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Company: General Motors
Position: Counsel — Compensation and Benefits
Location: Detroit, MI

Description: Reporting to the Lead Counsel – Corporate – Finance & Pension, Benefits & Compensation, this attorney will handle all executive compensation and benefits matters and will provide legal advice and business counsel to the Company globally. The Counsel – Compensation and Benefits position is a collaborative partner with Lead Counsel and the Department’s business partners. As a member of the Legal Staff, Counsel manages his/her cases and other assignments in an efficient, effective, and solutions-focused manner. Counsel creates and manages a budget for all matters handled by outside counsel and supports a culture of legal compliance and excellence through his/her work. Counsel is critical to helping move the Legal Staff and the business towards successful completion of objectives. This role requires a high degree of organization and process-orientation.

The position is located at GM’s Global Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, a city in the midst of transformation fueled by innovation and opportunity. The Company provides competitive benefits, compensation, and relocation assistance to Detroit.


Subject Matter Requirements: The Counsel – Compensation & Benefits position is a position that will:

  • Provide advice and counsel to management and GM Human Resources on issues such as state and federal regulations relating to executive compensation, health and welfare benefits and pensions, including related policies.
  • Draft executive compensation plans, including cash and equity incentive plans and deferred compensation plans and serve as subject matter expert on executive compensation matters such as 409A.
  • Advise on compensation and benefits administration matters, including employee appeals, and providing legal support to plan fiduciaries.
  • Draft and negotiate compensation and benefit related contracts, including administrative services contracts with plan vendors.
  • Draft and present client training on executive compensation, pensions and benefits issues, including fiduciary training.
  • Advise on regulatory matters relating to compensation, benefits and pensions, including review and audit by relevant regulators.
  • Provide advice and counsel on ERISA related pension investment management issues.
  • Provide advice and counsel on global pensions administration, with a particular focus on the US, Canada, and Europe, including support for pension trustee boards and fiduciary committees.
  • Coordinate regional business unit lawyers on international compensation and benefit matters to develop and maintain global standards for compensation and benefits and create a global center of excellence for compensation and benefits.
  • Support and contribute to Corporate – Finance & Pension, Benefits & Compensation team’s annual objectives.

Contact: Please submit a resume in Microsoft Word format with a letter describing your interest and relevant skills addressed to:

Heather Fine

No calls, please. Applicants may be required to complete additional documents to be considered for this position.

Qualifications: This position requires an exceptional attorney with solid character, and personal integrity. Personal and professional ‘fit’ within the Company’s culture is of paramount importance. In addition to possessing the requisite legal and technical skills, the successful candidate must approach this role from an experienced business perspective and demonstrate a high degree of ethics and integrity, as well as strategic/conceptual thinking capabilities. A low-ego/high team mentality is crucial.

Education Requirements:

  • Law degree from an accredited law school with excellent academics and membership in good standing in at least one state bar; graduation from nationally recognized law schools a strong plus
  • Active license to practice law in Michigan or at least one other US jurisdiction, and (if not admitted in Michigan) the ability to qualify for in-house practice in Michigan

Qualifications & Experience:

  • 10-15 years of executive compensation and benefits experience; law firm training strongly preferred, prior in-house or government experience is a plus, but is not required.
  • Ability to sit “first chair” on projects and inspire cross-functional team to high performance.
  • Demonstrated experience directly advising senior business leaders on executive compensation matters.
  • Prior experience managing and advising on cross-border compensation and benefits matters strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in process development and innovation; ability to form common process to handle similar matters efficiently.
  • Demonstrated commitment to compliance, integrity and quality.
  • Demonstrated experience providing legal advice in a highly regulated environment.
  • Demonstrated experience identifying and resolving legal issues quickly and effectively and ability to make on the spot risk calls.
  • Demonstrated experience prioritizing conflicting demands from multiple business clients in an extremely fast paced environment.
  • Ability to collaborate, build relationships, gain credibility, and partner effectively with others up and down a matrixed organization.
  • Self-directed, solution-focused individual that with strong work ethic and the ability to collaborate cross-functionally to achieve enterprise-wide results.
  • Ability to strategically guide the organization through change and inspire others to get involved and solve problems.
  • Knowledge and experience in key legal trends that impact the business.
  • Ability to respectfully speak up, exchange feedback and boldly share ideas without fear.
  • Strong oral and written communicator with an aptitude for critical thinking and succinctly presenting the best course of action.
  • Excellent computer skills, including advanced use of Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Knowledge and understanding of automotive industry environment and business needs is a plus.

In addition to the above skills, the successful candidate must exhibit the following Individual Characteristics—

  • Leadership: A key responsibility for this role will be supervising, educating and mentoring junior members of the team.
  • Organizational Agility:  Knowledgeable about how organizations work; knows how to get things done both through formal channels and the informal network; understanding the origin and reasoning behind key policies, practices and procedures; understands the culture of organizations.
  • Functional Expertise:  Has the functional and technical knowledge and skills to do the job at a high level of accomplishment.
  • Effective Negotiator:  This role requires hands-on negotiation for complex transactional work, and therefore, being an effective negotiator with both arms-length counter parties and future business partners is required.


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