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07/27/06

In-house attorneys see a boost in compensation


The nation's top corporations have set a new record for compensations offered to leading in-house attorneys. While general counsel salaries remained at an average of $565,000, compensation in the form of cash bonuses and restricted stock grant touched $2 million. This was reported in the twelfth annual survey of the 100 best-paid chief legal officers, published by ALM's Corporate Counsel magazine.

It is noteworthy to mention that bonuses increased by 16% and restricted stock grants shot up by 35%, as compared to salaries, which rose marginally by only 1%. This was reflected in the pay package of recently retired general counsel of General Electric Company, Benjamin Heineman, Jr., who received a combined salary and bonus of $5 million. Among the companies making their first appearance on the list is Internet retailer IAC/InterActiveCorp, who paid general counsel Gregory Blatt almost $2.5 million plus nearly $6 million in restricted stock grants.

Innovative new file management system for law firms
Law firm Schlichter, Bogard, & Denton has installed highly sophisticated software to aid in the search of internal and case-related documents. For this, the law firm has united with ISYS(R) Search Software, supplier of innovative enterprise search solutions.

With the new software application in place, the firm will avoid the tedious process of summarizing and applying a Bates stamp to each document, searching for word file summaries, referencing the Bates number, and producing the hard copy. The firm claims that the new software will greatly increase office efficiency. They believe the new and improved process with revolutionize law firm practice.

A plaintiff's law firm, Schlichter, Bogard & Denton represents individuals in personal injury, toxic tort, transportation, employment discrimination, and medical malpractice cases. ISYS has been serving leading companies and government departments in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom for more than 15 years.

U.S. firms compete with British firms for biggest international deals
U.S. law firms secured prominent places in the roster of top-earning legal advisors on global infrastructure projects for the first half of 2006. UK firms, however, took the top spots.

Research compiled by the Infrastructure Journal website reveals the total value of deals handled by prominent law firms. Among the top 10, White & Case grabbed the second position with seven deals worth $15.7 billion. Law firms Jones Day and Sullivan & Cromwell also featured on the list after successfully closing a $10 billion Spanish and French railroad acquisition deal. Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, with two deals totaling $5.2 billion, also made the list.

British firm Clifford Chance took the lead, advising on 17 deals worth nearly $24.5 billion. Allen & Overy was rated as the most active firm with 19 deals worth a total of $10.9 billion. Herbert Smith was ranked third with five deals worth $12.5 billion, and Linklaters placed seventh with 11 deals worth $8.8 billion.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

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