Securities Suit Filings at Historically High Levels During 2017

More securities class action lawsuits were filed in 2017 than in any year since 2001, in significant part because of the substantial number of federal court merger objection lawsuit filings during the year. But even disregarding the merger suits and looking only at the traditional securities lawsuits, the number of lawsuit filings was at the highest level since at least 2004.  While the elevated numbers of lawsuit filings is noteworthy, it is the litigation rate – that is, the number of securities suits relative to the number of public companies – that is most significant. According to my estimate, the litigation rate during 2017 was at all-time record levels.   Numbers of Securities Lawsuit Filings: There were 415 securities class action lawsuits filed in 2017, the highest annual number of securities suit filings since 2001, when there were 498 filings. (Because the 2001 figures were inflated by the wave of IPO laddering lawsuits that year, the 2001…

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