CPA Global hires Rio Tinto’s Cooper – A sign for LPO?

Practitioners in the legal services outsourcing market can learn a great deal from our figurative forefathers in the broader Business Process Outsourcing (“BPO”) market.  The dean of BPO analysts and bloggers is Phil Fersht, who writes Horses for Sources.  In his recent post, Have some outsourcing vendors already thrown in the innovation towel?, Phil suggests that, “While some [BPO] vendors are talking a big game regarding how they intend to broaden their outsourcing services and consulting work with clients, a lot of their current management clearly don’t have a lot of confidence to bring on the talent to help them do just that.”  According to his comrades, BPO vendors are seeking to hire high-level talent to sell new clients “low-cost IT/BPO services, as opposed to working with existing clients to up-sell more consultative, higher business-value offerings.”

With Phil’s concern in mind, I was pleased to read what CPA Global has planned for Leah Cooper.  Last June, Ms. Cooper, then Managing Attorney at Rio Tinto, signed, with CPA Global, arguably the most significant LPO deal to date.  (See Interview with Rio Tinto’s Leah Cooper by Professor Richard Susskind.)  Ms. Cooper is now leaving Rio Tinto to join CPA Global, where she will lead “the strategy and development of legal services outsourcing solutions for the company’s growing portfolio of clients,” according to a company announcement.

Clearly the LPO market is still in its infancy compared to the relatively mature BPO market, but Ms. Cooper’s move to a strategy and development role bodes well for CPA Global and the LPO market in general.  As I outlined in LPO Industry Consolidation Underway?, LPO industry “competitors have formed alliances and acquisitions to broaden their legal service lines, and new investors are seeking to create new or expanded entities with broader capabilities.” Industry hiring of individuals with the prescience and fortitude to integrate and manage the services of a large corporate legal department, outside law firms, and an LPO provider can only enhance that effort.

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