Securities Class Action Lawsuit Filings Through 3rd Quarter Remain On Pace For Above Average Year

Securities Class Action Lawsuit Filings Through 3rd Quarter Remain On Pace For Above Average Year

Securities class action lawsuit filings continued to accumulate during the third quarter of 2011, and the filing levels remain on pace for an above average year of securities class action litigation. As was the case in earlier quarters this year, the third quarter filing level was significantly buoyed by merger-related litigation and by lawsuits involving U.S.-listed Chinese companies, although to a lesser extent than prior quarters. There are some other interesting trends emerging as well.

By my count, there were 49 new securities class action lawsuits filed in the third quarter of 2011, bringing the year to date total through September 30 to 154. (Please see below for some note about "counting "and the reasons my count may differ from other published tallies.) The third quarter filing levels held steady with the number in the second quarter of 2011, when 49 lawsuits were also filed. The 154 filings year to date implies an annual filing total of about 205, which would be above the 1997-2009 average of 195.

The two most significant factors in the securities lawsuit filings during the first nine months of the year are merger-related lawsuits and lawsuits involving U.S.-listed Chinese companies. Of the 154 federal securities lawsuits filed through September 30, 47 (30.51%) were merger-related. Non-U.S. companies were named as defendants in 43 of the securities lawsuits (27.9%) filed during the first three quarters, of which 32 involved U.S. listed Chinese companies (20.79%).

Though the merger-related filings and lawsuits against U.S.-listed Chinese companies both continued to accumulate in the third quarter, both trends were diminished in the third quarter compared to the year's first half. During the third quarter, 11 of the 49 lawsuit filings (22.54%) were merger-related, and 6 of the 49 filings (12.24%) involved U.S.-listed Chinese companies, both figures down compared to the year to date as a whole.  

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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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