John Eric Podgore heads our Transactional Practice Team based in Dubai. He has more than twenty years of experience in private practice and general counsel roles, with over a decade of practice in the GCC. John is a product of big Western law firms – having come to Dubai in 2005 to open the office of a major US law firm (Akin Gump) – and he has been a partner in US and British law firms in the Middle East over the years.
John advises on a wide range of transactional matters, with a particular focus on the energy and infrastructure sectors in the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and the CIS. He has traditionally 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 high-stakes Development and Production Service Contract issues at Iraq’s Ministry of Oil headquarters in Baghdad. He also advises on all aspects of the development of major infrastructure projects from conventional/renewable power generation, to midstream / downstream oil and gas — to transportation/logistics infrastructure. He is increasingly advising clients on the intersection of the Energy Transition / Decarbonization, technology (blockchain, AI, IoT, etc.), and venture capital.
John is also experienced in navigating issues of political risk associated with transactions 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 US Development Finance Corporation (formerly known as the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation), in relation to a frontier market power plant.
John routinely advises on complex cross-border transactions that involve particularly difficult situations/jurisdictions/parties, and he frequently bridges linguistic and cultural barriers to negotiate and document effective joint ventures, infrastructure projects, and high-value commercial arrangements.
In addition to native fluency in English, John is fluent in Arabic, French, and Russian.Download VCard