Norton Rose has dealt a blow to Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) by poaching highly-rated head of Islamic finance Farmida Bi.

Bi, who leaves DWS after five years at the firm, will join Norton Rose as a partner to kickstart the rebuild of the firm’s securitisation and debt capital markets practice in the Middle East.

Norton Rose, in February, had suffered huge partner losses in the Middle East, with Ashurst poaching its regional head of energy practice John Inglis and Herbert Smith securing the release of finance partners Nadim Khan and Zubair Mir all in the space of one week (The Lawyer, 12 February).

Stephen Parish, Norton Rose’s head of banking, said: “Farmida is one part of the jigsaw to help rebuild our debt capital markets and securitisation practice in the Middle East,” said Parish. “I’m absolutely delighted that Farmida is to join us as it has been a long time trying to get her on the hook and reel her in.”

Bi’s new role will see her working alongside partners Laurence Garside, Tak Matsuda, Sandrine Sauvel, Dean Naumowicz, and Neil Miller in the international securities group.

DWS spokesman confirmed that Bi is leaving the firm.