In past months rumors have spread about major airlines Delta and Northwest merging. And while a decision has yet to be reached, many have expressed a similar concern: more work for the airlines' in-house counsel.
The question of legal project management is one in which an in-house counsel may often need to get involved. Modern companies follow modern practices and new disciplines ushered in by electronic information and document creation technologies have changed the legal landscape. Previously armies of associates were required by large law firm to cope with the requirements of document discovery; today it is done by e-discovery systems. Previously, briefs were handled totally by lawyers with individual responsibilities; today legal work involves team work, cross-discipline teamwork, and sometimes the involvement of specialized management personnel to get the work done.
In-house counsel almost always have a cash component in their salaries and another component that includes “stock options exercised and stock value realized” (as put by the 2012 GC Compensation survey by Corporate Counsel). The real rise and fall happens in the second component of in-house salaries, which quite often is greater than the cash component, and also subject to the whims of Wall Street. But the ‘cash component’ itself is divided into two parts – the salary and the bonus component. And the bonus can also be affected by changes in company practice and policy.