Lex Machina Releases 2022 Securities Litigation Report

Case Filing Trends Reflect the Impacts of Multiple Factors Including Seminal Case Rulings, Case Migrations, and the Later Stages of the Pandemic

Menlo Park, CA — March 31, 2022 —Today, Lex Machina and LexisNexis release their annual Securities Litigation Report which examines securities litigation trends in federal district court. The report focuses on the three-year period from 2019 to 2021 and includes analysis of trends in cryptocurrency cases and the impact of COVID-19. The final section of the report takes a look at the analytics for two recent securities MDL master cases.

“We’re seeing several fascinating case filing trends over recent years, including general increases in securities, shareholder derivative, and cryptocurrency case filings, along with general decreases in securities class actions,” observed Laura Hopkins, Lex Machina’s Securities Legal Data Expert and author of the report. “There are numerous likely drivers of these case filing trends, including a key case decided by the Delaware Court of Chancery in 2016 that has had a ripple effect into the venue and type of securities cases being filed in federal court.”

Findings from the report include:

  • Securities case filings have increased steadily each year since 2016, with 2,670 securities cases filed in 2021 (an increase of 150% since 2016).
  • The Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision in In re Trulia Inc. Stockholder Litigation, 129 A.3d 884 (Del. Ch. 2016) likely initiated an ongoing migration of cases from state to federal court. This was likely one of the drivers behind the increases in general securities case filings and shareholder derivative case filings, as well as behind the decline in class action securities case filings.
  • The number of securities cases caused by COVID-19 that were filed each quarter dropped to 28 in Q4 of 2021, the lowest number of these cases filed in any quarter since the pandemic began in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Cryptocurrency case filings trended upward by increasing to 136 cases filed in 2021, the highest number recorded to date.
  • Over the three-year period from 2019 to 2021, the Southern District of New York heard the highest number of securities cases (1,979 cases), while Judge Stark from the District of Delaware heard the highest number of securities cases (248 cases). The top four most active judges were in the District of Delaware.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) was the most active plaintiff and plaintiffs’ counsel over the past three years.
  • The most active defendants in securities cases over the last three years were financial institutions and banks, with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC appearing as the defendant in the highest number of cases (64 cases).
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom represented defendants in the highest number of securities cases filed over the last three years, with 177 cases.
  • Securities MDL case filings have generally trended downward since 2009, with 305 filed in 2009 and 45 filed in 2021.

Lex Machina’s reports and software enable practitioners to devise data-driven litigation strategies. The metrics in this report may help readers assess potential counsel or competitors. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data for a competitive edge in litigation.

Register here for a copy of the report.

Securities Report Webcast
Lex Machina is hosting a webcast to discuss the report on March 31, 2022 at noon ET/9am PT with Rachel Fritzler (Partner in litigation at Kirkland & Ellis), Laura Hopkins (Legal Data Expert at Lex Machina and report author), hosted by Joshua Harvey (Manager of the Customer Success Team). Register for the event or view a recording.

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 10,500 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. The company provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, law firms, parties, and other critical information across 17 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina was named “2021 Legal Technology Trailblazer” (National Law Journal Trailblazer Awards, 2021), Winner of the “Media Excellence” Award for Analytics/Big Data (13th Annual Media Excellence Award, 2021), “Best Decision Management Solution” (AI Breakthrough Awards, 2019), and “Disruptor of the Year” (Changing Lawyer Awards, 2019). Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics. For more information, please visit www.lexmachina.com.