Compensation for in-house counsel at the largest companies is down, but may be smoothing out after a few turbulent years, according to a survey released Tuesday by Corporate Counsel magazine.
The magazine bases its annual survey of general counsel compensation on SEC filings by publicly traded Fortune 500 companies, which much list how much their five top-paid executives earn.
Stock awards in particular are down in the 2012 survey, and base salaries dropped too, but not as much as a percentage.
Corporate counsel compensation has been volatile in the wake of the market meltdown, tracking the ups and downs in the performance of major companies.
This year’s declines follow double-digit gains across most categories of compensation in last year’s survey, which in turn followed a big drop in take-home pay the year before.
Overall, this year’s survey found that base pay averages $611,411, down 1.8 percent; bonuses and performance-based incentive pay average $1,125,458, down 7.7 percent; stock awards average $1,425,325, down 10.8 percent; and stock option awards average $732,453, down 18.7 percent.