Cornerstone Research recently released its “Securities Class Action Filings: 2015 Midyear Assessment,” which tracks the number and type of securities class action lawsuits filed nationwide each semiannual period. In the first half of 2015, plaintiffs filed 85 new federal securities class actions, which is an 8% decrease from the 92 new federal securities class actions filed in the second half of 2014 and below the historical average of 94 new class actions filed each semiannual period between 1997 and 2014. Of those 85 new class actions in 2015, five were filed in district courts located within the Fifth Circuit. This is the same number as were filed in the first half of 2014 and is also in line with the 6% historical trend, between 1997 and 2014, of the percentage of nationwide securities class actions that are filed in the Fifth Circuit.
Unlike the Fifth Circuit’s steady numbers, the Ninth Circuit saw 38 new securities class actions filed within its district courts, which is 18 more than were filed in the second half of 2014. This increase is likely the result of increased filings against technology firms. In the first half of 2015, technology firms saw seven more class actions filed against them than in the second half of 2014. Filings against industrial firms also increased substantially, while filings against energy firms were reduced by 50%. Also of note, federal securities class actions brought against foreign-headquartered companies accounted for 24% of all filings in the first half of 2015. That is the second-highest percentage of class actions brought against foreign-headquartered companies since 1997.
It appears that the Supreme Court’s two Halliburton rulings, both of which overturned more restrictive standards in the Fifth Circuit, have yet to impact the relatively low number of securities class actions filed in the Fifth Circuit. Read the full Cornerstone Research report.