With fewer opportunities to bring new cases over the financial
crisis, many shareholder plaintiffs have redirected their aim to
corporate transactions, bringing a flood of class actions over
mergers and acquisitions in 2011, according to a report released
Wednesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
"You can pretty much expect that there's going to be shareholder
litigation on at least half of the mergers coming down the pike,"
said Sherrie Raiken Savett, a partner with plaintiffs firm Berger
& Montague PC. "They're very easy to bring."
Largely because of the M&A cases and an increase in suits
filed against foreign issuers - 61 cases - overall securities class
action activity was up 10 percent in 2011. A total of 191 federal
securities cases were filed in 2011, up from 174 in 2010 and 157 in
"But without the M&A cases, classic securities class actions
were at historic lows," Savett said.
While federal cases against financial firms continued to
dwindle, Savett said plaintiffs might bring a last slate of suits
over the financial crisis in state court, especially in New York,
where longer statutes of limitation allow for later filings.
"You might see a flurry of fraud cases by the end of this year,"
Savett said. "Then, I think, the new financial crisis cases will be
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