Cornerstone Research recently released its “Securities Class Action Filings: 2016 Midyear Assessment,” which tracks the number and type of securities class action lawsuits filed nationwide each semiannual period. In the first half of 2016, plaintiffs filed 119 new federal securities class actions nationwide, which is a 17% increase from the 102 new federal securities class actions filed in the second half of 2015 and a 38% increase from the 87 new federal securities class actions filed in the first half of 2015. The number of filings in the first half of 2016 is also above the historical average of 94 new federal securities class actions filed each semiannual period between 1997 and 2015.

Of those 119 new federal securities class actions filed in 2016, only four were filed in district courts located within the Fifth Circuit, which is down from the 10 that were filed in the Fifth Circuit in the second half of 2015. The Fifth Circuit filings accounted for approximately 3% of the nationwide federal securities class actions, down from the 6% historical trend, between 1997 and 2015. The Ninth Circuit continued to lead the way with 38 new federal securities class actions filed within its district courts, 9 more than were filed in the second half of 2015. Filings in the Second Circuit were also up significantly as compared to the two previous semiannual periods.

In the first half of 2016, new federal securities class actions filed against companies in the financial, consumer, and industrial sectors increased as compared to second half of 2015. In contrast, there were fewer new federal securities class actions filed against technology, communications, energy, and utilities firms than in the previous semiannual period. Click to view the full Cornerstone Research report.