Rio Tinto legal chief defects to outsourcer CPA Global

Leah Cooper

The high-profile hire marks a significant coup for CPA and comes just a month after private equity house Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) acquired a minority stake in the company, believed to be just shy of 50 per cent (1 February 2010).

In her new role Cooper (pictured) will not practise as a lawyer. She will sit on a management board focusing on CPA’s legal outsourcing business. The board also features chief executive Peter Sewell, chief financial officer Bill Fagan, operations director Simon Webster and head of sales and marketing Paul McGolphin.

Sewell said that Cooper’s recruitment was “for her knowledge of the legal sector”.

He added: “We want to be the market leader. We’re already very good at processes and outsourcing, but there’s also specialist knowledge, and we have to recruit that part in.

“Leah brings in a detailed knowledge of how we make this process work. It gives us a real differential.”

CPA was  founded as an IP renewals service and expanded into outsourcing in 2005.

Last year, Cooper led a deal that saw Rio Tinto sign an agreement to outsource legal work to a team of 15 Indian-based lawyers sourced by CPA (18 June 2009).

The mining giant is one of a number of corporations to outsource legal work through the company.