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For GCs' Salaries, Survey Says: Ka-ching!

Money_bag With newly-minted lawyers commanding stratospheric salaries, businesses are having to up the ante for top legal talent, enabling chief legal officers at large companies to command median cash compensation totaling nearly $800,000 and general counsel to draw $564,000. So says Inside Counsel's 2008 compensation report, which measures law department  salaries and bonuses using Hildebrandt's Law Department Survey and Altman Weil's Law Department Compensation Benchmarking Survey.

As might be expected, compensation is tied closely to sales, with CLOs and GCs at companies earning more than $10 billion earning a median of $740,000 while those at companies earning $300 million or less take home under $300,000. What might not be expected is that the locality with the highest average cash compensation for CLOs/GCs is Minnesota's Twin Cities at $666,900, compared to averages of $481,100 in New York and $590,700 in Silicon Valley. Nicest paycheck cited in the report: The Walt Disney Co.'s Alan Braverman at $4.45 million. Some other findings:

  • The median cash compensation for CLOs/GCs in publicly held companies is $509,000 compared to $331,000 for those in private companies and $284,000 for those in non-profit or government entities.
  • Most in-house attorneys are eligible for bonuses and all who are eligible received them, at a median bonus of $135,000.
  • The top-paying industries are food/beverage and retail trade and the highest-paying practice area is trademark litigation.

The full article in PDF can be downloaded here. Hat tip to Geoffrey G. Gussis at InhouseBlog.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 25, 2008 at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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