Cornerstone Research released its report (here) on its review and analysis of 2009's securities class action settlements. Of note, in 2009:

  • there were 103 court-approved securities class actions settlements;
  • as compared to 2008, approved settlements increased from 97 in 2008 to 103 in 2009;
  • approved settlements increased in total value by more than 35%, from $2.753 billion in 2008 to $3.830 billion in 2009;
  • the median settlement amount did not change from 2008 to 2009, remaining at $8 million;
  • the average settlement amount rose from 2008 levels of $28.4 million to $37.2 million in 2009;
  • the 2009 average settlement amount remains below the average of $55.4 million for settlements through 2008 (if the largest four settlements from 1996 to 2008 are removed from the calculation, the 2009 average settlement is higher than the adjusted $34.4 million average for the 1996 to 2008 period).

As to future projections, Cornerstone anticipates that settlement amounts are likely to increase as the cases brought in connection with the 2008 stock market decline and surrounding credit-crisis begin to settle.