securities class action litigation

As has been well-documented on this site, 2017 was an extraordinary year for securities class action lawsuit filings, with a record number of new lawsuits filed at a record rate. Among the important contributing factors to the significant volume of securities suit filings during the year was the volume of lawsuits filed against life sciences companies. The significance of the litigation activity against biopharma companies, a subset of the overall life sciences sector, was the subject of a detailed and precise analysis in a guest post earlier this week.

There is still the question of the meaning of large volume of litigation involving life sciences companies generally.  According to the latest annual analysis from the Dechert law firm, the number of securities lawsuits filed against life sciences companies in 2017 increased 30% from the previous year, and increased more than 225% from only five years earlier. The law firm’s February 8, 2018 report entitled “Developments in Securities Fraud Class Actions Against U.S. Life Sciences Companies: 2017 Edition” can be found here.
Continue Reading A Detailed Look at 2017 Securities Litigation Involving Life Sciences Companies

For the second straight year, securities class action lawsuit filings reached record levels in 2017, according to the January 30, 2018 report from Cornerstone Research. According to the report, entitled “Securities Class Action Filings: 2017 Year in Review” (here), securities suit filings during the year reached “unprecedented levels” and companies on U.S. exchanges were more likely to be the subject of a securities suit than in any previous year. Cornerstone Research’s January 30, 2018 press release about the report can be found here. My own analysis of the 2017 securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: 2017 Securities Lawsuit Filings at “Unprecedented Levels”

According to a January 29, 2018 report from NERA Economic Consulting, there was “an explosion” of U.S. federal court securities class action litigation filing in 2017, as new securities suits were filed at a “record pace.” The report, entitled “Record Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2017 Full-Year Review,” can be found here. NERA’s January 27, 2018 press release regarding the report can be found here. My analysis of the 2017 securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here.
Continue Reading NERA: 2017 Securities Suits Filed at “Record Pace”

More securities class action lawsuits were filed in 2017 than in any year since 2001, in significant part because of the substantial number of federal court merger objection lawsuit filings during the year. But even disregarding the merger suits and looking only at the traditional securities lawsuits, the number of lawsuit filings was at the highest level since at least 2004.  While the elevated numbers of lawsuit filings is noteworthy, it is the litigation rate – that is, the number of securities suits relative to the number of public companies – that is most significant. According to my estimate, the litigation rate during 2017 was at all-time record levels.
Continue Reading Securities Suit Filings at Historically High Levels During 2017

In the current political environment, class action lawsuits are under assault, particularly in conservative legal circles. As Joe Patrice put it in an August 30, 2017 Above the Law post (here) , with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek summary of the conservative perspective on class actions, “The only thing every good conservative legal thinker knows is that class actions are greedy money grabs perpetrated by slimy lawyers that help no one and only frustrate the hard-working capitalists making America great again.”

Given this general outlook among conservatives about class action lawsuits it is all the more surprising and interesting that a conservative legal scholar has come forward with a robust defense of class actions. Vanderbilt Law Professor Brian Fitzpatrick, who clerked for Reagan appointee Dairmuid O’Scannlain on the 9th Circuit and for conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has published a paper entitled “Do Class Actions Deter Wrongdoing?” (here), as part of his forthcoming book, “The Conservative Case for Class Actions.” In Fitzpatrick’s view, class actions serve an important role because they deter corporate wrongdoing. Fitzpatrick’s analysis may not only be important for the ongoing debate about class actions in the U.S., but, as discussed further below, it may be even more important for the debate about class actions outside the U.S.
Continue Reading A Conservative’s Case in Support of Class Actions

Securities class action lawsuits were filed at a record pace in the first half of 2017, according to the latest report from Cornerstone Research. While the surge in securities suit filings is due in part to the rise of federal court merger objection lawsuit filings, both traditional securities suit filings and M&A filings were “at historic levels.” The Report, jointly prepared by Cornerstone Research in conjunction with the Stanford Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and entitled “Securities Class Action Filings – 2017 Mid-Year Assessment,” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s July 25, 2017 press release about the report can be found here. My own analysis of the first half securities suit filings can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: First Half Securities Suit Filings at Record Pace

It may come as little surprise that litigation has emerged in the wake of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London last month. Some may find it surprising, however, that among the lawsuits arising from the London building fire is a securities class action suit filed in the United States. The lawsuit is just the latest example of the follow-on securities suit, a phenomenon that, as discussed below, is one of several factors that helps explain the current elevated pace of securities class action lawsuit filings in the U.S.
Continue Reading Turning Events into Securities Suits

gavel2Thirteen of the 100 all-time largest securities class action lawsuit settlements were finalized in 2016, the highest number of settlements during any one year period, according to a recent report from Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). Two of the 2016 settlements among the top 100 were among the eleven largest of all times. The report, which also ranks the plaintiffs’ law firms by the number of top 100 settlements in which they were involve, entitled “The Top 100 U.S. Settlements of All Time,” can be found here.
Continue Reading Record Number of Settlements Added to Top 100 Securities Suits Settlement List in 2016

pwcLargely driven by a “dramatic” increase in the number of federal court merger objection lawsuits, securities class action litigation filings rose to the highest level ever in 2016, according to PwC’s most recent annual securities litigation report. The report also noted that for the first time securities litigation rose though the stock market performance during the year did not, contrary to prior patterns. The April 2017 report, entitled “A Rising Tide or a Rogue Wave? 2016 Securities Litigation Study,” can be found here.
Continue Reading PwC Annual Study Reports Record Number of Securities Suits

rising numbersSecurities class action lawsuit filings have been going crazy. Securities suit filings during the first quarter 2017 set a pace that if continued would mean an unprecedented number of securities lawsuit by year end. But even more significant than the sheer number of lawsuits is the rate of litigation. The percentage of listed companies sued in the first quarter, if annualized, would mean that U.S. public companies are being sued at four times the long-term historical rate. As discussed below, three factors account for much of the upsurge in securities suit filings.
Continue Reading You Need to Know This: YTD Securities Class Action Lawsuit Filings are Off the Charts