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January 13, 2010 11:59 AM

Compensation, In-House Style

Posted by Matt Straquadine

Even as bonus season winds down, sibling publication Corporate Counsel is keeping its focus on in-house counsel compensation.

The magazine's Amy Miller reports that--according to data compiled from proxy statements by Equilar, an executive compensation research firm--Fortune 100 general counsel earned an average of $1.4 million in 2009.

Some of the trends to emerge from the data gathered by Equilar are to be expected. For instance, top in-house lawyers working on the West Coast and in the Northeast (where bigger, more profitable companies tend to be headquartered) earned more than their counterparts based in the South and Midwest.

It's not all about geography, though. Experience counts too. GCs with less than three years in the job earned median compensation of $887,592, while those with more than ten years of experience took home $1.3 million.

One interesting nugget Corporate Counsel spotted in the Equilar survey is that lawyers who report directly to CEOs earn much more than those who report to officers just a step below. Translation: If you’re going in-house, aim for an office adjacent to the top boss's.

If you’re interested, you can request Equilar’s full survey results (for a fee) here. Corporate Counsel publishes its own annual analysis of in-house compensation every August. Read last year’s version of the magazine's GC Compensation Survey here.

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