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Big companies pay their general counsel more, but the general counsel are probably more experienced

Data from the Inside Counsel, April 2000 at 60, shows that general counsel compensation rises steadily if you compare positions in companies that have increasing amounts of annual revenue. From an average of $291,000 for companies with revenue of $300 million or less through $380,000 for companies with revenues of one-to-three billion, average pay rises to $674,900 for General Counsel at companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenue.

What the data does not show, and I have never seen analyzed, is the correlation between the years of experience of general counsel and the size of the company that employs them. My hypothesis would be that larger companies hire more experienced general counsel, so the real driver of general counsel compensation is more their years out of law school than the size of the client.

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