent report from ISS Securities Class Action Services. The April 3, 2019 report, entitled “The Top 50 of 2018” takes a look at the top 50 plaintiffs’ firms ranked by aggregate size and number of settlements can be found here.  
Continue Reading Plaintiffs’ Firms Ranked by Total 2018 Securities Suit Settlement Size and Number

Aggregate, average, and median securities class action lawsuit settlement amounts all rose in 2018, according to the latest report from Cornerstone Research. The 2018 total settlement amount of just over $5 billion dollars is substantially higher than the prior year total and in fact is the third-highest total in the past 10 years. The $5 billion total was driven by a small number of very large settlements. The Cornerstone Research report, which is entitled “Securities Class Action Settlements: 2018 Review and Analysis” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s March 26, 2019 press release regarding the report can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: Securities Suit Settlement Size Increased in 2018

For many years, U.S.-listed companies based outside the U.S. have enjoyed a relatively advantageous pricing environment for their D&O insurance. Because many D&O insurance underwriters based outside the U.S. used a different pricing model than their U.S. counterparts, pricing for these foreign filers was in many instances lower than the pricing available to equivalent U.S.-based companies. In recent months, however, as a result of surging claims frequency and loss costs, foreign filers’ D&O insurance costs have jumped significantly. These developments and the claims-related factors causing the changes are detailed in an interesting March 20, 2019 article by Jane Njavro of Woodruff Sawyer entitled “Why D&O Costs Are Soaring for Foreign Filers” (here). The article includes detailed statistical analysis of the relevant U.S. securities class action litigation trends.
Continue Reading The Deteriorating D&O Insurance Environment for Foreign U.S.-Listed Companies

Between 2010 and 2016, the number of shareholder appraisal actions filed in Delaware courts increased every year, but in 2017 and again in 2018, the number of appraisal actions declined, according to a recent report from Cornerstone Research. The decline arguably is a result of recent Delaware Supreme Court decisions in which the court reversed lower court rulings holding that the fair value exceeded the deal price and instead indicated that the deal price should be given substantial weight, at least where the sales process was “robust.” The report, entitled “Appraisal Litigation in Delaware: Trends in Petitions and Opinions, 20016-2018” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s February 13, 2019 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: After Years of Increases, Number of Delaware Appraisal Actions Decline

As was the case in 2017, there were relatively few larger securities class action lawsuit settlements during 2018, compared to prior years. As reported in latest large securities class action lawsuit settlement report from ISS Securities Class Action Services (ISS), there were only four settlements in 2018 that were large enough to make the list of all time large settlements; while the four settlements making the top 100 list is above the only two cases that made the list in 2017, the 2018 total was still below most years’ totals since 2008. The ISS report, entitled “The Top 100 U.S. Class Action Settlements of All Time (as of December 31, 2017)” can be found here.
Continue Reading ISS Releases 2018 Top 100 U.S. Securities Suit Settlements List

As I have previously noted, 2018 was another extraordinary year for U.S. securities class action litigation, as filings overall remained at near-historical rates. One of the significant contribution factors to this development was the substantial number of securities suits filed against life sciences companies. The number and significance of the securities suits filed against life sciences companies is detailed in a February  6, 2019 report from the Dechert law firm entitled “Dechert Survey: Developments in U.S. Securities Fraud Class Actions Against Life Sciences Companies: 2018 Edition” (here).
Continue Reading A Detailed Look at 2018 Securities Litigation Against Life Sciences Companies

The number of federal court securities class action lawsuit filings remained “near record levels” during 2018, according to the latest report published by  Cornerstone Research in conjunction with the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse. State court securities lawsuit filings, detailed in the report, drove securities class action litigation filing activity to even higher levels during 2018, arguably to the highest levels ever. According to the report, the likelihood of a U.S.-listed company getting hit with a securities suit was higher in 2018 than it has ever been. Driven by the sheer volume of litigation and the number of lawsuits against larger companies, the 2018 securities suit filings represented an aggregate market capitalization loss of over $1 trillion. The Cornerstone Research report, entitled “Securities Class Action Filings: 2018 Year in Review,” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s January 30, 2019 press release can be found here. My own review of the 2018 securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: Combined Federal and State Securities Suit Filings at Highest-Ever Levels in 2018

The pace of federal court securities class action filings during 2018 was “the highest since the aftermath of the 2000 dot-com crash,” according to a recent report from NERA Economic Consulting. Not only were the filings during the year at significantly elevated levels, but the filings “accelerated over the second half of the year, with the fourth quarter being one of the busiest on record.” As noteworthy as the filing trends are, the elevated filing pace “masked fundamental changes in the filing characteristics,” including the shift toward significantly higher amounts of investor losses. Average and median settlement levels also jumped significantly during the year, compared to the year prior. The January 29, 2019 report, entitled “Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2018 Full-Year Review” can be found here. NERA Economic Consulting’s January 29, 2019 press release about the report can be found here. My analysis of the 2018 federal court securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here.
Continue Reading NERA Economic Consulting: Securities Suit Filings at Highest Level in Years

The world of directors’ and officers’ liability is always dynamic, but 2018 was a particularly eventful year in the D&O liability arena. The past year’s many developments have significant implications for what may lie ahead in 2019 – and possibly for years to come. I have set out below the Top Ten D&O Stories of 2018, with an eye toward future possibilities.
Continue Reading The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2018

The heightened pace of securities class action lawsuit filings continued in 2018, as filing levels remained well above historical patterns, even though the total number of suits dipped very slightly compared to 2017. The total number of filings during 2018 was significantly inflated by the number of federal court merger objection lawsuit filings during the year. However, even disregarding the M&A-related lawsuits, the number of traditional lawsuit filings during 2018 was well above long-term averages. Even more significantly, the litigation rate (that is, the number of suits relative to the number of listed companies) arguably was at all-time record high levels in 2018 compared to prior years, as discussed further below.
Continue Reading Securities Suit Filings Continued at Heightened Pace in 2018