Securities Cases on Downslope

Securities lawyers were not quite as busy during the second quarter of 2009 as lawsuits plummeted from 221 during the first quarter to 140, according to Advisen’s Master Significant Case and Action Database data.

An Advisen news release about the second-quarter data indicated that securities fraud and fiduciary breach allegations were contained in a large number of the new cases.

Securities class action suits were just a hair higher than the recent low of 139 filed in 2006. The top billing in Q2 went to securities fraud suits with 51 cases filed. Securities class actions shared the second spot with breach of fiduciary duties cases in the second quarter, which also posted 37 suits filed, down from 70 the quarter before.

Madoff suits accounted for 11% of all securities cases in the second quarter at 15 suits, down from 24% the quarter before (52). The sub-prime/credit crisis had a strong proportionate showing, directly resulting in 16% of securities cases, but the total number dwindled to 23 cases compared to 45 in the first quarter.

Advisen said on an annualized basis, securities suits filed in the second quarter of 2009 were at 560 cases, representing a 37% drop from an annualized Q1 of 884 cases (see “Madoff-Related Suits Main Cause of Litigation Surge“), but an increase of 8% from 518 cases filed in 2008. Looking at the full first half of 2009, the annualized suits filed, at a robust 722 cases, remained a recent high.

The full Advisen report is available here.