From Surviving to Thriving, Navigating the Journey from Law School to Legal Practice

Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies (CLARS) presents this Commercial Law Student Discussion Forum

Bob Santamaria, recently retired ANZ Group General Counsel and former Partner at Allens

Details of Past Event

Date: Monday, 18 May 2020
Time:  1pm - 2pm
RSVP: Register here

In this Zoom session, specifically for students, Bob Santamaria will share with you his personal journey from Law School to Legal Practice.

View the power point presentation here

The prospect of transition from law school to legal practice can be quite daunting. In one key respect, there is a reversal: at law school, you pay to attend. In legal practice, you need to convince others that your command of the law - and ability to harness that for the benefit of clients - warrants your being paid.

Last September, Bob Santamaria retired from over 40 years in practice, including 20 years as a partner with Allens and 12 years as the ANZ Group General Counsel. He still vividly recalls how, as he left Law School, he lacked any confidence that he could survive as a practising lawyer, let alone thrive in that role.

Bob will talk about his experience in practice, the ways in which he sought to survive, and how he managed to transition from surviving to thriving in practice.


Bob Santamaria’s career has spanned more than 40 years of experience in governance, securities, mergers and acquisitions. Bob was Partner from 1987 of Allens Arthur Robinson and also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  He was also a Relationship Partner for a number of major corporations, such as Rio Tinto, ANZ, BHP Billiton, Goldman Sachs JBWere, Aviva Insurance Group and Bendigo Bank.

Between 2007 and 2019, Bob worked in the role of Group General Counsel for ANZ Bank. In that role, he was responsible for the provision of legal services to ANZ globally. His work at ANZ involved a broad range of matters, including dealing with reputational issues arising from the global financial crisis and, more recently, addressing the bank’s response to the Banking Royal Commission.