Archive for March, 2010

Cornerstone’s Class Actions Reviews 2009

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Last week and in January, the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, in cooperation with Cornerstone Research, published two annual securities class action reviews: Filings 2009 and Settlements 2009, respectively. (press releases: filings, settlements)

Unfortunately, the settlements review does not separately discuss settlements of cases in which the defendant is a non-US issuer. (Such as Taiwan’s Himax Technologies Inc.’s. (NASDAQ:HIMX; settlement notice)) The findings of this review are covered by The National Law Journal, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, The 10b-5 Daily and others. Two main findings, in short: 103 settlements, up from 97 in 2008, and an increase in the average settlement value to $37 million, up from $28 million.

The filings review however does provide a brief note and a statistic on non-US issuers. Its Class Action Filings-Foreign Index, indicating the number of filings against foreign issuers relative to total filings, fell to 12.4% (21 of 169) in 2009 from 13.5% in 2008 and 16.4% in 2007. It is expected this ratio is to decline further next year:

[M]any recent filings against foreign [non-US] issuers were related to the credit crisis. As the credit crisis-related activity continues to subside, lawsuits against foreign issuers may fall back to the levels observed before the crisis. (p.11)

(Note, though not a new filing in 2009, an action against Vodafone Plc (LON/NYSE:VOD) that was dismissed end of 2008 was re-opened early 2009, to be dismissed again in January this year.)