Farmida Bi, CBE

Chair, Europe, Middle East and Asia
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

London
United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 5842
London
United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 5842
Farmida Bi, CBE

Farmida Bi, CBE

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Biography

Farmida Bi, CBE, has been our EMEA Chair since May 2018 and is based in London. She has more than 25 years of experience in capital markets and Islamic finance transactions, advising on English and New York law, and is also our European Head of Islamic Finance. She joined the firm as a partner in 2008, and was previously a partner at another large international firm. She has also worked in the London offices of other leading US and UK-based firms.

Farmida continues to advise clients and her practice is diverse, including sovereign bonds and programmes, Islamic finance, project bonds, restructurings and regulatory issues. Her clients include sovereigns and other government-related entities, international financial institutions and corporate service providers.

In addition to her constitutional role as Chair of the firm's Partnership Committee, her focus has been to enhance the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility programme, which includes sustainability, diversity and inclusion and pro bono.

Farmida is named as a 'leading individual' for Islamic finance and debt capital markets in The Legal 500 UK 2020; was listed in The Lawyer's Hot 100 for 2019; has been awarded 'Best in Banking and Finance' twice at the European Women in Business Law Awards; and was named one of the five most powerful Muslim women in the UK in The Times' inaugural Muslim Women Power List.

She is a graduate of Downing College, Cambridge and qualified as a solicitor in 1992, and as a New York attorney in 1999.

Farmida was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2020 for services to the law and to charity.


Professional experience

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  • Attorney at Law, admitted in New York
  • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales

Advising

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross on the world's first Humanitarian Impact Bond, an initiative that drew investment from the private sector to design, build and operate rehabilitation centres in Africa.
  • The issuer on the Opera CMBS default, the first European CMBS to default at final legal maturity.
  • An international investment bank on its debut benchmark US$500m Sukuk, the first by a US financial institution.
  • An international investment bank in a Supreme Court case confirming it had the right to redeem £3.3bn of enhanced capital notes, issued at the height of the banking crisis.
  • The Government of Pakistan on all its international issuances since 2014, totalling US$7 billion, including Eurobonds and Sukuk offered under Rule 144A and Regulation S and listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
  • The arrangers in connection with the first Shariah-compliant residential mortgage-backed securitization issued by Tamweel PJSC.
  • The issuer on the UK's first ever Sukuk, which raised financing for International Innovative Technologies Limited, a technology development company based in the North East of England, using the musharaka (joint venture) Sukuk structure.