GC's Gone Wild

Up-and-coming space companies take note: top inhouse legal talent ain't cheap. Take a look if you dare at Corporate Counsel's 2006 compensation survey of the 100 highest paid general counsel at major corporations. (Free registration required.)

This hot list features each GC's name, rank, salary, bonus and other forms of remuneration for fiscal year 2005.

Big-time bonuses are key to any compensation package of course. And the latest trend: "a surge in restricted stock grants." According to Corporate Counsel, the "average award to GC's of restricted stock rose by 35 percent, reaching almost $1 million." Not too shabby.

So how about the top law dogs at big aerospace companies who made the top 100? Let's see... ranked according to cash compensation, we have Frank Menaker of Lockheed Martin weighing in at #22. (Actually, Frank retired from Lockheed in January and became a partner at
DLA Piper. Replacing Frank is James B. Comey who moved over from the DOJ. And you can just imagine the likes of that salary increase. We'll look for James in next year's survey.)

W. Burks Terry of Northrop Grumman comes in at #41 of the top 100.

I'm not sure why former Boeing chief counsel Douglas Bain, who retired in 2006, is not listed. (Best memory of Doug: in January he famously gave a
speech to top company brass in which he recited the prison ID numbers of convicted former Boeing executives, saying, "These are not ZIP codes.") The new GC at Boeing, Mike Luttig, who made a big splash when he left the 4th Circuit for new frontiers, should pop up in next year's line-up. (Either that or I'd say a raise is in order.)

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