The number of securities class action lawsuit filings involving accounting allegations increased slightly in 2022 compared to 2021, but the number of 2022 accounting-related securities suit filings remained below the long-term annual average of such filings, according to the latest annual report from Cornerstone Research. At the same time, the total number, aggregate total value, and median and average values of accounting-related securities suit settlements increased in 2022 compared to the 2021. The Cornerstone Research report, which is entitled “Accounting Class Action Filings and Settlements: 2022 Review and Analysis,” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s April 12, 2023, press release about the report can be found here.Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: Accounting Related Case Filings and Settlements Increased in 2022
On October 26, 2022, the SEC adopted final rules implementing the Dodd-Frank Act’s requirement for issuers to recover from current and former executives compensation that was erroneously paid due to an accounting restatement. The final rules require securities exchanges to adopt listing standards that will require listed companies to implement and disclose policies requiring the erroneously paid compensation to be recovered, on a “no fault” basis – that is, without regard to whether any misconduct occurred or whether an executive bears responsibility. The SEC’s Release covers a broad range of topics, including — importantly for readers of this blog — considerations relating to indemnification or insurance for the clawed-back compensation. The SEC’s October 26, 2022 press release about the new rules can be found here. The SEC’s fact sheet about the new rules can be found here. The SEC’s Release document (referred to below as the “Release”) can be found here.
Continue Reading Insurance Implications of the SEC’s New Compensation Clawback Rules
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
When senior SEC staff issued a statement in April saying that most warrants issued by SPACs should be treated as liabilities rather than as equity, it triggered a huge slowdown in the previously hot SPAC IPO market. It also forced many existing SPACs to review the way they had previously accounted for warrants; in some instances, individual SPAC companies concluded that they needed to restate their prior financial statements. Now, in a development that highlights the risks that these seemingly obscure accounting issues present, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against Virgin Galactic Holdings, a post-SPAC-merger company that restated its financials based on the warrant accounting issue. The May 28, 2021 complaint, a copy of which can be found here, alleges that the company had previously improperly accounted for its warrants, and that the prior accounting treatment violated the securities laws.
Continue Reading Virgin Galactic Hit with Securities Suit Over SPAC Warrant Accounting Issue
On July 1, 2015, a divided SEC voted 3-2 to propose rules directing the securities exchanges to adopt standards requiring listed companies to adopt policies requiring the companies’ executive officers to pay back incentive-based compensation in the event the company restates its financials for the year in which the compensation was awarded. The proposed rules,…
Both the number of restatements and the number of companies reporting restatements are declining according to a new study. The number of restatements has been declining for three years now, and the number has declined materially since the figures peaked in 2006, both because of better controls and changing standards.
The study, by…
If the facts don’t fit, you must remit. That seems to be the view of an increasing number of companies, as they have adopted provisions requiring repayment of executive compensation found to have been based on incorrect financial statements.
The concept of compensation clawbacks was actually built into the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Section 304 requires…