Top-paid general counsel

July 20, 2011
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A list released by Corporate Counsel,  an ALM National publication, ranks the compensation of general counsel around the U.S. and there are some highly paid attorneys out there. The top-paid in-house attorney is Denise Keane of Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Phillip Morris USA and other companies. For the first time in the history of this list, a woman was the top-paid general counsel. She was listed as having more than $6.4 million in compensation.

It’s interesting to see that Keane went from being ranked 34th in 2010 to first this year. Donald de Brier with Occidental Petroleum Corp. went from 63rd last year to second this year.

Robert Armitage, the general counsel at Eli Lilly and Co., ranked No. 33, with more than $1.78 million in total compensation. He was ranked at No. 24 last year. Armitage’s salary is listed at just under $848,000. John Cannon II, general counsel at WellPoint Inc., came in at No. 63. He didn’t even make last year’s list. His salary is listed at around $550,000, but he took home more than $1.3 million.

The list breaks down compensation to show salary, bonus/nonequity incentive compensation, total cash, option exercises and stock value realized, total cash plus stock value realized, stock awards, and option awards. The rankings are based on the total cash the general counsel received.

The publication noted that this survey shows more of an “undoing of damage of the previous year than any great leap in compensation levels.” It writes that the worst seems to be over regarding the economy, and corporations are rewarding executives for getting them through the tough days of the recession.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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