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CPA Global LPO poaches Rio Tinto legal chief and top client

CPA Global Leah Cooper
CPA Global Leah Cooper

Legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider CPA Global has hired Rio Tinto's managing attorney Leah Cooper as a board member, following Cooper striking a deal last year to outsource $20m of the mining giant's annual legal work to CPA in India.

Cooper (pictured) has left Rio Tinto and joined CPA in a primarily strategic London-based role that will not involve any direct legal work by her.

While at Rio Tinto, Cooper spearheaded the move to outsource legal work to 12 Delhi-based CPA lawyers to save 20 per cent of the company's annual legal spend.

In a statement Cooper said that outsourcing was changing the legal landscape: "Over the past year, I’ve worked closely with CPA Global to develop a new legal model that has delivered high quality, cost effective legal services.  

"Joining the CPA Global senior management team is an incredible opportunity to continue to revolutionise the increasingly competitive legal services market."

She had been with Rio Tinto group companies in senior in-house positions since May 2007.

Cooper's hire by CPA follows those of former Alliance & Leicester head of legal Joshua Box and Bank of America head of EMEA legal Leonie Brown late last year into similar roles.

CPA, which is based in Jersey, Channel Islands employs more than 1,400 people in 15 offices in ten countries, according to the company. It says that its law firm clients include two thirds of the world's 100 largest law firms, as well as large Fortune 500 and FTSE companies.

UK private equity house ICG acquired a $440m stake in CPA in January, on which Khaitan & Co led the Indian legal advice.

UK daily The Times reported last year that CPA has an annual turnover of $1bn.

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