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Results are in for the eighth annual Corporate Counsel Compensation Survey. Most of the 100 highest-paid GCs pocketed slightly more than $800,000 each last year (a median salary of $432,336 and a bonus of $389,900). And, of course, they got the good stuff, too: stock option grants worth a whopping $1.8 million. Chart-topping Tosco Corporation GC Wilkes McClave III raked in $4.7 million in bonus and salary in 2000. He deposed last year’s winner, Bear Stearns’ Mark Lehman, who took home $3.2 million in cash compensation in 2000, and General Electric’s Benjamin Heineman Jr., who came in third with $3.1 million. For some it got even better. Honeywell International Inc. GC Peter Kreindler cashed out $15.2 million worth of options in 2000. He assumed that his company’s merger with GE would go off without a hitch, and that he would head off into a glorious retirement. Nope. Now Kreindler’s rich, but still on the job. Other GCs spent their money on toys. The BMW 740iL and Jaguar XK8 convertible are among the most popular wheels But the good times may not last. Storm clouds over the U.S. economy haven’t lifted; the stock market is under pressure; and profits at Fortune 500 businesses are weak. This should trickle down to GCs. While salaries are expected to remain flat in the immediate future, bonuses — which comprise more of GCs’ total pay every year — could nosedive. Stock option grants? Well, they’re not worth much if a stock is in free-fall. Next year’s survey will track the fallout. If you need some comic relief before then, check out our inaugural “OutBox” (“Falling Back to Earth”). This column exploring the fuzzy line between time on the job and time off will close out the magazine. Ellen Rosen kicks off the series with a confession: Returning to work after vacation isn’t so bad after all. I bet the top GCs on our list would agree.

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