Kraft Heinz appoints new head of legal for UK and Ireland with Samsung hire

Kraft Heinz has appointed a new head of legal for UK and Ireland, with the hire of former Pinsent Masons lawyer Zahir Karim.

Karim, who started at the food company last month, has joined from Samsung Electronics, where he spent four years as a legal counsel and senior manager in the Korean company’s UK legal team.

At Samsung he was responsible for the legal affairs of its UK sales and product divisions.

In his new role, Karim will report into Kraft Heinz EMEA GC Victoria White, and will take a position on the UK & Ireland leadership team.

Before going in-house in 2013, he trained and qualified at Pinsents in the UK firm’s IT and IP team.

Kraft and Heinz merged in 2015, and following the combination, deputy GC Jim Savina was promoted to succeed GC Kim Rucker, who left to join US refining company Tesoro.

Cravath Swaine & Moore, Kirkland & Ellis and Sullivan & Cromwell advised on the deal, which created one of the world’s largest food and drinks companies. Kraft turned to Sullivan, with Cravath and Kirkland advising Heinz.

This February, Linklaters and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison took lead roles on the merged company’s multibillion-dollar bid for Unilever. Kraft Heinz withdrew its offer – which was reportedly worth $143bn (£115bn) – with Unilever saying that the bid “fundamentally” undervalued the company.

Other UK law firms to have advised Kraft prior to the merger included Clifford Chance and DLA Piper, while Heinz has worked with firms such as CC, Allen & Overy, DLA and Slaughter and May.