John W.H. Denton AO, CEO and Partner of Australia’s leading independent law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has been unanimously elected Secretary General of the world’s largest business organisation, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The first Australian to lead this international peak body, Mr Denton will assume the full-time role of Secretary General in July this year when he steps down as CEO of Corrs.

Mr Denton was elected unanimously at a recent meeting of the executive of the ICC, which has a global network of more than six million members in over 100 countries.

The ICC was founded in the aftermath of the First World War in 1919, a time when there was no system of rules governing trade, investment, finance or commercial relations. Its founders believed the private sector was best qualified to set global business standards.

Stephen Price, Chairman of Corrs, warmly congratulated Mr Denton on his appointment.

“We are of course delighted for John and wish him all the best in his new role when he assumes the position later this year. It would appear an ideal appointment for a businessman of his standing, experience, expertise and global connections.”

Corrs had announced its succession plan in December last year, appointing Gavin MacLaren as CEO to commence in July when Mr Denton steps down.

Mr Denton said he was honoured to be appointed to the position with the ICC.

“I am excited at the opportunity provided through my new role with the ICC to promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation,” he said.

“With the current environment of global trade uncertainly and the new reality of nations turning inwards and taking protectionist steps, there has seldom been a more important time for the ICC to play its role in ensuring measured, ongoing dialogue to help keep the international trading system operating.

“In the meantime, my immediate focus continues to ensure Corrs continues to deliver exceptional results for our clients, partners and staff.”

Mr Denton will be relocating to the ICC’s headquarters in Paris when he takes over the full-time role.