Top legal process outsourcing providers plan ‘aggressive expansion’

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Two of the top three legal process outsourcing (LPO) providers are plotting aggressive growth in anticipation of a flood of mandates in 2010, the Gazette has learned.

The news comes shortly after the third LPO provider in the trio, CPA Global, announced similarly ambitious plans for rapid expansion of its LPO workforce last month.

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Pangea3 co-chief executive David Perla told the Gazette that his company plans to boost its 350 LPO staff, who include 280 fee-earners, to 500 staff in total by the end of 2010 – and that he expects that number to ‘grow further’ from 2011 onwards.

Integreon legal services vice-president Mark Ross said that his company plans to add to its 500 LPO staff, who include around 375 lawyers, throughout 2010. Ross said that Integreon is planning a stock market listing within the next three years, and is aiming to double its fourth quarter 2009 revenues in the last quarter of 2010. He said that LPO growth will be concentrated in South Africa, the Philippines and China, while its established centre in Mumbai, India, will also expand.

Both Ross and Perla said that they are receiving mandates predominantly from corporate legal departments rather than law firms. Perla said that corporate and litigation LPO services are currently the most popular among in-house teams.

‘In the next six months, a lot of major corporates will begin talking publicly about LPO,’ Ross predicted.

Integreon and CPA have both received financial injections from private equity investors since the start of 2010, and all three companies said they have strong relationships with interested external financiers.

Pangea3 names multinationals General Electric, Sony and American Express among its LPO clients, while CPA names Microsoft and mining company Rio Tinto. Integreon works with magic circle firm Allen & Overy, and City firms Simmons & Simmons and Osborne Clarke on LPO.

Integreon and CPA undertake LPO as part of a wider range of outsourcing work, while Pangea3 undertakes only LPO work.Indian research company Value Notes ranks CPA, Integreon and Pangea3 as the three ‘pacesetters’ in the global LPO market.

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