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Which markets are the most lucrative for American General Counsel?

Posted by: Clare Butler 12/08/16
Many general counsels are lured away from senior positions in Biglaw firms with the promise of comparable pay and considerably more amenable hours, but where are they most likely to take home the highest compensation packages?

According to Corporate Counsel’s 2016 GC compensation survey, the pay packages of the highest paid chief legal officers have begun to level off; however, this year saw an increase in the number of female GCs breaking into the top paid list. The lawyers at the top are ones that will be household names for in-house professionals. Apple’s Bruce Sewell, The Boeing Company’s Michael Luttig and Gerson Zweifach from 21st Century Fox Inc. all make the top ten, but once again, it’s The Walt Disney Co.'s Alan Braverman who holds the top spot.

The GCs are ranked by cash compensation, which not only includes salary, but also bonuses and non-equity compensation. Braverman tops the list once again, taking home an astounding $7,034,692 in total cash compensation and proving that entertainment remains, by far, the most lucrative market for GCs. Gerson Zweifach from 21st Century Fox Inc and Bruce Campbell of Discovery Communications, who also happen to fall under the entertainment bracket, claimed 3rd and 6th place, taking home $6,325,000 and $4,325,457, respectively. Behind entertainment falls the pharmaceutical sector, with Sandra Leung of Bristol-Myers Squibb earning $2,672,575 and Laura Schumacher of AbbVie taking home a total of $2,309,838 over the same period.

Encouragingly, the aforementioned are two of the highest earning GCs in their field, and this year marks the first year that not one, but two females broke into the top ten. Maryanne Lavan ranks 8th, with a total take-home of $3,818,214 and Laureen Seeger, who claimed 4th, was the top-earning female with a cash compensation amount of $5,298,200. This represents a significant improvement from 2013, when only 20 women made the list, none featured in the top 10, and only three made it to the top 20.

Tagged In: General counsel, USA
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