Mr Adams, who has been a long-term advisor to ANZ, joins from Herbert Smith Freehills where he has been a senior partner since 1998 and a member of the firm’s global governance council.
As ANZ’s Group General Counsel, Mr Adams will be responsible for the bank’s global legal function, as well as providing senior legal counsel to the Board and Executive Committee. He will report to ANZ Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott.
Mr Elliott said: “We are fortunate to have one of Australia’s leading commercial lawyers join ANZ to lead our legal function. Ken is already well known to us having provided counsel for many years on major legal matters, including the recent Royal Commission.
“Ken succeeds Bob Santamaria who is retiring after a very successful legal career, including more than a decade as ANZ’s Group General Counsel. Bob is highly regarded throughout ANZ for not only his expert legal advice but also his strong values and tireless work ethic.
“We thank Bob for his significant contribution and wish him and his family the very best in his well-earned retirement,” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Adams will join ANZ on 19 August.