A profile of Raytheon’s General Counsel, Jay Stephens, gives some insight into reporting structure of that 75-lawyer department (Nat. L.J., Vol. 30, Sept. 17, 2007 at 8). The profile explains that Stephens has reporting to him seven business unit “legal leaders” and “several assistant general counsel who preside over areas such as transactions, litigation, labor, business services and intellectual property.” His direct reports could number from 10 to 12. From a separate source I know that the department’s administrator does not report directly to Stephens (See my posts of Dec. 31, 2006 on Raytheon’s legal department; and Nov. 16, 2005 on two non-legal reports to Stephens.).
I think there are no useful rules of thumb about the number of direct reports to a general counsel (See my posts of May 1, 2005 on a proposal to quantify leverage and reports; and May 31, 2005 on some benchmarks proposed for municipal law departments.). The tally depends on the experience of that person and of the lawyers who might report up, the size of the law department, the other responsibilities of the general counsel, personnel situations (egos, for example), corporate tradition, and HR policies (See my posts of June 16, 2006 on 15 direct reports to Peter Kriendler and the notion of 15% of lawyers as direct reports; but see my post of Jan. 17, 2006 about Gloria Santona and her 3 direct reports, plus she has marketing, compliance and international reporting to her.).