Talk about a big debut. This year, there’s a new corporate legal boss on our GC compensation list—and he’s shot right to the top of the charts.
According to our 2018 General Counsel Compensation Survey, Morgan Stanley chief legal officer Eric Grossman now reigns as the highest paid legal leader in the land—or at least the highest paid legal executive named in 2017 proxy filings. Last year, Grossman brought home total cash pay of $6,948,750. That breaks down to a $1 million salary and a cool $5,948,750 in bonus cash.
Of course not every in-house leader gets to be a compensation superstar like Grossman. There were mixed compensation results for GCs throughout the Fortune 1000, with gains in some metrics looking smaller than they did last year. There was also some indication that attorneys looking for compensation with a lot of room to grow shouldn’t become top lawyers at the biggest companies.
But before diving deeper into the data, let’s break down the survey methodology. Corporate Counsel affiliate ALM Legal Intelligence sifted through 2017 proxy filings from the Fortune 1000 to determine pay for companies’ top legal officers. Not every company has its legal chief listed as a top executive in its filing—Grossman made Morgan Stanley’s form for the first time in 2017, for instance—so not every top lawyer in the Fortune 1000 is accounted for in the survey.
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