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Gabor Bognar

Gabor Bognar

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Gabor’s practice has three focus areas. First, chancery work, with an emphasis on contentious private client matters and pensions. Second, commercial disputes, often in the context of banking and finance. Third, private international law, covering issues of jurisdiction, applicable law, plus the recognition and enforcement of judgments. In addition he has an interest in, and experience of, immigration and asylum work.

Gabor has appeared as sole counsel in the High Court, the County Court, the Employment Tribunal, the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), and before the disciplinary committees of professional regulatory bodies.

He is instructed by professional clients primarily on disputes where proceedings are imminent or ongoing. Gabor is qualified to work on a public access (i.e. direct access) basis. He accepts such instructions relating to cases where litigation is already underway.

Gabor is a Civil Mediation Council 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 secondment to the Financial Conduct Authority. There, he worked in the General Counsel’s Division, advising on 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 has an LLM from the London School of Economics; 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, he has studied at the University of Melbourne and the National Law School of India University (Bangalore), amongst others. Gabor undertook the BPTC at City University, London.

Commercial & Chancery

Gabor acts in a wide range of commercial and chancery matters, including business-to-business and business-to-consumer contract litigation, as well as company law disputes involving alleged breaches of fiduciary and/or statutory duties by directors. He has also provided advice or representation relating to matters such as the enforcement of personal guarantees, the restoration of companies to the Register, and retention of title clauses. Gabor is experienced in insolvency litigation, particularly proceedings for the compulsory winding up of companies.

Examples of recent matters:

Action for specific performance of mediation settlement agreement. Dispute about ownership of equitable interest in a variety of residential properties. Whether settlement agreement can be rescinded based on misrepresentation and/or for other reasons. Whether specific performance should be resisted on ground that claimant had “unclean hands”. Advised one of defendants. M v M (Chancery Division, 2018).

Actions for debts under contracts related to defendants’ memberships in timeshare resort clubs. Each club structured as unincorporated association. Whether amendment of clubs’ respective constitutions incompatible with their “fundamental object”. Successfully represented claimant. Macdonald Resorts Ltd v Caldwell (County Court, 2018); Macdonald Resorts Ltd v Channing (County Court, 2018).

Flight delay. Claims for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. Whether illness of first officer, which occurred hours before scheduled departure, amounted to “extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken”. Represented air carrier. Ashraf v British Airways plc (County Court, 2018).

Restoration of company to Register of Companies, after it had been struck off for non-compliance with filing obligations. Represented creditor, which wanted to pursue claim against struck-off company for breach of contract. Motocorsa Ltd v Registrar of Companies (County Court, 2018).

Claim for non-payment under contract, whereby motorcycle distributor had agreed to finance production of motorcycles by designer/manufacturer. Advised distributor. Drafted defence and counterclaim. Sleeman v Motocorsa Ltd (County Court, 2018).

Mutual allegations of breach of contract. Claim brought by company active in fashion retailing against its former provider of digital marketing agency services. Advised agency. Drafted defence and additional claim against third parties. Fashion Retailer v Marketing Agency (Chancery Division and County Court, 2018).

Assured shorthold tenancy. Defended action for repudiatory breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment and covenant of repair. Successfully represented landlord and obtained costs order against tenant. Kwok v BCSSS Property GP Holding Ltd (County Court, 2018).

Breaches of consultancy agreement for facilitating sale of farmland to developer. Advised consultant, who was prevented by landowners from continuing to perform contract. Drafted letter before claim. Consultant v Landowners (2017-2018).

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).

Application for annulment of bankruptcy order against individual. Advised debtor. Re B (County Court, 2017).

Applications for winding-up of companies on petition of creditors. Successfully represented creditors. Re Build Design Construction Ltd and other cases (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

Gabor’s experience of banking work encompasses a variety of UK and international disputes, frequently relating to defaults on secured and/or unsecured debts. Such matters may arise in the context of actual or potential insolvency, and often include property-related issues, such as valuation, possession, and sale.

Examples of recent matters:

Appeals function of bank’s remediation process for addressing disputes raised by customers. Advised on case-work. Bank remediation (2018, ongoing).

Default on mortgage. Continuation of suspended possession order. Mortgagors in dispute with each other 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 bank’s liquidators. Advised creditor on estoppel by representation, insolvency set-off and contractual set-off (assisted David Russell QC). Creditor v Liquidators of Bank (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

Gabor’s practice in financial services covers both contractual disputes and regulatory matters relating to a variety of financial products and services, such as foreign exchange and stockbroking, fund management and investments, as well as life and other insurance. His experience in this field has included a secondment to the Financial Conduct Authority, where he worked in the General Counsel’s Division.

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 (Commercial Court, 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

Gabor’s experience of pensions work includes assisting in relation to regulatory issues, such as a financial support direction and prohibition proceedings. He has also assisted on disputes relating to alleged professional negligence in the amendment of trust deeds and rules, and pension-age equalisation.

Examples of recent matters:

Financial support direction issued by the Pensions Regulator under Pensions Act 2004, section 43. Whether applicant “connected with or an associate of the employer”, despite appointment of administrative receivers. Whether reasonable to impose direction on applicant (assisted Nicolas Stallworthy QC). Granada UK Rental and Retail Ltd v The Pensions Regulator (Box Clever Group Pension Scheme) [2018] UKUT 164 (TCC).

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).

Private Client

In his private client practice, Gabor is instructed primarily for contentious work. He has experience of advising and representing clients in co-ownership and inheritance disputes raising issues of constructive and resulting trusts, as well as proprietary estoppel. His work encompasses actions under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. He is available to deal with matters concerning the validity, construction and rectification of wills; intestacy; the duties of personal representatives; and questions of private international law in relation to any of the foregoing.

Represented party to inheritance dispute, who claimed to be entitled to all or part of farmhouse and surrounding farm based on constructive trust or proprietary estoppel, and/or claimed to be entitled to reasonable financial provision under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Settled during trial. Executors of Estate v Son of Deceased (County Court, 2018).

Constructive trust over residential property jointly owned by former co-habitees. Represented defendant who, after separation, repaid joint mortgage and raised couple’s four children. Obtained favourable settlement. Holmes v Thompson (County Court, 2017-2018).

Private International Law

Gabor has advised and represented clients in disputes involving private international law, covering issues of jurisdiction and applicable law. His work has included the application of EU Regulation 1215/2012 (Brussels Recast) to jurisdictional questions relating to a contract and relating to tort; EU Regulation 593/2008 (Rome I) on the law applicable to contractual obligations; and EU Regulation 864/2007 (Rome II) on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations. He has dealt with issues arising between parts of the UK (e.g. England and Scotland) under the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 and the common law of forum non conveniens. Gabor also accepts instructions on matters concerning the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

Claim for debt in respect of management charges owed by member of timeshare resort. Whether Scottish law applicable; requirements for pleading and proving foreign law. Represented management company. Macdonald Resorts Ltd v Bushnell (County Court, 2018, judgment reserved).

Alleged breach of equipment 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).

Advised on jurisdiction and applicable law in relation to potential personal injury claim by employee of a British High Commission in Africa. The employee, a UK national habitually resident in Scotland, was injured abroad (assisted Sarah Crowther). M v Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2016).

Public Law

Gabor’s public law work focuses on immigration and asylum, often on the instruction of the Government Legal Department. His experience in the field encompasses, amongst other matters: leave to remain under the points-based system and on human rights grounds; residence and permanent residence; refugee status and humanitarian protection; and judicial review applications related to all of the preceding.

Examples of recent matters:

Judicial review. Indefinite leave to remain on the ground of long residence. Whether applicant had 10 years of continuous lawful residence in UK. Whether Home Office was wrong not to grant right of appeal to applicant. Drafted summary grounds of defence. MAKA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Upper Tribunal, 2018).

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).

Judicial review. Application for bail accommodation under Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Whether delay in provision of accommodation 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” existed. 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. 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).

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Gabor is an ADR Group Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator and a Civil Mediation Council Registered Mediator. He is available to act as a mediator, or as a mediation advocate. In particular, Gabor accepts instructions for the mediation of chancery disputes, including private client and pensions cases; commercial disputes, including banking and financial services cases; as well as matters involving private international law.

Examples of recent experience:

Action for specific performance of mediation settlement agreement. Dispute about ownership of equitable interest in a variety of residential properties. Advised one of defendants on whether settlement agreement can be rescinded based on misrepresentation and/or for other reasons. Whether specific performance should be resisted on ground that claimant had “unclean hands”. M v M (Chancery Division, 2018).

Inheritance mediation. Dispute between deceased’s family in England and his family in Pakistan, relating to real property situated in England. Potential claim for constructive trust, proprietary estoppel, and/or under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Settled. Mediation observation (2018).

Debt mediation. Default on unsecured business loan between individuals. Settled. Mediation observation (2017).

Mediation of finance/regulatory dispute. Default on mortgage of residential property, after loan taken to finance borrower’s business. Mortgage allegedly unenforceable by reason of non-compliance with financial services regulation and due to “unfair relationship” under consumer credit legislation. Did not settle. Mediation observation (2017).

Commercial mediation. Contract dispute about rental of short term office space. Alleged breaches as to size and condition; alleged improper termination. Settled. Mediation observation (2017).

Judicial mediation of employment dispute. Acted as mediation advocate for claimant. Redundancy in restructuring at primary school. Alleged discrimination on grounds of religion and sex. Obtained written apology and financial settlement. Mediation advocacy (Employment Tribunal, 2016).

Arbitration relating to 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
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Affiliate Member
  • 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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