Ex-Macfarlanes partner jailed for a year over drink-driving offences

A former MacFarlanes partner who resigned from the firm last year has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and ordered to pay £4,200 after being found guilty of drink-driving, perverting the course of justice and two further charges.

During his trial Francis Bridgeman claimed to have been kidnapped by an armed gang to avoid being arrested for drink-driving in April 2010. Bridgeman’s statement led to a kidnap investigation being launched.

He was convicted on the four charges last month (16 December 2011).

Passing sentence at Lewes Crown Court today, Justice Guy Anthony said: “You wasted valuable police time and public expense in order to escape a drink-driving offence when you should have had the courage and decency to plead guilty from the outset. To pervert the course of justice is a serious offence and warrants a custodial sentence.”

As well as the 12-month prison sentence, Bridgeman has been disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Bridgeman, a restructuring partner, joined Macfarlanes from Allen & Overy in 2009 (31 August 2009).

Companies House filings show that he left Macfarlanes’ LLP on 31 July 2011.

Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin said: “This is a personal tragedy for Francis.”