Cornerstone’s Class Actions Reviews 2009

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.)

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