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Gabor Bognar

Gabor Bognar

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Gabor’s practice has three focus areas. First, private client work, with an emphasis on contentious inheritance, real property and pensions matters. Second, commercial disputes relating to contract law, company law and insolvency. 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 and accepts such instructions 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.

Inheritance

In contentious inheritance cases, Gabor provides advice and representation concerning the validity, interpretation and rectification of wills; intestacy; the administration of estates; actions under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975; and questions of private international law in relation to any of the foregoing. Some of these disputes also involve allegations of professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of trust.

Examples of recent matters:

Confidential (2019): Matrimonial property co-owned by deceased as joint tenant. Alleged failure by will-writing company to serve notice of severance on other joint tenant, prior to deceased’s death. Advised expectant beneficiaries of will about prospects of professional negligence claim. Identity of potential defendant(s); whether disclosure of insurance terms and conditions obtainable pre-action.

Confidential (2019): Advised in relation to potential claim by wife of deceased testator under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Testator apparently domiciled in England, but he lived in Thailand for some years, where he married Thai citizen wife and where they allegedly co-owned property and businesses. Drafted instructions for expert in Thailand, aimed at identifying relevant assets situated there, as well as their ownership status.

Confidential (2019): Advised executor of deceased wife’s will about interpretation of will, prospects of rectification under Administration of Justice Act 1982, section 20 and potential professional negligence claim against firm of solicitors which drafted will. Errors in will affected wording of two life-interest trusts, plus created possibility of partial intestacy as a result of which estranged child might inherit.

Confidential (2018): Mediation observation of inheritance dispute. Deceased’s real property situated in England. Part of his family resident in England, other family members in Pakistan. Potential claim for constructive trust, proprietary estoppel, and/or under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Settled.

Moore v Moore (County Court, 2018): 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.

Real Property

In real property disputes, Gabor’s experience is centred on constructive and resulting trusts; proprietary estoppel; and the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. Allegations of professional negligence or breach of fiduciary duty may also be a feature of such cases.

Examples of recent matters:

Confidential (2019): Former co-habitees owned residential property as joint tenants and were joint mortgagors. No discussions about respective equitable interests. After separation, one party continued to occupy property, cared for couple’s child, and eventually started to co-habit with new partner with whom he had another child. Advised party in occupation about whether constructive trust had arisen in his favour against first partner and his likely share of property in equity.

Confidential (2019): Mediation observation of dispute about co-ownership of family home. One party alleging 50% beneficial interest in property and seeking order for sale under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, section 14. Other party seeking a declaration of having a 100% beneficial interest. Settled.

Confidential (Chancery Division, 2018): 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 could be rescinded based on misrepresentation and/or for other reasons. Whether specific performance should be resisted on ground that claimant had “unclean hands”.

Holmes v Thompson (County Court, 2017-18): Represented defendant to application for order for sale under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. Constructive trust over residential property jointly owned by former co-habitees. After separation, claimant left property. Defendant remained in occupation, repaid joint mortgage and raised couple’s four children. Settled.

Pensions

Gabor’s experience of pensions work includes 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 pension trust deeds and rules, and pension-age equalisation.

Examples of recent matters:

Granada UK Rental and Retail Ltd v The Pensions Regulator (Box Clever Group Pension Scheme) [2018] UKUT 164 (TCC): 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).

The Pensions Regulator v SAW (Determinations Panel, 2017): 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).

Pension scheme professional negligence (2016): 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).

Safeway Ltd v Newton [2016] EWHC 377 (Ch): 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).

Contract Law

As to contract-related matters, Gabor is experienced in business-to-business and business-to-consumer disputes; defaults on mortgages, trade debts, and other secured and unsecured payment obligations; the enforcement of personal guarantees; and aspects of private international law concerning contract litigation.

Examples of recent matters:

Confidential (County Court, 2019): Debt dispute in construction industry. Claim against company now in compulsory liquidation and its former director. Prior to contract formation, director allegedly failed to inform claimant that first defendant company was subject to voluntary arrangement with its creditors. Represented second defendant ex-director. Settled.

Taylor v Green (County Court, 2019): Alleged breach of contract and/or misrepresentation relating to training course on investment in real property, precious metals and gemstones. Whether claim sufficiently pleaded to be ready for trial. Successfully represented first defendant.

Macdonald Resorts Limited v Caldwell (County Court, 2018); and Macdonald Resorts Limited v Channing (County Court, 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.

Sleeman v Motocorsa Limited (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.

Confidential (Chancery Division, 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.

Confidential (2017-18): 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.

Kwok v BCSSS Property GP Holding Limited (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.

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

Confidential (Commercial Court, 2017): 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 below-market prices. Drafted particulars of claim (assisted Michael Uberoi).

Confidential (2017): Advised about “protection plan” for domestic appliances. Whether in law a contract of insurance or a contract for services. Whether requiring regulatory permission.

Luwum v Royal Bank of Scotland plc (Queen’s Bench Division, 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.

Confidential (2017): Mediation observation of debt dispute. Default on unsecured business loan between individuals. Settled.

Confidential (2017): Mediation observation of commercial dispute. Contract for rental of short-term office space. Alleged breaches as to size and condition; alleged improper termination. Settled.

Lowenthal v Bank of Ireland Home Mortgages Limited (Queen’s Bench Division, 2016-17): Alleged negligent undervaluation of property when sold by mortgagee in possession. Successfully represented claimant in resisting application for reverse summary judgment and for strike-out of particulars of claim. Drafted amended particulars of claim.

Ribat Institute v Khan (County Court, 2016): Enforcement of personal guarantee. Successfully represented creditor in resisting application to set aside default judgment.

Company Law

In relation to company law, Gabor’s practice encompasses matters involving alleged breaches of fiduciary or statutory duties by directors; shareholder rights and remedies; the disqualification of directors; the registration of company charges; and the restoration of companies to the Register of Companies.

Examples of recent matters:

Motocorsa Limited v Registrar of Companies (County Court, 2018-19): 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.

Re Barleybind 2 Health Care Limited and E&M MOT and Servicing Limited (County Court, 2019): Actions under Companies Act 2006, section 859F for extension of period allowed for delivery of company charges to Registrar of Companies. Successfully represented applicants.

Confidential (County Court, 2019): Litigation about directorship of company managing block of flats and associated garages. Claimants and defendants all alleging to have been appointed as directors of company under Companies Act 2006. Whether various general meetings of company properly called and conducted; whether appointments of registered directors valid; whether various decisions and other acts of registered directors valid. Advised defendants.

Confidential (2017-18): 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.

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

Confidential (2016): 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).

Insolvency

Concerning the insolvency of companies, Gabor’s work encompasses compulsory winding up; preferences; transactions at an undervalue; and wrongful trading. He also has experience of proceedings for personal bankruptcy.

Examples of recent matters:

Re Quantum Corporate Services Limited (Companies Court, 2019): Judgment creditor’s petition for winding up company. Advised and successfully represented debtor.

Re Active Ticketing Limited (Companies Court, 2018): Petition for winding up company based on debts to HM Revenue and Customs and to trade creditors. Represented debtor and advised about possibility of application for rescission of usual compulsory order.

Re F1 Prestige (Group) Limited (Companies Court, 2018): Trade creditor’s petition for winding up company, based on unpaid debt under oral loan agreement. Advised and represented petitioner.

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

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

Re Direct Security Marketing Limited (Companies Court, 2016-17): Petition by Information Commissioner for restoration of company to Register of Companies and its immediate winding up, based on a judgment debt. Advised and successfully represented petitioner in obtaining double-barrelled order.

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.

Examples of recent matters:

Macdonald Resorts Ltd v Bushnell (County Court):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.

Grenke Leasing Ltd v Queen’s Cross Church of Scotland Aberdeen (County Court, 2017): 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.

Confidential (2016): 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).

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:

MAKA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Upper Tribunal, 2018): 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.

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

ELM v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Administrative Court, 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.

AK v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Upper Tribunal, 2017): 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.

AA v Secretary of State for the 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.

R (AA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1453 (Admin): 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 could be used as aid to interpretation. Advised defendant on interpretation of Immigration Act 1971 (assisted John McKendrick QC).

Mediation

Gabor is an ADR Group Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator and a Civil Mediation Council Registered Mediator. He is instructed as a mediator, or as a mediation advocate, in private client matters concerning inheritance, real property and pensions; commercial disputes related to contract law , company law and insolvency; and in cases involving private international law. In addition, he has experience as a co-mediator in community disputes.

Examples of recent experience:

Confidential (2019): Mediation observation of dispute about co-ownership of family home. One party alleging 50% beneficial interest in property and seeking order for sale under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, section 14. Other party seeking a declaration of having a 100% beneficial interest. Settled.

Confidential (2019): Mediation observation of inheritance dispute. Deceased’s real property situated in England. Part of his family resident in England, other family members in Pakistan. Potential claim for constructive trust, proprietary estoppel, and/or under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Settled.

Confidential (2017): Mediation observation of debt dispute. Default on unsecured business loan between individuals. Settled.

Confidential (2017): Mediation observation 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.

Confidential (2017): Mediation observation of contract dispute. Written contract about rental of short-term office space. Alleged breaches as to size and condition; alleged improper termination. Settled.

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

Appointments & Memberships

  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • Advocate (formerly Bar Pro Bono Unit)
  • British Spanish Law Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Civil Mediation Council
  • Contentious Trusts Association
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • London Irish 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 )
  • 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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