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Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal

Global Leader

Arbitration 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"John's a top-tier name, without doubt"
"John knows more about oil and gas transactions than anyone"


John Bowman serves as an expert on international petroleum contracts and as an arbitrator in international energy disputes. He also frequently writes and speaks on international arbitration and international oil and gas topics. His latest publication: Risk Mitigation in International Petroleum Contracts, 50 Georgetown Journal of International Law 745–87 (2019).

He received the Institute for Energy Law’s Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award in 2017, and he served as President of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators in 2014–2015 [the only disputes lawyer so honored by the AIPN].

During his 40-year career as an advocate, John represented energy companies in disputes concerning expropriation of facilities and contract rights, production sharing contracts (renegotiation demands, windfall profits taxes, cost recovery, cross-boundary gas migration, failure of NOC to pay costs), AMIs and CAs, JOAs (removal of operator, JIBs, pref rights, voting rights, sole risk operations, failure to develop), seismic licensing agreements, drilling contracts (contract existence, mob delay, indemnification for pollution), natural gas and LNG sales contracts (price reopeners, destination clauses, TOP, ratable takes, reserve substitution, contract extension, gas quality and measurement), gas marketing duties, royalty obligations, property valuations, and representation agreements (failure to pay commissions, breach of FCPA provisions, payments to guerillas).

His work as an arbitrator has included JOA disputes (failures to pay cash calls, claims of Operator gross negligence and willful misconduct, drilling costs), representation/agency agreement disputes with local representatives, disputes over purchase and sale agreements for oil assets, gas pipeline v. gas processing company disputes over gas measurement methods, gas pipeline v. NOC disputes over long-term gas purchase obligations, and disputes between oil field service companies over confidentiality and non-compete agreements.

John teaches International Energy Arbitration at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. 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 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. The Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission recognized John for his contribution to education concerning the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (aka Panama Convention) at its conference in Panama City celebrating the Convention’s 40th Anniversary.

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).

John received his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1980, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Kansas Law Review. In 2018, he received the KU School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award. He is licensed to practice law in Texas.

WWL Ranking: Recommended
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