The Growing Costs of Merger Objection Litigation

As most readers are aware, litigation involving objection to mergers and acquisitions transactions has been proliferating in recent years, to the point that virtually every deal draws at least one lawsuit. While many of these actions are nuisance lawsuits, they are not without their costs. Indeed, according to one recent study, the costs to defend and settle these suits are growing.   As reported in a July 10, 2018 press release from Chubb (here), the average total cost associated with a settled merger-objection lawsuit increased 63% in the four year period between 2012 and 2016. The total cost includes attorneys’ fees and cash settlement amounts. In 2012, this figure was $2.8 million. By 2016, the figure had grown to $4.5 million. The average amount for the four year period from 2012 to 2016 was $3.6 million. Of these costs, only about 39% represented amounts going to shareholders. 61% of these amounts went to plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys in the form of…

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