The story of DAS

A brief history of DAS

DAS has been providing customers with legal help for over 40 years, and our pedigree goes back even further. Here’s how we got to where we are today, with some images of how our brand has evolved over the years.

1926 – D.A.S. is established

Legal Expenses Insurance itself can be traced back to 1917 and the creation of a mutual company known as Defense Automobile et Sportive in France. However, it wasn’t until 1926 that our own company (coincidentally also known as D.A.S.) emerged in Geneva.

1927-1928 – European expansion

One year later, D.A.S. Belgium was formed and in 1928, D.A.S. in Switzerland assisted in establishing a company in Berlin.

1945 – German independence

After the Second World War, D.A.S. Germany changed its name to Deutscher Automobil Schutz (“German Automobile Protection”) and became fully independent from its founder, moving its head office to Munich.

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Legal Protection policy

1950s – The rise of LEI

Demand for legal expenses insurance intensified during this period, due to the increasing ease and popularity of foreign travel and subsequent need for specialised assistance with different languages and legal systems.

D.A.S. reacted quickly by establishing subsidiaries in Austria, Spain and Italy.

The concept proved to be successful, and subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Greece and Luxembourg followed, along the acquisition of D.A.S. Belgium.

1975 – DAS is established in the UK

Legal expenses insurance was illegal in the United Kingdom until the Criminal Law Act 1967 repealed a law preventing anyone from providing support for legal proceedings that they were not involved in.

Seven years after the act was passed, DAS UK was founded as a joint venture of D.A.S. and Phoenix Assurance Co. (D.A.S. would acquire 100 percent ownership of the company in 1989). DAS became one of the early pioneers of legal expenses insurance in the UK.

 

1990 – DAS opens Bedwas office

The office in Bedwas, South Wales, was purpose-built to deal with motor claims. Today the office is home to our legal advice team.

DAS Legal Rights in Germany cover

DAS Commercial Legal Protection Policy

1996 – DAS Ireland opens

DAS extended its reach further by opening an office in Dublin to serve the Irish market. Nowadays DAS Ireland is the market-leading provider of legal expenses insurance in the Republic of Ireland, with a market share of roughly 60 percent.

 

2013 – DAS Law opens

The Legal Services Act 2007 made it possible for the first time for non-lawyers to own a law firm using an Alternative Business Structure (ABS).

DAS was among the first businesses to get in on the action, acquiring Bristol-based firm CW Law Solicitors, which was reborn as DAS Law.

Today

DAS is the UK’s leading specialist legal expenses insurer, providing cover to almost 7 million customers.

As part of a global insurance group with our own law firm and offices in the UK and Ireland, we have experience, scale and strength, and an impressive portfolio of products and services.

We believe that greater awareness of legal expenses insurance requires better communication from the whole industry. That’s why we provide our partners and brokers with easy access to comprehensive tools and suites of information to help explain how our products and services work.

As renowned specialists in protecting businesses and individuals for over 40 years, we’re here for you.

Our vision

Personal Legal Expenses Policy wording