In my previous blog post, I noted that plaintiffs’ attorneys’ have been and are continuing to file SPAC-related securities class action suits,  and I also noted that the latest filings are targeting SPAC and SPAC merger entities that completed their IPOs in the early stages of the SPAC IPO frenzy in late 2020 and early 2021. As if to underscore this point, yesterday a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against a post-SPAC-merger smart home products technology company, based on alleged misrepresentations in the company’s warranty accruals. The new lawsuit represents the latest example of the SPAC-related securities litigation trend. A copy of the complaint in the new lawsuit can be found here.
Continue Reading SPAC-Related Securities Suit Hits Smart Building Products Tech Company

Regular readers know that I have been tracking SPAC-related securities class action lawsuits and other SPAC-related litigation. As I discuss in the second item below, the SPAC-related class actions have continued to be filed as the year has progressed. There have also been SPAC-related shareholder derivative lawsuits filed as well, but none quite like the derivative lawsuit filed this week on behalf of Wall Street investor William Ackerman’s SPAC vehicle, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd. against the SPAC’s directors and other defendants. The suit claims that the defendants structured massive compensation arrangements for the SPAC sponsor and the SPAC directors in violation of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Bill Ackman’s SPAC’s Directors Hit With Derivative Suit Over “Staggering” Compensation

Largely due to a “substantial reduction” in the number of merger objection lawsuit filings, as well as a decline in the number of Section 11 and 1933 Act securities class action filings, the number of federal and state court securities class action lawsuits filed in the first six months of 2021 “dropped considerably” compared to the second half of 2020, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research. Filings of core Section 10(b) suit filings were, however, only “down modestly.” The report, entitled “Securities Class Action Filings: 2021 Midyear Assessment,” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s July 28, 2021 press release about the report can be found here. My own analysis of the 1H21 federal court securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: Securities Suit Filings Declined in Year’s First Half

In the latest example of a post-SPAC-merger company getting hit with a securities class action lawsuit, the online sports gaming and betting company DraftKings has been sued in a securities suit involving alleged pre- and post-SPAC-merger activity of one of the merged companies. As discussed below, the new lawsuit is the latest SPAC-related securities suit based supposed revelations in a short-seller’s report. A copy of the plaintiff’s complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading DraftKings Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

In the latest SPAC-related securities class action lawsuit, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against a post-SPAC-acquisition biopharma company in which the plaintiff claims that the risk of the company’s post-merger clinical trial setback should have been unearthed in the pre-merger due diligence process. As discussed below, this lawsuit may prefigure some of the likely patterns for future SPAC-related securities litigation.
Continue Reading Post-SPAC Acquired Biopharma Firm Hit with Securities Suit

Barely six weeks into the new year, there have already been (according to the SPACInsider website) 127 Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) IPOs so far this year — that is, in less than a month and a half, there have already been more than 50% of the number of SPAC IPOs as there were in all 52 weeks of the record-setting 2020 SPAC offering year. The SPAC IPO extravaganza has many implications, but unquestionably among the many related consequences is that following-on to the wave of SPAC offerings is the possibility that we are about to see an increase in SPAC-related litigation.

Anyone interested in seeing what this coming litigation might look like will want to take review the securities class action complaint filed last week in the Middle District of Tennessee against Clover Health Investments, a health services firm became a publicly traded company in January 2021 through reverse merger with a SPAC from the SPAC IPO class of 2020. The February 5, 2021 complaint, a copy of which can be found here, alleges that the de-SPAC transaction-related documents and disclosures failed to disclose, among other things, that the acquisition target company was the subject of a DOJ investigation.
Continue Reading Securities Suit Alleges Failure to Disclose DOJ Investigation Before De-SPAC Transaction

In my recent survey of key 2020 D&O developments I highlighted the surge of SPAC IPOs last year and conjectured about the possible increase in the number of D&O claims that might arise following the transactions in which private companies merge into the public traded SPACs ( the so-called de-SPAC transaction). A securities suit filing this week demonstrates how these claims might well arise and does suggest we could indeed be in for an influx of securities suits and other D&O claims filed following de-SPAC transactions.
Continue Reading Post-SPAC Merger Company Hit with Post-Transaction Securities Suit  

The directors’ and officers’ liability environment is always changing, but 2020 was a particularly eventful year, with important consequences for the D&O insurance marketplace. The past year’s many developments also have significant implications for what may lie ahead in 2021 – and possibly for years to come.  I have set out below the Top Ten D&O Stories of 2020, with a focus on the future implications. Please note that on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 11:00 AM EST, my colleague Marissa Streckfus and I will be conducting a free, hour-long webinar in which we will discuss The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2020. Registration for the webinar can be found here. I hope you will please join us for the webinar.
Continue Reading The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2020

As I noted in a recent post, one of the most distinctive phenomena in the U.S. financial markets this year has been the tremendous amount of IPO activity involving Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). According to SPACInsider (here), there have been 243 SPAC IPOs so far in 2020 (as of December 22, 2020), raising total gross proceeds of over $81.3 billion. As I also noted in my prior post, lawsuits relating to SPACs are starting to accumulate. In the latest example of a securities suit relating to a SPAC transaction, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action against the surviving company following a SPACs acquisition of a target company; the complaint in the lawsuit names as defendants not only the CEO of the surviving company, but also the former president of the SPAC. As discussed below, this new lawsuit may have implications for possible future SPAC-related securities litigation in 2021, and possibly even beyond.
Continue Reading SPAC-Acquired Company Hit with Post-Acquisition Securities Suit

As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), there has been a wave of Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) offerings this year. And as I have also noted, with all of the SPAC offerings have come problems and concerns. As discussed in the following guest post from Carrie O’Neil, Doru Gavril, and Boris Feldman, the D&O insurance marketplace has struggled to respond to these developments, and a number of different approaches to SPAC transactions have emerged. Carrie is a Senior Vice President at CAC Specialty and serves as a product development leader and claims advocate within its Legal and Claims Practice. Doru is a partner at the Freshfields law firm. Boris is a partner and head of the U.S. Technology practice at Freshfields. A version of this article was published on A Fresh Take, Freshfields’ blog on M&A, litigation, and corporate governance. The article also appeared on the CAC Specialty blog, CACConnect, here. I would like to thank the authors 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 site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Mind the (SPAC) Gap