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In 2016, according to ALM Legal Intelligence’s list of the top 100 highest paid general counsel at major corporations, two of the top five hail from the entertainment industry. The survey, which appears each year in the August issue of ALM’s Corporate Counsel, ranks general counsel by total cash salary (defined as salary plus bonuses and nonequity incentive compensation) and includes other compensation metrics such as stock and option awards. This continues a trend over the last four years whereby entertainment industry general counsel found themselves at or near the top of the list when examined by multiple measures.

From 2013 to 2016, entertainment industry general counsel have accounted for the most appearances on the top 100 list, though they are trailed closely by GCs from the pharmaceutical industry which, in turn, are followed by law department leaders in the insurance, aerospace and defense, and securities industries (Figure 1).

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