Securities Class Action Filings 2023 Year in Review: Executive Summary

Cornerstone Research

Overall filing volume increased slightly in 2023 to 215 filings from 208 in 2022. The number of “core” filings—those excluding M&A filings—also increased slightly. The size of core filings when measured by Maximum Dollar Loss (MDL) rose 27%, but when measured by Disclosure Dollar Loss (DDL) fell 46%.1

The number of 1933 Act filings in state courts plummeted in 2023, falling to the lowest level since 2014. The combined number of federal Section 11 and state 1933 Act filings decreased 62% from 50 filings in 2022 to 19 filings in 2023. The number of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), COVID-19-related, and cryptocurrency-related filings fell in 2023, and the 2023 Banking Turbulence trend category emerged.2

Number and Size of Filings

  • Plaintiffs filed 215 new securities class action filings (filings) in 2023, despite a large decline in federal Section 11 and state filings with claims under the Securities Act of 1933 (1933 Act).
  • The DDL Index fell by nearly half from $618 billion in 2022 to $335 billion in 2023, returning to 2019–2021 levels. The MDL Index increased to $3.2 trillion, the second-highest amount on record.
  • Both the total number of initial public offerings (IPOs) and filings with 1933 Act claims fell in 2023, declining to their lowest points in the past 14 and 10 years, respectively.

While the number of core filings increased slightly in 2023, DDL dropped by 46% and MDL rose by 27%.

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Figure 1: Federal and State Class Action Filings Summary

(Dollars in 2023 billions)

Annual (1997–2022)






Class Action Filings






Core Filings






Disclosure Dollar Loss (DDL)






Maximum Dollar Loss (MDL)






Note: This figure presents data on a combined federal and state filings basis. Filings in federal courts may have parallel lawsuits filed in state courts. When parallel lawsuits are filed in different years, only the earlier filing is reflected in the figure above. Filings against the same company brought in different states without a filing brought in federal court are counted as unique state filings. As a result, this figure’s filing counts may not match those in Figures 4–9, 14, 16–21, 24, and 26–28, or Appendices 2–4 and 6–9. See Additional Notes to Figures for Counts and Totals Methodology.
1 Reported MDL, DDL, and Dollar Loss on Offered Shares (DLOS) numbers are inflation-adjusted to 2023 dollars and will not match prior reports.
2 2023 Banking Turbulence filings include allegations related to a series of bank failures that occurred in rapid succession, beginning with Silvergate Bank on March 8, 2023. The initial complaint against Silvergate Capital Corporation, parent company of Silvergate Bank, was filed on December 7, 2022; the amended complaint was filed on May 11, 2023.
The views expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.

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