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Gabor Bognar

Gabor Bognar

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Gabor’s practice has three focus areas: First, commercial and chancery work, often in the context of banking and finance, pensions, or professional services. Second, employment law, including whistleblowing. Third, public law, in particular immigration.

Gabor has appeared as sole counsel in the High Court, the County Court, the Employment Tribunal and before the disciplinary committees of professional regulatory bodies.

He accepts instructions from professional clients primarily on disputes, as well as on some non-contentious advisory and drafting matters.

Gabor is qualified to work on a public access (i.e. direct access) basis. He accepts such instructions from individuals, companies and other organisations, relating to matters where litigation is imminent or has already started.

Gabor is a member of the Civil Mediation Council (“CMC”) and a CMC Registered Mediator. He accepts instructions to act as a mediator, or as a mediation advocate, both from professional clients and on a public access basis.

In 2017, Gabor completed a four-month secondment to the Financial Conduct Authority. There, he worked in the General Counsel’s Division, advising on several disputes and proposed transactions of regulatory interest, specifically in relation to insurance, investments and pensions.

Gabor’s legal skills are complemented by deep commercial and entrepreneurial experience from a 16-year career in investment management and investment banking. Before turning to law, he was a partner at Elsworthy Capital, a fund management business he co-founded. Earlier, Gabor was an investment strategist and portfolio manager for equities at Cheyne Capital. He was previously an economist at Dresdner Kleinwort (as it then was) and Goldman Sachs, advising on foreign exchange and sovereign bond investments in Emerging Europe and the Middle East.

Gabor undertook the BPTC at City University. He has an LLM (Qualifying Law Degree) from Birkbeck College, University of London, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge; and a BA in Economics from Bard College (Annandale, New York). In addition, Gabor has studied at the London School of Economics, the University of Melbourne and the National Law School of India University (Bangalore), amongst others.

Commercial & Chancery

Examples of recent matters:

Breaches of consultancy agreement for facilitating sale of farmland to developer. Advising consultant, who is prevented by landowners from performance of contract. Consultant v Landowners (2017-2018, ongoing).

Dispute between two directors of company, each a 50% shareholder. Mutual allegations of breaches of directors’ duties, including of diversion of corporate opportunities. Advised director excluded form management of business. Director v Director (2017-2018).

Director’s failure to repay loan taken from company. Represented company and obtained favourable settlement. Nights Gone Wild Ltd v Verhagen (County Court, 2017).

Alleged breach of hire agreement. Forum non conveniens. Successfully argued that English court should not exercise its jurisdiction to hear claim relating to contract formed in Scotland. Grenke Leasing Ltd v Queen’s Cross Church of Scotland Aberdeen (County Court, 2017).

Applications for winding-up of companies on petition of creditors. Successfully represented creditors. Re Build Design Construction Ltd and other matters (Companies Court, 2016 and 2017).

Reform of company law statute in a jurisdiction in Middle East. Advised on directors’ duties and related remedies. Drafted legislation for public authority (instructed as part of team led by Andrew Spink QC). Company law reform (2016).

Enforcement of personal guarantee. Successfully resisted application to set aside default judgment. Ribat Institute v Khan (County Court, 2016).

Arbitration. Expulsion of member from a limited liability partnership in management consultancy sector. Whether remaining LLP members had reasonable grounds for expulsion. Whether breach of express duty of good faith (assisted Benjimin Burgher). Expulsion of LLP member (London Court of International Arbitration, 2015-2016).

Advised receiver appointed after default by borrower on commercial mortgage. Issues included validity of receiver’s appointment; designation of legal charge as security document under loan agreement; and receiver’s personal liability relating to potential retention of title claim by third party (assisted Benjimin Burgher). Commercial mortgage default (2015).

Banking

Examples of recent matters:

Default on mortgage. Continuation of suspended possession order. Mortgagors in dispute about selling property to repay creditor. Represented one of mortgagors. Yorkshire Building Society v Kavia (County Court, 2017).

Insolvency of bank in Dubai International Financial Centre. Breach of settlement agreement between creditor and liquidators. Advised creditor on estoppel by representation, insolvency set-off and contractual set-off (assisted David Russell QC). DIFC bank insolvency (2017).

Default on secured loan. Application for stay of warrant of eviction. Debtor intending to sell property and to repay creditor from proceeds. Represented debtor. Luwum v Royal Bank of Scotland plc (Queen’s Bench Division, 2017).

Negligent undervaluation of property when sold by mortgagee in possession. Successfully resisted application for reverse summary judgment and for strike-out of particulars of claim. Lowenthal v Bank of Ireland Home Mortgages Ltd (Queen’s Bench Division, 2016).

Alleged unlawful termination of financing provided by bank to group of property companies, resulting in latter’s insolvency. Litigation valued at £700 million. Advised defendant bank on disclosure and privilege. Debtor v Bank (Commercial Court, 2016).

Default on loan agreement. Assessment of sum owed, including whether agreement was modified to extend repayment period. Firstplus Financial Group plc v Okoye (County Court, 2016).

Financial Services

Examples of recent matters:

Contracts for difference on foreign exchange futures. Breach of contract by brokerage, by making margin call on investor’s positions when balances in investor’s accounts sufficient to keep positions open and by closing positions at a price below market. Drafted particulars of claim (assisted Michael Uberoi). Investor v Brokerage (2017).

With-profits life insurance. Constitution of classes for proposed scheme of arrangement under Companies Act 2006. Advice in writing. Life insurance (2017).

“Protection plan” for domestic appliances. Whether in law a contract of insurance or a contract for services. Whether requiring regulatory permission. Insurance perimeter (2017).

Car insurance policy marketed by with a “guarantee” of no future premium increases, regardless of claim history. Firm seeking to remove “guarantee”. Advised about contractual and regulatory position. Insurance regulation (2017).

Marketing of appointed representative services to fund managers. Whether description as “regulatory hosting” was a reference to approval or endorsement by a competent authority. Advice in writing. Regulatory hosting (2017).

Private client stockbroking and wealth management. “Insistent client” policy, i.e. procedure to be followed by firm if client wishes to proceed with a transaction which is considered by firm not to be suitable and/or appropriate for client in meaning of Financial Conduct Authority Handbook (assisted Oliver Assersohn). Insistent client policy (2015).

Pensions & Trusts

Examples of recent matters:

Constructive trust over residential property jointly owned by former co-habitees. Represented defendant and obtained favourable settlement. Holmes v Thompson (County Court, 2017-2018).

Prohibition proceedings against former directors of corporate trustee of an occupational pension scheme. Whether trustees acted with lack of integrity by making employer-related investments, by making allegedly misleading statements, and/or in relation to “pension liberation” (assisted Michael Uberoi). The Pensions Regulator v SAW (Determinations Panel, 2017).

Occupational pension scheme. Alleged negligence by firm of solicitors in advising about amendment of trust deed and rules. Advised and drafted pleadings for defendant (assisted David E Grant). Pension scheme professional negligence (2016).

Occupational pension scheme. Equalisation of normal pension age for men and women. Whether effective from date when announced in writing, or from date when trust deed and rules were amended (assisted Andrew Short QC). Safeway Ltd v Newton [2016] EWHC 377 (Ch). See: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2016/377.html.

Employment & Discrimination

Examples of recent matters:

Post-resignation and post-termination obligations of marketing/sales professional. Whether employer entitled to recall employee from previously agreed garden leave. Whether duration of restrictive covenant unreasonable. Advised employee. Garden leave and restraint of trade (2017).

Protected disclosures about patient safety to management of private hospital by director of operations. Detriment and unfair dismissal. Employer’s decision-making process manipulated/tainted by senior employee. Represented claimant. Settled. Whistleblower v Employer (Employment Tribunal, 2017).

Disability discrimination. Travel insurance for cancer patients. Whether refusal to insure, or offering insurance only subject to unfavourable terms and conditions, is lawful under Equality Act 2010. Advice in writing. Travel insurance discrimination (2017).

Judicial mediation. Redundancy in restructuring at primary school. Alleged discrimination on grounds of religion and sex. Represented claimant. Obtained written apology and financial settlement. Mediation settlement (Employment Tribunal, 2016).

Refusal by bakery to fulfil customer’s order for cake decorated with words chosen by customer. Whether discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or political opinion. Whether relevant domestic legislation can be read compatibly with ECHR, articles 9 and 10 (assisted Sarah Crowther). Lee v McArthur [2016] NICA 39. See: http://www.bailii.org/nie/cases/NICA/2016/39.html.

Gross misconduct by employee. Whether open to Employment Tribunal to form its own view of potential mitigating factors, or whether it must ask only if employer’s decision to dismiss was reasonable (assisted Sarah Crowther). Sanders v East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (Employment Appeal Tribunal, 2016).

Public Law

Examples of recent matters:

Leave to remain. Appeal from refusal decision by Home Office. Welfare of children. Statutory and ECHR, article 8 grounds. WEO v Secretary of State for Home Department (First-tier Tribunal, 2018, ongoing).

Judicial review. Application for bail accommodation under Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Whether delay in provision unlawful at common law. Whether continuing detention contrary to ECHR, article 5. Drafted summary grounds of defence. ELM v Secretary of State for Home Department (Administrative Court, 2018).

Judicial review. Leave to remain. Whether further submissions “created a realistic prospect of success” in meaning of Immigration Rules. Whether evidence of “exceptional circumstances” exited. Drafted summary grounds of defence. AK v Secretary of State for Home Department (Upper Tribunal, 2017).

Judicial review. Application for residence card refused. Whether refusal contained sufficient reasons. Detention and decision to remove. Whether human rights claim to be regarded as previously determined. Drafted summary grounds of defence. AA v Secretary of State for Home Department (Upper Tribunal, 2017).

Judicial review application for alleged unlawful detention. Whether “child” includes person about whom decision maker mistakenly but reasonably believed that his age was 18 or over. Whether Hansard can be used as aid to interpretation. Advised defendant on interpretation of Immigration Act 1971 (assisted John McKendrick QC). R (AA) v Secretary of State for Home Department [2016] EWHC 1453 (Admin). See: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2016/1453.html.

Disciplinary & Regulatory

Examples of recent matters:

Prohibition proceedings against former directors of corporate trustee of an occupational pension scheme. Whether trustees acted with lack of integrity by making employer-related investments, by making allegedly misleading statements, and/or in relation to “pension liberation” (assisted Michael Uberoi). The Pensions Regulator v SAW (Determinations Panel, 2017).

Fitness to practise proceedings. Nurse convicted by Magistrates’ Court of driving with excess of alcohol and being drunk while in charge of a child. Nursing & Midwifery Council v HDW (Conduct & Competence Committee, 2016). See: https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/ftpoutcomes/2016/october/reasons-whitfield-cccsh-49508-20160805.pdf.

Fitness to practise proceedings. Misconduct by dental technician: Acting beyond permitted scope of practice, including a charge of dishonesty. Succeeded in submissions that registrant had no case to answer in respect of dishonesty. General Dental Council v HS (Professional Conduct Committee, 2016). See: http://www.gdc-uk.org/Membersofpublic/Hearings/Pages/default.aspx?Hearing=2761.

Fitness to practise proceedings. Alleged misconduct by dentist: Using unnecessary force during treatment; continuing treatment after patient withdrew consent; and communicating with patient in inappropriate manner (assisted Matthew McDonagh). General Dental Council v MSM (Professional Conduct Committee, 2016). See: https://www.gdc-uk.org/Membersofpublic/Hearings/Pages/default.aspx?Hearing=2705.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Examples of recent matters:

Judicial mediation. Redundancy in restructuring at primary school. Alleged discrimination on grounds of religion and sex. Represented claimant. Obtained written apology and financial settlement. Mediation settlement (Employment Tribunal, 2016).

Arbitration. Expulsion of member from a limited liability partnership in management consultancy sector. Whether remaining LLP members had reasonable grounds for expulsion. Whether breach of express duty of good faith (assisted Benjimin Burgher). Expulsion of LLP member (London Court of International Arbitration, 2015-2016).

Appointments & Memberships

  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Civil Mediation Council
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Company Insolvency Pro Bono Scheme
  • Competition Law Association
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA Institute)

Awards

  • Wolfson Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn; 2015)
  • Lord Mansfield Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn; 2014 – 2015)
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn; 2013)
  • External Studentship (King’s College, Cambridge; 1995 – 1996)
  • Jerome Levy Economics Scholarship (Bard College; 1992 – 1995)
  • Eric Warren Goldman Scholarship (Bard College; 1992)
  • Soros Foundation Scholarship (Bard College; 1991 – 1992)

Languages

  • Hungarian (bilingual)
  • Spanish (advanced written)
  • French (intermediate written)
  • Russian (basic)

Gabor Bognar is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

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