Norton Rose Fulbright announces Farmida Bi as its next Global Chair

Global Press release - People December 9, 2021

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright today announced that London capital markets and Islamic finance partner Farmida Bi, CBE, will become its Global Chair, effective January 1, 2022. In her leadership role, Farmida’s priorities will be supporting Norton Rose Fulbright’s vision of providing exceptional client service and fostering a culture of inclusivity and connectivity across the firm’s 50+ offices worldwide.

Farmida is also the firm’s Chair of Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA); she was elected to this position by the EMEA partners for a three-year term in 2018 and reelected earlier this year. As EMEA Chair, Farmida has been instrumental in building a culture of inclusive leadership, social responsibility, global connectivity and sustainability, and she will bring this experience and focus to her global role.

Farmida’s legal practice is focused on debt capital markets and Islamic finance, and she has a particular interest in the role Islamic finance, as a form of ethical finance, can play in unlocking funding for ESG initiatives designed to promote the UN Social Development Goals. 

In addition to her work at Norton Rose Fulbright, Farmida is also Chair of Trustees for the Barbican Centre Trust (which raises funding for the Barbican, the largest performing arts centre in Europe) and for the Patchwork Foundation (a charity that promotes engagement in politics and civil society for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds).

Farmida’s leadership and practice has been acknowledged with awards such as the Financial News “Top 20 Most Influential in Legal Services 2021” and “100 Most Influential Women in European Finance” from 2019-2021; the HERoes Top 100 Role Model List 2020 and 2019; The Lawyer’s Hot 100 Leaders 2019; the “Outstanding Practitioner Award 2019” at the Euromoney, Europe Women in Business Law Awards; “Finance Team of the Year 2018” at the Legal Business Awards; and the Financial Times “100 Innovative Lawyers Europe 2018.” 

Named one of Britain’s top five most powerful Muslim women by The Times on its “Muslim Women Power List,” Farmida was recognized for her services to the law and to charity by HM The Queen in the 2020 Birthday Honours 2020 by being made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Gerry Pecht, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Chief Executive, said:

“Farmida Bi has distinguished herself as a leader at our firm and an award-winning lawyer in the global business community. I would like to thank Shauna Clark, our outgoing Global Chair, for her contributions in this role, and I look forward to working with Farmida to further enhance our firm for our clients and our people.”

Farmida Bi, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Chair for 2022, said:

“I am delighted to be appointed Global Chair, and I look forward to working with my amazing colleagues around the world to nurture a culture of inclusivity and innovation. We are facing unprecedented changes, both as a firm and as a society, as we emerge from the global pandemic and respond to the climate crisis. I want us to be bold in taking advantage of the opportunities that have been created and be recognized as the world’s leading truly global law firm. I also look forward to celebrating, supporting and connecting with my colleagues across the world. They are at the heart of everything we do, and they have been extraordinary in their dedication and focus over the last two years. ”