General Counsel Pay Trends

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General Counsel Pay Trends, an Equilar publication, analyzes the compensation of General Counsel (GC) disclosed in the SEC filings by Equilar 500 companies for the last five fiscal years. The Equilar 500 is comprised of the 500 largest, by reported revenue, U.S.-headquartered companies that trade on one of the three major U.S. stock exchanges (Nasdaq, NYSE or NYSE American). The report highlights trends in the compensation of General Counsel, and how companies decide to compensate the position, including in relation to gender and tenure. BarkerGilmore has provided an independent analysis to illustrate how the role has evolved, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

About the Report

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Key Findings

  • Median General Counsel pay at companies with revenue over $20 billion reached $4.6 million in 2019
  • Total median compensation for male General Counsel reached $2.8 million in 2019, compared to $2.5 million for women
  • The only pay component in which female GC out-earned males was stock awards. The median value of stock awards granted to female GC was $13,000 higher than that of male GC
  • Among Equilar 500 General Counsel, median compensation peaked for those GC who have been at their companies for 0-5 years at $2.9 million. Interestingly, median compensation was lowest for General Counsel in the study who have been at their companies for 20 or more years