In the latest edition of NERA’s annual study, Trends in Canadian Securities Class Actions: 2015 Update, we examine trends in securities class action filings and resolutions in the 2015 calendar year. The study's co-authors, Vice President Bradley A. Heys and Affiliated Consultant Mark L. Berenblut, report that resolutions of Canadian securities class actions in 2015 far outpaced new filings, with seven Canadian securities class actions being settled or tentatively settled, and a record-high six cases dismissed. Only four cases were filed during 2015, compared to the 13 cases filed in 2014, and 11 in 2013.

Additional 2015 report highlights include:

  • Defendants in the seven cases settled in 2015 agreed to pay a total of approximately $107 million—an average of $15.3 million and median of $11 million. These figures compare to the average settlement of $71.9 million (which is heavily influenced by a small number of very large settlements) and $11.4 median settlement from the period 1997 to 2015.
  • There are 52 unresolved Canadian securities class actions as of 31 December 2015, representing more than $55 billion in total claims.
  • Each of the four new filings in 2015 involves claims under the secondary market civil liability provisions of the provincial securities acts (“Statutory Secondary Market cases”), compared to 11 such filings in 2014 and 10 in 2013.
  • Three of the four new securities class action cases were filed in Ontario. Historically, approximately 78% of new cases involved a filing in Ontario and 25% in Quebec.
  • Two of the four new cases filed in 2015 also involve parallel class actions filed in the US.
  • Of the 68 Statutory Secondary Market cases filed to date, five (7.4%) have been dismissed as of the end of 2015.