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1. Entertainment- It pays to be in show business--at least if you’re a general counsel. GCs in the entertainment industry earned more than those in any other sector this year.

2. Mining-Crude Oil Production- Legal leaders in the mining business struck gold this year, as did those involved in oil production.

3. Chemicals- Coming in third are the in-house legal chiefs working in chemicals.

4. Utilities: Gas and Electric- It looks like enough people paid gas and electric bills this past year to help fund some pretty serious salaries for the lawyers leading up the legal function at utilities.

5. Tobacco- The tobacco industry is the fifth most lucrative for GCs in our compensation rankings this year, in no small part because of pay champ Denise Keane of Altria Group Inc.

6. Aerospace and Defense- Coming in sixth is the aerospace and defense industry.

7. Pharmaceuticals- Pharmaceutical companies can generate major revenues.

8. Motor Vehicles and Parts-The auto industry has had its share of troubles in recent years, at least domestically.

9. Commercial Banks- The next best paid group of legal bosses are in the commercial banks category.

10. Securities- Rounding our our list of top industries for GC pay is the securities field.

Every year, Corporate Counsel affiliate ALM Legal Intelligence releases a survey of general counsel pay, ranking the best compensated GCs in the country by their total cash compensation–a metric that incorporates salary, bonus and other non-equity pay.

Rebekah Mintzer

Rebekah is the editor of the In-House Desk at American Lawyer Media. She and her team work on telling stories about corporate legal departments and what makes in-house lawyers tick.

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