NERA and Cornerstone Research (in cooperation with Stanford Law School’s Securities Class Action Clearinghouse) recently issued their respective year-end assessments of securities litigation for 2010. (Their findings and analyses are summarized in press releases here: NERA, Cornerstone.) Both report that new federal securities class action filings reversed their first-half 2010 decline. (We previously reported on trends for the first half of 2010 here.) One notable development was the increase in class actions by shareholders challenging the fairness of proposed mergers at a pace ahead of the increase in merger activity, suggesting a shift in focus and resources among the plaintiffs’ bar as credit crisis litigation begins to wind down.