In a case demonstrating the range of both the potential legal theories and the prospective litigants that could become involved in Madoff-related litigation, a pension fund has filed an ERISA class action against an investment advisory firm for the advisory firm’s investment of the pension fund’s assets in a Madoff "feeder fund."

On February

 When the Madoff scandal news first broke, I thought it would be like so many other fraud controversies, dominating the headlines briefly and then fading into the background – as seemingly has happened with the Marc Dreier debacle. But perhaps as a result of the scale and breadth of the harm caused, the Madoff scandal

Even though Madoff victims previously filed a securities class action lawsuit against Banco Santander and other parties in the Southern District of Florida (as discussed here), a different group of claimants has now filed a separate lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against substantially the same set of defendants. However, the new

Banco Santander, the Spanish bank whose customers may have suffered as much as $3.1 billion in Madoff-related losses, is reportedly offering some clients compensation for their losses. Reports of this compensation proposal follow one day after investors filed a securities class action lawsuit against Banco Santander and related entities in federal court in Miami.

As has been well-publicized, within a matter of weeks of closing its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, Bank of America announced previously undisclosed 4Q08 operating losses at Merrill of $21.5 billion that required BofA to obtain an emergency $20 billion cash injection from the U.S. Treasury, as well as an additional $118 billion asset backstop. BofA’s

We are barely into the New Year, but all signs are that two of the critical securities litigation trends of 2008 – the subprime/credit crisis related litigation wave and the Madoff-related litigation wave – remain significant factors and apparently will continue to drive new lawsuit filings as we head into 2009, as the recent lawsuit

Investors whose fortunes were tied to Bernard Madoff and his firm have already been counting (and mourning) their losses. But for the insurers that provided coverage for financial firms targeted in the Madoff-related litigation, the losses have only just begun to accumulate.

How high the insurance losses ultimately may run remains to be seen

As other commentators previously have noted (refer here), the pace of securities lawsuit filings increased significantly in 2008 compared to recent years. According to my tally, there were 224 new securities lawsuits filed in 2008. The 2008 total represents a 30% increase over the 172 securities lawsuits filed in 2007, and an 88% increase