D. Wayne Watts

  • $8.50M
  • Senior executive vice president and general counsel
  • AT&T
  • Dallas
  • B.A., University of Texas at Arlington
  • J.D., Southern Methodist University

Talk about the value of regulatory expertise, Watts is returning in our No. 1 spot. He earned even more last year, $9.2 million. He has 28 years with his company, the last five as GC. He’s a master of the regulatory details that go into making AT&T the giant on this list. The corporate website credits him with leading mergers and acquisitions worth a total of $200 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a B.

Gary Lynch

  • $7.28M
  • Global chief of legal, compliance and regulatory relations
  • Bank of America Corp.
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Bachelor’s degree, Syracuse University
  • J.D., Duke University School of Law

In 2011, Bank of America hired Lynch, former GC and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley. He was also GC of Credit Suisse First Boston. Previously, he was a partner with Davis Polk & Wardwell. He’s a former director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1985 to 1989. Take note of Lynch’s bonus last year: $2.61 million. And his stock awards: $4.24 million.

Robert Reeves

  • $6.54M
  • Senior vice president, general counsel, chief administrative officer and chief compliance officer
  • Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
  • Houston
  • Bachelor’s degree, business administration and J.D. from Louisiana State University

Reeves has three decades of legal and business experience. He joined Anadarko in 2004 as senior vice president, corporate affairs and law, and has added responsibilities since, including chief administrative officer. His responsibilities also include government relations and information technology. Prior to joining the oil company, he was GC of Ocean Energy and also Flores & Rucks. Before his corporate life, he was a partner in the energy section of the Onebane Law Firm of Lafayette, La. Note: no bonus last year, but $2.83 million in stock.

David Brooks


  • Chief operating officer, general counsel and secretary
  • Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc.
  • Dallas
  • Bachelor’s degree, University of North Texas
  • J.D., University of Houston School of Law

Brooks has served in various chief legal officer positions in Ashford companies, including Ashford Financial Corp. Ashford Hospitality is a real estate investment trust that operates Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood hotels. Before joining the company, he was a partner with the law firm of Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay.

Larry Hutchison

  • $5.38M
  • Executive vice president and general counsel
  • Torchmark Corp.
  • McKinney, Texas
  • B.A., University of Iowa
  • J.D., Drake University School of Law

Hutchison has been with Torchmark’s law department since 1986 and was named GC in 1999. This year he added an unusual new title: co-chief executive officer. He and Gary Coleman, executive vice president and chief financial officer, were named co-CEOs when Chairman and CEO Mark McAndrew retired. McAndrew continues as chairman of the board. The company announced that the two co-CEOs have complementary experience and have both served the company for close to three decades. The new general counsel is Robert Brian Mitchell, who was promoted from the company’s insurance division.

John Wombwell

  • $4.97M
  • Executive vice president, general counsel and secretary
  • Plains Exploration and Production Co.
  • Houston
  • Bachelor’s degree, University of Kentucky
  • J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Like others on our list, Wombwell’s compensation peaked in 2008 at more than $5 million. He was in our No. 5 spot last year, with $4.28 million. He’s served various Plains companies since 2003. Previously, he was a partner with the law firm of Andrews Kurth.

Eric Bock

  • $4.95M
  • Executive vice president, chief legal officer and chief administrative officer
  • Travelport Limited
  • Atlanta
  • Bachelor’s degree, economics, Lafayette College
  • J.D., Fordham University School of Law

Bock is the only GC who appears in both our top 10 lists. See him in the No. 1 spot of the Georgia Top 10 list. Our charts will give you other details as well, including his bonus last year: $2.39 million.

Denise Keane

  • $4.29M
  • Executive vice president and general counsel
  • Altria Group Inc.
  • Richmond, Va.
  • Bachelor’s degree, Manhattanville College
  • J.D., St. John’s University School of Law

No bonus last year for Keane, but she had the highest base salary on our list, $781,000, and stock awards of $1.65 million. She held our No. 2 spot last year, with a total pay package of $9.08 million. She has served the company for 35 years, starting out in 1977 as a staff attorney for Philip Morris USA, owned by Altria. She has expertise in tobacco litigation and regulatory issues.

Charles Parrish

  • $3.64M
  • Executive vice president, general counsel and secretary
  • Tesoro Corp.
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Bachelor’s degree, history, University of Virginia
  • J.D., University of Houston Law School

Parish leads Tesoro’s legal department and contract administration function, as well as the business ethics and compliance office. He works closely with the company’s finance and financial reporting teams. He joined the company in 1994. Previously, he had a private practice in Houston and San Antonio. He commanded more than $1 million in stock awards alone last year, with a $500,000 base salary.

Ronald Milstein

  • $3.30M
  • Senior vice president, legal and external affairs, general counsel and secretary
  • Lorillard Inc.
  • Greensboro, N.C.
  • Bachelor’s degree, State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • J.D., Hofstra University

Milstein has enjoyed a series of promotions with added titles since 1996 when he joined the country’s third largest tobacco company. He’s been GC since 1998. And he’s listed on the corporate website as the company’s media contact.