Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2015 Full-Year Review

25 January 2016
By Svetlana Starykh and Stefan Boettrich

In the latest edition of NERA’s annual study, Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2015 Full-Year Review, we examine trends in securities class action filings and resolutions in the 2015 calendar year. New findings discussed in this year’s report include changes in the time from the alleged fraud to the filing of the case, and in class period durations.

This year’s report includes an overview of NERA’s predicted settlement model, which is based on our updated statistical analyses of hundreds of securities class action settlements.

2015 report highlights include:

  • A jump in the number of federal class action filings to 234, a level not seen since 2008.
  • Firms in the Electronic Technology and Technology Services sector saw the greatest number of class action cases filed against them, which totaled 52. This represented 22% of all filings and was a 90% increase over the 2014 total.
  • 19% of securities class actions filed had a defendant in the Financial sector, down sharply from 29% in 2014.
  • Class periods were the shortest on record—the median falling to 310 days—although cases filed were not necessarily smaller in size.
  • Cases were filed faster than in prior years, with the median time between the end of the alleged class period and filing date shortened to a record 11 days, down almost 40% since 2014.
  • Six out of the 10 largest settlements involved Financial sector defendants, and stemmed from litigation related to the financial crisis.

This year’s report builds on our work in analyzing trends in securities class actions for more than 20 years, and underscores NERA’s commitment to offering advice in the economics of securities, finance, and commerce.