Securities Class Action Filings Remain High

While the credit crisis continued to drive securities class action litigation in 2009, the pace of these cases has declined gradually throughout the year. AÂ  recently released report by NERA Economic Consulting finds that over 60 credit crisis cases were filed through November 30 but that credit crisis filings in the first half of 2009 outnumbered second-half filings by approximately two to one. To date in 2009, some 30 percent of cases filed were related to the credit crisis, compared to over 40 percent of cases in 2008, NERA says. Securities class action filings in total are expected to reach 235 cases in 2009, down from 253 filings in 2008, but still high compared to the 130 filings in 2006, before the start of the credit crisis. A new source of securities class actions is also emerging. According to NERA a new litigation phenomenon in 2009 is a wave of filings on behalf of investors in various exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In these cases, investors typically allege that the defendants failed to disclose risks and the probability of potential losses associated with the investments. Some 13 ETF-related securities class action cases were filed between August and November 2009, NERA says. Further analysis of the NERA findings can be found at Kevin LaCroix’s D&O Diary blog.

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