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The Securities and Exchange Commission requires public companies to list their five highest-paid executives in their annual proxy statements. This is where we look for the 100 top-paid GCs at Fortune 500 companies. And 2004 was a good year for the top legal officers at Fortune 500 companies. There were 10 more of them among the top five earners at their companies last year than in 2003. We looked at all 190 of these GC pay packages and ranked the 100 best-paid according to cash compensation (salary plus bonus). Some well-paid GCs may not have made our list simply because they weren’t among their company’s five highest-paid employees. There are a few other reasons we might not include some GCs. If the company’s filing came after June, we couldn’t include them because of our publishing deadline. Also, Fortune 500 companies that are not publicly traded don’t file proxy statements with the SEC, so we didn’t have access to their pay packages. This leaves us with compensation data for the chief legal officers at about two-fifths of the Fortune 500 companies. Our chart of the top 100 begins here. We include cash and bonus, as well as the value realized on stock cash-outs to come up with a total take-home package. We also list the GCs’ equity, including restricted stock grants, option grants, and exercisable options. Our roster of the top 100-paid GCs contains a host of familiar names, but more than a third of them are new this year over last. Paul Cappuccio at Time Warner Inc. makes a comeback, placing third with $3.8 million in salary and bonus. He dropped off our list for a year. Another new face on the list is Arthur Siskind at The News Corporation Limited. That company reincorporated in the United States in 2004. He took home $3.4 million and landed in fourth place. Several returning GCs moved up the ranks. Kenneth Masterson at FedEx Corporation jumped 38 places, from halfway down last year’s list at 50 to slot number 12 this year. His $1.1 million bonus, up from $291,754 last year, helped boost him. Todd DuChene at Fisher Scientific International Inc. and Bernard DeLury, Jr., at Caesars Entertainment, Inc., were also big gainers on our list. Both increased their rank by over 30 spots. Everyone didn’t receive good news this year, however. Ellen Oran Kaden at Campbell Soup Company had the biggest drop on our chart. She fell 55 spots in our ranking, from 38 to 93 because she earned about a quarter million less than last year. Another GC dropped off our list, but not because we don’t know how much he made. Christopher Kearney was promoted from GC to president and CEO of SPX Corporation in 2004. But it hasn’t done much to improve his compensation. His salary went up a mere $16,000, to $436,154, and he didn’t receive a bonus last year (in 2003 his bonus was $1.3 million). With that take-home package, he wouldn’t have made our cut even if he were still GC.

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