Legal Search Firm Releases In-House Compensation Report – The Law Business Newswire Service

Research Finds 6 Key Takeaways for 2012 Compensation

Hanover, Md. (June 24, 2013) – Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s leading legal search firm, today released the In-House Counsel Compensation Report for 2012 (Report) jointly with research firm General Counsel Metrics, LLC (GC Metrics), the leading firm on law department benchmarking. The Report combines data on in-house compensation that MLA and GC Metrics collected throughout the year, representing a cross-section of more than 1,700 lawyers and a variety of positions.

“General Counsel of U.S. and Canadian companies need good information on what their lawyers should be paid,” said Rees Morrison, President of General Counsel Metrics. “And this innovative collaboration with MLA helps to fill that need.”

“MLA’s in-depth In-House Compensation Report is unique and provides the best compensation metrics, because it surveys the largest number of employees, industries, companies and practice groups, in addition to including both general counsel and other in-house lawyers,” said Bob Graff, Vice President of Global Business Development at Major, Lindsey & Africa. “The breadth of MLA’s survey provides the most accurate reporting of in-house counsel compensation to date.”

High level insights from the Report include:

  1. GCs in Extractive/Mining/Chemicals and Food & Beverage are the highest paid, along with Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical. Not-for-Profit/Government, Education and Construction/Engineering are at the lowest end of the spectrum.
  2. Across all company sizes median total cash compensation for all in-house lawyers is in a remarkably tight range.
  3. Broadly speaking, GCs with over 20 years of practice experience cross over the $300,000 total cash compensation hurdle. Those with over 30 years of practice experience have the highest compensation numbers.
  4. For all in-house lawyers, those who practice Securities, Healthcare, and Intellectual Property have the highest total cash compensation. It should be noted that the number of specialists is small compared with the number of in-house practitioners who describe themselves as “corporate” for practice area.
  5. Once revenue crosses $1B, companies pay base salaries to GCs that are in a fairly tight range.
  6. GC bonuses do not appear to be highly correlated with years of experience. Size of company and industry are more relevant here.

As part of MLA’s service of placing the world’s top legal talent, the company obtains essential compensation information from hundreds of lawyers every year. For its part, in 2012, GC Metrics began collecting compensation data from the companies that chose to participate in its benchmark survey. Combined, MLA and GC Metrics bring an unprecedented amount of compensation and benchmarking data to this report. Of course all individual and company names were kept confidential. The data collected for each position includes the following:

  • Base salary in 2011
  • Position as either General Counsel or Lawyer
  • Cash bonus awarded for 2011
  • Company revenue in fiscal year 2011
  • Law school graduation year
  • Company industry
  • Primary practice area

This is the first time that MLA’s data has been organized in this fashion, and MLA is excited to be able to partner with GC Metrics to offer these insights to their clients and candidates.

For more detailed analysis and interpretation of the survey results, Bob Graff and Rees Morrison are available for speaking engagements and further discussion on this topic. You can also download the In-House Counsel Compensation Report for 2012.

About General Counsel Metrics
General Counsel Metrics, LLC, has for years conducted the largest benchmark survey in the world on legal department staffing and spending. Over the past three years, for example, more than 2,500 law departments have submitted data to the no-cost survey and obtained releases covering 25 benchmarks and 26 industries. Founded and led by Rees Morrison, a veteran management consultant to corporate law departments, GC Metrics has developed an array of innovative data analytics for internal legal teams. To learn more about GC Metrics, visit

About Major, Lindsey & Africa
Founded in 1982, Major, Lindsey & Africa is the world’s largest and most experienced legal search firm. Combining local market knowledge and a global recruiting network, MLA has earned recognition for its track record of successful General Counsel, Corporate Counsel, Partner, Associate and Law Firm Management placements. MLA also rounds out its suite of legal human capital solutions for both law firms and companies by providing highly-specialized, temporary legal staffing solutions. With offices throughout the U.S., Hong Kong, London and Tokyo, MLA recruiters are dedicated to understanding and meeting clients’ and candidates’ needs while maintaining the highest degree of professionalism and confidentiality. For these reasons, MLA has been voted “Best Legal Search Firm in the U.S.” in the most recent national survey of National Law Journal readers. To learn more about MLA, please visit

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