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Cornerstone Study Tracks Increase In Shareholder Litigation Involving Mergers And Acquisitions

On April 25, 2012, Cornerstone Research released a report written by Stanford Business School Professor Robert Daines and Cornerstone Research Principal Olga Koumrian entitled "Recent Developments in Shareholder Litigation Involving Mergers and Acquisitions - March 2012 Update" (here). This memorandum is the latest in a series of recent papers documenting the growth in merger related litigation in the United States. The research described in this paper is consistent with the prior reports but it also contains some new additional insights.

The report opens with a number of observations about the incidence of litigation in connection with mergers valued at $500 million or greater during the period 2007 to 2001. The report shows that while in 2007 only about 53% of such deals attracted litigation, by 2011 almost all deals (96%) of those deals attracted litigation.

In addition, with respect to the deals of that size that attracted litigation during that period, the number of lawsuit per deal also increased between 2007 and 2011. Thus, while in 2007, the average number of lawsuits per litigated deal was 2.8, in 2011, the average number of lawsuits per litigated deal was 6.2. The report also shows that these trends were not limited just to the largest deals; during 2010 and 2011, for deals valued between $100 million and $500 million, 85% of the deals attracted litigation, and the average number of lawsuits per litigated deal was 4.1.

The absolute count of lawsuits involving deals with values of $500 million or greater also nearly doubled during that period, with 289 lawsuits filed in 2007 and 502 lawsuits filed in 2011.

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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.

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