Survey: salaries rise but bonuses fall

By James Barnes

19 December 2012 at 11:17 BST

Leading US general counsel saw basic salaries climb this year but also watched cash bonuses nosedive, according to figures released last week.

Nearly 2 per cent average increase

The remuneration benchmarking figures from the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and Empsight showed that GC’s base salaries rose 1.9 per cent in the last year, creeping up from $557,112 in 2011 to $567,924 this year.
However the survey – which took the views of top lawyers at 190 Fortune 500 companies with average revenues of $31.7 billion -- also found that annual cash bonuses fell 7.9 per cent on average, from $590,040 in 2011 to $543,109 in 2012.

Valuing bonuses

Association president Veta Richardson told Corporate Counsel magazine in-house lawyers should still value their bonus opportunities. She said: ‘The lion’s share of compensation, year by year, is at risk, meaning that it’s tied to the performance of the company and performance by the individual executive… A significant opportunity exists to be paid based upon performance and delivering results in furtherance of the corporate objective.’


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