Symonds is currently playing in the Indian Premier League for Deccan
Surrey have signed controversial Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds for their 2010 Twenty20 campaign.
The 34-year-old, who has previously had spells with Kent, Lancashire and Gloucestershire, has played 26 Tests and 198 one-day internationals.
Cricket manager Chris Adams told BBC London 94.9: "We're thrilled - it's been about two months worth of work.
"He's someone who can come in and be destructive, and very much take the team home in the last 10 overs."
He added: "There aren't many out there better than Andrew Symonds in that situation.
"He's exploded into action (at the IPL) and looked quite outstanding in the competition so far."
Symonds told Surrey's website: "I've always enjoyed playing in England and am looking forward to playing for Surrey.
"I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to play this exciting form of tournament cricket."
Adams added that he was not dissuaded by Symonds' poor disciplinary record, which led to his being dropped from Australia's side for last year's ICC World Twenty20, following a string of alcohol-related infringements.
If we can provide an environment for Andrew to come back and reinvent himself then it's win-win
The former Sussex captain said: "I guess I'm attracted to the broken souls. If we can provide an environment for Andrew to come back and reinvent himself then it's win-win. We'll get the best out of him and he'll get the best out of us."
During the 2005 Ashes tour, Symonds was dropped by Australia for indulging in a late-night drinking session on the night before a crucial one-day match against Bangladesh. Bangladesh went on to win the tie by five wickets - their first victory over Australia.
He was also sent home from Australia's 2008 tour of Bangladesh and dropped from the tour of India later that year after missing a compulsory meeting in order to go fishing.
Adams added: "He enjoys certain aspects of a decent lifestyle but it comes down to performance on the field. That's the thing I'm most interested in.
"If he joins us and continues to perform like he has in India recently then we'll be delighted."
Surrey's other overseas player, Piyush Chawla, was due to join the side in mid-May but Adams now doubts he will be available that early because of commitments in India.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.