Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Litigation and Legal Expenses Insurance

  • Myriam Doriat-DubanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_682


Legal expenses insurance (LEI) covers all or a part of financial expenses occurring during a lawsuit, in exchange for the payment of a premium by the policyholder to the insurer. It makes access to justice less expensive by shifting the litigation costs from the litigant to the insurer. LEI covers many types of conflicts (labor litigations, consumer disputes, personal injuries, or medical malpractices), but some are generally excluded (divorces). LEI could have some significant effects on conflict resolution, not only for the litigants themselves but also for society. Thus, in the law and economics literature, three topics are generally studied: the consequences of LEI on conflict resolution and social welfare, the influence of the insurer in the litigation, and finally the access to justice by a comparative approach between LEI and legal aid and contingent fees.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ancelot L, Doriat-Duban M, Lovat B (2012) Aide juridictionnelle et assurance de protection juridique : coexistence ou substitution dans l’accès au droit. Rev Fr Econ XXVII:115–148Google Scholar
  2. Baik KH, Kim I (2007) Contingent fees versus legal expenses insurance. Int Rev Law Econ 27:351–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Faure MG, De Mot JPB (2012) Comparing third party financing of litigation and legal expenses insurance. J Law Econ Pol 8(3):743–778Google Scholar
  4. Friehe T (2010) Contingent fees and legal expenses insurance: comparison for varying defendant fault. Int Rev Law Econ 30:283–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Heyes A, Rickman N, Tzavara D (2004) Legal expenses insurance, risk aversion and litigation. Int Rev Law Econ 24:107–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kirstein R (2000) Risk neutrality and strategic insurance. Geneva Pap Risk Insur 25(2):251–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Qiao Y (2013) Legal effort and optimal expenses insurance. Econ Model 32:179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Van Velthoven B, Klein Haarhuis C (2011) Legal aid and legal expenses insurance, complements or substitutes? The case of the Netherlands. J Empir Leg Stud 8(3):587–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Van Velthoven B, Van Wijck P (2001) Legal cost insurance and social welfare. Econ Lett 72:387–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Visscher L, Schepens T (2010) A law and economics approach to cost shifting, fee arrangements and legal expense insurance, chap. 2. In: Analysis M, Visscher L (eds) New trends in financing civil litigation in Europe, a legal, empirical, and economic. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 7–32Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsBETA UMR 7522, Université de LorraineNancyFrance