Sure, no surprise that the U.S. legal system is the world's most expensive. But, one and half times more than the Eurozone average? Wow. Corporate Counsel reports that was the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) that compared liability costs as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product.
The 13 countries included in the study have similar levels of regulation and legal protection, leading analysts to conclude that higher costs could be attributed to more frequent and/or costly claims. The U.S. costs were about 1.7 percent of GDP. Countries on the low end of the range—the Netherlands, Belgium, and Portugal—had costs around 0.4 percent. Legal liability costs in the U.S. were found to be about 50 percent more than costs in the U.K.
The ILR, which holds a dim view of the U.S. legal system generally, says that excessive litigation is putting U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage globally. Presumably that means that if the U.S. had the Eurozone's legal system the our economy would be outperforming Europe's even more than it already is doing now.