Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2017 Full-Year Review

29 January 2018
By. Stefan Boettrich and Svetlana Starykh

In the 25th anniversary edition of NERA’s annual study, Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation, we examine trends in securities class action filings and resolutions in 2017. New findings discussed in this year’s report include an increase in filings, again led by a doubling of merger-objection filings.

Highlights of the 2017 report include:

  • A record 432 federal securities class actions filed in 2017, the third straight year of growth, and a 44% increase over 2016.
  • Federal merger-objection filings more than doubled for the second consecutive year to 197 in 2017. 
  • A total of 353 securities class actions were resolved in 2017—a post-PSLRA high. Of those, 148 cases settled, coming close to the 2007 record of 150.
  • The average settlement in 2017 fell to less than $25 million, a drop of roughly two-thirds compared to 2016.
  • Aggregate NERA-defined Investor Losses were $334 billion in 2017, a 50% increase over the five-year average.
  • Aggregate plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and expenses were $467 million, a drop of roughly 65% to a level not seen since 2004.

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

Recent court citations of NERA’s Recent Trends publications: 

  • US Supreme Court in California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, Inc., 582 U. S. ____ (2017).
  • Beaver County Employees’ Retirement Fund v. Tile Shop Holdings, Inc. No. 0: 14-cv-00786-ADM-TNL (D. Minn. June 14, 2017).
  • In Re Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 3: 14-CV-3799 (D.N.J. Nov. 15, 2016).
  • New York State Teachers’ Retirement System v. General Motors Company, Civil Case No. 14-11191 (E.D. Mich. May 19, 2016).
  • Phillips v. Triad Guaranty Inc., No. 1: 09CV71 (M.D.N.C. May 9, 2016).
  • Medoff v. CVS Caremark Corp., Civil No. 09-cv-554-JNL (D.R.I. Feb. 17, 2016).
  • Destefano v. Zynga, Inc., No. 12-cv-04007-JSC (N.D. Cal. Feb. 11, 2016).
  • In Re Viropharma Inc. Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 12-2714 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 25, 2016).
  • In Re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litig., 123 F. Supp. 3d 424 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 11, 2015).
  • In Re Indymac Mortgage-Backed Securities Lit., 94 F. Supp. 3d 517 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 24, 2015).