In a year when discretionary bonuses dropped nearly 40 percent, it might seem hard to find a silver lining — or even an aluminum one.

As the recession battered markets — and jobs — over the past couple of years, and publicly traded companies saw their profitability hammered, it was reasonable to think compensation would tank, too, even for the top lawyers at major corporations. And as Corporate Counsel‘s 2010 GC Compensation Survey shows, big chunks of take-home pay — particularly those bonuses — did take a beating.