SPAC Cases Lead Securities Class-Action Filings: Cornerstone Research

 Commentary  July 27, 2022 at 07:44 AM  Share & Print

Plaintiffs filed 110 new securities class-action lawsuits in federal and state courts in the first half of 2022 — a slight increase from the 107 cases filed in the second half of 2021 — with cases involving special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, topping the list, according to Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities’ midyear assessment.

The report, Securities Class Action Filings — 2022 Midyear Assessment, found that the 18 SPAC filings in the first half of 2022 are on pace to exceed 2021’s all-time high of 33.

“Despite the rate of SPAC mergers slowing dramatically due to increased regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the number of filings related to SPACs remains elevated,” said Alexander Aganin, a co-author and Cornerstone Research senior vice president. “Notably, federal SPAC filings with Section 11 allegations in initial complaints have reappeared for the first time since the second half of 2019.”

Cryptocurrency-related filings are on pace to reach an all-time high, according to the report, as regulatory oversight has increased.

“Crypto is the hot growth sector in securities litigation, and will be generating high-stakes complex questions for years to come,” added Joseph Grundfest, director of the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and a former SEC commissioner.

“Plaintiffs will want to expand the domain of crypto instruments that are categorized as securities and expand the geographic reach of U.S. securities law to recover from parties domiciled outside the U.S. Billions of dollars in real money, not Dogecoin, will be at stake, and securities law is currently unsettled as it might apply to many crypto assets.”

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