As I have noted in recent posts (most recently here), a few of the many SPAC-related securities lawsuits that have been filed in the last 18 months are so are reaching the dismissal motion stage, and in at least some cases the dismissal motions are being denied, at least in part. In the latest example, the federal judge presiding over the SPAC-related securities class action lawsuit involving commercial space travel firm Momentus and Stable Road Acquisition Corp, its SPAC partner, as well as the SPAC sponsor and certain SPAC executives, has largely denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss. As discussed below, the securities suit may be unusual in that it was only filed after the SEC launched a securities enforcement action against the same entities and individuals and involving the same allegations; however, the court’s rulings nevertheless may have some implications for the many other pending SPAC-related suits.
Continue Reading Securities Suit Against SPAC and SPAC Merger Target Largely Survives Dismissal Motion

As readers of this blog well know, over the last 18 months or so there has been an onslaught of SPAC-related securities class action litigation. Most of these cases have only just been filed and therefore have not yet reached the motion to dismiss stage. However, a number of the earlier filed cases are now reaching that dismissal motion stage, and although the results so far are mixed, some of the cases are surviving the initial pleading hurdles, at least in part.

On July 1 ,2022, and in the latest example of a SPAC-related securities suit surviving the dismissal motion at least in part, Northern District of California Judge Susan Illston partially denied the motion to dismiss in the SPAC-related securities suit filed against Velodyne Lidar and certain of the executives of the SPAC into which Velodyne merged. As discussed below, there are several interesting features of Judge Illston’s opinion, a copy of which can be found here.
Continue Reading SPAC-Related Securities Suit Partially Survives Dismissal Motion

As readers of this blog know, as a follow-on effect to the massive wave of SPAC activity in the U.S., there has also been a surge of securities class action lawsuits involving companies that engaged in SPAC transactions. Many of these suits have only just been filed, so it is too early to tell how they will fare. But some of the cases are now reaching the motion to dismiss stage. If the recent motion to dismiss ruling in the SPAC-related lawsuit against mobile gaming technology company Skillz is any indication, many of these cases could encounter substantial hurdles as they go forward.
Continue Reading Motion to Dismiss Granted in SPAC-Related Securities Suit Against Gaming Company

The number of securities class action lawsuit filings in the first half of 2022 remained at the lower levels that prevailed last year and below the more elevated levels that prevailed during the period 2017-2020. Though the number of securities class action lawsuit filings in the year’s first six months is below the recent higher levels, the number of suits filed is still consistent with long-term averages. The difference in the number of filings so far this year and the elevated numbers during the recent period were both largely due to merger objection lawsuit filings patterns.
Continue Reading Pace of Securities Suit Filings in First Half 2022 Slightly Below Last Year’s Annual Level

According to a new report about SPACs and SPAC-related securities litigation, even though the market for SPAC IPOs may have cooled in recent months, SPAC-related litigation has “yet to heat up.” Indeed, according to the report, litigation involving the 977 SPACs that completed IPOs during the period January 2019 and April 2022 “may continue to grow over the next few years.” The report, which is entitled “SPAC Federal Securities Litigation Analysis” and was written by David P. Abel, Managing Attorney, U.S. Market Advisors Law Group PLLC, can be found here.
Continue Reading Further SPAC-Related Securities Litigation Filings Likely in the Months Ahead?

In an article published last month, the Wall Street Journal chronicled the difficulties that many of the SPACs launched during the SPAC IPO frenzy in late 2020 and early 2021 are having trying to identify a suitable merger target. Many of the SPACs, the article suggested, might be forced to liquidate; still others, the article suggested, could “pursue low-quality companies” as the SPAC sponsors seek to “stave off possible losses.” I had occasion to recall the Journal article as I read the allegations in a newly filed SPAC-related shareholder derivative suit. The new lawsuit illustrates the one of the types of litigation risk some SPACs could face as they mull last minute mergers before the approaching end of their 24-month search period.
Continue Reading Derivative Suit Alleges SPAC Merged with Company Outside the Targeted Industry

As I have noted in recent posts (here, for example), SPAC-related securities suit filings continue to accumulate and represent a significant current securities litigation phenomenon. But while the number of suits continues to mount, relatively few of these cases have yet reached the dismissal stage. In a recent ruling, however, the defendant company’s motion to dismiss in a SPAC-related securities suit was substantially denied as to the company itself and its top executives. In particular, the claims based on allegations that the company, Romeo Power, and its senior officials made supply chain misrepresentations were sustained, though the related claims against three former executives of the SPAC with which Romeo had merged were dismissed. A copy of the June 2, 2022 opinion in the case can be found here.
Continue Reading Dismissal Denied in SPAC-Related Securities Suit Alleging Supply Chain Misrepresentations

In the latest SPAC-related securities class action lawsuit filing, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities suit against IonQ, a quantum computing company that became a publicly traded company in September 2021 through a merger with a publicly traded SPAC. As is the case with many of the SPAC-related securities suits, the new lawsuit against IonQ follows the publication of a critical short-seller report about the company and its technology. A copy of the complaint, filed on May 31, 2022, can be found here.
Continue Reading Quantum Computing Company Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit After Short-Seller Report

As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), one of the most significant recent securities litigation trends has been the number of filings against post-SPAC-merger publicly traded companies. In the latest of these SPAC-related suit filings, last week a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against Arquit Quantum, a U.K.-based cybersecurity firm that merged with a SPAC in September 2021. Though this latest lawsuit is in many ways representative of the emerging SPAC-related securities litigation, it also has some distinct features as well, as discussed further below. A copy of the May 6, 2022 complaint in the case can be found here.
Continue Reading U.K-Based Cybersecurity Firm Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

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