Lawyers

Prime London lawyer fined £5k for dropping mood and driving at man

A top lawyer who lost his temper and drove aggressively at a pedestrian in a row over parking on the pavement outside his daughter’s nursery was fined £5,000.

Boris Bronfentrinker, 43, was convicted by the jury of driving his hybrid Mercedes dangerously in central London on January 18, 2019, reports the Mirror.

The victim, Peter Bullen, said he was trying to take a photo of Bronfentrinker parked on double yellow lines but had to “jump out the way” as the law firm partner “accelerated” towards him.

Bronfentrinker, who is a partner at Quinn Emanuel’s London office, told the jury he was trying to drive around Mr Bullen.

Judge Philip Bartle QC said Bronfentrinker had lost his temper with Mr Bullen, and although he may not have intended to injure him, drove at him “to scare him”.

Sentencing him, Judge Bartle said: “You did not, as you claimed to have, veered immediately or after a short period forward go immediately into the road.

“It is my assessment that you did not intend to run Mr Bullen down and that you did not intend to injure him although he would not have known that.

“He was standing in front of your car and you drove your car at him, and he would not have known what you intended to do. I’m sure he was scared by what you did.

“It’s my assessment that what happened is you lost your temper. Why you did not speak to Mr Bullen and explain to him what I accept was the case – that the traffic wardens allowed you to park there – why you did not speak to him and explain that, I simply do not understand.

“But it’s part and parcel of your irritation and impatience with Mr Bullen that you clearly chose not to do so.

“There was this bad feeling between you and on this occasion it erupted in your irritation with Mr Bullen and you drove towards him as a result of which he had to jump out of the way.

“I’m sure you intended to scare him and you clearly succeeded in doing that – however short it was.”

During the trial Southwark Crown Court heard Bronfentrinker had just dropped his daughter off at the Montessori Nursery in Marylebone Lane, when he was spotted checking emails in his Mercedes C350E by the local resident.

Prosecutor Nick Wells said: “Mr Bronfentrinker was parked over a double yellow line and two of the four wheels were on the pavement.

“He was parked directly outside the Montessori Nursery School on Marylebone Lane where his daughter attends.

“Mr Bullen didn’t like Mr Bronfentrinker parking in this way and he remonstrated with him about this in the past, and he told Mr Bronfentrinker previously that if he found him parking in this way again he would take a photo of the vehicle and report him to Westminster Council.

“Mr Bullen on seeing the vehicle parked this way that morning stopped and raised his arms in disbelief. It seems Mr Bronfentrinker reacted dismissively to Mr Bullan then put his head down and continued typing on his phone or looking at his emails.”



Boris Bronfentrinker

Giving evidence, Mr Bullen said he was on his daily walk when he saw Bronfentrinker’s car parked on Marylebone Lane.

Mr Bullen said: “He was looking down at his phone. I took my phone out and I stood in front of the car on the footpath five to six feet in front and I lined up my camera to take a picture.

“As I took the photograph I realised the car was accelerating towards me although it didn’t make any sound, there was no horn.

“I just saw it coming towards me. I realised it was not going to turn away so I jumped to one side to avoid it hitting me.”

The ex-high jumper said: “I’m lucky I’m a sportsman, my reactions are pretty quick. I could feel the wind of it as it passed by my tracksuit bottoms.

“I’m just delighted I’m still in one piece.”



Boris Bronfentrinker

Bronfentrinker said he had to move towards Mr Bullen because it was “the only way to leave” and he was only travelling at around 2 to 3mph.

He told the court that traffic wardens allow parents of the nursery to park their cars outside despite the parking regulations during the school run.

But the jury convicted him of dangerous driving by a majority verdict of 10-2 after deliberating for four hours and 46 minutes.

In mitigation, Patrick Gibbs QC, defending, said: “He will be disqualified from driving for at least a year. The consequences of that, not for him but the consequences for others, are his children who are six and ten, they go to the schools they go to and live in the place they live.

“They are by origin Australian and don’t have family in this country – they don’t have grandparents to turn to. His wife is a busy working person as well.”

Mr Gibbs said the body that regulates solicitors was awaiting the outcome of the trial but his client ‘may face investigation’ from it.

Bronfentrinker, of Highgate, north London denied but was convicted of one count of dangerous driving by the jury.

He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,000 and £350 to Mr Bullen as compensation.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and will have to take an extended driving test when this ends.

Related Articles