2021 Securities Litigation Year in Review

During 2021, securities case filings fell for the second consecutive year and, for the first time since 2016, fewer than 300 federal securities class actions were filed. Despite the ongoing pandemic, the number of announced settlements of securities cases was up substantially in 2021, with 116 approved monetary class action settlements totaling $3.5 billion. The 2021 settlements include one mega-settlement of more than $1 billion and a number of other large settlements. Case filings involving COVID-19, SPACs, and cryptocurrencies continued to trend upward in 2021, and we address important developments relating to securities litigation in those sectors. 

Our 2021 Securities Litigation Year in Review focuses on significant securities-related decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts, including the much-anticipated decision by the Supreme Court in the Goldman Sachs case, which expands the arguments available to securities fraud defendants at class certification. There was also notable activity in the federal appellate courts on key issues involving scienter, loss causation, and opinion statements following the Supreme Court's landmark Omnicare decision. We have also noted select important decisions by state courts in litigation against companies and their officers and directors.

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