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Increase In Accounting Class Action Securities Filings Fueled By Chinese Reverse Merger Cases

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the enactment of The Sarbanes Oxley Act, Cornerstone Research has released a study of the filing trends and settlements of securities class action lawsuits involving accounting allegations. The May 2012 report entitled "Accounting Class Action Filings and Settlements: 2011 Review and Analysis" can be found here. A summary of the report's findings can be found here.

According to the report, the share of securities class action lawsuit filings involving accounting allegations increased in 2011, compared to the prior year. In 2011, the number of accounting cases increased in both number and as a proportion of all securities lawsuit filings, compared with 2010. The number of accounting cases increased to 70 in 2011, compared to only 46 in 2010, and the proportion of total case filings represented by accounting cases increased from 26 to 37 percent.

This increase in the number of accounting cases in 2011 was largely driven by the increase in Chinese reverse merger cases during 2011. The Chinese reverse merger cases "are significantly more likely to involve restatements of financial restatements, and as a result, plaintiffs are more likely to allege violation of generally accepted accounting principals" in those cases compared to other securities class actions.

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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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