Editor’s Note: John Gould
is Senior Vice President at Cornerstone Research. This post is based on the introduction of a Cornerstone Research report titled Securities Class Action Filings: 2011 Year in Review.
For more information, contact Mr. Gould or Alexander Aganin
. An updated version of the report is available here
Federal securities fraud class action filing activity increased in 2011. For the full year of 2011, there were 188 filings compared with 176 in 2010. The number of class actions filed was 3.1 percent below the annual average of 194 filings observed between 1997 and 2010 (Figure 1). Filing activity in the second half of the year equaled the activity in the first half. A total of 94 federal securities fraud class actions (filings, class actions, or cases) were filed in both the first and second halves of 2011. Building on a trend first seen last year, 43 of the filings in 2011 were associated with merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions.
Litigation against Chinese issuers listed on U.S. exchanges through reverse mergers represented a major component of filings activity during 2011, although evidence indicates that this type of litigation is subsiding. In 2011, 33 such class actions were filed, constituting 17.6 percent of all federal securities class actions. This activity occurred predominantly in the first half of the year when 24 of these actions were filed; only nine were brought in the last six months, including five filed in the last three months of the year. In 2010, there were nine such class actions filed. The report illustrates the differences in allegations between Chinese reverse merger filings since 2010 and other Classic Filings, and indicates that complaints relating to Chinese reverse mergers statistically are more likely to allege violations of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and financial restatements and are less likely to allege insider trading.
…continue reading: Securities Class Action Filings in 2011