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John Eric Podgore advises on a wide range of corporate and commercial transactions, with a particular focus on the energy sector and project-financed infrastructure in the Middle East, the former Soviet Union and Africa.

Mr. Podgore’s recent experience includes assisting clients on major acquisitions in the above-noted regions, often involving upstream oil & gas interests. In the last few years he has also advised on major industrial/infrastructure projects throughout the Middle East and Africa. Many of such projects involve the generation or transmission/distribution of power, and he is currently assisting clients in connection with multiple energy sector projects in Africa.

Mr. Podgore 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 U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in relation to a major project-financed power plant.

He also routinely advises on complex cross-border transactions spanning various business sectors, from life sciences to telecommunications. He frequently bridges linguistic and cultural barriers to negotiate effective joint ventures and enduring commercial arrangements.

In addition to the largely private sector-oriented mandates described above, Mr. Podgore advises clients on issues relating to U.S. government contracting, U.S. government affairs and U.S. regulatory issues with extraterritorial impact (including U.S. sanctions in respect of countries such as Iran, Syria, Sudan and Russia).

Mr. Podgore is ranked in Chambers Global 2016 and highlighted for his work in the energy sector, in particular on oil and gas matters across the Middle East and Africa , as well as in connection with  corporate reorganisations and M&A, citing clients who "appreciate that he is a very good sounding board for ideas."

Significant Representations

  • Lamprell Plc, 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.
  • A major Asian engineering, construction and energy conglomerate on its bid to partner with the Government of the Republic of Uganda to construct a crude oil refinery in Uganda with an estimated capacity of 60,000 barrels per day and with an estimated US$2.5 billion+ project cost.
  • A MENASA 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.
  • A Middle East oil & gas company on various upstream oil & gas issues in East Africa, including the drafting and negotiation of one particular country's first production sharing agreement.
  • A European independent oil & gas company on a dispute regarding its acquisition of oil & gas producing assets in the Middle East.
  • A Middle East region oil & gas company on its acquisition of a participating interest in a producing asset in Yemen through a farm-in arrangement.
  • A Middle East oil & gas company on upstream oil & gas issues in Tanzania, including issues arising under exploration licenses, development licenses, “farm-in” arrangements and joint operating agreements – as well as advice and structuring in respect of potential long-term gas sales agreements.
  • A Middle Eastern sponsor/developer in respect of a power generation/transmission/distribution project in Sierra Leone.
  • RAK Maritime City in relation to its lease of land to, and participation in the equity of, an integrated diammonium phosphate project to be developed in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah by Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited.
  • An independent exploration and production company on the acquisition of an upstream oil & gas interest in Turkey.
  • Multiple developers on major industrial/infrastructure projects in jurisdictions including Syria, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
  • A developer consortium on the largest independent water desalination and power plant tendered to date (located in Jubail, Saudi Arabia).
  • A developer on an integrated cement production facility in Syria, including quarrying operations and a captive power plant.
  • A GCC developer on the acquisition and upgrade of Libya’s largest oil refinery.
  • Various international oil & gas companies on the acquisition of upstream interests in the Middle East (including in the context of technical service contracts in Baghdad-controlled Iraq), the former Soviet Union and Africa (including the aborted acquisition of a significant offshore gas asset in North Africa, where the transaction documents were executed but not all conditions precedent were satisfied).
  • A GCC energy company in the context of an oil refinery joint venture in East Africa.
  • A major Russian conglomerate on the establishment of a joint venture and development of a project-financed steelrolling/rebar mill in the UAE.
  • A Dubai-based conglomerate on the acquisition of significant shareholdings in multiple U.S. companies specializing in green technologies and renewable energy.
  • The seller on the sale of a majority stake of Uzbekistan’s largest mobile phone service provider.
  • A UAE quasi-governmental entity on a world-class, project-financed chemical sector infrastructure project in Uzbekistan.
  • A number of foreign investors on business operations and joint ventures in the GCC, including the incorporation of companies within the UAE and its many free zones.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.


Princeton University, A.B., 1993, magna cum laude
Damascus University, Faculty of Law, 1994, Fulbright Scholar
Saint Petersburg State University, Faculty of Law, 1996
Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1997

Bar Admissions/Qualifications

District of Columbia
New York


Association of International Petroleum Negotiators
American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates, Past President (2011 and 2012) and ex officio member of its Board of Directors