According to the latest annual report from ISS Securities Class Action Services, there were two securities class action settlements in 2022 that were large enough to make the firm’s list of the Top 100 U.S. Securities Class Action settlements. These two settlements took place in a year in which there were a total of 141 approved monetary securities class action settlements totaling $4.77 billion. The details of the settlements included the two largest during 2022 can be found in the ISS Securities Class Action Services report entitled “The Top 100 U.S. Class Action Settlements of All-Time,” here.

Continue Reading ISS Releases 2022 Top 100 Securities Class Action Lawsuit Settlements List

Largely due to the decline in the numbers of merger objection class action lawsuit filings and a decline in the number of Rule 10b-5 filings, the number of new federal court securities class action lawsuit filings declined in 2022 for the fourth consecutive year, according to the latest annual report from NERA Economic Consulting. The report, entitled “Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2022 Full-Year Review” also shows that aggregate, average, and median securities class action lawsuit settlements increased in 2022 relative to 2021. NERA’s January 24, 2023, press release about the report, with a link to the full report, can be found here.

Continue Reading NERA: Securities Suit Filings Declined in 2022 for the Fourth Consecutive Year

In two dismissal motion grants last week in pending SPAC-related securities suits, the respective courts’ rulings could have potential significance for other pending or prospective SPAC-related cases. The January 10, 2023, ruling in the SPAC-related suit involving DraftKings has important implications for the many pending SPAC-related cases based on short seller reports, and the January 11, 2023, ruling in the Lucid case has potential implications for SPAC-related securities suits based on alleged pre-merger misrepresentations. The two rulings and their potential significance are discussed below.

Continue Reading SPAC-Related Securities Suit Dismissals Could Be Significant for Other Cases

In my recent wrap-up of the top D&O stories of 2022, I noted that one of last year’s key topics was the quantity of litigation involving special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). It now appears that this trend is continuing into the new year. Late last week, a plaintiff shareholder filed a SPAC-related securities suit against battery development company Enovix, alleging that the company had misrepresented its manufacturing capabilities. A copy of the January 6, 2023, complaint against the company can be found here.

Continue Reading Battery Co. Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

As 2022 came to an end, many SPAC sponsors and executives, concerned about the possible onset on January 1, 2023, of an excise tax on amounts to be returned to investors, moved to liquidate their SPACs. As discussed further below, concerns about the possible applicability of the tax have now been alleviated, but given the general marketplace conditions for SPAC merger transactions, it seems likely that there will be further SPAC liquidations ahead in the new year. The possibility of a SPAC liquidation raises a number of considerations, including also important considerations with respect to D&O insurance.
Continue Reading SPAC Liquidations and D&O Insurance

Jeff Lubitz

Jarett Sena

In the following guest post, Jeff Lubitz, Managing Director, ISS Securities Class Action Services, and Jarett Sena, Director of Litigation Analysis, ISS Securities Class Action Services, take a detailed look at the largest securities class action settlements of 2022, and in particular at the largest 10 U.S. securities class action settlements during the year as well as the largest non-U.S. settlements.  I would like to thank Jeff and Jarett 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 like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: The Largest Securities Class Action Settlements of 2022

As I noted in my recent round-up of D&O insurance issues, one of the consequences of the end of the SPAC IPO boom is that many of the SPACs from the IPO classes of 2020 and 2021 have given up trying to find a merger target and instead have opted to liquidate – which raises the question whether liquidation could lead to litigation. On the one hand, where’s the harm, since the investors get their money back. On the other hand, in our litigious society, litigation often follows after disappointed expectations. A December 30, 2022, lawsuit brought by SPAC investors against the SPAC, its sponsors, and its directors and officers, may provide an example of how litigation can arise in the wake of a SPAC liquidation.
Continue Reading Liquidating SPAC Hit With Suit Over Proposed Asset Distribution

Federal court securities class action lawsuits filings slightly declined in 2022 compared to 2021, representing the third straight years of filing declines. The number of 2022 filings also fell below long-term annual filing averages; however, the number of core federal court securities class action filings in 2022 was only slightly below the number of 2021 core filings and the long-term historical annual average number of core filings.

Continue Reading 2022 Federal Court Securities Suit Filings Decline Slightly Relative to Recent Years

Businesses these days face a wide variety of headwinds – rising interest rates, economic inflation, supply chain and labor supply disruptions, war in Ukraine, even continued disruptions from COVID – that are interfering with business operations and affecting financial performance. In some instances, these macroeconomic factors are translating into securities litigation. In the latest example of this phenomenon, a plaintiff shareholder has sued video display systems company Daktronics following the company’s announcement that supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and shutdowns in China caused a decline in the company’s sales, which led to a later announcement of a “substantial doubt” of the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The December 21, 2022, complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Video Display Company Hit with Supply Chain-Related Securities Suit

In a few days, when I work up my summary of the year’s events in the world of D&O, one of the stories I will be covering will be the volume of SPAC-related securities litigation during the year. The SPAC-related litigation represents a significant part of the year’s securities class action lawsuit filings. The latest example of this phenomenon is the lawsuit filed late last week against residential home improvement financing platform Sunlight Financial Holdings, Inc., which became a public company through a July 2021 merger with a SPAC. The new lawsuit is in many ways representative of the kinds of SPAC-related lawsuits filed this year. A copy of the complaint in the new lawsuit can be found here.
Continue Reading Construction Financing Platform Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit