John Eric Podgore is a partner in our Construction, Energy and Infrastructure team, based in Dubai. He has more than twenty years of experience in both in-house and private practice roles, with over a decade practicing in the GCC. 

John advises on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, with a particular focus on the energy and infrastructure sectors in the Middle East, Africa, Russia and the CIS. He focuses on upstream and downstream oil and gas issues in frontier markets, including negotiating the first production sharing agreement in the Republic of Malawi. In the last few years he has also advised on major infrastructure projects in the Middle East and Africa (including in the renewable power-generation sector), often benefitting from Dubai’s role as a stepping stone for Asian investment in Africa.

John is also experienced in navigating issues of political risk associated with projects in frontier and emerging markets, including leveraging the capabilities of international financial institutions and export credit agencies. He filed the first-ever successful ‘lender’ claim under a major lender’s political risk insurance policy with the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in relation to a frontier market power plant. 

John also advises on complex cross-border transactions beyond the energy sector, and he frequently bridges linguistic and cultural barriers to negotiate effective joint ventures and enduring commercial arrangements.

Prior to joining Addleshaw Goddard, John has practiced as a GC of an energy / venture capital company in Dubai and as equity partner in a leading US law firm. In addition to native fluency in English, John is fluent in Arabic, French and Russian.

  • Advising various international oil & gas companies on upstream interests in the Middle East (including in the context of development and production service contracts in Baghdad-controlled Iraq), Africa and the former Soviet Union/Central Asia.
  • Advising multiple developers on major industrial/infrastructure projects in jurisdictions including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Libya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Ethiopia.
  • Advising a leading provider of diversified engineering and contracting services to the onshore and offshore oil & gas industries, on the US$66 million sale of International Inspection Services Ltd to Intertek Testing Services Holdings Limited.
  • Advising a regional sponsor/developer on a project-financed refinery to be constructed in Afghanistan on a multi-stage basis with a 60,000 barrels per day initial capacity and potential future capacity of 120,000 barrels per day.
  • Advising a Libyan oil refining company on contractual arrangements for the sale and supply of term-based and spot-based refined crude oil products, and numerous disputes with multi-national petroleum companies in relation to subsequent sales
Professional qualifications
  • Member, District of Columbia and New York Bars
Professional memberships
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Dubai, Past President and current member 
  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators
  • Dubai Petroleum Club
  • Princeton University, A.B., magna cum laude
  • Damascus University, Faculty of Law, Fulbright Scholar
  • Saint Petersburg State University, Faculty of Law
  • Duke University School of Law, J.D.