Lawyer salary

Snap’s Top Lawyer Salary Drops 30%, Chief Compliance Officer Quits (1)

Snap Inc. general counsel Michael O’Sullivan received more than $5.4 million in total compensation last year, down 30% from the prior year, the agency said Friday. company.

O’Sullivan’s salary is down from the more than $7.7 million he received in 2020. He saw his salary peak in 2017, the year he took over the legal role Snap principal, earning nearly $16.7 million, mostly in the form of stock awards.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Snap, the parent company of social media service Snapchat, this week saw its longtime chief compliance officer and global head of litigation, Dominic Perella, announce he would step down in the spring to take on a sabbatical. Perella, who is also assistant general counsel at Snap, said he was “ready for a break after 20 years of doing Law Things.”

Snap’s 10-K filing on Friday also revealed the company’s payments last year to two outside law firms: Munger, Tolles & Olson and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Snap did not describe the specific work each company has done for the company.

Munger, where O’Sullivan worked, is also home to litigation partner John Spiegel, the father of Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel. While the elder Spiegel did not personally provide legal services to the company last year, Munger himself was paid more than $941,000 for legal services rendered, according to Snap.

Debra Wong Yang, a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and current chair of the crisis management practice at Gibson Dunn, has also done legal work for Snap, the company said. Wong Yang is Evan Spiegel’s stepmother. Snap revealed that it paid Gibson Dunn more than $839,000 last year.

Snap, like some of its competitors, had seen its share price plummet amid fears over future social media growth. Snap’s stock price rebounded on Friday, however, as the company released sales and earnings numbers that pleased Wall Street.

Securities filings show O’Sullivan, Snap’s chief legal officer, has sold more than $26 million of the company’s stock in the past year. O’Sullivan currently owns nearly $37 million worth of Snap stock, according to data from Bloomberg.

Snap’s 10-K filing shows O’Sullivan received $725,000 in cash compensation from Snap last year, consisting of an annual base salary of $500,000 and $225,000 in compensation in the under a non-equity incentive plan, as well as $4.7 million in equity.

O’Sullivan took over from Snap’s first-ever general counsel, Christopher Handman, a former appeals litigation partner of Hogan Lovells in Washington who left the company after its 2017 IPO.

Perella, Snap’s outgoing chief compliance and litigation officer, is also a former associate in Hogan Lovells’ appellate litigation practice. He served as interim chief legal officer at Snap prior to O’Sullivan’s appointment as chief legal officer five years ago. Perella did not respond to a request for comment on her decision to walk away from Snap.

Perella’s farewell message via LinkedIn included links to two job postings at Snap for the compliance officer and litigation officer positions he held at the company.

Snap also parted ways with former chief strategy officer Jared Grusd last year. Snap revealed that Grusd is still a senior adviser to its CEO and received nearly $27 million in total compensation last year. Most of this sum was in shares.

James Williams, a former Snap associate general counsel hired in 2016 by Twitter Inc., also left last year to become Thorn’s general counsel. The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based nonprofit, co-founded by actors Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, makes software to defend children from sexual abuse.

Snap remained in the legal talent market.

Last year, the company hired former Willie Farr & Gallagher partner Kristen Killian for a strategic role. He also added Assistant General Counsel and Global Head of Commercial Law Claudia Teran of Fox Corp.