John Eric Podgore is a partner in our Infrastructure Projects and Energy 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 has advised on many diverse upstream oil and gas issues in frontier markets, including negotiating the first production sharing agreement in the Republic of Malawi and resolving Development and Production Service Contract issues at Iraq's Ministry of Oil headquarters in Baghdad.  He also advises on major infrastructure projects from downstream oil and gas -- to renewable power-generation -- to transportation infrastructure, 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 general counsel 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 the Suez (now Engie) Consortium for the Marafiq / Jubail IWPP in Saudi Arabia from bid preparation to financial close, which remains the world’s largest power generation and water desalination combined plant (2,745 MW and 800,000 m3 desalinated water per day).
  • Advising on the roll-out and geographical expansion (particularly Jordan and Egypt -- as well as Bahrain, Ghana, Kuwait, Oman, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia) of CAFU (a UAE-based technology / energy company that provided the Middle-East's first on-demand fuel payment / delivery application for B2C and B2B customers.
  • Advising Al Badia Cement (a subsidiary of the Al-Muhaidib Group of Saudi Arabia) on the development of a project-financed integrated cement production facility (3.2MM tons per annum) in Syria, including inside-the-fence mining and power generation operations
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • “Law Africanus (Operating in Africa from Dubai)” article in THE OATH magazine July 2014
  • Arabic - Fluent
  • French - Fluent
  • Russian – Fluent
  • Turkish – Good Command
Professional memberships
  • Member of the New York Bar and the District of Columbia Bar
  • Member, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
  • Member, Dubai Petroleum Club
  • Member, American Chamber of Commerce of Dubai (f/k/a American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates);  having previously held roles of President 2012-2013, General Counsel and Board Member