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Global Leader

Arbitration 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

John Bowman is "a star" among arbitration practitioners whose speciality lies in disputes pertaining to the oil and gas sector.


John P Bowman is a partner with King & Spalding LLP in Houston, where he engages in an arbitration and litigation practice representing primarily international oil companies and service companies in a wide range of commercial and investment disputes. He frequently writes and speaks on international arbitration and international oil and gas topics. The Georgetown Journal of International Law will publish his article on Risk mitigation in international petroleum contracts in early 2020. In November 2017 he received the Institute for Energy Law’s Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award, given to one energy litigator each year whose achievements “have won the admiration of his or her peers”, at its annual energy litigation conference. He served as president of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (2014–2015), the only disputes lawyer so honoured.

Increasingly, John assists IOCs and international NOCs design and evaluate stabilisation, choice of law, and dispute resolution provisions in upstream and project agreements with host governments and NOCs. He also advises IOCs on an array of issues arising under host government contracts, laws, and regulations, including issues about transfers of interests and changes of control, NOC failure to pay cash calls, IOC entitlement to cost recovery, and breach of stabilisation protections.

John taught international arbitration for four years at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and currently teaches international energy arbitration at the Georgetown University Law Center.  He is also an honorary lecturer at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee, Scotland, where he last lectured on choice of law in international petroleum agreements. He was awarded the AIPN Education Award (2010-2011 and 2011–2012), its Legacy Award (2012–2013), and its President’s Award (2015–2016). In May 2015, the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission recognised John for his contribution to education concerning the Panama Convention at its conference in Panama City, celebrating the Convention’s 40th anniversary. In 2002 he received the national Burton Award for Legal Achievement for his article on the Panama Convention and its implementation under the Federal Arbitration Act, published by Columbia University in The American Review of International Arbitration and subsequently published as a book by Kluwer. 

A member of the advisory boards of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and the Institute for Energy Law, John is also a fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a member of the International Arbitration Club (London) and the International Arbitration Institute (Paris). He received his JD from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1980, where he was editor-in-chief of the Kansas Law Review. In April 2018, he received the KU School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award.

WWL Ranking: Recommended
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