Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2016 Full-Year Review

23 January 2017
By Stefan Boettrich and Svetlana Starykh

In the latest edition of NERA’s annual study, Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2016 Full-Year Review, we examine trends in securities class action filings and resolutions in the 2016 calendar year. New findings discussed in this year’s report include the role that merger-objection cases played in driving a record number of securities class action cases.

Highlights of the 2016 report include:

  • A record 300 securities class actions were filed in US federal courts in 2016, a 32% increase over 2015. This growth was largely led by merger-objection filings, which totaled 88.
  • 113 securities class actions settled in 2016, the highest number observed since 2011, and a near-record 149 cases were dismissed.
  • The average settlement amount increased substantially for the second straight year, reaching $72 million in 2016, up by more than 35% compared to the 2015 figure.
  • Firms in the Health Technology and Services sector saw the greatest number of class action cases filed against them, with a total of 85 class action cases, or 28% of total filings. Finance sector filings made up 16% of the total in 2016.
  • Six out of the 10 largest settlements involved Finance sector defendants, as was the case in 2015.

This year’s report builds on our work in analyzing trends in securities class actions for more than 25 years, and underscores NERA’s commitment to offering advice in the economics of securities, finance, and commerce.