Finding of approximately one-third for GC compensation of salary, bonus, and long-term incentives – but the data is not representative
An article in the Stanford Closer Look Series (at 2) addresses how government-appointed monitors should be paid. It cites research by Equilar on the compensation of the top lawyers within large U.S. companies. “General counsel within Fortune 1000 companies receive compensation that is 43 percent salary, 27 percent annual bonus, and 30 percent cash and equity long-term incentives.”
The compensation data available from General Counsel Metrics, provided by 194 general counsel to date, shows a markedly different distribution. If we take the medians of their salary, bonus, and equity value, of that total amount, 80 percent is salary; 17 percent bonus, and 3 percent equity. The Equilar data covers publicly-traded companies, and even among them, only the ones with the general counsel in the top five most highly-paid executives. It is skewed as compared to the many more companies in the United States that are neither publicly traded nor so large nor with relatively well-paid general counsel.
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