15 Mind-Blowing Salaries Pulled In By Corporate America's Top Lawyers

amy schulmanPfizer GC Amy Schulman

Photo: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

People always complain about the exorbitant salaries pulled in by big-time corporate CEOs.But what about the general counsels? After all, they are responsible for overseeing the company’s legal affairs.

And when a company operates on multiple continents, that’s no easy task.

We scoured the SEC filings of companies with the highest paid CEOs, as recently reported by The New York Times, in order to find out how much their top lawyers made in 2011.

For most big companies, the general counsel isn’t one of the company’s five highest paid employees, meaning we couldn’t find the salary.

But for those we could find, we brought you the 15 highest salaries.

The list is predominately male, with only three women nabbing high salaries.

Abercrombie & Fitch's Ronald Robins earned $1,108,523.

Before Robins joined the teen clothing maker in 2009, he spent 16 years in private practice, according to Reuters.

He also worked for the judiciary, clerking for Judge Milton Pollack of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Salary Source: SEC

Marathon Oil's Sylvia Kerrigan earned $3,118,335.

Kerrigan joined Marathon Oil Corporation in 1995, working her way up until she acquired the general counsel spot in 2009.

Before joining Marathon, Kerrigan worked for the United Nations Security Council's Commission d'Indemnisation.

Salary Source: SEC

Motorola Mobility's Scott Offer earned $3,635,070.

Offer recently spearheaded the deal that split Motorola into two publicly traded companies in 2011.

He joined Motorola in 1990.

Salary Source: SEC

Verizon's Randal Milch earned $4,566,217.

Milch nabbed his current position in 2008.

But even though he works hard pulling in $4.5 million a year, he still finds time to do community service.

He's director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program and serves as a trustee of the New York University School of Law and Citizens Budget Commission.

Salary Source: SEC

Cigna's Nicole Jones earned $4,881,637.

Jones worked as deputy general counsel for Cigna from 2006 to 2010 before leaving to join Lincoln Financial.

But she came back to Cigna and was appointed executive vice president and general counsel.

Jones earned her law degree from New York University.

Salary Source: SEC

Pfizer's Amy Schulman earned $5,764,662.

Schulman isn't just general counsel.

In addition to her role as top lawyer in the company, Schulman serves as executive vice president and president and general manager for nutrition.

She joined the company as general counsel in 2008.

Salary Source: SEC

Anadarko Petroleum's Robert Reeves earned $6,535,898.

Reeves was appointed to his current position in January 2007 just three years after he joined the energy giant.

He earned his law degree from Louisiana State University amnd belongs to both the Texas and Louisiana State Bar Associations.

Salary Source: SEC

Simon Property Group's James Barkley earned $6,864,247

Barkley oversees all legal affairs for a company that operates regional malls, outlet malls, and community/lifestyle centres, among other holdings.

The company manages roughly 380 properties worldwide.

He and his wife Cindy live in Indianapolis, Ind.

Salary Source: SEC

Time Warner's Paul Cappuccio earned $7,436,579.

Time Warner nabbed Cappuccio from America Online, where he served as senior vice president and general counsel until January 2001.

Before joining the corporate world, Cappuccio practiced law in Washington, D.C. where he specialised in telecommunications law, and negotiating with government agencies.

Salary Source: SEC

Occidental Petroleum's former general counsel Donald de Brier earned $7,791,128.

While de Brier stills serves as corporate executive vice president and corporate secretary for the company, he relinquished the role of general counsel in April.

In his new role, de Brier handles corporate compliance, public affairs, and social responsibility, among others.

Salary Source: SEC

Walt Disney's Alan Braverman earned $7,793,205.

Braverman has been defending the company behind the House of Mouse since 2003.

The Boston native also worked as a law clerk for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas Pomeroy Jr.

Salary Source: SEC

Viacom's Michael Fricklas earned $7,863,130.

Fricklas was appointed executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary in January 2006.

But Fricklas' interests don't stop at the boardroom. He serves on a variety of commissions, including the Board of Trustees of Jazz at Lincoln centre.

Salary Source: SEC

At&T's Wayne Watts earned $8,505,373

As general counsel, Watts handles all legal matters for the communications giant.

He landed the position in June 2007.

Watts held the top legal spot when the Justice Department sued AT&T and T-Mobile in 2011 over the companies' $39 billion merger.

At the time, Watts said the merger had 'enormous benefits,' and said he was disappointed by the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit, CNet reported at the time.

Salary Source: SEC

Johnson & Johnson's former general counsel Russell Deyo earned $8,975,035.

Deyo served as Johnson & Johnson's general counsel until he retired in March, 2012.

The company tapped Michael Ullmann to take Deyo's spot.

Before he retired, Deyo was appointed vice president and general counsel in 2004.

Salary Source: SEC

Qualcomm's Donald Rosenberg earns $9,840,184

Rosenberg left his general counsel position at Apple for Qualcomm in 2007.

He joined Qualcomm as the wireless chipmaker was fending off an array of patent challenges filed by its competition.

'What intrigued me initially were all the legal issues and what I thought I might be able to do to help,' Rosenberg told the San Diego Daily Transcript in 2010.

Salary Source: SEC

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