Cornerstone Research recently released its 2016 midyear assessment of federal securities class-actions filings. The report finds an increase in filings in the first half of 2016, with particular increases in M&A filings, filings against U.S.-exchange-listed companies and S&P 500 companies, and filings within both the Financial and Consumer Non-Cyclical sectors.

Below are some key takeaways from and observations about Cornerstone’s report:

Cornerstone Research’s latest annual report discloses that the number and average size of securities class-action settlements increased in 2015 as compared to 2014.  Total settlement dollars rose to more than $3 billion – similar to the annual average for the prior five years, but a significant increase from 2014.

Cornerstone attributes the 2015 increase in settlements to three consecutive year-over-year increases in case filings. In addition, Cornerstone notes that more of those cases were larger cases, leading to eight “mega” settlements (of $100 million or more) in 2015.