The pay packets of corporate counsel in the US jumped by 9 per cent in 2002, according to the GC Compensation Survey.
The survey, produced by Corporate Counsel magazine, also found that the average salary and bonus packages of general counsels exceeded the $1m (£620,000) mark for the second time in the survey’s 10-year history. This contrasts with 2001, when salaries were frozen and bonuses were slashed by 12 per cent.
Last year, the average salary rose by 6 per cent from $474,448 (£294,219) to $503,545 (£312,263), while the average bonus jumped by 13 per cent from $489,107 (£303,310) to $550,397 (£341,318). However, stock options offered to in-house heads of legal have dropped by 30 per cent in the past two years. At the height of the dotcom boom the average option granted was $2m
(£1.2m). In 2002, that figure dropped to $1.4m (£868,000).
The biggest winner was General Electric’s Benjamin Heineman, who topped the survey for the second year running. In 2002, Heineman earned $1.35m (£837,000) and got a $2.58m (£1.6m) bonus.