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Cornerstone Research has published a new study on trends in securities class action settlements concluding that the total number of securities class action settlements, the total amount of settlement dollars, and the average settlement value, fell to their lowest levels in 10 years in 2011.  Michael J. de la Merced of the New York Times authored this article summarizing the study’s key findings and analyzing the potential causes of the decrease.

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Yesterday, Cornerstone Research published its annual report titled Securities Class Action Settlements–2010 Review and Analysis.  Among the findings in this year’s report:

  • The number of approved securities class action settlements was at a 10-year low
  • The total dollar value of settlements decreased 17% from 2009 to 2010,
  • The median settlement amount was up 40%, but the average settlement was down slightly, reportedly a result of a decline in “very large” settlements.
  • The percentage of settled cases with a related SEC settlement was up to 30% in 2010 as compared to 20% in 2009.
  • The participation of institutional investors in class actions continued to increase, continuing a trend since the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act in 1995.
  • Settlements of cases involving alleged violations of generally accepted accounting principles were up over 2009.

The report on settlements follows a similar report on securities class action filings, published in January.  Both reports are worth a close read.

The links above are to the Cornerstone summaries of the reports.  The reports themselves are available for download here.

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