A new report indicates that 2011 saw a slight increase in federal securities fraud class action filings.

According to Securities Class Action Filings—2011 Year in Review, a semiannual report prepared by the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research, 188 federal securities class actions were filed in 2011, as compared to 176 filings in 2010. However, the number of filings was 3.1 percent below the annual average of 194 from 1997 to 2010.

The report found that the largest number of filings (22.9 percent) were related to M&A transactions. Additionally, there were 33 filings against Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges through reverse mergers, although experts say this type of litigation is on the downswing.

“The upward trend of Chinese reverse merger filings peaked in the first half of 2011 and now appears to be dissipating,” John Gould, senior vice president of Cornerstone Research, said in a statement.

Only three of the 188 total filings were related to the credit crisis, which is a major decrease from 13 such filings in 2010, and 53 in 2009. Additionally, financial companies were defendants in only 13.3 percent of filings in 2011 as compared to 24.4 percent in 2010.

Download the full report here.