Serine proteases are attractive targets for the design of enzyme inhibitors since they are involved in the etiology of several diseases. Within the class of serine proteases, HLE is one of the most destructive enzymes in the body. It is implicated in the promotion or exacerbation of a number of diseases including pancreatitis, acute respiratory syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, pulmonary emphysema, and cystic fibrosis. Thrombin, a trypsin-like serine protease, plays a dual role in thrombogenesis, including fibrin formation and platelet activation. As a result, thrombin constitutes one of the most widely studied targets for antithrombotic strategy. Numerous inhibitors of serine proteases have been reported during the past three decades. Among them, coumarin-type molecules displayed a high inhibitory potency towards various serine proteases. At that time, halomethyl dihydrocoumarins have been shown to behave as the first general suicide inhibitors of serine protease. These molecules inhibit several proteases such as human leucocyte elastase, porcine pancreatic elastase, thrombin, urokinase and human plasmin. Isocoumarins are very effective as mechanism-based inhibitors of serine proteases. Pharmacomodulation on the 3-alkoxy-4-chloroisocoumarins and the 3-alkoxy-7-amino-4-chloroisocoumarins led to strong inhibitors of numerous serine proteases such as HLE, human factor XIa and XIIa, thrombin, urokinase and kallikrein. Recently, a series of coumarins characterised by an alkyl, aryl ester, amide, thioester or ketone in the position 3 and an electrophilic chloromethyl moiety in the position 6 have been developed. These compounds were found to be high inhibitors of α-chymotrypin, HLE and human thrombin.