Farmida Bi, CBE
Global Chair and Chair, EMEA
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
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Farmida Bi CBE has been our EMEA chair since May 2018 and became global chair on January 1, 2022. Her priorities are 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 has continued to work in her own practice of 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.
Recognized in the 'Hall of Fame' for Islamic finance and as a 'leading individual' for debt capital markets in The Legal 500 UK 2020, Farmida's leadership and practice have also 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'.
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 center in Europe) and for the Patchwork Foundation (a charity that promotes engagement in politics and civil society for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds).
Farmida was recognized for her services to the law and to charity by the UK's HM The Queen in the 2020 Birthday Honours 2020 by being made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). She is a graduate of Downing College, Cambridge and qualified as a solicitor in 1992, and as a New York attorney in 1999.
- Attorney at Law, admitted in New York
- Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales
- 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.